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Mechanical Engineering

Details, details, details ...

December 02, 2014

Living in Wisconsin I find that I need to have a certain mindset to embrace the change of seasons and prepare for the inevitable cold and snow that will eventually blanket the Midwest. Typical annual rituals for me involve putting snow tires on the car, winterizing the lawn mower and digging the snow blower out of the shed.

This year as I dug the snow blower out of its summer hibernation spot, it was apparent that the old snow blower which I affectionately referred to as rusty but trusty was likely fast approaching just plain rusty.

So after a lot of web research and close consultation with my friend Chris Sherwin (best described as an ‘all things with small engines’ aficionado), I decided to go with a nice shiny new Ariens two-stage snow blower. Ariens has a great reputation and I liked the idea of buying from a Wisconsin-based company with a long history. The particular unit I bought had an automatic steering feature that they claim is significantly easier to use, which is intriguing to me as I start to think about delegating snow blowing to my teenage son or other willing family members when I am traveling.

So I anxiously awaited a snowfall worthy of this new machine’s maiden voyage, only to be disappointed with the first snow event being a paltry inch or two that normally would have been quick work with just a shovel. At the risk of looking foolish to my neighbors I went ahead and fired up my new toy and dispersed the fluffy white stuff covering the driveway. Disappointed that the first use wasn’t a more intensive test, I pulled my fancy new machine into the garage convinced that I would need to wait for a bigger storm to be impressed with this particular purchase.

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