On May 15th, 2017

Snow Bucket vs. Snow Pusher: How to Choose

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Don't let a little thing like a 12" snowfall shut your doors this winter. Gear up now so when the competition closes, you'll be rolling in the dough. Learn the benefits of a snow bucket vs snow pusher, and you won't have to sacrifice a minute of business when the cold white stuff comes down.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of work injuries involving snow removal in 2014 amounted to a whopping 42,480 incidences. We don't even want to know how much money that meant for the injured workers or their employers!

These injuries were mainly concentrated in the Great Lakes region and northeast coast, and they reflect the importance of proper snow removal from all angles. Choosing the right equipment to get the job done quickly and safely for customers and employees will save money and downtime.

Even if you're shopping for domestic snow removal, choosing the right equipment will help keep your wallet fat and your time well spent.

When deciding on a snow bucket vs snow pusher, you have several variables to consider. We'll take a look at the following factors and weigh the pros and cons of buying a bucket or a pusher:

  • Terrain--what's your lot surface like?
  • Snow quality--is it sleet and ice? Wet or dry?
  • Direction--are you looking for straight or angled removal?

Buckets and pushers are both excellent tools. Read on for help deciding the benefits of purchasing one or the other for your business or home snow removal so you can get the job done right.

Terrain: What's Your Lot Surface Like?

When comparing a snow bucket vs snow pusher, it's important to consider the quality of terrain. Is it hard or soft, even or varied?

If your lot or drive is asphalt or concrete, a steel edge can damage the surface of your drive when scraping down to bare pavement. Ideally, you'll seal the surface well before the snow season and patch any holes or cracks. But even if you can't get do so in time for the first snowfall, a rubber edge will protect hard surface materials.

That means go with a snow pusher. Snow buckets typically have steel edges. Snow pushers are available with either.

If your lot or drive is covered in gravel or dirt, rubber will glide over the surface, preventing surface pile up. Because rubber edges tend to contour the ground. The exception to this is with a wet snow, which we'll cover below.

If you're set on steel edge, a bucket will do better on gravel or dirt. Pushers do just that: they push the material along, causing a pileup. With a bucket, the elongated bottom scoops rather than pushes, minimizing pile up of a softer surface.

When plowing over uneven terrain--for example, raised manhole covers or speed bumps--a steel trip edge is the way to go. This means you need a snow pusher with no rubber.

Snow Quality: Is It Sleet and Ice? Wet or Dry?

When the surface of your drive is icy, rubber is not as effective as steel. Go with either a steel-edge pusher or a tooth bucket--where the edge is jagged.

The nice thing about a snow bucket vs snow pusher on the ice is that the elongated bottom of the bucket makes it easier to see from your vehicle. This way you're more likely to avoid mishaps such as curb scrapes or lawn damage.

However, when dealing with snow over ice, the pusher is preferable. You'll be able to remove more with a pusher than a bucket.

When it's a wet snow, you'll want to go with a rubber-edged pusher on asphalt or concrete. The rubber will act like a wiper blade against either of these hard surfaces, giving you a clean scrape and, generally, minimizing freeze-over.

On the other hand, with gravel or dirt, the blade effect will increase material pile up. You'll want to go with a bucket in wet snows on softer surfaces because the elongated bottom will skim better than a pusher.

If the snow conditions are dry and the surface of your drive or lot is hard and solid, the pusher is what we'd recommend. Due to the long bottom design, snow accumulates on a bucket, building up and up in a heap that can be messy to unload. This doesn't happen with a pusher.

The design of the pusher allows for a greater capacity of snow with a cleaner finish because you can pack the snow away.

Direction: Straight or Angled

People debate this issue a lot--whether it's better to plow straight or angled. We recommend straight because we feel you get better snow placement control. With angled plowing, the snow easily drifts and slides where you don't want it to go, making your job harder and longer. Or making your employees' jobs more expensive and less efficient.

For an angled job, you'd need to go with a snow blade, which generally has less capacity than either the bucket or pusher. Also, we don't recommend attaching a blade to a rubber-edged pusher because it may cause damage.

When you're deciding on a snow bucket vs snow pusher, weigh your options, consider the weather variables, and think about how the function of each tool affects the surface of your drive or lot.

In general, though, we recommend the pusher over the bucket. It's cleaner and easier to push snow forward and pack it in with a pusher rather than mount and dump with a bucket.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts el niño conditions for the 2017-2018 winter. This means that snowfall in northern regions may tend toward the wetter side--if snow falls on warmer ground. So, if you've got hard terrain, we'd recommend a rubber-edged pusher this winter.

Wrapping Up

We'd like to tell you a bit about us:

We are Express Steel, Inc., a family owned and operated company in the heart of the US. We work around the clock to bring the best value to our customers. Our work ethic has pushed us toward the top of the snow-removal industry in our four years of operation.

We're proud to be an American company, and we're proud to succeed in the business while keeping a friendly eye on the environment. That's why we designed our own eco-savvy rubber products for all our snow pushers.

We offer free shipping to the lower 48 states and warehouse prices. Contact us today. We're here to help!

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