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One of the major debates during the winter time is whether to use a lawn mower with a plow or snow blower attachment to clear snow, or if a snow blower that is pushed along is the better option. There are quite a number of factors that work in favor of both, and both also have significant disadvantages. Knowing all of these factors can help you make a decision that works best for you and your situation.
Lawn Mower with Attachments
Whether you are using a plow attachment or snow blower attachment, the advantages and disadvantages are pretty much the same.
- Speed: A lawn mower can move at two to three times the speed that an average human walks. This can shorten the work period.
- Reduced Strain: You won’t have to worry about slipping, twisting an ankle, or running out of breath when you’re operating a properly-equipped lawn mower.
- Available Mower Cabs: The user can be protected from the frigid environment with available enclosed cabs, which can also include heaters and radios.
- Shortened tractor life: A lawn mower is made with the specific purpose of mowing your lawn. Using it to clear snow will cause stress on the mower and the engine above what is expected from mowing. This can significantly reduce the operating hours that you can expect out of your mower.
- Conversion hassle: You won’t be able to store your lawn mower with the plow or snow blower attachment – it will need to be attached before the first snow, and removed after the last snow. This can be a hassle, particularly if you don’t have a convenient spot to make the switch.
- Cost: A plow attachment can cost just as much as a decent snow blower, ranging between $300 and $800. A snow blower attachment can be up to $1,500, which is more than many quality snow blowers.
- Storage: Plow assemblies can be bulky, and when its not attached to the mower, its going to be taking up space. Some assemblies will have a bigger footprint than a snow blower.
Snow blowers can cover everything from small, single-stage snow throwers to two- and three-stage monsters that can clear a driveway in no time.
- Fuel Efficiency: A snow blower doesn’t require as much power to operate
- Maneuverability: A snow blower that is pushed by hand can operate closer to vehicles, hardscaping, and other objects
- Poor Surfaces: Gravel driveways can be handled easily by a snow blower, as the skid plates prevent it from digging in to the gravel and throwing out stones. A plow, on the other hand, will dig up gravel driveways,
- Exposure: If you’re looking for comfort and warmth, pushing a snow blower along won’t be your idea of paradise.
- Tiring: Particularly if you have a large area to clear, you’ll wear yourself out after a while. Granted, its not as bad as shoveling, but pushing the snow blower along can take a bit out of a person.
So choose wisely when you make the choice between a plow for your lawn mower, or a snow blower to be pushed along. Either one will make clearing snow easier than with a shovel, but your situation may make one more useful than the other.