If you live in any part of the USA remotely similar to myself, then February for you has also been a month full of snow. Lots of snow and cold. In weather like this there isn’t much to do outside besides shovel the driveway. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a DR Brush Mower Snow Thrower attachment you could spend your time outside watching a machine do all the hard work for you. The latter option is a far more pleasant option.
For the purposes of full disclosure, I am not the one in my family who uses the DR Brush Mower Snow Thrower attachment. We have division of labor around here. I do brush clearing with the DR Brush Mower in spring, summer, and autumn. A brother or two does the snow clearing in winter. This post is based on feedback I received.
The DR Mower has a lot of power, and when using the Snow Thrower attachment it never bogs down, period, even in heavy snow. Once or twice in heavy snow or ice the chute has become blocked (which you then have to clear), but the machine can easily go through a snow plow drift of ice and snow higher than the bite of the thrower. If you’re like me, trying to shovel that heavy drift at the end of the driveway is always the most annoying part of clearing by hand. With the Snow Thrower attachment that heap of snow at the end of the driveway is no different than clearing anywhere else.
The more snow you need to clear, the more the Snow Thrower shines. An inch or snow of snow is difficult for the Snow Thrower to pick up, but as the inches pile up the situation quickly changes. If you are shoveling your driveway by hand, the more snow you need to shovel the longer it takes and the more energy it requires. But with the Snow Thrower, the amount of time and energy remains the same no matter how much or how heavy the snow. For a heavy snowfall, it takes two to three times longer to shovel our driveway by hand compared to using the Snow Thrower–and shoveling by hand requires a lot more energy! If you are shoveling a foot of snow by hand it is cause for a lot of grumbling. With the DR Snow Thrower, you can laugh at a foot of snow the same as six inches.
Using the DR Mower in winter is certainly a different experience from using it in the summer. There is a big seasonal difference in heat, wetness, and traction–to put it mildly. Our driveway has a significant slope so there was concern that between ice and snow the DR Mower would get stuck while trying to clear the precipitation. But with the lockable differential for the wheels and a good set of tires, this has not been a problem at all.
Winters around here can get cold, and this winter we had plenty of nights that dropped below zero Fahrenheit. In temperatures like that your DR Mower will do you no good if it won’t start. Our mower is stored in an unheated garage, and started without problems throughout this winter. That being said, if you have an old battery you might want to consider getting it replaced.
Finally, there is the issue of wetness. When clearing snow the DR Mower gets covered with snow and the snow on the machine can melt and then re-freeze. Most of the time this hasn’t caused issues, but once when the clutch pulley got wet in snow clearing it afterward froze solid. The next time the mower was started up the clutch pulley would not turn when it was engaged and thus the mower wouldn’t move. A hair drier had to be taken out and using on the clutch pulley until it warmed and the ice melted. That was a one-time problem, but if you ever start up your DR Mower after a previous snow clearing and find it won’t move for you, make sure you check your clutch pulley to see if it is frozen.
As a final piece of advice, keep an eye on the chain that operates the snow screw on the thrower attachment, particularly if you have a gravel driveway. It is possible for rocks to become caught in the chain. This was graphically demonstrated to us this winter when a rather large rock became caught in the chain and somehow went unnoticed for some time. We aren’t sure exactly how long this went on, but it was long enough for a very impressive groove to be worn into the rock, and for the chain to be ruined. The DR Mower is powerful enough you shouldn’t expect it to noticeably bog down if something is caught in the chain so if you are clearing an unpaved area make sure you regularly inspect the chain to make sure no stones, or other debris, have become caught in the chain.
With a bit of care and attention, the Dr Mower with Snow Thrower attachment should serve you long and well in keeping your driveway clear of winter’s snow. And in the meantime we can all hope for spring.
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