Nine tips for easier snow removal

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Here in snowy Michigan, I’m always amazed by how many people waste energy and time in their snow-removal efforts. Whether you have only a short walkway to shovel or an expansive driveway, take some time to make it easier on yourself.

1.Shoveling is a strenuous activity. Consider purchasing a snowblower. Outdoor-power-equipment-geek-bias aside, the snowblower is one of the greatest, make-life-easier inventions of the last century.

2. Regularly check driveways, walkways, sidewalks, porches and other clearing areas for pebbles, garden hoses, cords for holiday lights, twigs and other objects that can damage your snowblower or cause you to trip.

2. Pay attention to wind direction.

Before beginning snow removal, you should strategize about the best starting locations and path patterns based on wind direction to maximize efficiency.

3. Regulate the pace at which you shovel or move your snowblower.

Moving too fast with a snowblower may require you to have to clear the area again.  Shoveling too quickly or throwing the snow a long distance may cause exhaustion.

4. Take frequent breaks.

If you become overheated or dizzy, stop immediately and let a loved one know how you’re feeling.

5. Install light-reflecting poles to mark no-clearing zones.

This will prevent accidental lawn damage by your snowblower or unnecessary shoveling work.

6. Avoid snowblower downtime. Tune up your snowblower and regularly inspect it for damage. Fix broken parts. Keep spare parts on hand (i.e. spark plugs, belts, etc.). Clear snowblower snow and ice jams with a small shovel.

Change the air filter, fuel filter and oil. Add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel. Enter your snowblower model number on for a list of parts designed for your model. Use a no-stick snowblower spray to reduce snow jams. Never use your hands to clear a snow jam, even if the snowblower is turned off.

7. Wear appropriate clothing for the job. Tuck your pants into your snow boots. Dress in layers.

8. Keep children and pets inside for safety purposes and to help you stay focused on completing the job.

9. Plan out where the snow will go. Never discharge or shovel snow into roadways.

Many municipalities have regulations that prohibit this in order to prevent traffic dangers.

Be safe.

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