With another Michigan winter just around the corner, we at Fredrick Supply want to provide you with some snow removal tips so you’re prepared. As a local supply company, we know how strenuous those clumps of snow can be. Whether you’re using a snowblower or shovel, we have a few ideas to help the process.
For Snowblower Users
Some say snowblowers are Santa’s gift to the north. A snow blower certainly makes the driveway clearing process easier, but there are a few pro-tips that can save you even more time and energy.
If you’re trying to clear an area larger than the average driveway, we’ll recommend more heavy-duty snow removal methods. As your local supply company, we offer snow removal services for municipalities and businesses.
Pace Is Important
When working a snowblower, you don’t want to go too slow, or too fast. Clearing your driveway is not a sprint, but it shouldn’t be a stroll either.
The right pace is important because you need to maintain enough speed for the snow to be forced out of the snowblower chute. If you go too slow, the snow arc will slack. A slacked arc could result in having to clear your driveway over and over again until all the snow is completely off.
Going fast isn’t the goal either, though. If you ram the snowblower down a line of snow, it will either stall out from a jam, or you’ll leave trails of snow from the sides of the blower. A consistent speed that forces out snow, but doesn’t leave trails or clog the machine is the perfect pace.
Don’t Start in the Wrong Spot
When snow builds up, people like to start clearing right away. But before you begin, we want to encourage you to plan your route.
If there’s clearance on both sides of your driveway, try starting in the middle. Work your way to the end of your driveway, then work back up to the top. Clear one side first before starting on the other.
If your snow arc doesn’t stretch to the edge of your driveway, you may face a slight overlap in your clearing pattern. That’s okay, this snow removal method is still better than starting on one half and finding out midway through that you’re going to have a lot of overlap once you reach the middle.
If your driveway runs parallel with your house, don’t start on the opposite end of your home. Start on the same side as your house and work the snow outward. Towards the end, you may have to go over sections that have extra snow on them, but you won’t have to clear sections you’ve already done.
For Those Working with a Shovel
Everyone hates doing it, but at one point or another, you’ve probably had to shovel snow. When it comes to shoveling, we have a few tips and tricks to help the process. If your driveway becomes covered in ice, don’t try to chip it away with a shovel.
We recommend contacting one of our snow and ice control equipment providers to handle these battles with nature. They have the right snow plowing equipment to properly remove ice efficiently and safely.
Shovel Type Matters
Grabbing any old snow shovel and heading out to brace thefronts is a rookie mistake.
Standard shovels are great for pushing snow to the edges of your driveway, though this process works best if you start before the snow gets too high. Once pushed to the side, use ato lift the remains and heap them completely off your driveway. Remember not to hurt yourself lifting! Lift with your legs and don’t try to do too much!
Snow shovels with a metal blade are great for pushing snow and lifting it, especially if they have an ergonomic design. But if you’re working on uneven pavement, an all-plastic shovel might be a better option, as it won’t get snagged as much. While pushing snow, pace also matters. With every shovel option, remember not to go too fast as you can chip or break your snow shovel should you hit a nasty crack or chunk of ice.
Have a Plan
Shoveling snow burns a lot more energy than using a snowblower. If you know a bad winter storm is on its way, figure out your snow removal plan before it starts.
If it’s expected to get 4+ inches of snow, we recommend shoveling in two parts. When snow accumulates beyond four inches, it gets incredibly hard to lift and can turn your clearing process into a nightmare.
If you do wait for the snow to finish falling, don’t panic. This method works too but the approach is a little different. Rather than hurting yourself by shoveling all the snow in a line, then trying to lift it, you’ll want to work in layers. The layer method may feel like it’s taking longer, but you’ll burn less energy than trying to use brute force to clear the snow.
Snow Removal Pro Tips
For both snowblowers and shovels, we have a few secrets that might help your snow removal this year.
Use Baking Spray
Spraying your shovel or snow blower blades with baking spray helps keep snow from sticking to them. This is especially helpful if snow sits overnight and becomes compacted.
Don’t Drive It
Driving on your driveway while it has snow on it compacts the snow, making it harder to remove. If possible, try to wait until the snow is cleared before taking your vehicle across it.
Little Coffee, Lot of Water
Coffee works through your blood faster than other liquids, so a little splash of it can help keep you warm. Be sure to stay hydrated too though, as dehydration is still a major concern in the winter months. While you’re out shoveling snow, have a water bottle set aside indoors that you can snag for a quick refill when needed.
Need Help with Snow Removal?
With winter coming, we at Fredrickson Supply want to make sure your snow removal needs are met. Feel free to reach out and contact us online or by phone at (888) 949-2385 with any concerns, questions, or heavy-duty equipment requests. We’re more than happy to help as your Grand Rapids equipment supplier.