The inevitability of snow in our area is pretty much a given. If shoveling is the way you do it, you need to do it right to prevent snow-shoveling injuries. Use the proper shovel. There are two types of shovels: the pusher and the scoop. The pusher as its name applies, should be used to push snow and is best used when there’s only a couple of inches of snow or the snow is very light and fluffy. The scoop shovel is used when you’re digging greater amounts of heavier snow.
Make sure you’re dressed for the job with gloves, a hat and several layers of loose fitting warm clothing. Be sure to bend your knees when digging and don’t overload the shovel. Vary the direction of lifting so you don’t always twist in the same direction. Pace yourself, working in 20-minute intervals, or even less if the weather is severe. Take a rest and warm up before going out again. After your shoveling is finished, put down some ice melt so the area doesn’t ice up.
Going With Power
If you’re thinking about purchasing a snowblower, you need to know the difference between a single-stage and two-stage machine. Barb Smith from Chase-Pitkin Henrietta explains, “A single-stage 2-cycle machine has an auger that takes in the snow, throws it, propelling the machine forward. It uses a gas and oil mixture and is designed for lighter-duty use such as for clearing sidewalks, steps, and up to about 6″ of snow on driveways. With a two-stage, four-cycle machine, the auger takes in the snow and a separate impeller throws it. The 2-stage snowblower has separate oil and gas, is self-propelled and can handle deeper, heavier snow.” Barb adds, “You can also get more options such as electric start and power steering.”
Be sure to add stabilizer to the machine if it has gas in it. Gas starts to go bad in as little as two weeks. The stabilizer will also help lubricate your machine.
Maintenance A Must
Breaking out the snowblower in the first blizzard and having it not start can make you cry. As with any power equipment, regular maintenance is a necessity. You’ve still got time to get your snowblower ready for this winter season. If you’re located in the Rochester, New York area, you can take it to the Chase-Pitkin Power Equipment Service Center in Fairport. If not, find a good service place and give them your business. A professional will give your machine a complete tune-up and get it ready to work through the worst this unpredictable winter can throw at you.