Snow can be beautiful but it can be a pain in the ass as well especially if you happen to live down a long driveway. Being that’s it’s December at the time of writing this article I figured I’d list the best way to clear snow from long driveways. A few things to consider first is the type of driveway, is it a gravel drive or paved, is it sloped or flat. Are you looking for something to pull behind a tractor, or something you can walk-behind. The biggest and probably most important factor to consider is your budget.
First off on our list is the obvious snow blowers. Lets be honest while there are a number of ways to clear snow from long driveways snow blowers will be the most efficient. Now if you only have a light thin layer of snow a scrape blade would work if you had a tractor or atv to pull it. On the other hand if you have a few inches of the thick white stuff then a snow blower will almost always be your best bet.
One of the great things about snow blowers is the come in all shapes and sizes. A lot of these snow blowers come in either a Stage One or a Stage Two. Stage one or single-stage snow blowers are fairly small with smaller engines and designed for clearing lightweight dry snow. The two-stage snow blowers are heavy duty with serrated auger style blades use to pull in snow then break it up into chunks as the impeller blows the snow out the chute. Lets look at some of the smaller ones that are walk behinds to start off with.
Walk Behind Snow Blowers
One of the benefits of the walk behind snow blowers is the fact they are smaller and easier to store. Due to their size they can also be used to clear off your sidewalks which can be very useful. Which leads to one of there biggest advantages over the tractor snow blowers is their maneuverability. Walk behind snow blowers are great for their ability to get where most tractor snow blowers can’t. Cost can vary depending on the features and models so in a way that can be considered a benefit as well. Simple and less prep work when it comes to using walk behind snow blowers unlike a tractor where you need to add the weights and chains. I know adding snow chains and weights isn’t that big of a deal but it can be a hassle for some and a thing to consider.
Lets go over a few of the cons with walk behind snow blowers. For starters walk behind snow blowers require just that, you need to walk behind them and if you have real long and wide driveway it could take a good hour or more. Another downside is that some snow blowers can be very loud, I recommend wearing something over your ears to keep them warm and block out some of the noise.
1. Aeiens Proffession Hydro 36 Electric Start Snow Blower
If money isn’t an issue the Aeiens Proffession Hydro 36 Electric Start snow blower might be a good choice but comes at a heavy price. There were not any reviews on this model on Amazon but I did find some online claiming that the machine is a brute and clears deep snow in a single pass. Throws snow a very good distance and designed to clear snow up to 16″ deep. Because of the weight doesn’t slide much however it does take some muscle to work it. I’m sure if you shop around you can find it cheaper online.
Check out the video of the Aeiens Proffession Hydro snow blower below.
2. Honda Power Equipment HSS1332AAT 389CC Two-Stage 32 Inch Snow Blower
If wheels aren’t your thing than the Honda Power HSS1332AAR will be right up your ally. This is more like a bulldozer version of a snow blower. It’s got a 5 star rating but that’s also with only one review even though it’s a positive review. Sadly this version doesn’t have the electric start which is a must for me, however for a little be more money there is the HSS928AATD that is electric start. The motor is one of the quietest and very simple to operate. Throws snow around 50ft with a 32 Inch opening. On the down side if you are a tall person 6ft or taller you may find that the handles are a bit low. While this snow blower isn’t one of the cheaper blowers remember you get what you pay for.
3. Poulan PRO PR271 – 27 Inch 254cc Two Stage Electric Start Snow Blower
If you are strapped for cash but still need something with power to get the job done the Poulan PRO PR 271 is pretty good choice. It’s got the electric start and power steering which is a great combo for women whom might have trouble turning or handling some of the bigger machines. Choosing from up to 6 different speeds gives you more control when it comes to different depths of snow. Poulan is great brand with a handful of different variations from engine sizes. This thing even has a head light which sure beats duck tapping a flash light to the handlebars. Definitely worth checking out.
Battery Powered Snow Blower
Those are just a few of the best snow blowers we found in the walk-behind two stage category however lets say you don’t get a lot of the heavy snow but enough that you would really like to have a little something to clean off your walk way and drive way with. I stumbled upon this…
4. Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower
For real a battery powered snow blower. The Snow Joe cordless snow blower actually gets some pretty good reviews. It runs off a 40 volt lithium ion rechargeable battery and has a very light weight design at only 32lbs. At 18 inches wide by 8 inches deep it’s not big but perfect for those small drives and sidewalks. Provides up to 50 minutes and being that it runs off a battery you know this thing is super quite.
Lot of the customers love the fact that it’s so light and easy to move around. Perfect for those that live in a development that has noise restrictions. The battery lasts a long time and even though it’s not designed for deep snow with a few passes it’ll work. As will all the good there are bad reviews as well with people complaining how things didn’t go as expected such as short battery life, randomly shutting off, and not working well in wet snow. Lot of the negative complaints are about it not working in deep snow which it wasn’t designed for, anyway there you have it. It’s not very expensive and again it’s designed for the light stuff that you could use a shovel for.
Tractor Snow Blowers & Mower Snow Blowers
So a walk behind snow blower isn’t your thing and you’ve got this long ass driveway and a perfect tractor that just needs the perfect snow blower attachment then lets look at our options.
1. NorTrac 3-Pt. Snow Blower Model# BE-SBS60G
The NorTrac 3-PT. Snow Blower model# BE-SBS60G is designed for 25 to 40 HP tractors however NorTrac does have the Model# BE-SBS50G which is rated for 16 to 30 HP sub compact tractors. They also have a larger Model# BE-SBS72G rated for 35 to 50 HP tractors. However this model has a 60 inch clearing width and throws snow at a distance of about 40 feet. Has a 5 position adjustable chute deflector so you can aim the snow to go where you want. It weights 651 lbs so shipping won’t be cheap. Like all good tractor snow blowers this has one has a category 1 3-point hitch, a shear bolt auger and PTO shaft. Does what it’s designed for. Another thing to keep in mind when ordering something this size there’s a good chance it will be shipped by a semi and be dropped off at a shipping terminal not personal resident. Also make sure you have a away to unload it when you do get it home.
2. EA Snow Blower SBT 074
The EA Snow Blower SBT 074 made by Everything Attachments is for when you really need to move some snow. Designed for 35 to 50 HP tractors with a Category I & II compatible hitch. They also have one for the smaller tractors with 18-30 HP EA Snow Blower SBT 064. Includes a standard parking stand which makes things easier for hookup. 74″ cutting width and 26″ height will clear a drive way in no time. The standard model has a manual chute however for $200 more you can get a hydraulic chute. If you have an enclosed cab on your tractor that hydraulic chute becomes a very nice feature. They also offer free shipping within the first 1,000 miles!
3. Cub Cadet Three Stage Snow Blow
Perhaps you know have a tractor but own a lawnmower. If so then you are in luck as the Cub Cadet Three Stage Snow Blower was designed just for that. Well certain Cub Cadet mowers anyway, still it’s worth mentioning because this is actually a 3 stage blower that claims it can clear snow up to 25% faster than traditional 2 stage blowers. The third stage of snow blowers is the addition of a 3rd auger in the middle.
I know that’s not a lot of options but from what we researched these are a few of the best options. Yes there are a few others like the Husqvarna 581 Snow Blower and we would love to hear your thoughts on them or any snow blower in the comments below.
Tractor Scrape Blades
The thing about a snow blower is that it’s made for just that blowing snow. Don’t get me wrong if you are in need of removing snow nothing beats a snow blower. On the other hand a scraper blade or box blade might be worth considering. Scrape blades won’t do you much good in the really deep snow but if you only receive a few inches then the versatility of a scrape blade can be very cost efficient. You’ll be able to do a lot more with a scrape blade than a snow blower such as moving dirt, debris, smoothing out and leveling land, filling in mud holes and more. Scrape blades tend to be a lot cheaper than snow blowers as well.
1. Behlen Country Sub Compact Grader Blade
Scrape blades are simple and not a lot to them and designed to scrape as is the Behlen County Grader Blade. Weight 191 lbs with a category I hitch ideal for 15-30 HP tractors. To be fair we just listed this to have a visual comparison. Couldn’t find any reviews on it which doesn’t make it a bad attachment. It is made in the USA and out of heavy duty steel which you shouldn’t buy anything less. The blade can pivot by removing the holding pin. Painted with a premium power coat to help the paint last longer not that you are buying one of these for the paint job.
2. Land Shark Sub Compact Tractor Scrape Blade
If you are looking for quality than Everything Attachments has made the Land Shark Sub Compact Tractor Scrape Blade which comes in 48″, 54″, & 60″ widths. Like the Behlen grader blade, the Land Shark Scrape Blade is designed for tractors up to 30 horse power. The blade can be angled up to 30 degrees in either direction and is Category I quick hitch compatible. Like all of Everything Attachments products the scrape blade is made in the USA. They take pride in their welds by making strong continuous welds. A nice letter feature with the Land Shark scrape blade is the parking stand which really helps hooking and unhooking the attachment.
Tractor Box Blades
While a tractor box blade might not be the easiest thing to move snow they can be used. Depending on your situation it might be a better option. Like a scrape blade a box blade can be used for a number of different jobs making it more versatile and cost efficient than a snow blower. As I mentioned earlier there a lot of things to consider and if your circumstances are right and a box blade would work then no reason to over look it.
1. Titan Box Blade Tractor Attachment
Titan has been around for a while and make solid attachments. Their box blade is no different and built out of Heavy duty steel with 4″x4″ square tubing shank support that runs between the two sides. Includes cutting edges that are reversible and replaceable. Cutting teeth also known as Shanks are included, depending on what size model you get determines the number of shanks included. It’s a decent build and no real complaints.
2. XTreme Duty Compact Tractor Box Blade
Another Tractor Attachment by Everything Attachments is their XTreme Duty Compact Tractor Box Blade. Designed for sub compact and compact tractors up to about 35 HP with a Category I quick hitch. 1/4″ thick side plates with reinforcement plates on the leading edges for wear resistance. For even more strength they added horseshoe shaped plates welded under the tube behind the bottom of the ripper shanks. This thing is top notch quality and has a 5 star rating. Customers love the reinforced areas and say how the box blade performs flawlessly.
Sweeper Brooms For Snow Removal
Not many people think of sweeper brooms when it comes to snow removal but you might be surprised that they work pretty well for removing snow. This again depends on your circumstances. For example a nice long paved walk way or short paved drive, they can be used on gravel drives but I don’t recommend it. Problem with using a sweeper broom is that the broom sweeps the snow in front of where you are sweeping essentially making the path deeper. As long as the sweeper broom can handle it and you have a place to sweep the snow to it can be a great option. One of the benefits that sweeper brooms have over scrape blades is they won’t damage your drive or sidewalk.
1. XtremepowerUS Walk Behind Snow Sweeper Power Brush
The XtremepowerUS Snow Sweeper was designed to sweep snow. Uses a 7hp gas powered motor and has a 31″ brush. Claims it can throw snow 15 – 45 feet but I’d go with somewhere around 25 feet. There are a few positive reviews but nothing helpful, still better than a few bad reviews I guess. Has a total of 6 gears with 4 being forward and 2 reverse which I though was strange but 2 is better than none. It’s a medium sized snow sweeper which could be perfect for the right job.
2. Yardmax YP7065 Power Sweeper
The Yardmax YP7065 Power Sweeper is a little smaller but also costs a bit less. The specially developed nylon brushes easily clears snow up to 6 inches deep which is pretty impressive given the size. It’s only 28″ wide but perfect for small drives and walkways. The handlebar is ergonomically designed height adjustable and folds for easy storage. Mostly positive reviews but a few people complained about it digging when used on the ground surfaces.
So what’s the Best Way To Clear Snow From Long Driveways that really depends on your situation and circumstances but in most cases a snow blower of some sort will be the best way to clear snow from long driveways. It’s great to have options though and everyone is entitled to their opinion so what’s yours?