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Bought a Snowthrower - Any Tips?

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  • #46
    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!
    Good that your happy with your new machine

    We had a heavy wet 3-5 snow on 11/13. It was a total bear cat. Took me 7 hours to
    clear my 21 clients. Normally it takes 3-4 hours.
    Edit- Keep me posted on the joy stick. Mine failed to engage the holding pin when it was >-0 F
    Last edited by Martywdx; 12-18-2010, 11:52 AM.

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    • #47
      Good that your happy with your new machine

      We had a heavy wet 3-5 snow on 11/13. It was a total bear cat. Took me 7 hours to
      clear my 21 clients. Normally it takes 3-4 hours.
      Edit- Keep me posted on the joy stick. Mine failed to engage the holding pin when it was >-0 F
      make sure its an ariens they work the best, they never quit on you

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      • #48
        Well, we're finally getting some accumulation!

        Probably about 5" on the ground and we're supposed to get 1-2" more tomorrow.
        Today, as the snow started to fall, I drove around the neighborhood knocking on doors and leaving flyers for snow removal. Maybe I'll get to put this thing to use.

        I adjusted the skid pads to make it clear closer to the ground and practiced with it again in the back yard this evening.
        Since this is a two stage, does anyone know if there's an optimum "clearance" setting/height for clearing a concrete surface? I assume that you want it set so the bottom isn't actually touching the pavement.

        I ran it in my gravel driveway too. PING! PING! PING! LOL. Need to raise the height if I do that again.

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        • #49
          on a gravel driveway its best to pack the first few snow falls down before using the blower ,some people drive their car back and forth to pack it .You want the skids adjusted as low as possible ,but how low will depend on how smooth the driveway surface is .

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          • #50
            'does anyone know if there's an optimum "clearance" setting/height for clearing a concrete surface?'

            The width of a US quarter coin works good for me. Provides the cleanest sweep without having to go back with a shovel. Be carfull as it does hang up on some cracks and uneven joints in the surface. I try and remember all the anomalies on each job.

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            • #51
              Thanks guys.

              I've got one of the few gravel drives in my area. I'll probably just stick to using a shovel at home unless it's really deep and I can adjust the skid pads to keep it up off the ground a bit.

              As for using it on other people's drives, that's what I was wondering... clearance vs catching it on uneven surfaces. One lady I spoke to yesterday had a drive that seemed like each joint had a 1" "drop" to the next pad - could be problematic.

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              • #52
                maybe you could mark the drops with a small flag before than snow hit?

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                • #53
                  Drove by a house to take a look at a driveway for an estimate. Probably about 90-100' long, single width most of the way, opening to a two car garage - no bends. I called and told her $45-$50 and $50 would include shoveling the steps to the house.(minimal shoveling req.) She'll be getting back to me. (heh. I hope)

                  I just took the snowthrower down to my neighbor's house to try it out on concrete with the skid pads adjusted for minimal clearance. It cleared it pretty close, and only "scuffed" a few times. I may bump it up a hair before doing someone else's driveway though. The skid pads are nylon, so they won't scratch concrete, but I don't know if the "scoop" bottom would leave a mark if it hits.

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                  • #54
                    We got about 5-6" last night, so I was called back to do my first snow removal customer's drive again. The last time I shoveled her drive/steps and it took roughly 45 mins - today I used the snowthrower and it took roughly 20 mins.

                    Our initial "agreed upon price" was $25 for the drive alone. She didn't ask me to do the steps/walk today, but I did them anyway. If she gave me something - great, if not - no big deal. She gave me $40.

                    After loading up the snowthrower onto the cargo carrier, I walked over to the driveway next door and shoveled the "plow pile" away from the end of their driveway as a courtesy. As I started driving away, the guy from that house waved me down (same guy I mentioned speaking to previously) and thanked me for doing it. (He had already shoveled his drive in the early am)
                    I told him "No problem! Consider that my discount for veterans!" He then said to feel free to clear his drive any time I see snow, and leave a bill in the mailbox.

                    Karma. Do good things.



                    ETA:
                    I did two drives with the snowthrower today and so far, I'm happy with this unit. I have the skid pads set so that it clears pretty close to the pavement, and unless you get someone who is a fanatic about getting every speck of snow removed, I'll be OK until I can pick up a single stage thrower for next season.

                    This sucker throws the snow FAR. It also eats that crap at the end of the driveway pretty well. Also, the power steering is awesome for maneuvering along the edge, near a wall. If the unit starts working it's way towards the edge, a little tap of the power steering lever adjusts it effortlessly. Was it worth the roughly $60-$100 more for that feature? I think so.
                    Last edited by Hedgemaster; 01-21-2011, 03:58 PM.

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                    • #55
                      Awesome job Hedgemaster aka SNOWMASTER! Always enjoy reading other peoples experiences.

                      Matt

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                      • #56
                        12am... snow is falling steadily...

                        1-2" expected by 8am. I suspect more...


                        (drool)


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                        • #57
                          Eh... didn't get more than 3-4" so the snowthrower stayed on the truck today.


                          Shoveled one driveway and spent about 4 hours driving/walking around handing out cards and flyers.'

                          Supposed to get more snow over the weekend. (crosses fingers)


                          That cargo carrier works GREAT for hauling around the snowthrower. The roads are a bit wet, so I covered it with a tarp to keep the road salt/mess off of it.

                          As I don't have my truck lettered yet, I made/printed some "SNOW REMOVAL" signs, laminated them, and taped them on the back and side windows of my truck cap. It's not ideal, but you can read them from a distance clearly enough.

                          I also picked up a yellow safety vest - gives me a slightly more "legitimate" look, and there is no question that I'm "shoveling for money" as opposed to looking like a homeowner to those who see me.

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                          • #58
                            Here's my truck at my only "regular" snow removal customer's home.
                            You can see the covered snowthrower on the back.





                            Here's a pic of my sexhay face...

                            (frozen finger pressed the button before I could smile)




                            This time, I tried to smile, but my face was frozen! LOL




                            Note my temporary signage on the truck cap. I set the copy up on two pages of 11x8.5 paper, laminated them, and then taped the two together to make a 17x11 sign. Sometimes you have to make due with what you have, and this is better than nothing.
                            BTW, a laminating machine can be had pretty cheaply, and they come in handy for a variety of things. I laminated a copy of my insurance policy to keep in the truck for "proof" if anyone requests it.

                            Heh. And regarding the yellow vest, I had a guy open his door when he saw me coming - he thought I was with the gas company, and was there to tell him there is a leak. LOL

                            (Oh, and I wore that hat by accident today. That's my "take the dog out" hat. I forgot to change it before I left today. Not a fan of wearing "beer ads" when talking to potential customers, but it is what it is.)
                            Attached Files

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                            • #59
                              Heh. And regarding the yellow vest, I had a guy open his door when he saw me coming - he thought I was with the gas company, and was there to tell him there is a leak. LOL
                              I got to say that is awesome! You are doing such a great job.

                              That one pic from the house looking down, gives you a great perspective on what your truck looks like from a customers house. It also shows you how you could go with a sign that fills the entire side window. If a customer is elderly, they may not be able to see the number and call you from their home.

                              Also, the safety vest is fantastic! It is getting people to open their doors! That is great! Even if they think you are from the gas company at first, it seems to put them at ease that you are a professional doing a job.

                              Do you think it would help more with the door to door sales presentations?
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                              • #60
                                Another good year for snow removal. Been out 11 times since Dec 15. The snow has been a dream to move,lite and fluffy. Even though there is alot. Blowers are coming threw like a champ.
                                We are having a blizzard like snow event here today.Not much snow but plenty of wind. Most of the high storm totals will be in SE Iowa.

                                That cargo carrier is slick. I want one!!!!!!!! Does that hitch to the ball or slide into the hitch?

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