13 Tools to Tame Winter

Get equipped to handle snow and ice.

| November/December 2008

Snow and ice season is just around the corner, and if you aren’t prepared you could wind up spinning your wheels or flat on your back. Managing the white stuff is a life-saving necessity for folks who live out where the pavement ends. For others, it is a combination of convenience and cost savings. In either case, with the right tools on your team, winter’s worst doesn’t have to slow you down.

From a novel shovel design, guaranteed to save your back, to machinery that’s guaranteed to effortlessly put snow where you want it, to ice-melting flamethrowers and traction devices that’ll keep your feet beneath you and your tires rolling true, we’ll show you how to plow your way through the season. And with any luck, we’ll all have some fun in the process.

1. Shovels. We have nothing against moving snow with a grain scoop or even a traditional snow shovel, but if you need to move plenty of snow and want to do it by hand, you should consider the award-winning Wovel. This ingenious device consists of a shovel mounted on a single wheel that requires no lifting, relying instead on a lever and fulcrum to throw the snow. Billed as the world’s safest snow shovel, the Wovel is almost as fast as a snow thrower, requires no fossil fuel and is perfect for larger driveways and short lanes. Learn more at www.Wovel.com.

2. Walk-behind snow thrower. If the Wovel doesn’t suit your fancy, or you have a little more snow to move, you might consider a walk-behind snow thrower (sometimes called a single-stage snow blower). These little devices use electricity or engine power to turn an augur or set of paddles that lift the snow up off the ground and throw it out of the way. Most snow throwers aren’t self-propelled, so they are best used where the snow is fluffy and you don’t have too much of it to move. If your driveway is paved with gravel, you will want to think twice about using a thrower. Check with ToroCub Cadet or your favorite outdoor power product dealer to sort through the possibilities.

3. Walk-behind snow blower. This big brother to the snow thrower is designed to move more snow faster. These so-called two-stage machines employ an auger or paddle arrangement to feed snow to a fan-like blower that sends the white stuff flying with force. Snow blowers are generally self-propelled, powered with gasoline-burning engines and capable of powering their way through everything from hard-packed drifts to wet, slushy precipitation. These machines are best used on paved surfaces, but will work well on frozen gravel coated with a compacted layer of snow. Check your local Ariens dealer for a complete lineup of blowers with roots that go back more than half a century.

4. Walk-behind blades. It used to be that the garden tractor industry was based on two-wheeled, walk-behind machines. For the most part, they were replaced with riding tractors during the 1960s. However, if you already own a two-wheel machine, such as DR Power’s Field and Brush Mower or a BCS rear-tine tiller, you can just remove the mowing deck or tiller and attach a blade to push all but the deepest snow out of your way. DR also offers a high-capacity snow thrower attachment for its power unit.

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