With different features and uses, it's important to fully understand how to operate your snow blower before the first large snowfall of the season.
The first step in operating a snow blower is understanding the differences between single-stage, two-stage and three-stage snow blowers.
A single-stage snow blower, like the Squall 2160 XP, is best used in areas that experience light, dusty snowfalls, and can handle up to 9 inches of snow. Single-stage snow blowers should only be used on paved surfaces; the auger comes in contact with the ground and could be hazardous if used on gravel surfaces. These types of throwers are typically easy to maneuver, and some models like the Squall 2160 feature push-button electric start and an adjustable chute to add efficiency to your cleanup efforts.
Two-stage snow blowers are designed to take on heavy, wet snow and can clear up to 12 inches of snowfall. You can choose from a variety of clearing widths, chute control and power steering options. The Storm 2860 - a top-rated snow blower from a leading publication - features an electric start and maintenance-free, airless tires that deliver traction in any condition.
Three-stage snow blowers are equipped with accelerators that break snow and ice up to 10 times faster than two-stage snow blowers. Three-stage snow blowers, like the Vortex Tracker 2890 are designed to clear the heaviest, wettest snow. This model also comes with a track-drive system, which creates more ground traction for control and durability in harsh conditions.
While you should always read your owner's manual before use, here are some safety tips to keep in mind to ensure a safe cleanup experience:
- Always check the cleanup area for sticks, newspapers, doormats or yard debris that could get caught in the chute or augers
- Never use your hand to clear the discharge chute or augers. Always turn engine off first and use the provided chute cleaner to safely remove any blockage
- Always wear protective eyewear
- Always wear closed-toe, sturdy footwear with foot traction
- To prevent injury, never point the chute in the direction where individuals or pets may be walking
- Prior to storing, run machine a few minutes to clear snow from machine and prevent auger freeze-up