The Complete Guide to Snowblowing Success
By Midwest Traction on December 22, 2017
Tips & Advice
Winter is here, and several things need to happen: shoveling sidewalks, drinking hot cocoa, building snowmen, walking the dog, sledding… but wait! It snowed. Your driveway and sidewalks are buried. Time to break out the snow blower! Before you bust through the drifts, we have a few tips.
The Manual is King
Your snow blower owner’s manual has all the information in it you could possibly need (along with things you probably don’t care about). If anything in there contradicts what we’re saying here, go with that.
If you didn’t change your oil in the spring, then we recommend “out with the old, in with the new” before you get going. Now is probably not the optimal time to do it, but you’re a procrastinator (or forgetful - we’ll let you decide), so you’ll have to do it now. Glove up, oil on. Or in. Better in than on.
Fuel + Fuel Stabilizer
This one is crucial! Not only do you need to fill up your tank, but fuel stabilizer prevents the ethanol from damaging the engine while extending fuel life(which only lasts about 30 days). Should your job require more than one gas up, be sure to let the engine cool off before adding more fuel. The proximity of the gas tank and engine are close, which increases the odds of fume inhalation or gas combustion.
Hopefully, you checked before the snow, but you’ll want to make sure tires are inflated to the manual’s recommended PSI. This allows proper grip and float, and if your tread is looking worse for wear, we know where you can find some new snowblower tires.
Snow Blower Tire Chains
Maybe you knew you could add these to your power tool. Maybe not. But you can, and if you’ve got a lot of ice to clear, they’re probably a wise investment. Riding snow blowers and push snow blowers have fitments in stock.
This will prevent sticking and clumping to your auger. You don’t want to jam that, as it can break parts or halt your work mid-removal.
- Start your snow blower in a well-ventilated area.
- Check for newspapers, tree branches, dog ties, and toys (think sleds with rope)!
- Extension cords and hoses could be buried if you’re working close to your house. Check for these, too.
- Avoid any areas with rock, landscaping or gravel. The snow blower will either clog or launch these.
- Never stick hands or feet in to relieve a jam. Make sure the machine is completely off and use a recommended unsticking tool.
- Before putting away, remove excess snow with proper tools and dry off.
- Go slow and steady. It’s not a race; pushing too fast creates clogs and causes overload in the bucket, which leads to snow spillage.
- If you’re working on a large surface, start in the middle and gradually work your way out to avoid blowing snow onto cleared path.
- Be mindful of wind direction and adjust as necessary.
- Don’t wait until the snow stops; if it’s a heavy snow, it will be packed down by the time you get out there, making your job more time consuming than if you’d gotten a head start.
- Be safe, observe all safety precautions, and never stick your hand into the machine for any reason.
Happy Winter, Traction Tribe!
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