Garber: Want an easier snow season? |

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Garber: Want an easier snow season?

Special to the Daily/Thinkstock

Snow season has officially arrived!

The first snow reminds us we’d better know where the snow shovel is. And if you’re tired of the back strain, you might be ready to trade that shovel in for a snow thrower.

As with any type of equipment, selecting the right snow thrower for your needs is no. 1. Here are some guidelines based on your property size and how much snow you normally deal with in a season.

Consider a small-size, single-stage thrower if your homes has a one- or two-car garage, driveway and small walk area to clear.

> This size will be adequate for most storms.

> It operates best from 1/2 to 9 inches of snow.

> It moves about 1,100 lbs. of snow per minute.

Consider a medium size, single-stage snow thrower if your home has a two-car garage, large driveway and some walks to clear.

> This bigger size will be better for your needs than the smaller thrower.

> It can handle 1/2 to 12 inches of snow.

> It moves about 1,800 lbs. of snow per minute

Consider a two-stage snow thrower if your home as a three-car garage, larger driveway and/or large expanses of walks to clear.

> The extra power will be welcome if you have a lot of area to clear and if you live where there are deeper snowfalls.

> Especially if your property faces north or is on a snow plow route, this more-powerful thrower is better equipped to move through drifts or wind rows left by snow plows as well as crusted snow.

> It is best at snow depths of 5 inches and higher.

> It moves up to 2,200 lbs. of snow per minute.

Single-stage throwers are light weight and easy to maneuver. Rubber paddles inside the machine self-propel it and throw snow out a shoot. These throwers are best in newly fallen, non-compacted snow.

> Two-stage throwers are more heavy duty, are on larger frames, have more power and multiple speeds. The steel auger inside the machine has the power to cut through compacted snow. This machine is well-suited to mountain properties where there is more frequent and often deeper snowfall and/or properties where there is a lot of area to clear.

> Some models now have an option similar to power steering that makes them much easier to maneuver.

> Some large two-stage machines have a three-sided cab option that protects the operator.

> Headlights and hand warmers are also options for some models.

Courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company based in Silverthorne that is a member. You may contact them at (970) 468-0340.