Snow Removal Equipment: Choices for Homeowners
Snow is piling up in the driveway. Of course you could always use the old-fashioned way of removing snow– the shovel. If you have a strong back, go ahead. If you can hire someone to do it for you, go ahead as well. But why bother when there are snow removal equipment that can make the job a lot easier and faster.
Removing snow surrounding your home is an easier job if you have the right snow removal equipment. To make the right choice you need to factor in the size of your entire property and the amount of snowfall (average) in your area. And well, of course, your budget.
Here is a rundown of the some of the snow removal equipment available for homeowners.
1. Snow Blowers
A snow blower is a machine that tosses snow as you push it around. It operates similar to how a lawn mower does. This easy to use equipment is ideal for the pathways from your car to your front door and also for sidewalks. They are available in easy to use electric motors and gas-powered engines.
Before making the snow blower or snow thrower you choice, consider the amount of snow you are going to be dealing with. The frequency of use and the terrain you are going to be using it. Are you going to use it in a smooth terrain such as the pavement or grass or in rough gravel filled areas? There is a snow blower suited for each type of terrain.
Coverage Area : Small to large
Terrain : Smooth or Rough
Power Method : Pushed / electric or gas-powered motor
Pros : Easy to maneuver
Quickly clears snow
Cons : Needs gas or electric supply
Water is most likely to refreeze in the cleared area
2. Snow Plows
If you have to clear a large area fast, you will need a snow plow. You can attach this equipment to your pick-up truck or lawn tractor. It comes with an angled blade that shoves snow off to clear the road or path. This is ideal for homes that are in a large property.
This equipment is ideal for use in flat areas such as parking lots, roads, fields or gardens. The ground needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of a truck. This equipment does not include any moving part making them efficient and reliable.
The attachments you need to attach the snow plow to your truck should be bought separately. While a snow plow needs to be attached to a truck, they are easy to store even in a small space because they are removable. A snow plow is one of the most expensive snow removal equipment available.
Coverage Area : Large
Terrain : Pavement
Power Method : Attach to a pick-up truck
Pros : Efficient and reliable
Clears roads fast
Cons : Not designed for sidewalks or lawns
Needs to be installed and removed
3. Salt Spreader
A home salt spreader is used to spread salt and other chemicals that can melt ice to clear off the ground. Most salt spreaders have a walk-behind design similar to a lawn mower or seed caster. This equipment is also available as an insert hopper or a tailgate spreader.
The choice of salt spreader depends on the type if job it is going to do. It you need to spread salt and chemicals in hard to reach areas or close walkways, you will need a small walk-behind salt spreader either a drop spreader (narrow walkways or for precise coverage) or a broadcast spreader (for larger areas).
The insert hopper and tailgate spreader are for large areas such as parking lots and roads.
Salt spreaders are made from either stainless steel, polyethylene and carbon steel. Each material is differentiated based on their resistance to corrosion.
Salt spreaders are lightweight, compact, easy to transport and store. Human-powered salt spreaders are also available for small areas. They can be easily pull out from storage and used immediately because they do not have any motors that need checking.
Salt is the least expensive method of snow removal. However salt can cause cars and other nearby equipment to rust. This can be remedied though. There top of the line ice melting options that are oxidation-free.
Coverage Area : Large
Terrain : any
Power Method : Pushed or attached to a vehicle
Pros : Prevents any more freezing
Easy and simple to use
Cons : Not as fast as snow blows
Salt can cause cars and other equipment to rust
Chemicals that are not salt are expensive
4. Shovels and Scrapers
There are times when the most basic of all equipment is the one that works the best. There are large shovels that can make large scoops and are capable to clearing out areas quickly. If you need to get to your car from the front door, you can shovel off the driveway of dump snow in your lawn. Snow shovels also work best on roads that are regularly salted or plowed by the city.
Long handled snow scrapers work in tandem with snow shovels. Snow scrapers are able to break up ice sheets which a shovel cannot. Both these equipment are ideal when you have limited space and not too much snow to remove. They are also perfect when you are on a limited budget.
Coverage Area : Small
Terrain : any
Power Method : Hand-held / manual
Pros : Lightweight
Easy to use
Easy to store
Does not need electricity or gas
Cons : Needs more effort
Scrapers are not able to dig deep into snow
Shovels are not able to break and melt ice
Given the snow removal equipment presented above you should be able to make an ideal choice for you home. Remember to take into consider area you are going to be working and the amount of snowfall