How To Use A Snow Blower

How to Use A Snow Blower

A snowblower is a great option for anyone who needs to clear snow from their property quickly and efficiently. If you live in an area where it snows often, or if you have a large amount of snow to remove, a snowblower can save you a lot of time and effort.  

Despite being extremely useful, not many people actually know how to operate a snow blower. On top of being imposing pieces of complex machinery, they can bot a lot of different features, buttons, and levers with can make it confusing to handle them confidently.

While not all snowblowers are built the same, the principle remains the same. That’s why, in this article, we’ll break down how to use a snow blower in 5 easy steps. With a quick read and a little bit of nerve, we’re confident you’ll be throwing snow off your driveway soon.

(Note: If your snow blower won't start), there is a different process to follow.)

Video Tutorial (Unless you'd rather just read, then skip to the write up below!)

Step 1: Read The Manual

There are many different types and sizes of snowblowers on the market, so it is important to choose one that will best suit your needs. This also means there are going to be a host of different features and capabilities your snowblower has that other snowblowers don’t. Maintenance requirements also differ greatly from model to model. This is why, as soon as you get a snow blower, we recommend you read the manual first.

Most people who buy snow blowers don't bother to read the manual. However, it's important to do so in order to understand how your particular model works and what safety precautions you need to take. Some manufacturers also upload the manuals online on their websites, along with additional information and relevant FAQs. 

Bottom line is to do your research and learn everything you can about the snowblower before using it.

Step 2: Prepare the snowblower

Checking Snow Blower Fuel

This is where reading the user’s manual ahead of time is important. In the manual, you’re going to learn what type of gas your snowblower runs on and what kind of oil should be used for the engine. The last thing you want is to use the wrong type of fuel or the wrong type of engine oil since this can potentially damage or ruin very expensive machinery. You can also opt to use fuel stabilizers to prevent the fuel from freezing in cold conditions.

Also, inspect the snowblower closely for any manufacturing defects. If you see even so much as a loose screw or chipped paint, it’s best to call customer service and discuss options. Safety is the number one priority when handling such powerful machines.

If everything looks good and the snowblower is gassed up and oiled, then it’s time to assess and prepare the terrain.

Step 3: Assess and prepare the terrain

Now that your snowblower is all gassed up and ready to go, it’s time to take a look at the terrain you’ll be clearing. If there are any large rocks or other debris in the way, it’s best to remove them before starting the snowblower.  The last thing you want is to damage the blades by running over something hard.

You should also look at how much snow needs to be removed. Generally, you should not wait for the snow to be many feet high before you decide to start using your snowblower. At the same time, you also don’t want to waste gas by removing snow that’s only a few centimeters thick. As a rule of thumb, you can use your snowblower once the snow reachers at least 2-5 inches in thickness.

Step 4: Decide where your mound is going to be

This is an important step that a lot of people forget. You need to have a plan for where the snow is going to go once it’s been cleared. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up with a big pile of snow in the middle of your driveway or yard.

You have the option to blow snow on either one side of the driveway, creating a big mound, or on both sides of the driveway or yard, creating two smaller mounds. Deciding where your mound is going to go will also tell you where you’re going to start snow-blowing.

Throwing the snow to one side means you’ll start on the side directly opposite of it. Throwing snow on both sides of the yard means you’ll be starting in the middle of the yard and working your way outwards. Be mindful of where you throw your snow since it will eventually melt once the season changes. Be careful not to blow snow at another person’s property or in an area with poor drainage to avoid dealing with a mini flood. 

Step 5: Start Clearing 

Now it’s time to start clearing! Begin by moving the snowblower slowly back and forth across the area that you’re trying to clear. Some snowblowers start with a push of a button or sport a pull string that you need to tug at quickly. If you’re unsure about how to start it up, consult the manual.

Make sure that you’re overlapping each pass so that you don’t miss any spots. Once you get the snow blower going, keep your hands on the handles and your feet away from the auger. The auger is the part of the snowblower that spins and can be very dangerous if you get your feet caught in it. Also, ensure that family members or housemates keep their distance while you’re blowing snow.

If you need to stop the snow blower for any reason, make sure that you turn it off completely before walking away from it.

Finally, pack everything up, and enjoy a clean driveway!

Once your driveway is clean, turn the snowblower off and store it in a dry clean place. The entire process should take only an hour or less.

Although your first use might take a little longer, now that you know how to use a snowblower, we have no doubt that you’ll be shoveling snow away in no time!

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About the Author Madison Meyers

Madison Meyers is a Minneapolis native who knows what it takes to survive in the land of 10,000 lakes.

She’s made it her mission to make sure people never have to shovel again by combining her love for snow with the entrepreneurial skills she picked up at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

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