In this article, we will discuss the age-old debate of which is better between a plow and a snow blower. We will explore the benefits and drawbacks of each method, considering factors such as efficiency, cost, and ease of use. By the end of the article, you will have a better understanding of which option may be more suitable for your snow removal needs. So, let’s dive in and discover the pros and cons of plowing and snow blowing!
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When it comes to removing snow from our driveways or clearing large areas after a heavy snowfall, we often find ourselves debating between using a plow or a snow blower. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on various factors. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both plows and snow blowers to help you make an informed decision.
Advantages of Plow
Clears large areas quickly
One of the biggest advantages of using a plow is its ability to clear large areas quickly. With its wide blade, a plow can push substantial amounts of snow aside in a single pass. This makes it a great option for clearing parking lots, roadways, and other expansive areas in a timely manner.
Works well on level surfaces
Another benefit of using a plow is its effectiveness on level surfaces. Plows are designed to glide smoothly across flat terrain and efficiently remove all the snow in their path. This feature makes them an excellent choice for areas with even pavement, such as city streets or well-maintained driveways.
Less expensive than snow blowers
Compared to snow blowers, plows are generally more affordable. They require less initial investment, and maintenance costs are typically lower. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t need the added features of a snow blower, a plow can be a cost-effective solution for snow removal.
Disadvantages of Plow
Can damage pavement or other surfaces
One of the main disadvantages of using a plow is the potential for damage to pavements or other surfaces. The force exerted by the plow’s blade can cause scratches, cracks, or even structural damage to delicate surfaces. It’s crucial to exercise caution when using a plow and ensure that the surface beneath is suitable for plowing.
Not effective on steep inclines or uneven terrain
Plows are not the best option for areas with steep inclines or uneven terrain. Due to their design, plows struggle to navigate through such challenging landscapes. The blade may not effectively remove snow on steep slopes, and the plowing mechanism may become unstable on uneven surfaces.
Requires a vehicle to operate
Another limitation of plows is that they require a vehicle for operation. Whether it’s a truck or a tractor, a plow must be attached to a motorized vehicle. This can be a drawback for individuals who don’t own a suitable vehicle or for areas where access to such vehicles is limited.
Advantages of Snow Blower
Suitable for various terrains and inclines
Unlike plows, snow blowers are better equipped to handle various terrains and inclines. They are designed with sturdy wheels or tracks that allow for easier maneuvering on different surfaces. Whether you have a sloped driveway or a rocky path, a snow blower can effectively remove snow without difficulty.
Throws snow farther and in desired direction
A distinct advantage of snow blowers is their ability to throw snow farther and in a specific direction. By using a powerful auger or impeller, snow blowers can expel the snow away from the cleared area, reducing the chances of it piling up again. This feature is extremely useful when clearing driveways or walkways, as it keeps the area clean for an extended period.
Can be operated without a vehicle
Unlike plows that require a vehicle for operation, snow blowers can be operated independently. They often come with their own engines, making them self-sufficient machines. This is a significant advantage for individuals who don’t have access to a suitable vehicle or simply prefer the convenience of a standalone snow removal machine.
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Disadvantages of Snow Blower
Higher initial investment cost
One of the main drawbacks of snow blowers is their higher initial investment cost. Snow blowers are typically more expensive than plows, especially models with additional features such as power steering or heated handles. This may deter some individuals from purchasing a snow blower, particularly if they have a limited budget.
Requires maintenance and fuel
Snow blowers also require regular maintenance and fuel to operate efficiently. From changing the oil to checking the spark plug, owning a snow blower involves additional responsibilities compared to a plow. Additionally, fuel costs can add up over time, especially during heavy snow seasons.
May be slower than plowing for large areas
While snow blowers excel at removing snow from smaller areas, they may be slower than plows when it comes to clearing large expanses. The smaller clearing width of a snow blower necessitates additional passes and more time to cover the same area. If you have a large parking lot or expansive property, a snow blower may not be the most efficient option.
Choosing the Right Option
When deciding between a plow and a snow blower, several factors should be considered.
Consider the size and type of area to be cleared
If you’re dealing with a large, open area such as a parking lot or a long driveway, a plow may be the better choice due to its ability to clear vast spaces quickly. On the other hand, if you have a smaller residential property with multiple pathways and obstacles, a snow blower’s maneuverability may be more suitable.
Evaluate the terrain and incline
The terrain and incline of your property should also be taken into account. If you have steep slopes or uneven surfaces, a plow may struggle to effectively clear snow. In such cases, a snow blower’s agility and traction make it a more viable option.
Assess the budget and long-term costs
Your budget and long-term costs are also crucial factors in choosing between a plow and a snow blower. While plows have lower initial costs, snow blowers may provide more value in the long run, considering their durability and ability to clear snow from various terrains.
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Factors to Consider
In addition to the advantages and disadvantages, there are other factors that should be considered when deciding between a plow and a snow blower.
Pavement condition and safety concerns
The condition of your pavement and safety concerns should play a significant role in your decision. If you have fragile pavements, such as decorative tiles or fragile concrete, a plow may cause damage. On the other hand, if safety is a priority and you need to ensure a completely cleared pathway, a snow blower’s throwing ability may be more suitable.
Weather patterns and snowfall intensity
Considering your area’s weather patterns and snowfall intensity is also important. If you frequently experience heavy snowfall, a snow blower’s ability to throw snow farther may be beneficial. However, if you live in an area where snowfall is infrequent or light, a plow may suffice.
Availability of equipment and resources
The availability of equipment and resources should also be considered. If you don’t have access to a vehicle suitable for plowing, a snow blower may be your only option. Similarly, if you have limited storage space or don’t want to deal with maintenance responsibilities, a snow blower’s standalone design may be more convenient.
To help you make an informed decision, here are some professional recommendations regarding the use of plows and snow blowers.
Plows are recommended for large, open areas with minimal obstacles
Professionals often recommend using plows for clearing large, open areas such as parking lots or extended roadways. Their ability to clear snow quickly and efficiently makes them ideal for such spaces. However, caution should be exercised to prevent damage to the pavement or other fragile surfaces.
Snow blowers are ideal for residential areas and uneven terrains
For residential areas with multiple pathways or uneven terrains, professionals suggest using snow blowers. Their maneuverability and ability to handle various terrains allow for a more thorough and precise snow removal process. Additionally, snow blowers are safer to use on delicate pavements.
Combo options are available for versatile use
To cater to different needs, there are combo options available that combine both plowing and snow blowing capabilities. These versatile machines provide the best of both worlds, allowing users to switch between plowing and blowing features as required. If you have a diverse range of snow removal needs, a combo option may be worth considering.
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In the ongoing debate of which is better, a plow or a snow blower, there is no definitive answer. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately depends on your specific requirements, budget, and property characteristics. Considering factors such as the area size, terrain, and long-term costs will help you make an informed choice. Whether you decide to invest in a plow or a snow blower, ensuring the safety and accessibility of your property during the winter months should be your utmost priority.