Our snowblowers are really good at clearing snow. They’re even pretty good at clearing pine needles, dirt and gravel. They aren’t very good at trying to clear garden hoses, rugs, firewood, skis, sleds, garbage can lids, shovels, extension cords, strands of Christmas tree lights, rebar and a bunch of other hard objects or long, stringy things.

These items create a lot headaches for our tractors. Wood gets lodged the moving parts and stops the snowblower. Cords get wrapped around the moving parts and can break gears or wear out oil seals. Shovels and other rigid objects will break shear pins. If we’re lucky it will only take about 5 minutes to remove any obstruction, replace a shear pin and get the tractor back into action. If we’re unlucky the tractor might not be able to be fixed in the field and the repair may cost thousands of dollars.

During the winter of ’16/’17 one of our tractors working in the Ski View Loop area sucked up a strand of Christmas lights that was buried in the snow. These lights wrapped around the rotating front ribbon of our snowblower and slowly ate through a rubber seal designed to hold oil in the gearbox. Without oil to lubricate the moving parts in the gearbox the gears eventually seized and broke the snowblower, which delayed our service to clients in this area.

Here’s how you can help: please make sure that your driveway is clear of all objects. Please also remove anything from your neighbors’ driveways that can damage our equipment and disrupt our driveway clearing operations. With your help we can reduce our equipment downtime and provide you with better, more timely service.