Snowy Weather

Managing Snow:

There are three types of snow people in the world; those who shovel, those who use a snow thrower, and those who just pay others because its easier and they don’t like the cold much.

Myself, I am a shoveler. There is a Zen to shoveling snow if you like to use your body and you like being outside. There are four basic tools in my arsenal. A chipper for ice, a square headed garden shovel for wet, icy, heavy snow, a plastic headed plow shovel with which I can push the snow off my walk or driveway, and an ergonomic snow shovel for lifting and tossing snow. I can clear snow as fast as a snow thrower, burn some calories, and work out some of those problems that always float around in the back of the brain while I’m at it. However, I have to confess that as I age, becoming a convert to the snow thrower looks more and more attractive. So here is what I have learned as I consider the prospect of purchasing a snow thrower:

There are a lot of different kinds of snow throwers or blowers and they are suited to different situations. In order to select the right machine, an assessment of needs must be performed first.  How long is your driveway? How much snow do you anticipate receiving each year? How heavy is the snow? How wide a space does your snow removal needs cover?

Most urban and sub-urban dwellers, have just a driveway and a sidewalk to clear off. A single stage gas blower will do the trick for this sized job. These types of snow blowers will touch the ground, so be aware of the area you are clearing. Most single stage gas snow blowers retail for $300 to $900. However, if you find that you get a lot of snow, or have a larger area to clear, a two stage gas blower will save you time and help avoid further back aches. These types of snow blowers have wide augers to clear off larger areas, while throwing the snow further. Depending on the type of two stage gas snow blower you are looking at, prices can range from $600 to over $2000 according to Consumer Reports.

If you have a gravel driveway, you’ll want to ensure that the auger doesn’t touch the ground (thus picking up rocks which can be hard on the snowblower, and cause harm if to items near the path of the blowing snow. Most two stage blowers are perfect for gravel driveways. If you find that you only get a few inches per snowfall, or have a relatively small area to clear, you may find that a single stage electric blower will take care of your needs. Electric snow throwers range between $100 and $300 and will clear an area of about 11-18inches.

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