There’s an element of fun to taking out the snow blower, but only if you’re careful and look for hazards ahead of time. In this post, Snow Blower Source takes a look at some of the pitfalls you can very easily avoid.
When there’s a quick and wildly varying change in temperature, ice tends to develop. This usually happens when a layer of snow gets partially melted by the sun, then refrozen when the sun disappears/the temperature drops. The change in state for snow turns the usually powdery stuff into crystals — and creates a potentially dangerous surface.
Sometimes you can see the ice, but other times, like if it’s snowed a fresh layer over top, you can’t. Either way, exercise precautions as though there’s always ice underfoot. In terms of keeping yourself safe, wear footwear with good traction on the bottom, like removable winter cleats or boots with no-slip tread.
In terms of your snow blower, avoid slopes and icy patches. It’s a machine that’s capable of getting away from you very quickly, and you want to be in control of it at all times. If you really need to clear snow but don’t want to risk the ice, salt or sand the area first before going over it with a snow blower.
Cold Weather and Hypothermia
The answer to helping prevent this is simple: layers, layers, layers. If you’re shoveling snow, the sheer exertion of it means you can possibly get away with a little bit less, as you’ll be working up a sweat and your body’s increased activity and blood flow can perhaps compensate for the cold temperatures.
But if you’re using a snow blower — something that doesn’t require nearly as much exertion — then dress in layers like this:
Debris on Surfaces
Although snow blowers vary a little bit in how their internal parts are organized, they pretty much all essentially follow the same mechanisms: the insides suck up snow from the ground, “crunch” it up inside, and then blow it off to the side. However, snow blowers don’t discriminate against what they pick up, especially single stagers.
This means that, along with scooping up snow, they can also pick up pebbles, sticks and toys — and blow them up and out in little pieces. And if you’re in the path of that, well, you’re just in the path of that. Take preventative action by doing a quick walk through before starting up your snow blower, and picking up any loose debris that could get in the way.
Snow Blower Problems or Breakdowns
The tip mentioned in the above point about taking preventative action also applies here, albeit in a slightly different way. Keep on top of snow blower maintenance (and in the coming weeks, we’ll have some solid tips you can use to keep your snow blower in top shape) on a regular basis. And although we know not everyone will do this, checking out your machine before starting it up each time is a really smart idea.
But if you’re using it and something goes wrong, here’s a basic checklist to follow: