The 8 Rules of Snowblowing
There’s a lot of talk on TractorByNet about snow removal. It’s an important job for tractor operators in cold climates and we’ve got to be honest, it’s also one of the most fun things you can do with your tractor. This article is based on a very popular post on TractorBynet called “Snowblowing rules of thumb” posted by one of our members in Michigan, smfcpacfp. Those of you in Michigan know what you’re talking about when it comes to snow. So we’ve pulled together the 7 Rules of Snowblowing for easy access and quick reference. These rules are good tips for safety as well as efficiency when operating snowblowers. As always, consult your specific snowblower’s operator’s manual for safety guidelines.
Don’t put your hand in the moving augers or any moving parts!
If your auger gets clogged or jammed, you absolutely must power off your tractor and make sure there’s no chance of your auger moving prior to performing any service. Don’t mess around with this rule! Safety first.
This should be rule #1, #2, and #3!
Also: Never use a shear pin that is too strong for your equipment! Remember the shear pin is there to protect your tractor or mower, so over-dimensioning it may incur expensive repairs.
Always keep the direction of the chute away from windows ,siding and vehicles, so rocks or frozen ice don’t cause damage to property!
Great points. I’ve been doing this so long, I forgot that some people wouldn’t know all of these!
It can also be helpful to place reflectors in key areas to mark the boundaries of driveways, walks and objects u want to avoid. I use blue reflectors for boundaries and red reflectors for the top of a buried propane tank for example. I always place the boundary markers the same distance from the edge, so I can easily Easily judge where to stop.
It is very handy to have forward and back facing lights on the ROPEs tower for night work.
I always clean and lube my blower in the sling before I put it away for the season.
Make sure you have extra shear bolts readily available along with the wrenches needed to replace them. I keep two wrenches with my spare bolts for convenience.
On open station a piece of Plexiglas fastened to the roll bar with four u-bolts, two on each side, will block the blowing snow and make the job more comfortable.
Always be aware of people or animals in your path of travel…watch for other vehicles at the end if your driveway that could hit you or you may back out into… be courteous and don’t leave a mess on the public road or blow snow into on coming traffic
Spray down the inside of the blower and chute with a silicone-based lubricant. Not only will this improve performance, cleaning out snow before putting your machine away will be less of a chore.
When blowing snow in depth deeper than the height of the snowblower box, utilize the use of drift knives, on either side of the blower box. I place an orange color street hockey ball onto the top of each drift knife, after cutting a slit into the ball. I slide the ball over the knife, and glue in place with crazy glue. Now you can make out with high visibility where your next cut will be! After
your initial first cut,with the bower, each next cut should only be one half the width of the blower, to reduce the friction and weight of the snow being blown, and not bog down the machine, and wear out parts prematurely.
I carry a old wood broom handle in my tractor cab. If the chute plugs or I break a shear pin I use the handle to clean snow away and remove tension on the impeller or auger before reaching in.
Living here in the Adirondacks winter is a better part of life but it seem like it always comes out of no where and I’m never ready, but living on a 1/2 mile gravel roadway I always back blade the road way when things begin to freeze up to smooth it out for the big snow thrower on the back of the tractor.
Like pissing, never blow into the wind! From a friend 🙂
Avoid spinning your tires. If blowing where there is snow over ice, try to find the right RPMs, to keep moving without spinning. Your job will go much quicker using a slow steady approach. This will save on tires, shear pins and nerves.
If the snow has begun to thaw and then it gets very cold out and it freezes….don’t try to blow it …you will break the sheer pins or if they don’t go quickly, bend an auger blade
Get the snowblower spray that is sold now and spray the inside of the chute and all the augers, etc. It really reduces clogs on my 7 foot JD blower and also on my 2 foot walk behind. Really good with heavy, wet, sticky snow.
That’s the first rule my friend 9-Fingered Rick taught me….. True story!
Nice article… enjoyed the read
A lot of us, especially with open cab tractors, prefer to wait until the storm is over before doing removal. For one, being out in a storm wearing mask and gear is still a real cold and often wet PITA. Secondly, there’s been many a storm where by the time I got done, there was 4 more inches already on the ground at the other end; which is discouraging as all hell, especially in light of point one.
Don’t blow yellow snow……
always oil the chain after every use