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Outdoor toys for Winter 2014

It seems that these days, winter is an excuse for men to treat themselves to some new big boys’ toys. Tasks that used to be done by the man of the house, such as clearing snow and cutting the grass, are now often mechanized. This raises the question, were these jobs mechanized by men to make it easier or just more fun?

ATV’s snow throwers

For those who live in the northern states, it is essential to have a plan of action for snow. Last year, the US saw a huge amount of snowfall during a major arctic storm that struck all of North America. When snow starts to come down heavy, a snow shovel is not enough, especially if you have a long drive to clear.

A snow thrower is a vital piece of the winter kit, and it will turn a two-hour shoveling job into a 15-minute stroll. For those who have a lot of land to clear, a heavy-duty, walk-behind, two-stage snow blower is one of the best options; it literally eats up and spits out the snow and clears a path in seconds.

The best snow throwers are made with heavy-duty steel and are powered by a gas motor with an electric starter. Although these are solidly built, owners do expect parts to fail from time to time; they are really no different from cars; if you treat them well, they will last for many years, but expect to service them regularly and also replace worn parts. Fortunately, there are many stores such as Pat’s snowthrower parts that specialize in providing quality spare parts for such machinery.

Motorized salt spreaders

Nowadays, there is no need to shovel salt over your drive; you can ride your own motorized salt spreader. After you have cleared your drive with your snow thrower, it is easy to keep it salted to stop the snow settling and ice forming. If your local road is not cleared and gritted, you can be the perfect neighbor and clear a path for other residents.

Ride on mowers

Once winter is over, it is time to dust off your ride-on mower. These are the ultimate big toys for anybody with a large garden; they make cutting grass a breeze.

Look after your toys

There is a lot of fun to be had with some outdoor toys; however, it is important to remember that these are not really toys; they are serious pieces of highly engineered machinery that need to be properly maintained and cared for, otherwise they will rust and break down.

Winter is a very hard time for any piece of outdoor equipment as is prolonged exposure to the wet and cold, which is a dangerous combination for machinery. You should service your outdoor toys twice a year—once before the winter season and again before the spring.

Outdoor toy storage

Ideally, you should keep your outdoor toys in a garage or shed all year round. If you do not have an outbuilding to keep them in, then a high quality waterproof cover is essential. The elements will ruin the best piece of machinery in just one season, if left without cover; usually the electrics are the first to go.