Just like any other power equipment in your garage, you can blunder through the task of clearing up snow in your driveway and get it done, or you can do it swiftly, proficiently, and achieve the best possible results. Learning how to efficiently snow blow your driveway is not rocket science. Keep reading to learn how to get the job done in minimal time, and with beautiful results.
Check the wind
Pay attention to which direction the wind (and possibly snow) is blowing. You may wind up doing the job a couple times if the snow blows onto the areas that you have already cleaned. If there isn’t any wind, better yet.
Plan your route.
On a conventional, rectangular driveway, it is most times best to work lengthwise rather than width-wise to reduce awkward turns. Start in the upwind direction if it is windy, and work in the direction it’s blowing as shown in figure 1. If there isn’t any wind, you can work in a circular motion as in figure 2 and point the snow chute in the same position during the whole process.
Plan where you want the snow to build up.
Decide where you want all the snow to accumulate. You may only be able to blow the snow only a few feet away from you, or as many as 50 feet out depending on the model of snow blower that you have. Be sure to check what your snow blower’s capabilities are and plan accordingly. You should try to blow the snow as far from the driveway as possible to avoid large snowbanks that spill back.
Adjust your skid shoes
Skid shoes are little metal attachments that drag along the ground as you use your blower. It keeps the machine’s auger from hitting your driveway. Place the skid shoes at their lowest setting if you are working on a paved surface, letting the auger blow as much snow as possible. You will need to set them a bit higher for gravel driveways. Doing this will keep the gravel from shifting about as you move your machine around, and will save you the work of throwing gravel back into place.
If your snow blower gets clogged
In the instance that your snow blower auger or chute becomes clogged, NEVER use your hand or foot to try to clear it. You must first turn the machine off, wait 15 seconds, then find a broom handle or pole-like tool to unclog it. Many snow blower models come equipped with a tool specially designed for unclogging.
You may think that you have bought a snow blower, so you wouldn’t have to use your shovel anymore. Hold that thought. You would most likely need to shovel steps, narrow walkways, your front porch, and other tight spots that your snow blower cannot reach. Save these areas for last, as you may unintentionally blow snow onto them as you clear your driveway.
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