Homeowners everywhere are preparing for the upcoming winter season, and that means many people are putting their Honda snowblower through the maintenance steps that come before each season of snow, ice, and sidewalk clearing. Amid all of this maintenance, though, one key area often gets overlooked: safety.
Snowblower operators often assume that they know how to best use their equipment, often without reading the safety instructions paired with the snowblower as part of Honda’s comprehensive product manual. These safety steps are important, however, snowblower operators should be mindful of these things before they head out for their first snow clearing job of the year.
Be Mindful of Slopes and a Loss of Traction
Snowblowers work best when they’re used on a flat surface, largely because it allows them to move forward more easily. The operator of the snowblower is also able to maintain far better traction in slippery conditions when a slope is not involved, thus greatly increasing their overall safety during operation. Generally speaking, steep slopes and inclines should be avoided while using a snowblower. Instead, operators should choose to use traditional shovels or brooms to clear areas that are on a steep incline.
More gradual slopes can be cleared using Honda’s snowblower models. Operators should make sure they’re wearing the right shoes or boots to maintain good traction. Also, it’s important that the snowblower is steady and not encountering any problems with the task.
Point the Snowblower’s Output Chute Away from Key Objects
Snowblowers spit snow out at a high rate of speed, and they’ll do the same thing to debris found in lawns and on sidewalks. This can cause serious injury to anyone passing by, and it can seriously damage vehicles, walls, and windows, upon impact. To avoid these accidents, be sure to point the snowblower’s output chute away from people and objects that could otherwise experience serious problems if debris becomes airborne.
Furthermore, never remove the guards and guides that surround the intake or output areas of the snowblower. They’re designed to keep debris away from the intake and, should it pass through the snowblower, the installed guards are designed to keep it away from the operator and any close bystanders. Operators should err on the side of caution, adhering to a 75-foot clearance rule for cars and people while operating the equipment.
Make Sure the Snowblower is Off and Cooled Before Maintenance
Snowblowers contain very powerful engines for their overall size, and they get extremely hot during operation. If a snowblower requires maintenance after it’s been running for a considerable amount of time, the operator should allow the snowblower and the engine to completely cool before attempting any repair or maintenance procedures.
Likewise, refueling the snowblower should only be done when the engine is cool and there is no chance of starting a fire. It’s extremely easy to ignite gasoline and the vapors that are produced during refueling. Eliminating the engine’s heat will help reduce this risk significantly.
During any maintenance procedure, be sure to remove the ignition key from the snowblower and disconnect the engine’s spark plug wire. This will guard against unwanted sparking or starting of the engine that could inflict serious injury.
Use Only OEM Parts During Maintenance
To further enhance the safety of a Honda snowblower, be sure to only use OEM parts when performing regular maintenance on the equipment. Unlike generic and off-brand replacement parts, OEM varieties are made by Honda itself. That means they are subject to tough inspections and quality assurance procedures that Honda applies across the board to everything the company manufactures. Parts made by Honda will last longer, be more durable, and will lead to greater safety, than those parts that are crafted by generic factories around the world.
Where to Shop for Honda Snowblower Parts
Owners of Honda power equipment are likely aware of the importance of OEM parts, but aren’t sure exactly where to buy them. Luckily, one of the largest independent dealers can help customers order those parts and receive them in a timely fashion. At HondaLawnParts.com, Internet users can find everything from spark plug wires to engine parts and maintenance tools, ensuring that a Honda snowblower will be able to run smoothly and efficiently all winter long.
Owned by Shank’s Lawn Equipment, the company has been in the power equipment business for decades. They have the right combination of experience and expertise to help customers find exactly the parts they need. That commitment to service will further enhance safety this winter, as customers won’t be installing the wrong parts into their snowblower or unknowingly setting themselves up for a potential disaster down the road.