Store and Protect Snow Removal Equipment Off-Season

May / 2017

After spending hundreds of dollars on a snowblower or thousands of dollars on a snowplow, one would expect these to deliver snow removal performance for several years. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect can quickly render such investments fit only for the scrapyard.

Summer Snowblower Storage Tips

After your snowblower has worked hard all Winter, it would be a shame to put it away still caked with salt and sand. Not that you would notice immediately, but accelerated corrosion would eventually wreck your snowblower. Instead, take some time to thoroughly clean your snowblower, perhaps with a pressure washer or garden hose. Before putting it in storage, make sure it’s completely dry.

Some suggest draining the fuel and storing your snowblower “dry,” but this could cause more problems than it solves, including rust and corrosion in the fuel tank itself. The fuel system is nearly impossible to completely purge of fuel, so it’s much easier and safer to add Shrader’s Ethanol Fuel Stabilizer to a fresh tank of fuel and then running the engine for a few minutes to distribute stabilized fuel through the system. This will prevent fuel separation and fuel system deposits, enabling easier starting next season.

Continuing with the engine, remove the spark plug and spray Shrader’s Fogging Oil into the spark plug hole five to ten seconds. Then, rotate the engine by hand to distribute the oil and cover the cylinder walls. Replace the spark plug finger tight to keep out contaminants and critters. Stuff a little steel wool into the exhaust to prevent animal entry. Remove the battery and put it on a float charger to keep it fresh for next season.

To prevent corrosion while in storage, spray down metal surfaces, particularly the engine, exhaust, and any exposed metal with Shrader’s Flexi-Film. Flexi-Film penetrates cables and springs and coats metal surfaces with a protective film. You may have to remove covers to get to any drive chains or drive belts. Drive chains should be treated with Shrader’s Chain Lube, while drive belts should be removed or at least loosened.

To prevent tire flat spots, put your snowblower up on blocks, then put a loose cover on the whole unit. If possible, a dry garage or shed corner is ideal, but outdoor storage isn’t out of the question. Don’t try to “seal” up your snowblower – air flow will keep your snowblower dry and safe.

Summer Snowplow Storage Tips

Perhaps even more so, your snowplow has taken quite a beating this past Winter. Cleaning the snowplow with a pressure washer is the surest way to make sure that corrosion-accelerating salt and sand are completely removed. Allow plenty of time to air dry, and use compressed air to blow out the trip return and blade return springs.

After working all Winter, hydraulic fluid tends to collect water. Left alone for three seasons, water in the system could corrode hydraulic system internals rendering your plow useless come next Winter. Replace the hydraulic fluid with the type that is recommended by the manufacturer and consider replacing the filter, as well.

Left exposed to the air, corrosion could quickly take root on the springs, hydraulic cylinder rods, and other parts of the snowplow. Spray Shrader’s Flexi-Film on the springs, hydraulic cylinder rods, and any other exposed metal to prevent corrosion. Loosen all spring tension and lubricate all pivot points and hinges as required by the manufacturer. Prevent corrosion in the electrical connections by stuffing them with dielectric grease.

The best place to store your snowplow is a dry spot in the back of the garage, under a loose dust cover, on wood blocks or a pallet. This will prevent excessive exposure to the elements and minimize the chance of corrosion taking hold of your second-biggest snow-removal equipment investment. If a garage won’t work for you, keeping your snowplow off the ground will go a long way toward protecting it.

Why Choose Shrader?

Shrader Canada has been developing cleaners, lubricants, and protectants for snow removal equipment for over sixty years, nearly as long as snowblowers and snowplows have been in use! To keep your equipment working season after season and protected in the off-season, you can trust the formulations Shrader has developed specifically for the industry.

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