Finally, it's done. My driveway is cleared. Since I have a gravel driveway I have my snow blower set to ride about an inch off the ground (prevents my gravel from ending up all over my yard).
The process was definitely a "trial"... After my last post on my predicament (my snow blower did not start two weeks ago, when we got our first "fall dump"), I thought my troubles had ended. LOL ;-)
First Dump Dec 5th/6th
Second Dump Dec 7th/8th
Last Dump (hopefully) Dec 14th/15th
I drove to my parent's home and picked up their van and trailer and went to the repair shop to pick up my snow blower. I took my snow blower to the man that my father has used to repair his lawn appliances for about twenty five years, and I have taken various lawn equipment to him over the years. The one slight issue, and why I had never taken my snow blower to him, is that he is located about twenty miles (~ twenty five minutes away). This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he is very close to my parents house and that I needed their trailer...
A young man had started the snow blower to assure me that all was well. I had him stop it and use the electric start to start the snow blower (a gear had broken/warn down) and it purred. I am not sure as to how old our snow blower is, I bought it before we moved to Beeton, probably in 1991, and this is the first time I have had to do major repair (the total bill was just over $300 Cdn for the overhaul). I did have a man look at it about three years ago, he replaced a sparkplug and told me that the reason half my blower wouldn't turn was that the shear pin was broken (I am not a handy man by any stretch). But I digress.
Assured that all was well, I loaded the snow blower, tied it down and drove home (my father still hasn't put the snow tires on the van - not sure what more he could possibly be waiting for) carefully.
I arrived at the end of my driveway and attempted to start the snow blower manually. This is where the story really begins. The cord would not budge! Now I will confess to not being a good at using pull cords to starting engines, but this wouldn't even move! There were a few expletives (and you who know me will confirm that I rarely - can by many years in between - use that type of language).
I decided to use the electric starter... so I had to trudge the snow blower through snow to my garage. I plugged it in, followed the instructions and grrrrind.... I stopped it immediately (not wanting to wear down a new gear). Now I was starting to get really irritated. I called Ken and explained to him the situation, and he told me to bring it back to him.
I was starting to regret my decision to use a repair service so far away - especially in light of my friends Al and Peggy, telling me they found someone who did house calls.
Muttering under my breath, and starting to feel the cold, I loaded the snow blower and made my way back to the shop. When I got there, he pulled the cord, and there was some play in it, but it still would not turn the engine over. He said he would have to take it apart, and lunch had just arrived.
I could see how this day was going to turn out. I thought about waiting in my father's van, but decided against it and drove to my parent's home. They had gone out, so I made myself lunch and used their internet to do some work. A few hours later, Ken called me to tell me the snow blower was fixed. I went back to him, confirmed it started, both ways, and asked him what happened. As best as he could figure, during the drive back something (he told me but all I remember was "blah blah blah") loosened and lodged in the flywheel, and that it was fixed for now, but my headlight would not work. This seemed curious, but at this point I just wanted to get home and clear the driveway (Helen had been parking at the end of the drive and we had been clearing the pile the snow plow made clearing the road by hand each morning).
Got home, and started to clear the driveway, got about two-thirds done and called it a day. I still had to return the van and trailer to my parents and pick up my car.
The next afternoon (I had appointments in the morning), I attempted to complete the task. I cleared the full driveway and was working on the front when "THUMP" and my snow blower died.
Now I had heard this sound before, and immediately knew what it was... a newspaper in its bag had jammed in the impeller. Now I was "mad" at everyone!!! I was told that all the newspapers were accounted for. A few years ago a weekend newspaper had jammed my snow blower and been very hard to extricate.
I made sure the snow blower was off completely. There seem to be reports every winter of people losing fingers to their snow blowers...
Then I started tearing away and pulling chunks of the newspaper from both ends. I was able to remove it all with the aid of a few different sets of pliers and get back to business.
Finally, I have managed to clear the snow of the last two weeks. It would have been much worse, save for a melt down the weekend before last.
It is a peaceful morning, the horses are feeding, and it is not snowing. Life is Good =)
It is still officially fall, winter won't start until next Tuesday!!! Can't wait to see what this winter will bring ;-)
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage