- Non-self-propelled snow blowers: differences and common signs
- Electric snow blowers
- Gasoline single stage snow blowers
- Self-propelled household snowblowers
- Engines – major manufacturers
- Drive and transmission
- Auger, rotor and chute
Even a small snow blower can make site maintenance much easier – keeping paths and areas clean. And more powerful self-propelled vehicles are able to cope with severe snow drifts and even clear the driveway..
Non-self-propelled snow blowers: differences and common signs
If we are talking about snow removal from a small, simple in relief and layout of a local area of no more than 500 square meters. meters, the best option is non-self-propelled snowblowers.
It is in this class that all three types of engine are used, which determine the intraspecific differences..
- Appointment. Removing freshly fallen or loose snow about 15 cm thick (there are also more powerful samples, but quite rarely).
- Way of movement and control. The engine of the machine is connected only to the auger shaft, all of its power is directed to throwing snow. And movement and maneuvering is carried out with the help of the muscular strength of a person.
- Drive unit. The rotation of the motor rotor is transmitted to the auger shaft using a belt drive (the chain is used less often). The tension roller can be thought of as a clutch.
- Principle of operation. The auger simultaneously performs two functions: it rakes the snow and throws it out through the chute. This explains the second common name for this class of machines – single-stage snow blower..
- Screw. Non-self-propelled snow blowers are equipped with rubber or plastic augers, reinforced with a metal plate, which weigh less than metal ones and are capable of rotating at high speed to throw snow. Therefore, they can only “work” with freshly fallen or loose snow. This limitation in materials has its advantages – the auger does not scratch the paving slabs and can withstand solid objects entering the working area..
- Mover. The most common cast rubber wheels.
Electric snow blowers
This is the “lightest” subspecies of non-self-propelled snow blowers. Electric motor power is usually limited to 2 kW (approximately 2.72 hp). For comparison – the same is consumed by a standard oil-filled electric heater.
Advantages: low cost, light weight, simple operation, no refueling required, does not pollute the air with exhaust.
Disadvantages – the need to connect to the mains, limitation of maneuver by the length of the cord and extension cords.
If you need to systematically care for a small area, this is the easiest and most affordable option..
Gasoline single stage snow blowers
This category includes small household machines with a capacity of up to 5-6 liters. from. They usually have a two-stroke (less often four-stroke) engine.
A two-stroke engine requires a mixture of gasoline and oil.
The four-stroke engine is fueled with regular gasoline. But, with the same working volume with a two-stroke, they have larger dimensions and weight.
Self-propelled household snowblowers
This class is characterized by a higher engine power (5 to 13 HP). Machines of this type are capable of cleaning areas of 500 m2, work at one gas station for up to 2.5 hours, remove packed snow up to 30 cm deep.
Engines – major manufacturers
To drive the auger, rotor impeller and wheels, four-stroke gasoline engines are mainly used. Although there are already samples with hybrid drive and battery-powered.
The most reputable manufacturers of snowplow engines are registered in the USA and Japan. But, as in the production of any household or professional appliance, most of them have facilities in China. And some have completely located their production there. Therefore, the main reference point is only the authority of the brand..
The most famous corporation Briggs & Stratton builds its entire line of domestic snow blower engines in China. Only the most expensive and professional units can “boast” of American origin. The same applies to another famous “American” – MTD.
The three most famous manufacturers also includes Honda (it is one of the leaders in the production of boat and motorcycle motors). And although such a “small” power level is not the main profile of the company, the reputation does not allow, in principle, to produce a low-quality product..
Equally reliable (though not so common) are the engines of two other Japanese firms: Mitsubishi and Robin-Subaru. But they already have their own production facilities on the mainland – in China.
Drive and transmission
The motor of a self-propelled snow blower distributes its power between the auger, the impeller on its rotor (for throwing snow) and the wheel drive. Since the process of snow removal itself occurs in two stages, self-propelled units are also called two-stage or auger-rotary.
Power distribution takes place using a gearbox. It also provides a different speed of rotation of the auger shafts (lower) and impeller rotor (high). This allows you to create more force on the auger, which can “tear” from the surface of the denser and heavier layers of snow.
The rotation of the engine shaft is transmitted to the wheel axle by means of a transmission. Depending on the class, the number of speeds can reach 5-6, including the back one. A person can only control the movement, setting the direction, blocking the drive of the wheels (or tracks) and switching speeds.
Auger, rotor and chute
The auger of a self-propelled snow blower can be made of steel with a serrated edge that can break and cut even ice. To prevent it from jamming on contact with the surface of the track, and the rotor or engine not to fail, the bucket with augers rests on skids adjustable in height. The same option allows you to use the machine when clearing snow on uneven surfaces, setting the runners one centimeter higher than the maximum height difference. The second level of engine protection is the shear bolt, which breaks off if a stone is jammed in the auger or another solid object gets into the bucket.
The impeller can be made of durable plastic (for budget models) or metal. It is also attached to the shaft with a shear bolt..
The chute, like the impeller, is made of impact-resistant plastic or metal. It has a variable angle of the deflector (visor) relative to ground level and can be rotated within 180 °. In this way, the direction and distance of snow throwing is regulated. Adjustment can be manual, mechanical or electric..
To move around the site, pneumatic tubeless tires or tracks are used..
For areas with simple terrain and systematic cleaning, the patency of the wheels is sufficient. It is better to work on slopes with difficult terrain with a tracked snow blower.
To maneuver a rather heavy machine, muscular strength is no longer enough. A wheel lock function is required to turn or turn normally. There are different systems – from mechanical locking of the wheel drive (track) to automatic traction control (differential).
Additional options can be headlights or heated grips.