The 8 Rules of Snowblowing

6 of 8

Rule #6.
Never put the blower on the ground on a gravel driveway the first time you use it (unless you enjoy changing sheer bolts)


Snowblowers are made to blow snow, not gravel! You want to keep the blower gliding slightly above the gravel to avoid picking up stones. Some snowblowers can be fitted with skis or guide wheels. But if those aren’t options for you, here’s a member tip on how he gets a good base for snowblowing:

“Like everyone else we get a few snow falls early where you know it is going to melt, so this next step is the one I take when we get our first real snowfall. First I run my SUV up-and-down the driveway until the snow is packed down into the gravel before I snow blow for the first time. Then I run the blower but keep it off the ground about an inch. This way the ground will freeze better for future efforts. The next time I run the blower on the ground with the skid plates as low as they go. We don’t get much thawing once the snow starts in earnest.” -smfcpacfp

6 of 8


  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top