OK, I am now officially Mother Nature's XXXch! (just purchased a snow blower)

We’ve had more snow so far this season than we’ve had in the last two years combined. I’m sick of it and tired of fighting it with a shovel. We’re normally pretty dry out here in the central plains of the US but enough is enough. Add in the fact that my sidewalk runs right against the curb with no grass buffer separating the two. Consequently, when the city plow truck comes by, it turns what had been six inches of fluff into a foot or more of hard packed drudgery.

In a somewhat rash move, I went to my local equipment supply store and purchased the biggest one they had in stock. The one I grabbed was probably oversized for my real needs but half measures are just frustrating. I think TORO is a decent brand. I’ll find out tomorrow when they deliver it.

I just feel so weak and useless though.

After two week-long sieges without power following ice storms some years ago, we had a generator installed. Since then, we’ve had no more serious ice storms and only a few outages, none lasting more than a few hours.*

So you may have just guaranteed virtually snowless winters in your area for the foreseeable future. :slight_smile:

*still nice to have generator backup though.

Similarly, I just had all the grass in my lawn removed.

I had it torn out and covered over with mulch and white river rocks. No more lawn mowing, ever again! I got sick of dealing with it this summer when it would rain for like 3 weeks straight and the stupid grass would shoot up 4 feet, which of course you can’t just mow, you have to weed whack it down to a manageable level, then mow it to even it out, which takes forever because it’s all still wet, and it’s going to start raining again tomorrow. Fuck that shit. Grass is stupid and pointless, so now it’s gone. I don’t feel bad at all.

Word. The purchase of a season ski pass and a good running snow blower will guarantee a snow-less winter.

Hey, if true, I’ll consider it money well spent.

I bought one last year after our first big snow and like you I got so damn tired of clearing the walks only to have the snowplows bury them again and have to go back out there with shovel in hand. It only snowed one other time last winter that I could use it.

But that one time… was glorious! grunts beats chest

Can’t go wrong with a snowblower. I use mine for just about every snowfall that accumulates more than a half inch. People ask me why I bother with the snowblower on days where there’s so little snow, but I can gas it up, start it, let it warm up, snowblow my driveway and sidewalk, put it away and everyone else is still shoveling.
On those really bad days, multiple inches of wet, heavy snow…the kind that you’ll see people out at 11pm shoveling and then back out at 6am to get the rest of it, you can do with a snowblower and very little effort (and much less risk of hurting your back/shoulders/arms).

And, like others said, it probably won’t snow now. I shoveled the first two years I was at my house and then my (now ex) in laws bought me a snow blower. Hardly snowed at all the following winter. My FIL offered to buy me a new one every year as long as it means it won’t snow anymore.

Going from a shovel to a snowblower is like using a lawnmower when you’ve been cutting the grass with a scissors.

Make sure you drain the gas out of the carb at the end of the season. There’s nothing like teaching yourself how to rebuild it when it’s below zero out.

OK, some snow has been blown with more to deal with later. I’ve never run a snow blower before and it’s conceivable that I have skewed expectations. While using the blower was faster by far and much easier on the body than shoveling by hand, it’s also not quite as easy as some reports had led me to believe. In terms of physical effort required, it’s comparable to running the large, front tined garden tiller my Dad used to have. A huge step forward for sure but hardly effortless.

I’m also not impressed by the blower’s ability to clean all the way down to the cement. Four passes over the same path and there’s still an inch of untouched snow. I’m checking through the owner’s manual to see if something needs to be adjusted.

I also learned a hard, blinding lesson about what happen when you wear eye glasses and you point the throw chute directly into the wind.

The hand warming grips were pointless.

I’m sooo glad I’ve got this though. It easily turned a four hour job into a 30 minute one. A little more practice and I’ll get the hang of it.

Oh yeah, you do have to manhandle them a bit.

There should be skids on the bottom that will let you adjust to how close to the ground it gets.

A piece of warm gear advice, get a neck gaiter. Much better than a scarf IMHO.


Where do you store it when you are not using it? I have a one car garage, I would have to buy a shed to keep it in.

I’ve got enough room in my garage to store it, barely. It’s completely packed full of stuff and my car hasn’t seen the inside of it for years.

OK, I spent an half an hour chain sucking Tim Tam Slams before going back out to finish that last bit of cleanup with my shovel. There are skids on the sides that can bee tweaked to lower the auger blades but with no snow free/warm/dry areas to work on it, I just used the shovel. I’ll adjust it when I get a nice day.

A shed is nice, but there are also covers you can buy (or make) to keep the UV rays, rain, and leaves at bay during the rest of the year.

from the linked article in the OP -

Two-Stage Cover (Part # 490-7466)
Protect your investment with a snowthrower cover made of heavy-duty polyester that’s waterproof, abrasion, and tear resistant. This cover is vented to promote air circulation and minimize heat and moisture build-up.

For something as heavy as this 300lb monster, it’s best to support it by parking it on cinder blocks or concrete pads, instead of the grass.

(post shortened)

With 6 forward, and 2 reverse, speeds, plus electric starting, there shouldn’t be much physical effort involved. Start forward in low gear, and just go for a slow stroll. Enjoy the weather. Let the machine do the work.

I have friendly neighbors who sometimes chose to clear dozens of neighbors sidewalks (not driveways, damn it) so the kids can walk to the school bus stops. One insists on leaving it in top gear (5th or 6th?) and PUSHING his huge Honda. Sweat pours off this guy.

I have an 18" wide Toro which does everything I require, which includes lifting (80lbs) it up 14" onto my back deck. During heavy snows, I simply snowblow more often.

Part of the problem was that I suspect I was pushing the machine well beyond what it really wanted to do. As stated in post #1, my sidewalk was covered by the city plow truck with 18+ inches of hard packed ice. Add a couple of knee high snow drifts and my own poor physical condition and I was working out there. The machine wanted to float over the hard snow and the tires didn’t have the best traction. I’m absolutely going to check in to buying the optional tire chains and I suspect I need to work on my technique a little. Even in low forward gear, the first pass down the sidewalk was all the machine wanted to do and if I could have cut that pace in half, I would have. The next three passes down the walk each widened the cleared area by about six inches and went much smoother.

Snowblowers/snowthrowers aren’t designed for hard packed ice. The auger will, eventually, grind thru the ice, but the going will be slow. In worst case scenarios, I’ve used steel-headed shovels to chop up the ice into pieces small enough for my auger to push up and out the chute.

As far as tire chains are concerned, if the auger can’t clear the ice as fast as the drive wheels are moving forward, tire chains will grind away concrete/asphalt/rock driveways. just sayin’

In order to cut as close to the ground as possible, the skid plates/shoes need to set as high as possible. Loosen the bolts securing the shoes, slide a 2x4 beneath the shoes, and tighten the bolts. Unfortunately, the skid shoes won’t break thru hard packed ice. Only the auger, or an ice chisel, will break up hard packed ice. Salting the area first should help.

Interesting. I live in the upper Midwest and don’t even have the snowblower on the garden tractor yet. We haven’t had enough snow to blow yet. My rural driveway is about 200’ long and I shoveled it the one time it needed it. Just saw the forecast for tomorrow is for 3-5"+. Probably set it up tomorrow then. Or not. Next weekend is supposed to be upper 30’s.

Way high up in the Colorado Rockies here. I’ve had the plow on my truck since October (actually missed the first snow and had to use the Kubota to clear it).

We’ve had 8 feet of snow so far. March is our snowiest month.