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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - FAQ's

How far should a snow thrower throw snow?

Under nominal testing conditions, most two-stage snow throwers in good working order should throw snow a distance of approximately 15-20 feet*.

The overall strength and operating condition of the engine, the drive gears and/or drive belt maintenance conditions and the volume and density of the snow also must be considered when evaluating distance performance levels.

Individual outdoor conditions could considerably affect this range both positively or negatively. The weight and density of the snow is complicated by the ambient temperature and sometimes even chemicals (such as de-icers and salt).

Wind intensity and direction can also play a noticeable factor in this throwing distance performance as well.

Example situation: Consider a person shoveling snow on a cold blustery day at sub freezing temperatures. The snow is light and fluffy and the person has a 20 mph wind at their back. Under these ideal conditions the person could very likely throw a shovel full of snow 25 feet or more, especially with assistance of the wind. Now consider the same person on a warmer day with the temperatures hovering around 32 degrees Fahrenheit with a shovel full of heavy wet slushy snow and trying to throw the snow into a 20 mph head wind. This person would likely expend more than twice the energy to throw the snow half as far as the previous example.

To achieve optimum throwing distance, bear in mind that the three most important factors affecting snow discharge distance are:

  1. The power of the unit doing the work (i.e. engine displacement and torque),
  2. The colder the outside temperature is the lighter the snow generally is.
  3. Use the wind to your advantage whenever possible.

If the unit has been experiencing reduced throwing ability over time (for example: the unit worked fine last week but this week it seems to not perform as well as it was) the engine should be checked for proper performance by an experienced engine service technician. Worn or damaged drive belts or drive gears may also be a contributing factor and should be inspected and properly serviced as well.

If the snow thrower is consistently throwing snow less distance than it should or less than it used to, please check the specific product Operators Manual for possible adjustments affecting operation.

For further assistance with adjustment and maintenance, please utilize the Service Center Locator within this support site to search for a local authorized service center.

*Note: This distance would be slightly less for a single-stage model snow thrower. Click Here for additional information on the difference between single-stage and two-stage model designs.

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