I blowed that snow with a battery…


Let me tell you about my history with snowblowers… Around 2000 I got a used snowblower from a rummage sale. It was corded, but I had extension cords, so I wasn’t too worried. The seller let me plug it in and test it. It worked! and it was like $15 so I got it.

The first time I tried to use it I went out to the garage, tried to fire it up, and it wouldn’t run. Dead. I took it in the house to work on it in the basement, and no luck. I let it sit in the basement, went outside and shoveled for hours, and tried it later in the day (still in the basement) and it worked fine! After much investigation I discovered it didn’t work well in cold weather. Yeah, a snowblower that didn’t like the cold. I kept it in the basement and used it occasionally but to be honest it was small and under-powered, and I got sick of extension cords.

Fast forward to 2013, new house, new places to blow snow away from, including the section between the garage and the alley, and part of the alley. My family has a way of saving old things, even when they get a new one, so someone got a new snowblower and gave me the old one, which was a monster of a blower that my grandfather used to own. This one too, sucked instead of blowed. It was gas powered, but had an electric start, and despite being a large metal beast, seemed to die a lot in heavy snowfall. It also didn’t like to start. And worst of all, I had to pull my car out of the garage just to get it out of the garage. I gave it away last year…


So instead of using a 20 or 30 year old snowblower that uses gas, and oil, and filters, and all the things I hate, I got an electric snowblower that uses a 40 volt Lithium battery. Battery technology has improved tremendously over the past decades and if I can avoid gas engines and extension cords, I’m all for it.

We now have a Greenworks G-MAX 40V 20-Inch Cordless Brushless Snow Thrower. I got to use it today and it worked. Cutting the first path took a bit of time, but with a 20 to 40 percent step-over, it did a good job with 15 centimeters of snow. The 4 amp-hour battery was enough to do the sidewalk and most of my two neighbor’s sidewalks, but it ran out of juice before I could do the alley, so I went in the house, charged it to about half-charge while I had breakfast, then did the alley.

I should note that I specifically wanted a “small” blower, and the 20″ model allows me to maneuver it around the cars in the garage with ease. This means I don’t have to move a car into the snow covered alley to clean the alley. It’s a win in my book. It’s also mostly plastic so it’s easy to lift if I do have to carry it, which came in handy getting down the steps to the sidewalk.

This is not a blower that will have you powering through deep snow at a fast walking pace, you’re going slow, or your knocking your step-over rate down quite a bit after the first path, but for the size of it, that’s understandable. I don’t have a 50 foot driveway or the space for a large monster blower, so I’m happy with what we’ve got now… it’s better than shoveling, because to be honest, I’m gettin’ too old for that shit.

I’ll probably get another 4 amp-hour battery, just so I don’t have to recharge mid-job, and with two spare 40 volt batteries in the summer, I may see if I can run my 36 volt Neuton lawn mower with them as well.


Snow Day!

Snow Day!

Still snowing in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I will attempt to move some of the snow using my “snow flapper” but it’s electric and the long extension cord is in Maritime’s practice space in downtown Milwaukee. Also, the dentist called and canceled my appointment for today. Bummer. I still need to get to the bank, but may have to postpone that. Office Holiday Party is tonight, roads should be cleared up by then, and tomorrow shooting another interview for the documentary.

For all you people who like to freak out when it snow… now is the time to do it.


Snow, at last!

Dec 1st, 2006 - SNOW!

I hoped, and wished, and waited… and it looks like the snow is finally here…

Of course I still need some bindings…

Burton Air 161

But we’re getting closer…