Posts Tagged With: winter weather

How to Choose a Snow Blower that’s Right for You

To keep this winter’s snow tamed and out of the way of your home, your car and your family, a snow blower is an essential tool. Used in conjunction with a snow shovel and ice melt, snow blowers can clear even the most monumental accumulation with a little forethought and elbow grease – from removing that snow plow ridge at the foot of the driveway to keeping the front stoop free of falling precipitation.

It’s All About the White Stuff

Knowing what type of snow your area typically gets (and how much of it) helps to determine which snow blower is right for your snow removal job.

Single Stage v. Two Stage Snow Blower Comparison

Snow blowers are available in all sizes, depending on the typical conditions you face on a snow removal job. For short driveways and moderate amounts of snow, look for a smaller, easier-handling model. To tackle the occasional heavy storm, choose a mid-sized model. Long, hilly driveways probably require a larger snow blower with power-driven wheels.

However, engine size is not the only consideration. Maneuverability is just as important, especially if you have smaller areas that need clearing. Snow blowers can be powered by gas or electricity. Gas-powered models may be loud and require ear plugs. For electric models, use an outdoor extension cord. Also, consider the kind of storage space you can devote to a snow blower when not in use.

Types of Snow Blowers

A good snow blower is one that performs the easiest clean-up for the type of snow you’re removing.

1. Single-stage electric models: small units that pull in snow and throw it out the chute in one step.

  • Best in 4 inches or less of snow
  • Best for short, level driveways, decks and walks
  • Lightest, smallest, quietest and easiest to handle
  • No need to fuel
  • Less engine maintenance
  • Requires multiple passes for complete removal
  • Not effective on steep slopes
  • Power cord limits range

2. Single-stage gas models: small-to-midsize units that pick up and throw snow using a rubber-tipped auger to help propel the machine.

  • Best in 8 inches or less of snow
  • Best for level, midsized paved driveways and walks
  • More powerful than electric units; still light and easy to handle
  • Clear more snow in one pass
  • Four-cycle gas engines are fueled with straight gasoline with electric starts
  • Poor choice for gravel driveways and steep slopes
  • Require regular engine maintenance

3. Two-stage gas models: pick up using an impeller behind the auger to help throw snow out the chute.

  • Best in 8 inches or higher snow
  • Best for long, wide driveways
  • Larger, more powerful, propelled by engine-driven wheels
  • Can handle steeper inclines
  • Best on gravel
  • Relatively heavy
  • Requires regular engine maintenance

More Tips on Renting or Buying

  • Be comfortable with handle height and chute adjustment
  • Look for a “dead-man control,” a safety feature that stops the spinning auger and impeller when the handlebar grip is released
  • Check for a handle or joystick that controls the height and direction of snow throwing with ease
  • Ask about plug-in electric starting for gas-powered models, which is easier that using a pull cord
  • Consider a model with a headlight, if you need to work in the dark
  • Typically included with a snow blower is a clearing tool – a plastic stick used for safely clearing clogs
  • Ask about the choice of speeds, which can help prevent clogs through heavy snow

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with any snow removal project. Runyon Rental is a proud dealer of Honda snow blowers. Find all of our snow blowers for rent here or buy one here. For more information on snow blowers and snow removal, read our two blogs, “Be Sure You Have a Snow Blower this Winter – a True Must-Have Item” and “4 Cold Weather Basics: Your Guide to Snow Removal (Part 1)”.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Be Sure You Have a Snow Blower this Winter – a True Must-Have Item

It’s been a strange winter thus far, with warm weather and exceedingly cold weather. Have you adjusted well to the changes, especially the snow? Besides considering a portable generator, a snow blower is another essential piece of winter equipment to have handy. So find out everything you need to know about the second item on your winter must-have list:

  1. Portable Generator
  2. Snow Blower
  3. Outdoor and Indoor Heaters
  4. Ice Melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of the Snow Blower.

One of several DIY solutions for efficient snow removal, the snow blower, could be one of the most loved power tools in your garage! Why? If shoveling is physically impossible or you’re not going to hire someone else to shovel, using a snow blower can save you a lot of time and sweat equity.Use a snow blower

Choose the right snow blower for the job. First, you’ve got to identify your “snow removal profile” – how much snow you need to clear from how large an area. Then, take into consideration what the terrain is like and what kind of snow is falling, most of the time. Will you be pushing the snow blower up a slope, or running it right down the driveway in a straight, level line? Is the snow wet, icy, powder or in-between? All of these factors come into play while you’re pondering in the snow blower isle at the store.

Snow blowers come in three types: single-stage electric,  single-stage gas and two-stage gas. More than one of these types may be able to handle your typical snow-clearing job.

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

  • Lighter
  • Easier to handle
  • Best in light snowfalls of eight inches or less
  • Great for clearing small to medium-sized areas
  • Best for paved surfaces

Electric single-stage models tend to be lighter and more compact that gas units. They start with the push of a button and require an outdoor extension cord to operate. Larger gas-powered single-stage snow blowers on the other hand, are not tethered to a power cord, and typically can clear wider, higher areas.

Two-Stage Snow Blowers

  • A larger engine and intake area clears more snow faster
  • Best in medium to heavy snowfalls in excess of eight inches
  • Great for driveways over 60 feet
  • Two-stage operation prevents clogging in heavy, wet snow
  • Cut through hard-packed snow or ice

Some two-stage snow blowers have engine-driven wheels that can handle uneven or sloped terrain. The push-propelled models are best for level surfaces. You can also use tire chains with some models for more traction in all conditions. Chances are, you’ll still need to shovel around parked cars and for finishing work.

Don’t forget a gas can! Easy-to-use, spill-proof gas cans are ideal to keep on hand for fueling gas-powered tools like snow blowers.

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Featured Products, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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