Snow season is upon us very early this year and may continue in years to come-maybe an ice age from the comments of the Global Warming crowd. Who knows? What we want to talk about now is a winter’s prep, but along the aspects of snow blowers. My old Craftsman II track model finally gave up the ghost so I bought a new modern snow blower. I am pleased with the improvements over the past 28 years. You will note the longevity of the former machine, as I am big on maintenance.
Blowing my horn, I am the proud owner of a TORO with the biggest Briggs snow motor.
In this area of Virginia I always deal with Blacksburg Power in Christiansburg who steers me in the right direction. Because I live in the bush, my gravel driveway is about 1500 feet long culminating at the bottom of the hill at the creek bridge. Here we find a cold spot and a bigger pile up of snow, not counting the county trucks with blades that load up the driveway entrance.
There are rules about snow blowing. The first is having a well-maintained modern snow thrower. My new one, and the ones in catalogs all offer heated handles, steering clutches, electric start, adjustable scraper-which I had adjusted high up along with the skid plates to avoid gravel being scooped up. A light is usually installed for the night work and as a safety feature if you have to get in the roadway when it is dark. Blowing snow, no matter how much you can angle the egress of the snow chute, wind will blow back in your face. Sportsman Guide.com offers an inexpensive vertical clamp on high visibility cab that protects you. (Item # FP447P 225039) .
Tires may need pumping up. Ice and snow will clog up the interior scoop of the rotating blades (keep your hands out). A coating of WD-40™ will cause the snow and ice to slide off better.
Inside the chute area is a gearbox and this is what drives the rotating blades. Check the oil level and if low, add 80-90 weight oil. Check the oil in the motor with the dipstick. The first new engine requires a change of oil in 5 hours run time and thereafter each season. Start with a 5-30 weight oil. The lower the number the lighter the oil and easy starts with longer engine life.
Check your owner’s manual in case it requires a different grade of oil. If you do not have an owner’s manual you can call the factory or a dealer and obtain a copy.
The new models have a lever under the handlebars for steering. This is good but could be dangerous such as on my bridge wherein I close the lever the wheel stops and the other wheel causes a turn. Theoretically I could go over the bridge. Steering levers are great inventions but be careful on drop offs and running over a crabby neighbors flowerbed. Practice-practice-practice!
Do not use alcohol additive gasoline; use white unleaded gasoline. Have an extra 5-gallon can stored in a safe place. Alcohol and other additive gasoline products will eat up the carburetor parts. At seasons end, drain the gasoline out or it will get gummy by next year. An alternative is to use a Briggs and Stratton two-year fuel additive you pour in the tank. Stabile ™ is a good one-year additive to keep the gasoline fresh in all your small engine needs.
Wear a full-insulated step in-zip up coveralls. Sturdy insulated boots and a ski mask. Gloves are always advised. If you are old, bad heart etc, stay inside and just hire someone.
In regard to buying a snow thrower Blacksburg Power in Christiansburg tells me that they are already selling out. Best get there on time. One interesting feature TORO And others build these machines in the summer for expected number of sales, so when they are sold out there are no more shipments to the stores. The factories shut down in the winter months.
Last thoughts. Pick up the yard now. Loose toys, water hoses all disappear in the snow and find their way into the snow thrower. Also old men need not for their heart’s sake shovel snow. More old men die from shoveling snow. Aim the movable snow chute away from windows.
(3) Open your eyes
God Bless and keep warm. Remember the homeless children.
COPYRIGHT: Back2theLand.com, all rights reserved. 11/18/2014