Saturday, February 06, 2010

Snow

We've had a bit of snow lately. Second 19"+ snow this winter. VERY unusual for the Shenandoah Valley. It puts Nana, a Florida native, on edge to drive on snow or to ride with me. Consequently she's been housebound for a bit and gone shack happy. I have managed to avoid that because I worked two days this week although not my usual Friday and Saturday due to the big snow. More snow is coming. I don't know how she's going to like that.

Another outlet for me has been clearing snow. I've got the Cub Cadet snow blower/thrower and it sure helped me move a lot of snow. Thank goodness. What little bit of shoveling I had to do I must not have done right. My back is a bit stiff tonight.

This photo is of my front walk (not front side-walk which is to what this one leads) after a pass with the snow blower/thrower.  The big "hole" on this end is so that I don't have to wade through 23" of snow (my inseam is 29") to turn the machine.  It cut that hole in one pass albeit with a stop now and then to let the impeller clear the chute.

The machine works really well with both augers going.  They weren't both going earlier this week.  I'm not sure exactly what happened but the left auger sheared the shear bolt.  I replaced it with a proper diameter bolt from the shop.  Might not be proper but the auger works now.  I needed it to work.

You might notice that the front steps to the porch aren't shoveled.  First, I was tired of shoveling and being a little bit lazy said to heck with doing that.  Second, the porch is slick as snot with snow on it.  I'm not sure I want to encourage passer by to come up here.  As it is they are guided around to the back door by the cleared trails and driveway.  Mail isn't delivered at the door anyway, we have a mailbox by the driveway.

About the machine, I've been worried about it.  First of all it has a Tecumseh engine.  The last machine I worked with that had a Tecumseh engine was Mom's lawnmower.  The 10% ethanol fuel did it in.  This one has been running but...  I was having to run it with the choke wide open.  Suddenly it started to die but I fortunately recognized that I need to close the choke.  Ran like a champ for a while and then I had to open it up again.  Back and forth for a while and then, under load, it ran quite well.  It hasn't been serviced or run for three years now.  I guess you can tell we've had a run of mild, snowless (relatively) winters.  I suppose that this spring it will go in for a complete check up.  Maybe they can also fix the tire that keeps going soft on me.  One thing I love about it is that it is electric start.  Plug it in and crank until it goes.  Sometimes that's necessary.  Either way it beats trying to haul on the pull cord.

One other thing I've learned is that I've got to plan out where to throw the snow.  You see, our sidewalk is 18-20" below the grade of the yard to which I have to throw the snow.  At the corners of the intersection of side-walk and driveway quite a lot of snow builds up very quickly.  The machine can't heave wet snow further into the yard and it builds up quite a mound that tends to flow back into the drive or walk ways.  Irritating.  I need to solve that problem.

I also do my neighbor's side-walks and sometimes their front walks to help out.  I wanted to do the whole block but the one neighbor always puts his leaves out on his walk for the city to pick up.  They don't and then the frozen leaves are nothing but a barrier to the snow blower/thrower.  In as much as we are legally required to clear our side-walks within 24-hours of the end of precipitation, I thought I'd help him out but, well, I don't think he's caught on.

We also clear paths for the mail delivery.  No wading through snow for our mail!  That's a lot of snow to move.  I'm really glad I invested in a machine. My one neighbor is going to do so as well.  The other has a son with one who lives just up the street and comes down to do the driveway for his dad.  All together we'll get it done no matter what. 

1 comment:

TrueBlueSam said...

Our Ariens roto-tiller has a Tecumseh engine, and I know what you are talking about. The main mixture setting was constantly moving, and had to be reset multiple times during each run in the garden. The screw is on the bottom of the carburetor bowl, and I learned to adjust the mix while the tiller was doing its thing. It finally threw its rod at age 29, so I have to figure out if I can find a Briggs that will fit on the machine.