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Bought a Snowthrower - Any Tips?

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  • #31
    so what exactly is "power steering"?

    and do you find it easier than regular? if so is it worth $100? because the same blower is at sears but $100 less because the only thing its missing is power steering.....

    Also, overall how do you like the product?
    The "power steering" works by... Hmmm... how do I explain it? I'll use the "tank" analogy.
    If you want to turn right, you squeeze the trigger on the right and the wheel on that side stops/slows while the left wheel continues to turn, allowing you to maneuver easily.

    I have no way to compare the difference between power steering vs non power steering, as I've never used a snowblower before - period. I've just grown weary of shoveling 80' of driveway over the last 16 years and figured I'd get something to make my life easier as well as make a few bucks if I can.

    It seems to work well. It turns around on a dime using the power steering levers. Obviously, I've not used it in snow yet, so I can't comment on how well it will work in that environment.

    I saw the other model you mentioned, and with the sale price that I got this one for, I decided that I'd spend the little extra for the added convenience. Not sure if I mentioned it or not, but it was on sale and then I got an additional 10% off bringing the price to $666.00.

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    • #32

      The thing I realized with Craftsman, is that gas goes fast!

      I suggest having 5 bags of salt in your truck and no less. I'm used to Montreal winters, so I'm looking at the snow blower wondering if you are going to die out there or not.

      I used a snow blower on year on several properties, the thing is; it's still not efficient. This could just be me here in Montreal... We could wake up every single morning to realize yet again, the snow is up to our necks. lol.

      The tool you have should take you about 60 minutes per property, though you will figure out that your going to need several shovels also. Snow throwers/blowers don't exactly do a clean job and will sometimes drive over compacted snow.

      You may also come in contact with ice, which is impossible to remove with a snow blower/thrower. It will take you HOURS with a shovel as well.... I suggest throwing some salt down and using a pick axe to destroy the ice (not the property).

      Also, tractors have the advantage of removing compacted mounds. Here in Montreal if the city comes to plow the streets, all the snow from the street goes right back into the end of the driveways.... A snow blower WILL NOT work for this. The snow will need to be removed with a shovel.

      60 mins - 3 hours per job if you are working consistently ignoring the pain in your arms and back.

      Which means, you may not be able to service more than one property every time it snows... 3 customers may be your max. But after one, you may be exhausted too exhausted to continue.




      ^ This is all from experience. Snow blowers suck... You need a tractor for driveways.

      The only way you can make it worth it, is if customers were willing to pay you $100 per shot... But competition already has you severely beaten, and they have better equipment... discouraging man....

      If you want to break your back and go through hell for $35.00/$50.00 per shot, it wont add up in the end. You will get customers, you just wont be able to do them.

      If you charge them for the entire season matching your competitors price, you will lose big time... You are doing 50 times more work with less customers for peanuts, and a ton more chances to lose customers. Your only way into doing this is by charging per shot, though you'd be getting the worst customers considering all the smart and not cheap ones went with the guys with tractors.


      I can suggest getting a plow for your truck, you really need heavy gear.




      This is not a rant, it's more of me looking into my past and being mad lol... I learned a lot trying this out one year... never will I do it again..

      The only snow removal I'll think of doing without a tractor, is walkway shoveling - that's it!
      Hey man, I appreciate the insight - I really do.
      I know it's not ideal, but nothing really is at this point, so I just have to make due with what I have.

      I just read your post to my wife and she LOL'd at the "...wondering if you are going to die out there or not". HAHA!

      I should post a photo of a typical home/driveway in my neighborhood.
      It's always hard to imagine what someone else is working with, but the homes in my area have mainly one of two types of drives... a short one maybe the length of two subcompact cars that leads to a garage door with a width being one or two cars wide, and the other being 2-3 times as long, with the garage set to the side/rear of the home - those are only one car wide.

      I'll honestly be surprised if I even get to use it. We don't often get a "lot" of snow here, although last winter we were pounded with 2-3' at once.


      Oh, and YES! That sucker MOVES! 2 reverse speeds and 6 forward. I would have expected the slowest reverse speed to be a bit slower, and I was amazed at how fast that thing moves in "6".
      Last edited by Hedgemaster; 11-18-2010, 07:40 PM.

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      • #33
        I am glad you are all set and prepared for what winter brings you. Keep us posted on how it all goes this winter.
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        • #34
          chains

          does anyone use chains on their snowblowers? how well do they seem to maneuverer compared to without chains?

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          • #35
            I havent used chains yet on a snow blower but I would imagine the need for them would be based on the surface conditions you are working on. If the snow is kept clear during previous storms and ice hasnt built up from the snow being previously compressed, I would figure, the snow blower would work fine without the chains.

            Have you found many situations where the snow blower just couldnt get traction?
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            • #36
              does anyone use chains on their snowblowers? how well do they seem to maneuverer compared to without chains?
              My first snow blower had chains. Since then I have not had them. The only difference
              I notice is, with chains its easier to blow though the end of a driveway where the street crews have plowed a bank of snow,tires spin less. Hopping the curb at the beginning of the sidewalk doesn't take so much muscle as the chain grabs the edge and pulls the blower forward. The blower goes threw slushy/wet snow with less slipping/spinning of tires.There was still spinning in all three situations.
              By gearing down one or two speeds Ive some what compensated for lack of chains. All so the tires have more agressive trend which helps.

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              • #37
                Have you found many situations where the snow blower just couldnt get traction?
                I have never operated a snowblower in my life, I am in the market for one for this winter

                There was still spinning in all three situations.
                Would the tires slip a whole lot less with chains though?

                -Overall, they be a good investment to add on to my blower?

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                • #38
                  -Would the tires slip a whole lot less with chains though?

                  Yes slipping is reduced. But if I recall they lasted about 2 seasons before they wore enough from slipping that they broke and came apart.

                  -Overall, they be a good investment to add on to my blower?

                  They are nice to have but, I really don't miss them.

                  My 2 year old blower has heated hand grips, That is one feature that is worth it weight in gold. When you have frozen fingers blowing snow is miserable.
                  Last edited by Martywdx; 11-20-2010, 08:55 PM.

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                  • #39
                    My 2 year old blower has heated hand grips
                    How much was your blower? Do you have any kind of info I could use to look it up? ( model, brand, ect.)

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                    • #40
                      How much was your blower? Do you have any kind of info I could use to look it up? ( model, brand, ect.)

                      Mine is a White Outdoor 8.5 HP. White is made by MTD Paid 899 on sale at the local ace hardware.

                      I did a web search with the phrase "snow thrower with heated hand grips"

                      Sears Craftsman have models with the heated grips starting at $999

                      http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...G2#reviewsWrap

                      I posted that link because Sears is a nation wide chain with stores easy to find,but the search return other brands and stores
                      I did notice the heated grips were found only on the 8 plus hp/300cc models. So $1000 may have to be spent.

                      I did find a place that sold the grips after market $85 plus install hardware $110 total

                      http://www.hotgrips.com/store.php?crn=206

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                      • #41
                        i like!

                        I think I will probably go with the after market though. $1000 is a lot for me

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                        • #42
                          Don't get too excited about those heated grips until you know if they ARE capable of being installed on whatever blower you get.

                          I wanted to buy the headlight kit, but it turns out mine isn't wired for it. Perhaps it could be done, but I'm not screwing with the electrical system on a unit that's under warranty.


                          I'll betcha you could get a damned good pair of gloves for less than $100.

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                          • #43
                            LOL maybe you could re-route the exhaust through the handlebars. I bet that would heat up the grips
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                            • #44
                              LOL maybe you could re-route the exhaust through the handlebars. I bet that would heat up the grips
                              if only........Haha

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                              • #45
                                I tried out my snowthrower the other day.

                                We only have about 3-5" here, but I took it out in the back yard so I could practice with it. (I had already used my leaf blower to clear the driveway)

                                The "power steering" is pretty nice - I must say. I tried "manhandling" it around a few turns to see how different it would be, and it's definitely more difficult than when engaging the power steering.

                                The "joystick" for the chute control works well enough. I think there were "issues" with earlier production runs, but so far, it is operating easily. We'll see how it goes when it has to deal with wet snow.

                                If we get a blizzard like we did last year, this sucker will come in handy for making paths in the yard for the dog!

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