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Vintage Snow Blowers UK

January 11, 2017 in Articles, Machinery

Moving snow with a Toro Snowpup

Moving snow with a Toro Snow Pup – late 1960’s brochure image, American but from a UK brochure.

As it’s winter we have had a look to see what vintage snow-moving equipment exists in the UK.

There’s blade attachments for various machines such as the Allen scythe, Merry Tiller and Barford to name just three. But more specifically we looked to see if there are any vintage snow blowers or snow throwers in existence. 

We are all aware that in the USA there’s a big range of snow moving machines for residential use from the large manufacturers. A 1962 American issue of ‘Popular Science’ informs us that amongst the manufacturers were: Ariens, Bob-Cat, Bolens, Eska, Graveley, Jacobsen, Jari, Motor-Mower, Reo (of Wheelhorse), Sears and Roebuck, Simplicity, Snow Bird, Snow-Boy, Storm King and Toro. Most of these manufacturers are very well known to us and so it’s not hard to image that some of those 1960’s and 70’s machines may have made their way over to the UK.

Toro Snowblowers 1966

Toro Snow blowers 1966

These American specification machines varied in HP from 2.5Hp (Reo) up to 7.25HP (Simplicity) and their width of cut from 16″ (Jacobsen) to 36″ (Simplicity). The means of propulsion also varied between self-propelled or being pushed by hand. 

The only evidence we have  that describes snow blowers being marketed in the UK is a 1966 brochure by Toro although to be fair we don’t know how many were ever sold. The fold-out leaflet bears the address of Flymo Ltd, Penn Place, Rickmansworth, Herts in 1966. Image on the right.

The Toro models available were the Snow Pup and Snow Husky. The Snow Pup had a 14″ wide cut and 2.5HP engine and able to throw the snow 15′. The Snow Husky was larger with a 3HP engine, 21″ wide cut and a 20′ throw. The UK brochure image below shows a Toro snow blower in the bottom right corner of the dealerships lineup of various machines.

Toro

This 1967 UK catalogue photo shows a  Toro Snow Blower tucked away in the bottom right corner

Currently Toro are the only pedestrian snow blowers we can find evidence of although we do know that both Bolens and Snapper did market and sell later in the UK, their machines occasionally appearing on auction sites.

Do you have a vintage snow blower in the shed or know of any that were UK bought machines?

John deere 110 with Snow Blower UK

John Deere 110 with Snow Blower UK

Of course snow blowers are not just pedestrian machines and there are numerous manufacturers that made blowers to fit their garden tractors. 

John Deere made snow blowers for their range of 1960’s and 70’s garden tractors from the 110 models onwards and one appeared at Newark Tractor Show a couple of years ago. Image right.

Wheel Horse also manufactured snow blowers for their tractors, they sometimes appear again on internet auction sites. Interestingly a1967 wheel Horse advert view the advert here states that although a snow blade/plow is available (they are quite common second-hand) there is no mention of a snow blower – perhaps they were short of space in the advert. Although a few years later a 1975 brochure (by Mountfield, Maidenhead) and price list for Wheel Horse lists a 37″ snow blower for the Commando tractor at £195, a 42″ snow blower for the Charger and Raider tractors at £210 and a 48″ snow blower for the D series tractor at £240, all plus vat. 

Other tractor manufacturers listing snow blowers for UK sale (whether any were sold here or not is unknown) include Roper with their 1980’s tractors having 42″ snow blades and 40″ snow blowers, the tractors appear occasionally but never seen the blowers.

International Harvester with the 1960’s Cub Cadet tractors (brochures marked as Harvester House, City Road, London) produced a range of snow moving equipment to compliment their tractors although none has appeared in the UK yet.

jacobsen-chief-snow-blower

Jacobsen Chief in a UK brochure

It just shows that because something is in a UK brochure intended for the UK doesn’t mean the implements ever reached UK shores. Alternatively, perhaps they were in such small numbers that either none have yet surfaced or none have survived?

Jacobsen, marketed by Horwool from their Romford and Birmingham offices had the Snow-Auger in their brochure. The Jacobsen tractors appear with snow blades in the UK but has anyone got a Jacobsen Chief with a snow blower as in the image on the right? An image of the Jacobsen with a blade can be seen here in the gallery.

There’s nothing like a UK machine though and Westwood kitted out their garden tractors with optional snow plough and a wide vision canopy. Image at the foot of the page

Sure it’s no snow blower but the additions it does have gives the machine a little added versatility and would sure be a good reason to play out in winter. 

Finally, one question we came across, and a bit of a tongue twister is: “How much snow should a snow blower throw when a snow blower’s busy throwing snow?”.

Can anyone add to this UK snow themed article?

westwood-ready-for-winter

Westwood ready for winter duties

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