Snow Removal Techniques

Man using a snowblower to clear snow
Snowfall can be serene and beautiful, each individual snowflake descending and accumulating into a winter wonderland. If only it fell exclusively on surfaces we didn’t use daily for walking or driving.

Clearing snow is among the top hassles of winter. A good shovel works for small spaces that need to be cleared, but it is backbreaking work, and depending on your snow removal needs, it may make more sense to invest in a snowblower or snowplow. Here are a few tips to make your effort clearing snow easier and more effective.

Related Topic: How to Plow Snow

Snowplowing Techniques

Snowplowing is not for the faint of heart. A plow can be difficult to maneuver, and mistakes can be damaging. So, it’s worthwhile to learn proper snowplowing techniques before jumping behind the wheel.

  • Get Familiar with the Controls: Lift and lower the blade. Practice changing the angles to either side and forming the V and inverse-V positions. The more comfortable you are working with the controls, the more effective your plowing will be.
  • Power V Technique: Angle the point of the V toward the road in front of you. With this technique, you can break through deep snow with fewer passes.
  • Inverse V Technique: This technique forms the point of the V toward your vehicle and creates a large scoop that can hold more snow to push forward instead of off to the side.
  • Angle Blade toward the Curb: By angling the blade to one side, you can direct the snow in that direction.
  • Backdrag Technique: With this technique, you use the back of your plow to pull snow back while you reverse. This can be helpful to pull snow away from buildings.
  • Use Plow Shoe for Gravel: Lowering the shoe will raise the blade enough to avoid scraping up the dirt or gravel. Make sure to lift the shoe again before returning to pavement.

Parking Lot Snow Removal Techniques

Plowing a parking lot is different than plowing a driveway. First off, you want to plan your route so that you plow as much snow as possible. Moving snow while in reverse (backdrag technique) can be helpful in circumstances, but it is also a huge strain on your transmission.

Your snow removal plan should revolve around where you’re going to push the snow. Once that’s established, begin plowing in the section of the lot that’s furthest away from the snow disposal area.

  • Clear Walkways and Doors First: Ensuring that these places are cleared before you start plowing allows you to plow the discarded snow away without having to circle back.
  • Plow the Lot Perimeter Second: This prevents snow from packing down around the edges of the lot where you’re turning the truck around. Sometimes it takes two passes.
  • Use Backdrag Technique to Clear Near Buildings: This method shouldn’t be overused since it’s hard on a transmission. It works best to reverse and pull the snow enough to drive into the cleared space and continue removing the snow by pushing it.
  • Use Straight Blades to Push Snow in Straight Lines: Similar to mowing large lawns or vacuuming large rooms, the most efficient way to plow parking lots is in straight lines.
  • Stack Snow: At the end of the line—where you intend to keep the snowbank—gradually raise the blade to stack the snow in a tall pile.

Related Topic: Snowblower or Snowplow: What’s Better?

Snow Blowing Techniques

If you have a smaller space to clear and want something that takes less space to store, a snowblower may be ideal for you. They are compact, store easily, and have safety features that allow you to operate them with ease. With some proper snowblowing techniques, you can see maximum results with minimal effort.

Just like plowing, decide where you’re going to throw the snow and execute your strategy around that. If the snowblower can’t throw the snow far enough to reach this spot, no big deal, just throw the snow on an unplowed section on the driveway that will eventually get plowed as you work your way closer.

  • Throw with the Wind: Fighting the wind will double or triple your effort, so why not make that wind work for you? Throw the snow with the wind instead of against it.
  • Blow Vertically: It’s best to blow up and down a drive rather than trying to blow it across.
  • Start Upwind: You will do yourself a favour to start upwind and work your way downwind, minimizing your effort against the wind.
  • Throw Snow Deep into the Yard: Because throwing snow near the edge of the walkway or drive will build into a tall bank that will be hard to move later, it is better to blow it as far into the yard as you can.
  • Don’t Let the Snow Build Up: You will find it is much easier to clear 15 cm of snow twice than 30 cm all at once.

Professional Snow Plowing Services

Clearing snow is labourious work, but these tips will give your effort the most impact. If you have an especially large space, or you don’t have the time or energy to clear the snow, allow the Grounds Guys to give you a hand. Our snow removal services will leave your drive or walkway clean and clear. Give us a call at (888) 972-8063 or request a job estimate online today.