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Question about snowblower

Posted by paulsiu (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 25, 09 at 8:12


I recently moved into the Chicago suburb area, so this is the first time I may have to get a snowblower.

My house has a 18 feet two car driveway that's 50 feet long. There's a walk way that's 40 feet to the door that's 4 feet wide. The sidewalk is 4 feet wide and extend about 10 feet on each side of my driveway. The walkway is made of brick.

According to the weather websites, Chicago area rarely get more than 10" of snow.

From what I can determine, I can probably get by using a single stage. I notice a Toro PowerClear 180 18" with a 87cc engine. Is this good enough or do I have to get a 21"?

Let's put it another way, how much time am I buying by buyig a 21" over a 18"? If I have a large snow storm of 2 feet or something, can I still use the blower and just make multiple passes?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Question about snowblower

Two feet of snow will make you say:" Whooeee! Thats too much snow! I think i'll just sit it out, and wait for Spring!"
And, you will make multiple passes, no matter how much or how little the amount of snow! And, i can say--if you are the football full-back type, you will get your exercise, but if you are the "Casper Miquiletoast" type, and after the exitement of your new machine gets old, you will definitely decide that snow tires or chains for the car are much better than trying to open the driveway more than two narrow paths. Or the front walk!
Yeah, i had all of those things! The big 12 h.p. blower, the electric start 2 cycle Toro, the electric powered hand push, and it all boiled down to a big snow scoop, and an out and back pattern to get the snow off the walk! The car and truck sit out all year. And look as good as the neighbors' cars that get put away every night.
Oh, and where are you going to go, in 2 feet of snow? HMMM?

RE: Question about snowblower

go to this forum
OPEonthenet. They talk about snow blowers all the time.

Two threads from that forum, a little bit a reading though.

Discussion 1

Discussion 2

You may want to introduce yourself to the neighbors and tell them this is your first year of snow and ask them what they use.

Just some suggestions.

RE: Question about snowblower

I have a similar sized drive, but mine's 3 cars wide with no public sidewalk. I have considerably bigger machines (605 BCS with 28 inch blower and 850 BCS with 60 inch blade), but that's 'cause I like toys. You should be alright with the blower you're considering, either in 18 inch or 21 inch. "MOST" years a machine like that will do.

You gotta know the machine's limitations. I usually go out and blow or blade off my snow every 12 or so inches in big snows. You can just go out at 6 inches deep, blow it off, and do it again when it get 6 inches deep again. If you let it pile up past that, you'll be doing a lot of cussing as you try to remove it. I've seen guys physically throw little blowers after getting frustrated that the "little piece of junk don't work" in 15 inch snows.

I definitely would not recommend letting it pile up like rusty mentioned. You'll end up with a dangerously slippery ice sheet after the snow packs down, gets a 40 degree day, and freezes again.

RE: Question about snowblower

Maybe I'm behind the times, but I'd be concerned about a single stage machine in any climate where your snow can be heavy and wet. With a single stage machine, if you fall behind the storm you might find it all but impossible to catch up.

It may be too late to get a bargain, but I'd recommend buying a more capable two stage machine used than a new single stage machine. Check Craigslist and see if you can find someone who's stepping up to a larger machine, moving or something.

Apart from single versus two stage, another thing to look for is a machine with panel-mounted controls. The ability to adjust the direction and height of the throw without stopping is a huge time saver, especially if you're throwing snow in tight quarters.

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