It’s not only the Boy Scouts who need to be prepared. August sun may well have banished thoughts of winter snows to come but it pays to be ready for them when they do and two new ranges of snow blowers have just arrived.
Ideal for hard surfaces, there are no wheels and it just slides its way along the areas to be cleared. It works as a kind of electric shovel, with a mains electric motor which is powerful enough to throw the snow up to five metres away.
Telescopic handles mean you can work at the height which suits you.
This machine costs £89 compared with the maker’s recommended cost of £99. There is a one year manufacturer’s guarantee and delivery is free the next working day.
Another from the same company is the Stiga Snow Patrol Dual-Stage Snow Blower, made for businesses and houses where there are larger areas to be cleared.
The working width is 55 cm and it has an intake height of 50 cm so it can deal with fairly heavy falls.
The engine is a specially designed 182 cc petrol one and it has four forward and two reverse gears to give better manoeuvrability in difficult conditions. The drive to each wheel is separately controlled making tight turns easier as well.
This is a two stage snow blower – using a steel auger to break up the snow and ice and an impellor to throw it clear through an adjustable chute.
The chute can be rotated through 180 degrees and there is a deflector to change the height of the stream of snow and ice.
It has adjustable snow shoes to allow the machine to slide along and it can be used on gravel drives without picking up the stones.
All-weather 12 in tyres give excellent traction.
Delivery is free the next working day and there is a one year manufacturer’s guarantee.
This snow blower costs £599 compared with the recommended price of £679.
Another machine which is made for clearing large domestic properties and small business premises is the MTD ME 66 Snow Blower / Thrower – 2 Stage Self-Propelled.
This one has a working width of 66 cm and is powered by a 277 cc engine designed for use in freezing conditions.
As a further feature the engine has an electric start.
This also is a two stage blower, churning up the snow and ice and then blowing it clear with an impellor.
The intake height is 53 cm and the auger has sheer bolts to prevent serious damage.
Adjustable snow skids make it suitable for most conditions and it is fitted with 26 in wheels and deep tread tyres.
There are four forward and two reverse gears and the chute for the snow rotates through 180 degrees and is controlled by a joystick.
A headlight makes it easier to work through the dusk and early morning.
There is a one year maker’s guarantee, delivery is free the next working day and it costs £999 compared with the recommended retail price of £1299.
And an even more powerful machine is the MTD ME 76 Snow Blower / Thrower – 2 Stage Self-Propelled.
This is ideal for businesses which must stay open and is ideal for industrial estates, schools, health centres and local authority use.
It has a 357 cc engine specifically designed for cold weather use and uses a metal auger to churn op the snow and ice and then an impellor to throw it away through a chute.
The working width is 76 cm and the intake height is 53 cm so it can deal with big snowfalls over a large area.
It moves along on snow skids and pneumatic tyres with a deep tread. There are four forward and two reverse gears for excellent manoeuvrability.
The snow chute is adjusted via a joystick and there is a headlight for working at night.
The price is £1299 compared with the manufacturers recommended price of £1599. Delivery is free the next working day and there is a one year maker’s guarantee.
While the sun is shining you’re probably more concerned with the lawns and hedges and snow is probably the last thing on your mind.
But British weather is never predictable and it pays to be ready for the bad weather when it arrives.