I live in Illinois and we recently had a moderately bad snow storm. It wasn’t really bad because we didn’t get two feet of snow but it was still enough snow to force you to shovel the driveway. After a certain amount of snow you just can’t reliably leave your driveway or alleyway without being stuck. And one thing that sucks more than shoveling or snowblowing is when you don’t shovel or snow blow and you get stuck in your yard. Then you have to fuck around with a shovel, bags of salt or sand, and dig your car out of whatever the fuck you got stuck in. Sometimes it’s easier to just shovel the shit than risk being stuck. That’s the kind of snow we just had.
We also live down an extended driveway/alleyway (we’re not sure what it officially is to the county) that is about 100 or 200 feet long. It’s long enough that I haven’t tried to measure the damn thing so I guessed at the distance. It’s a long way though. It’s also roughly 10 feet wide so that’s about 1,000-2,000 square feet of area that has to be shoveled. That’s a lot of shoveling.
Shoveling Sucks. It hurts your back, it’s slow, and more importantly you have to do it so you can get your vehicle to actually be able to be used. If you have money you can pay some punk-ass teenager to shovel it, or if you have even more money you can pay some guy (who will price gouge you) to plow it with his truck. But if you’re poor, well, say goodbye to your back because you’re clearing it with a shovel. Better go find yourself some Tylenol and/or Vicodins.
I used to hold snowblowing as the golden way of removing snow. That was partly because I’d have to shovel all the time and we didn’t have a snowblower. Thankfully, my dad brought over his snowblower so we could clear our driveway. I was pretty excited to not have to shovel because snowblowing is better. Right?
No, because Everything Sucks. Snowblowing is cool and all but it has its some fucking downsides. By not busting your back shoveling you gain a bunch of other downsides that are nearly as bad. Firstly, his snowblower was rather tiny and only cleared about a foot and a half wide path of snow. Doing the entire driveway took some time. In deep snow it would also shit out and die where you’d have to restart it with the pull cord. That happened about ten times.
Secondly, my god those things throw snow in a reckless manner. Shoveling allows you to put snow exactly where you want it but snowblowing just blows it wherever the fuck it wants to. We had our garage door opened and despite not trying to blow the snow inside it did it anyways. (I had to shovel it clear so the door would close.) You’d end up blowing snow where you already cleared. You’d blow snow on the porch, the walkway you just cleared, onto the vehicles, and even on the doors and windows of the house. The wind wouldn’t help matters either by blowing a cloud of cold, powdery, and wet snow all over your coat and into your face. Winter is usually a cold season so snow on your face is never enjoyable.
It’s also hard to do a good job when snowblowing. I either seemed to leave a few inches of snow underneath me or end up scrapping the hell out of our gravel driveway and tossing rocks everywhere. That really is a problem especially when you consider snow (and possibly gravel) is going everywhere like I said before. There was a small but non-zero chance of tossing a piece of gravel or a rock into a car window/house window and doing damage. And what if some poor fucker was walking down the street at the exact wrong time? That’d fucking hurt.
Oh yeah, it was also a two-cycle engine meaning I smelled like gasoline and oil afterwards. Time to wash my coat…
In the end it did it’s job admirably: it moved a fuck-ton of snow quickly and in a relatively easy manner. But don’t expect a snowblower to do a “good job” especially in areas you want really clean. I still had to get shovel the stairs and the porch and around the cars where the blower left an inch or two of snow that it just couldn’t seem to violently toss onto the side of the house. It wasn’t hard work, shoveling the remainder that is, but I originally thought snowblowing was an end-all to shoveling. It’s simple: if you snowblow you don’t shovel. And if you shovel you don’t snowblow because you don’t fucking own one. I was wrong. Apparently they’re complimentary and both of them suck in equally annoying ways.
Maybe I should move where there is no snow? Maybe that wouldn’t Suck. But it probably would.