With time, the use of the snow blower turns into a routine and all the things which you have to do become intuitive. However, you would want to start using the machine appropriately right from the start. For this, you will need some practical tips.
I decided to help fellow users with some important advice as I have a long term experience with using such machines. I own and manage a small family hotel in the mountains of British Columbia so I have to clean the snow quite often. I have gained expertise in using a snow blower over the years and I would like to share what I know. Let me get to the actual tips now.
It is essential for you to have a precise strategy for cleaning the outdoor traffic areas on your property with the use of a snow blower. That way, you will achieve even higher efficiency and save even more time and effort.
You should check the direction of the wind and clean the snow in this direction as well. This will make the task a lot easier for you. Otherwise, the wind will just blow more snow on the areas which you have already cleaned.
The next step is to decide where you will blow the snow. Check how far your snow blower can expel the snow. The distance is usually 20 to 30 feet. It is best not to blow the snow near your house as it can cause trouble when it starts to melt. Similarly, you should ensure that no tall piles will be formed as they are potentially dangerous.
Your ultimate goal is to clean the snow with as few passes as possible. The tactic for reaching this goal will depend on the length and width of the area for cleaning and on its surroundings. The main thing is not to blow the snow on an area which is to be cleaned as this will create more work for you.
Before Using the Snow Blower
The use of electric snow blowers is quite simple – you simply need to star the motor. Just remember to connect the machine to the electric outlet correctly. You need to use a cord which is sufficiently long and which has ground, fault, circuit and interruption protection.
If you have a machine with a gas engine, you will have to complete more tasks before you start it. You should check the oil and fuel levels. Add more oil and/or fuel, if necessary. Remember that for safety purposes, you should add fuel when the engine is cool and do this outdoors only. In general, it also helps to check the nuts and bolts and the main parts of the machine irrespective of its type.
Ensure that the cleaning path of the machine is free from obstacles such as accidently thrown objects, fallen tree branches, outdoor fixtures and fittings and cables.
Snow Blower Operation
Adjust the chute and the deflector before you start the motor/engine of the snow blower. You should have an idea about their optimal position beforehand. Make sure that the parts are locked in the desired position before you start working.
Always start the snow blower outside. This is particularly important for models which use gas for running. If you are using an electric machine, you should be vigilant and ensure that the cord will not get in the way.
You should hold the steering handle firmly at all times so that you have perfect control over the direction and the functioning of the machine. It is best not to keep the machine too close to your body. Try to extend your arms when steering it. This will give you more reaction time in case the machine stops due to an obstacle on its path.
After Using the Snow Blower
Once you are done using the machine, you should take it to a snow-free outdoor area and run it for a few minutes. That way, any snow between the auger blades and inside the chute will be effectively removed and the machine will dry quickly. This prevents the freezing and damage of the parts of the snow blower.
Important Safety Tips
Always wear snuggly fitting pants and jackets when using a snow blower. Avoid wearing loose clothing. You should have your scarf wrapped closely around your neck. Preferably, you should wear it under the jacket. You need to wear gloves to prevent your hands from getting cold and losing control over the machine. Wear non-slippery shoes. You should also wear safety glasses. Use ear plugs, if necessary.
Never leave your position behind the snow blower while it is working. If you have to check something or clean the auger and chute, you must stop the motor/engine and wait until the moving parts have come to a full stop. Always clean the auger and chute with an appropriate tool designed for the purpose. While running the machine, you should watch out for people, traffic and objects.
Use all of these tips to make the most out of your snow blower and to stay safe.