Now that winter is upon us, cleaning snow can be a daunting task for most residence. Especially in more recent winters our region has received it’s fair share of snowfall and storms. It’s important to be prepared with the right tools to weather any storm safely.
Safety while using a snowblower:
For many homeowners winter time means spending hours keeping pathways and driveways clear. Buying a snow thrower could save you a lot of time and effort. There are a few things to keep in mind before you make your decision. In this buying guide for snow throwers you’ll find tips to make the right choice.
Before you buy, you should consider the following things:
Size of area and snow conditions
The first thing to take into account when buying a snow thrower is the size of the area that you need to clear. Large gardens, pathways and driveways naturally require a bit more power than smaller outdoor spaces. You should also consider the amount of snow and the typical snow conditions in your region. A snow thrower with a powerful engine and wide working width will save you time if the area is covered in deep, heavy snow, whereas smaller areas covered in dry snow require less power.
Single stage or dual stage
There are two different types of snow throwers: single stage and dual stage. The Dual stage snow thrower is a larger more powerful tool. Dual stage models are most effective for deep, heavy and packed snow removal, while the single stage is best suited for smaller areas covered in dry, powder snow. The auger of the single stage snow thrower actually comes in contact with the ground and it should not be used on gravel surfaces. Lastly, the single stage is much smaller, takes up less space and is lighter than the dual stage snow throwers.
Start, Steer and Storage
A snow thrower with power steering is easier to manoeuvre than other models. Choose a model with power steering if you need to make lots of turns while you are plowing; either while clearing large open areas or when removing snow from winding pathways. It is a good idea to bring a pair of gloves with you when you test the snow thrower, to make sure the controls are easy to reach and operate even with gloves on. For a trouble-free starting on colder days a model with electric start is the best choice if you have easy access to electrical outlets in your storage space. You can store your snow thrower in your garage or outdoor shed. However, if you have limited space to store your snow thrower, make sure to buy a cover to protect the machine if it’s stored outside.
Snow throwers are powerful machines. Always look carefully for safety labels and ensure to read the instructions for proper operation. Generally, snow throwers are quite loud so it’s a good idea to wear hearing protection. Winter tends to be a darker season, make sure your snow thrower is equipped with headlights so you can easily see in the evening and inclement weather.
Wheels and chutes
The size of the wheels determines the grip you will get; if you live in a region where there is a lot of snow or if you have an irregular terrain, you might want to consider buying a snow thrower with a track drive for better traction. The type of chute on your snow thrower will determine how far the snow will be thrown and in what direction. Single stage models throw as far as 10 meters (32’), while dual stage models can throw as far as 14 meters (46’) depending on the snow and other conditions.
Final Tip: For a warmer and more comfortable operation, you may want to consider investing in a snow thrower with heated handles :)
After experiencing one of the worst winters in Canada this past year, it’s no wonder that over a third of Canadians are feeling nervous about the upcoming winter season*. Related pages for Ottawa Snow Thrower Selector Whether it’s buying a snow thrower, a better shovel or salt; or looking into paid options for snow removal, 41 per cent of Canadians are planning to take proactive steps this year to better prepare for the upcoming season.
“Early reports are in, and while we may not experience the same frigid temperatures as we did last year, it’s clear that Canadians should be prepared for another year of extreme weather,” says Dr. Bell, Professor Emeritus and former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. If there is one thing that we learned from last winter, it is that a devastating snow storm can hit at any time. It is important for Canadians to think ahead and get the tools they need now so that they are well prepared for the potentially harsh winter ahead. For the growing number of seniors, appropriate preparations are crucial.”
Over a quarter of Canadians admitted to feeling unprepared for the harshness of last winter. And it’s no surprise that provinces that were among the hardest hit last year (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario) are the ones that felt most unprepared for this past winter. When it comes to tackling snow this past winter, 62 per cent of Canadians did their own snow removal; however, 4 in 10 struggled to get the job done last winter.
“Our research indicates that 56 per cent of Canadians have either hurt their back or felt sore after shoveling snow” says Michelle Sordi, Husqvarna Canada. “Our high quality tools are expertly crafted to tackle Canadian winters and make them more manageable. With an entirely revamped line of snow removal products, Canadians can count on our products to help them better prepare for the winter ahead.”
Looking for advice on snow tools in Ottawa visit: OttawaSnowBlowers.com or Call 1-800-610-5635
* According to a survey of 1501 Canadians conducted between September 22 and 25, 2014 by Leger online panel, LegerWeb, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20