Hydraulic Snow Blowers
A hydraulic snow blower or snow thrower is a machine for removing snow from an area where it is not wanted, such as a driveway, sidewalk, roadway, railroad track, ice rink, runway, or houses. The term "snow thrower" is often used to encompass snow throwers and snow blowers, however, in proper a snow thrower is a machine that uses a single stage to remove or "throw" snow while a snowblower uses two stages to remove or "blow" snow. It uses hydraulic power from a machine, usually a tractor, to power iauger ind impeller. This is in contrast with the action of snow plows, which push snow to the front or side.
Hydraulic Snow blowers range from the very small, capable of removing only a few inches (a few cm) of light snow in an 18 to 20 in (457 to 508 mm) path, to the very large, mounted onto heavy-duty winter service vehicles and capable of moving 10-foot (3.05 m) wide, or wider, swaths of heavy snow up to 6 feet (1.83 m) deep. Snow blowers can generally be divided into two classes: single-stage and two-stage.
Single-Stage & Two-Stage Hydraulic Snow Blowers
Single-stage hydraulic snow blowers use a single high-speed impeller to both move the snow into the machine and force it out of the discharge chute. The impeller is usually in the form of two or more curved plastic paddles that move snow towards the center line of the machine where the discharge chute is located. Single-stage hydraulic snow blowers usually are light-duty machines.
In a two-stage hydraulic snow blower, two mechanisms move the snow: an auger feeds the snow to a high-speed impeller, which blows the snow out of the machine. Two-stage hydraulic snow blowers range from small machines of a few horsepower to very large machines powered by diesel engines of over 1000 horsepower (746 kW). The large machines are used for clearing roadways and airport runways, often by blowing the snow into trucks, which haul it away.
Two-stage hydraulic snow blowers for home use are usually attached to a tractor via skid steer style quick attach or 3 pt attach. The auger drive on these machines are usually equipped with a shear pin. If a jam occurs in the auger, this pin will break, averting damage to the auger drive gears. The broken pin must then be replaced before the machine can be used again, generally a relatively simple process.
Hydraulic snow blowers are usually single-purpose machines, though some have detachable front ends that can be replaced with other implements, such as a rotary tiller.