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Discussion Starter #1
I almost feel silly (or old) asking this question, but does anyone else experience muscle pain from using single stage (rubber paddle) machines? Is it just me?

I have both a Honda HSS520 single stage with rubber paddles as well as a new Honda 2 stage 2016 HSS724CT (tracked model). I haven't used the 724 much yet (twice actually) as our big snowfalls in Calgary have yet to arrive, although this past week we got 6 or 8 inches. I do 16 properties (mostly sidewalks but 3-4 double driveways) in a residential area as a volunteer. Most of the time the smaller 520 single stage is my go-to machine because it cleans so well down to the pavement and easily handles up to 6 or 8 inches.

What I have noticed in the past year (I am in my 50's now) is a lot of muscle pain in the arms, stomach and back areas 2-3 days after using this machine on 16 properties. I love this single stage machine but quite frankly it pulls me faster than I want to go unless the snow is 8+ inches. I would prefer to go slower--and while manipulating the machine is a breeze, it clearly exercises muscles in my stomach and back area I had forgotten about since I used to do arm curls in my 20's. I also notice that the vibration from the paddles does a number on my lower arms.

I notice I have no such issues when using my larger 2 stage Honda that is tracked and self-propelled. But of course I love the clean finish a single stage leaves.

Is this just me? Does anyone else notice muscle pain from these single stage machines? I'm thinking not many people use a single stage for 16 properties, so I deserve what I got.:unsure:

Thoughts???
 

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i think it is the total amount of work you are doing, 16 is a lot of properties to blow snow from. I'm tired ans sore just chasing the single stage around the seven or eight properties that I normally do
 

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If it's tingling in the hands and arms that could be from vibration, but soreness is probably just having to push the single along at times. I always do stretching (in my early 60s) before I do any outside work like snow blowing. Helps a LOT.
 

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I do a lot of biking where pain is a frequent concern. I'm not familiar with single stage vibration issues but can offer general advice I believe applies.

1. Look into gloves that provide vibration support.
2. Make certain your stay warm. Being out for extended periods (like 16 driveways) can tax your body and not staying warm can add to this.
3. Consider changing how you hold the snow blower and change hand arm positions frequently to avoid repetitive stress problems.
4. Be careful of what you eat and how long you wait before starting. You probably remember the old rules about eating and swimming, and snow is like water - or something like that.
5. Stay hydrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If it's tingling in the hands and arms that could be from vibration, but soreness is probably just having to push the single along at times. I always do stretching (in my early 60s) before I do any outside work like snow blowing. Helps a LOT.
Thanks. I always wondered if the anti-vibration gloves were a scam or not. Maybe I will try some though.
 

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I don't remember having any problems with tingling or pain from using my single. Maybe using a chunk of that black pipe insulation and some tape on the handle would cut down the vibration. If it works maybe get someone to make a nice fabric or vinyl cover with a zipper or velcro for you. Similar to the stuff they use for padding automotive roll bars.


 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maybe using a chunk of that black pipe insulation and some tape on the handle would cut down the vibration. If it works maybe get someone to make a nice fabric or vinyl cover with a zipper or velcro for you. Similar to the stuff they use for padding automotive roll bars.
I think that's a good suggestion. I was considering something similar the more I thought about it. Thanks.
 

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Consider changing formats?

Considering the amount of properties you have to do. Perhaps try using the two stage a bit more often as a change up and if necessary you can do a quick pass on key or shady walks to get them down to the pavement. I wouldn't worry so much about cleaning the driveways to the pavement.
Be careful sounds like you may be putting an excess amount of pressure on your carpel tunnel nerves, believe me its no fun! The two stage (with less vibration.) does not put that kind of stress as much as the SS. with the crossbar.
Seems to me like you should consider letting the two stage do most of the heavy work since the single does not have its own drive?
Along with some of the other advise here hope things improve!!
PS the muscle pain can only increase with age!! lol
especially with the amount of units you do.
PSS how long does it take to do that much? That (Quantity of work) has to be contributing to this aching!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
PS the muscle pain can only increase with age!! lol
especially with the amount of units you do.
PSS how long does it take to do that much? That (Quantity of work) has to be contributing to this aching!
The getting old thing sucks. If I had known this was going to happen I would have bought the extended warranty on my body, especially the drive train.

It takes me about 45 - 50 mins to do all these properties. I know I am going too fast. But I still think I am 20.

Everyone here is right, and I know better. I am going to start using the two stage. After all I bought it to make life easier.

Thanks everyone.
 

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" Everyone here is right, and I know better. I am going to start using the two stage. After all I bought it to make life easier. "
that's the reason I got a two stage machine ( the 521's ), too make life easier! as for the single stage machines I like the 2450 with its hoop style handlebar better than the 3650 with the ergo style handlebar, there is more room to move my hands around on the hoop so I've been thinking about changing the handlebar on the 3650
 

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The vibration gloves do help but when I was researching I don't recall seeing any that would keep your hands warm.

Last spring I bought a battery powered B&D string trimmer because I got tired of dragging out a 100 foot cord for 15 minutes of trimming and after the first use my left had was shaking so I bought some vibration gloves and they do help. Funny thing is my electric Toro trimmer doesn't do this to me.
 

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soreness is probably just having to push the single along at times.
Pushing? If you're having to push your ss blower your paddles are really worn or your belt is slipping. SS blowers are "self propelled" by the paddles hitting the ground.
 

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Pushing? If you're having to push your ss blower your paddles are really worn or your belt is slipping. SS blowers are "self propelled" by the paddles hitting the ground.
not if you don't tilt it up
when we got more snow around here I had five guys plus myself blowing snow for 10 commercial properties and 72 homes. we were all pretty tired and sore after blowing snow. I watched my neighbor with his two stage ariens and one of my guys had a 10 or 11hp mtd which he would take sometimes. i decided that we needed a couple of two stage machines with the amount of work we had to do, problem was no of us knew a thing about two stage snowblowers. I bought the craftsman ( sold ) for that reason but it wasn't set up properly by sears ( surprise ) so we never used it nor did I get another two stage until after giving up the business, we just tuffed it out with the toro 2000's and 2450's I had
 

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I feel for the single stage guys. I see my next door neighbor pushing and pulling his Toro machine all of the time, even though I know his machine is older and probably works a lot different then the newer single stages.

But even I had to help with my 2 stage through that plowed over snow. I was beat, tired and sore after that storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wonder if the paddles wearing un-evenly could cause more vibration than normal.
Just swapped out the paddles recently, but your theory was sound. Also, did look for anti vibration gloves for winter season. Haven't found them yet at local places but will keep looking. In Calgary the stores are so anxious for spring they take winter stuff off the shelves in February. Some good oil & gas a/v gloves online that look like they are designed for winter though.

I have some wrap around pipe insulation I will try this week too. I may need to readjust the auger control to account for the extra 1/2 of reduced travel, but that's an easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pushing? If you're having to push your ss blower your paddles are really worn or your belt is slipping. SS blowers are "self propelled" by the paddles hitting the ground.
My HSS520 actually pulls me faster than I care to go with its paddles. When I was buying new snowboots this year I cheaped out and didn't get the diamond impregnanted anti-slip ones. Boy do I regret it. That single stage can be dangerous as it pulls me off-balance. I tried the clip on spikes but then only seem to stay on shoes well, not size 14 boots.

When I went from one property to 16 this year I learned a lot of lessons.
 

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Even if your belt and paddles are good the EOD is going to require some pushing❄❄❄
Very true. My bad. Didn't factor it the EOD equation. I have been fortunate in that I always had a 2 stage to do that cleanup. Now, since we have moved to a street that has a 20' wide tree lawn down the middle of it the city angles their plows that way and we have no EOD. Only time I ever use ss blower is for 0"-6" snows. Anything else gets 2 stage. I didn't think this through.:icon-embarrassed:
 

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Last Friday I started with back pain caused by wearing a heavy rucksack while working. Saw physio on Sat who diagnosed muscle spasms and gave me several stretches to do, advised me to stay mobile and use warmth. I've been doing all those things but 5 days later it's no better. I know it's nothing serious, but it's really painful.
I think to take butrans Will see what my Doc say...
 
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