Did you know that, on average, it snows in the Muskoka region 9 months out of the year? Living here, you need to invest in a snowblower.
Snowblowers can cut your snow removal time in half, which can reduce back strain brought on by shoveling. But choosing a snowblower can be a daunting task. What size do you need, and what features should you look for?
This article walks you through the various types of snowblowers along with how to choose one, so be sure to keep reading.
Not only does shovelling lead to muscle strains, but it can lead to an increase in heart attacks. Since most people don’t engage in regular exercise, something strenuous like shovelling can trigger these events.
Shovelling can cause back issues, as well as shoulder issues. You’re also more likely to slip and fall when shovelling, making snow-blowing the safer choice this winter.
Aside from physical strain, snowblowers can save you time. Instead of labouring over a shovel, especially during a storm with freezing temperatures, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to remove snow by pushing a snowblower over large amounts of terrain in a short time frame.
Different Types Of Snowblowers
You may be wondering which snowblowers are best this winter season, and what your options are. Let’s take a look.
Snowblowers rely on an auger. This works like a drill and sucks snow upwards from the ground and pushes it out a chute.
For single-stage snowblowers, the auger is shaped like a corkscrew and is the only device that moves snow. It automatically shoots it out the back of the snowblower and doesn’t throw the snow as far as bigger machines do. They’re not the highest performing machines and are best for smaller areas.
They can blow snow up to 25 feet.
Two-stage snowblowers also have an auger but come with an impeller. This fan forces snow from the back of the auger and out through the chute that discharges the snow. They’re faster than single-stage snowblowers and can throw snow up to 35 feet.
Three-stage snowblowers also come with augers and impellers, but in addition, they have accelerators. This pushes collected snow from the auger to the impeller. Three-stage snowblowers are the fastest available and throw snow 40 feet or more.
Two and three-stage snowblowers are wider than a single-stage snowblower and cover more terrain.
Gas, Corded Electric, Or Battery
Most snowblowers rely on gasoline. However, you can find more eco-friendly options that rely on batteries.
Some of these snowblowers can clear a good amount of snow, but you’ll need a backup battery to ensure plenty of run time. They’re also advantageous if you’re in a snowstorm and run out of gasoline, provided your batteries are charged or you have a generator.
You can also purchase a corded electric snowblower, but you’ll need to be mindful of the cord when using the device. On average, they’re not as powerful as their gas or battery-powered counterparts.
However, if you only have a small area to shovel, then a corded electric snowblower is ideal. You can even consider an electric snow shovel for small storms.
When To Buy A Snowblower
The majority of snowblower manufacturers build only a limited supply. After they’re sold out, they won’t restart production until early in the summer. This is because they often build lawnmowers in addition to snowblowers, and focus their attention on them at this time of year.
Ideally, you’d want to purchase a snowblower come May or June when the new models are released.
How To Choose The Right Snowblower For You
First, consider how large of an area you need your snowblower to handle. A single-stage snowblower is perfect if you only need to clear a small amount of snow from your driveway or just need to clear out a small walkway. However, if you have a driveway that’s over 60 feet long, then you’ll want to invest in a two or three-stage snowblower.
Next, consider the depth of snow you need your snowblower to tackle. Single-stage snowblowers are great for no more than 12 inches of snow. However, a three-stage snowblower, for example, can tackle 16 inches.
If your area is prone to heavy, wet snow, then you’ll want to purchase a two or three-stage snowblower. Their impellers help prevent clogs.
For sloped areas, look for a push-propelled, auger-assisted snowblower. Also, you’ll want a snowblower that has engine-driven tracks or wheels. However, you can use tire chains with certain snowblower models, increasing traction.
Tips For Using A Snowblower
When using a snowblower, be sure to consider the following tips and tricks. This will keep you safe all winter long, and ensure your snowblower functions properly:
- Point the chute downward
- Avoid snow blowing perpendicularly, as moving up and down your driveway is best
- If there are strong crosswinds, start snow blowing upwind, working downwind
- When there’s little wind, work so your snow is thrown to the right; begin by cutting a path right down the middle of your driveway and work in circles so the chute always goes to one side
- Throw snow far into your yard to avoid high snowbanks
- Remember to keep up with snow as it accumulates. In theory, try to remove snow when it reaches 6 inches, instead of waiting until it gets to 12 inches or more.
Basic Care For Snowblowers
Be sure to care for your snowblower to keep it in working order. Remember to inspect and tighten parts.
Check nuts, screws, belts, bolts, and cords. Replace cracked belts and replace the starter cord if it shows signs of fraying.
Change the oil as recommended by the manufacturer. You also need to replace spark plugs and air filters as part of routine maintenance.
The drive and chassis should be lubricated, and tires and chains need to be checked. Always have new shear pins handy, and make sure any accessories work well, such as headlights.
Run your snowblower on a cleared surface to remove leftover snow. Clear snow from the housing and chute before storing your snowblower.
Choosing A Snowblower
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a snowblower, along with some key maintenance tips, you can purchase the best machine for your needs.
No matter what type of snowblower you need, Muskoka Powersports can help. We have a huge selection of power equipment, so be sure to check out our complete lineup of snowblowers today.