Snow Removal Equipment
Everyone that lives in snow country eventually has to ask themselves, what kind do I need to remove snow. The answer is... it depends.
Ok, that answer is not much help but it really does depend on some factors such as your where you live, the terrain and surfaces you want or must clear, your physical health, the expectations of snow and ice levels that can happen AND you are willing to work in, And of course your budget.
Regardless of the size of your place, buy at least one good snow shovel before Winter arrives. If winter weather starts, the supply of hand tools and mechanized equipment will disappear from stock fast. The more snow that falls, the faster these items disappear from availability. These goods are produced by manufactures in batches before the Fall & Winter seasons. When stock runs out, nothing will be available until the next production runs roughly in Summertime to provide to stores for that next Fall/Winter season.
You have a small place with a very short walkway to clear and maybe a small driveway? All you might need is a good snow shovel if your Winters are typically light. Do not count on light snow fall, regardless of what a weather person predicts. At least one shovel and at least one small snow blower is like having a First Aid kit in the house and cart it's just smart to be prepared.
What can RAGAN EQUIPMENT help you with?
So what is the difference between a snowblower and a snowthrower?
By the way, you will find both of these pieces of equipment with a space between the words (e.g. snow thrower) or put together. You decide which is more correct but no need to lose sleep over it. However, there is a difference between a blower and a thrower.
Snowblowers are simply heavier units that generally are considered to cut about a foot of snow at a time. Yes they can work in less and some can work with higher amounts. In terms of how much time your willing to spend outdoors in the cold, you will have to judge what you want to buy and use. Just know that a blower is heavier than a thrower and will usually have a wider and taller throat to gather snow to blow.
Snowthrowers are smaller and lighter and work best to remove snow accumulation in smaller areas that are covered with 10 inches or less. Think short side walks, smaller driveways. And great for patios and porches too. Most snowthrowers have rubber paddles so they are less likely to mar a surface such as a wood deck but you be the judge.
What kind of snow?
Yes there is a difference. Heavy wet snow on one end and light & fluffy dry snow on the other.
Blowers and throwers do not operate the same way. Go with a snow blower if you get a lot of wet or heavy snow. Blowers may have problems moving the heavy wet stuff but a thrower simply will not work at all. If you mainly get light & fluffy snow, a blower or thrower both work great but remember that throwers are mainly smaller lighter units that often do not have self-propulsion. Do not expect to use these for any distance or taller amounts of snow.
So what do you buy? If you must clear a gravel driveway, absolutely buy a blower. If you have any large areas to remove snow that will take you time, buy a blower. The size of the blower is dependant on the levels of snow you need to remove as well as the distance and width of the areas. Snowblowers can provide a physical work out and depending on your view on working out, that can be a blessing or it can be a real bummer.
How far will the snow be blown? Or thrown?
Snow throwers toos snow at best, maybe 20 to 25 feet if it's really light and fluffy stuff. Blower makers make claims they can blow up to 50 ft. HONDA can do that if the snow is light and fluffy. And they can get almost 50 feet with somewhat heavier snow. A HONDA blower which is built to commercial quality levels will also cost you more than twice the price of most of the others you will find for sale. There IS a difference Pretty much consider the rest of the blowers to blow out 20 to 35-ish feet with light and fluffy and your good. If the snow is wet and heavy, it may go only 5 or 10 feet or not even get out of the blower at all when the chute plugs up. See why you always want a snow shovel around? Buy two so you can con a friend or your kids into helping. Or when the shovel or throwers or blowers break, your 2nd shovel will be available. For you folks in more rural areas, it is always nice to have the phone number of someone that has a big truck & blade to get you out of a major snow dumping. And another phone number of someone that will clear snow off your roof with shovels if necessary.
In most cases a walk-behind, self-propelled snow blower is goind to clear all the types of snow we see in Kootenai County here in Idaho. And for the smaller areas to clear in some typical suburban house areas, a walk-behind 20 inch wide thrower is a good thing. But keep one or two snow shovels on hand for the aforementioned reasons.
When winter is over, now what do you do with the behomoth that you pushed and dragged around in the snow all winter? None of these walk-behind devices store with grace. Handlebars stick out for one thing. It is a good idea to take this into consideration by determining a spot exists in your garage or nearby shed. Some place that is easy to get at when snow flies so you can use the equipment. Just remember if your equipment has a gasoline engine for a powerplant, follow recommendations for gasoline so that the equipment runs the next time you need it. Ideally use gasoline that does not have Ethanol in it. Nothing wrong with fuel with Ethanol in it; you use it nearly every day in your car. But the car is driven almost every day so the fuel is not only agitated (oxygen), the tank is replenished at least monthly or for those of you that like to drive all the time, maybe weekly. Fresh fuel say within a few months of time does not go bad. Stagnant fuel with or without Ethanol goes bad. Ethanol will hurry up the problem of fuel going bad. But with our without Ethanol, if you will just start the gas engine every 2 or 3 months or less and keep the tank topped off, you will likely never have a no-start situation. Hedge your bet however by using Ethanol free fuel if you can get it. And use a fuel stabilizer. Ounces per gallon of stabilizer is cheap but do NOT expect your gas will be good next winter if this is all you do. So do you instead, drain the fuel? Seems like that would work, right? Maybe.
A tiny bit of fuel may remain in the tank, fuel line and carburetor after you drain the tank and even run the engine until it quits. Maybe that tiny bit of fuel dries up and plugs things up. Arrgh. On the other hand, if you leave gasoline in the tank in something that is not used for most of the year, is that a problem? Goes back to what I said above re hedging your bet with adding Stabilizer, use non-Ethanol (Premium) fuel and start the engine every couple of months. Keep the tank full so that oxygen and thus moisture inside the tank are minimized and you are likely to never have problems.
Stop by RAGAN EQUIPMENT to check out the walk-behind snowblowers and throwers from ARIENS and HONDA. RAGAN EQUIPMENT also has blades and blowers snow blades and snowblowers for JOHN DEERE lawn and garden tractors. And for the larger properties, rear 3 point blades compact and utility tractors and snowblowers snow blowers 3 point mount compact utility tractors are also available to fit on JD and many other brands of compact and utility tractors.