The year 2020 has been a strange one, and, as this is being written, we are heading firmly into winter. In many places in the USA – as well as across the world – this means heavy snowfall, and that also means you have a lot of snow to clear to keep your property safe and enable vehicles and people to pass safely. The shovel has long been the item of choice for clearing snow, but now you can make the job easier by using a snowblower.
A snowblower is a machine that is powered by a gas or electric motor that picks up snow as it moves along and throws it to a distant spot. Some machines can throw the snow 30 or 40 feet, which is a fair distance! They make the job easier and less strenuous and clear snow surprisingly quickly. Some are single-stage machines, and other 2-stage, and you can find out more about the differences in this best snowblower for gravel driveways review, which looks at some of the leading brands and models.
However, it is not advisable to simply jump on a snowblower and start driving. You need to understand what the machine does and how it does it, as well as applying the safety instructions that the manufacturer supplies. This is what we’re talking about in the next section, as we consider it very important. So, here’s our advice on safety when using a snowblower.
Why Is Safety an Issue with Snowblowers?
Safety is important when using any machine or power tool, and especially so when the machine itself moves under its own power. While snowblowers do not reach high speeds, they can still move fast enough to cause injury should you happen to fall off or hit a pedestrian, so great care is needed in that area.
Furthermore, there are many moving parts to a snowblower in addition to the motor. Among the most important parts of the snowblower is the auger. This is a series of blades that pick up the snow and throws it either directly away from the machine or into an impeller, which accelerates the despatch. Both of these items are dangerous if interfered with when they are in operation and need to be treated with great care.
The auger can become blocked by ice, which will need to be removed. This must only be done when you are certain the machine is switched off and the power source isolated, as severe injury can be caused if the auger moves when you are clearing debris. The same applies to the impeller ad any other moving parts, including the motor, so make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions for safety in this respect.
There’s also the potential danger of steep gradients. If you do have a steep gradient that needs clearing on your land, you must only ever drive the snow blower directly up to it and never along with it, as should the machine topple over, you will be in serious trouble.
Our final safety advice concerns not the machine but the user and the weather combined. It can get very cold in the winter, and you may be tempted to keep clearing until the job is complete, even if you start to feel uncomfortable. Too much time in the freezing cold can lead to dangerous conditions such as exposure, and it can happen very quickly. This can be extremely dangerous, so once you start feeling the cold, it’s time to put the snowblower away for now and go inside for safety.
While the winter forecast right now for the USA is for quite a mild one, this can change, so please make sure you apply sense and care when using a snowblower in the freezing weather, as the injury is possible from many different angles as we have shown above.
Which Snowblower is for Me?
If a snowblower sounds like it will be of use for you, then we recommend you read the reviews we mentioned more than once and get to know what these surprisingly efficient machines are all about. We won’t claim they are cheap to buy, but when you consider the use you will get out of one and the time and effort saved, they are not as expensive as you may think at first. There are many on the market covering a range of budgets, so it is important you investigate which is right for your situation.
Using a snowblower is something that you will get used to overtime, and we recommend you buy one before the snow comes and practice driving it. This way, you will get to understand the controls and be better prepared for operating one in uncomfortable weather. Check them out now, and please follow the instructions to stay safe when using your machine.