Snow Blower, Parts, and Accessories
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Snow blowers range from the very small, capable of removing only a few of light snow in an 18 to 20 in path, to the very large, mounted onto heavy duty winter service vehicles and capable of moving 10-foot wide, or wider, swaths of heavy snow up to 6 feet deep. Snow blowers can generally be divided into two classes: single stage and two stage.
Single-stage snow blowers use a single high-speed impeller to both move the snow into the machine and force it out the discharge chute. The impeller is usually in the form of two or more curved plastic paddles that move snow towards the centerline of the machine where the discharge chute is located. Single-stage snow blowers usually are light duty machines. Small electric machines can actually be picked up to chew away deep snow banks a layer at a time.
One exception to the single-stage snow throwers are small rule are the enormous single stage rotary snow throwers used by railroads to clear tracks in mountainous areas. These rotary snowplows use one or two very large impellers that can span the entire width of the train and typically discharge to the side.
By comparison, two-stage snow blowers have one or more low-speed metal augers that break up the snow and move it into a separate high-speed impeller. The impeller blows or projects the snow out the discharge chute with considerable force. All but the lightest-duty snow throwers are typically two-stage machines.
Two-stage snow blowers range in power from a few horsepower to very large machines powered by diesel engines of over 1000 horsepower. The large machines are used for clearing roadways and airport runways. These are capable of removing large amounts of snow quickly. Some municipalities use larger snow blowers to clear snow from streets after a snowfall, often by blowing the snow into trucks which haul it away.
Two-stage machines for home use are usually self-propelled, using either large wheels equipped with tire chains or, in some cases, tracks. These are usually single-purpose machines, though some are detachable front ends that can be replaced with other implements, such as a rotary tiller.
The auger drive is usually equipped with a shear pin. If a major jam occurs in the auger, this pin will break. This controlled failure prevents damage to the auger drive gears. Once the pin has failed it must be replaced before the machine can be used again, this is generally a relatively simple process.
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