Your Billy Goat leaf blower may not be a replacement for a snowblower or plow, but in some circumstances, it may be a faster, easier snow clearing option. Here’s how you can use your wheeled or stand-on blower for winter cleanup jobs.
What Type of Snow Can Be Cleared with a Leaf Blower?
Most of the time, you’ll want to use purpose-built snow moving equipment to clear driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. However, if you need to lift a thin layer of snow before it melts and turns into ice, a leaf blower is your fastest option. It can clear large areas with each pass, and you don’t need to resort to ice melting chemicals to keep the area ice-free. In some cases, you may be able to cut an hour-long job down to a few minutes.
For wide-open areas like parking lots, your snowblower will have no problem with dry snow that is less than four inches thick. For any other snow, you’re better off using a snowblower. Wet snow can’t be shifted by air, and thicker accumulation will just gather into drifts.
Leaf blowers are also a great option for moving snow in areas that can’t be reached directly. This includes underneath vehicles and decks as well as next to buildings. Left your car outside during a snowstorm? After using your blower, you won’t have to back up over snow. Need to control snowdrifts around buildings to keep entrances open? Looking to prevent moisture issues that can affect exterior walls and foundations? You can clear out snow piled against walls without resorting to shovels.
How Do I Use My Blower to Move Snow Effectively?
Treat snow like a layer of compacted leaves. You need airflow to skim the surface to push and lift the snow off of the ground. To do this, keep the nozzle set at its lowest angle. Keep in mind that wheeled blowers can only blow snow to the right. Plan accordingly to make sure your passes direct snow where you want it. Once you build up a snowdrift, you will need to use other means to move it.
Make several passes close together. While the air may be pushing snow across a long distance, it will only completely clear an area a few feet from the nozzle. By making multiple passes, you get all of the ground within that sweet spot. This works far faster than going slow and waiting for the air to push snow back over a wide area.
If you need to clear the side of a building, consider installing a 90-degree nozzle on your walk-behind, or use the front vent on your stander. This pushes the snow away from the building instead of moving it up the side of the wall, where it will settle back on the ground next to the building.
Using Your Leaf Blower in Cold Weather
Before you put your blower to work, check the tire pressure. Tires will naturally leak some air during storage, and low temperatures reduce tire pressure, even if the amount of air inside remains the same.
Don’t be surprised if you need to use the pull start on your electric start engine. Lead-acid batteries output fewer amps as temperatures drop: at 20°F, your blower’s battery is outputting about half the power it would at 50°F. Even a fully-charged, healthy battery will struggle to turn the engine over.
The engine needs more time to warm up before it will be ready to use. Wheel your stand-on or walk-behind blower outside away from buildings.
If you’re having trouble with the hydrostatic drive on your Hurricane stand-on blower, it may be due for a fluid change. Over time, the hydraulic fluid will absorb water. This won’t have a huge impact when using your blower in the fall. However, once the temperature drops below freezing, this water turns into ice and slush, restricting flow across the system.
Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat
Billy Goat Parts makes it easy to get the parts and accessories you need to keep your Billy Goat equipment running. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners including Hydro-Gear, Honda Engines, and Vanguard. That means we carry replacements for every part of your leaf blower. Not sure where to start? We have sections for common replacement parts like bolts and filters, or you can use our advanced search engine. Once you select your model and serial number, it will show you factory parts descriptions and diagrams for your machine. To order, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We ship to both the United States and Canada.