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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is anyone else experiencing back pain with single stage machines, especially upper back pain?

I own a few machines, all Hondas. I do up to 26 properties in my neighbourhood as a snow angel. This year although the snow wasn't bad in Calgary, my back has given me lots of problems. I think it is worse because most of the year the snow wasn't deep enough for the bigger self propelled two stage so I used the single stage. The lifting up motion of the handle to engage the auger is killing me now at 56 yrs.

I have already advised my neighbours this will be the last year for many of them when I can do all their properties. I will still do about 12, but am switching to the tracked HSS724 which drives itself and saves my back. I prefer the nicer job the single stage does, but it has just become too much for me.

Has anyone else had back problems with these single stage machines? Mine is a commercial HS720CC.
 

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I just think you are over doing it, 26 properties is a lot! I was doing six to ten properties of my neighbors, I found the 521 toro to be much more relaxing to use
 

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The single most frustrating driveways I did this past winter were those two times using a SS I had repaired for a little old lady.

It sure seemed like a lot more work by comparison to my 2S fleet - reminded me of my mom's SS I'd use for her in the 00's. Yes, they get down to bare pavement easier...but the trade-off for body-saving I believe makes a 2S worth it overall, especially if you're doing lots of work. I would use the gears a lot with my machines (low and slow, and using reverse instead of pulling), and if I had to muscle the machine at all, I used my hips and body weight more than arms.

I've got bad knees, elbows and shoulders. 57 years of wear and tear. Electric starting smaller two stage blowers - I own them for one reason, to save my body.
 

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Self Propel does save your back, you are not putting the extra effort into pushing it or tipping it up so that it helps to propel itself.
All kidding aside, you may have to get yourself a Two Stage self propelled machine to save your back. Back injuries are no fun.
Plus it is the "Perfect" excuse to tell the Wife, you NEED a larger two stage snowblower.
A good doctor can help describe to you the damage you are causing to your back bones,discs and muscles you are causing to yourself when you are out in the cold weather and your body stiffens up while doing the "Snow Removal" work with the "Single Stage NON Self Propelled" machine. And to help explain to your wife the NECESSITY of using a larger Self Propelled machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I do have a two stage and you're right, it's much better. Hummmm.... if I got just a little more creative I could parlay this back injury into a purchase of a ridable blower.

My back is hurting even more as I speak.
 

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I do have a two stage and you're right, it much better. Hummmm.... if I got just a little more creative I could parlay this back injury into a purchase of a ridable blower.

My back is hurting even more as I speak.
Yes, DEFFINATELY !!! A RIDING TRACTOR with a Snowblower !!! That will save the back. Make sure the tractor has hydraulic lift to prevent further back injury.
A good "Sports Medicine" Doctor or a physical rehabilitation type doctor who also uses a snowblower and is familiar with the back injuries caused by using smaller snowblowers would be the best option to help explain the need for a riding tractor equipped with a snow blower and a SNOW CAB to protect you from the cold weather.
 

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:devil:You guys are killing me .
Your best bet would be to get a tractor with a liquid cooled engine. That way you can install a HEATER for the cab, which will be required for cold weather and to help PREVENT any more Back Injuries, or to aggravate any existing back pains.
Trust us, that does help. People with experience will tell you.
Hopefully this information will help you to convince your wife as to why you should get the proper equipment for snow removal, to PREVENT BACK INJURY.
RIDING TRACTOR with LIQUID COOLED ENGINE and POWER STEERING
HYDRAULIC LIFT
SNOW CAB WITH HEATER
HIGH BACK BUCKET SEAT
SNOW PLOW or SNOW BLOWER
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TRACTOR, to help prevent getting stuck in snow.
 

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Plus with the snow cab removal, you might injure your back more, so you will have to leave it installed year round, and that may require installation of an Air Conditioner unit to PREVENT further back injury, depending on your weather there in the summertime when you are mowing the lawn.
Hot weather can cause muscle weakness and they won't be able to support the back bones properly, causing more BACK INJURY, so therefore, an air conditioner would be a Good Idea for the cab unit.
All of the Highly Qualified Experienced people on this site will recommend the options I suggested for you, and to help prevent back injuries, and to help explain to the wife why such equipment is REQUIRED.
 

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Plus with the snow cab removal, you might injure your back more, so you will have to leave it installed year round, and that may require installation of an Air Conditioner unit to PREVENT further back injury, depending on your weather there in the summertime when you are mowing the lawn.
Hot weather can cause muscle weakness and they won't be able to support the back bones properly, causing more BACK INJURY, so therefore, an air conditioner would be a Good Idea for the cab unit.
All of the Highly Qualified Experienced people on this site will recommend the options I suggested for you, and to help prevent back injuries, and to help explain to the wife why such equipment is REQUIRED.
Okay, I definitely need to find a new doctor. When I complained of a sore back all he did was give me a prescription for Percocet. I like your prescription better.:smile2:
 

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I do have a two stage and you're right, it's much better. Hummmm.... if I got just a little more creative I could parlay this back injury into a purchase of a ridable blower.

My back is hurting even more as I speak.
Hey CalgaryPT....forgive me for asking, but if I read correctly, you have been to a doctor, but have you ever seen a Chiropractor? They go to school as long as a doctor does, and if it weren't for Chiropractor's....well I would have been in a wheelchair years ago. I started my career as a butcher, lifting Steer Quarters, sides,and hinds....seriously heavy. This year will be my 40th with the company, although now I am in Management. You hurt your back, you go to the doctor, he gives you muscle relaxants, which the Chiro says is the worst thing to do. The bodies natural reaction to an injury is to tighten up, so as not to hurt it again. The pills relax that, then boom, you go and make it worse. Now, my Chiro will refer me to a doctor, is he feels that is the best option. If it wouldn't be for Chiro's, I would be a mess.:plain:
 
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Okay, I definitely need to find a new doctor. When I complained of a sore back all he did was give me a prescription for Percocet. I like your prescription better.:smile2:

My wife just gives me a sore head!:surprise:
 
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Discussion Starter #14
No I haven't been to a doctor. I'm just connecting the dots, which is whenever I use the single stage Honda my back kills me for days. I can feel the muscle group in my back tense up as I use my arms to lift the handle to engage the auger. It's OK for 3 or 4 houses, but if I do 26 properties (sometimes twice a day if we get a lot of snow), I'm in trouble. It's been worse since I moved to the HS720CC (single stage) from the HS520 (single stage, but smaller machine). The new HS720CC is a slightly heavier machine.

Whenever I use the two stage, I am fine. Case in point: yesterday Calgary got a spring dump of heavy wet stuff. So for the first time this year I got out the two stage tracked model (HSS724) which is obviously self-propelled. It doesn't do as nice a job, but NO back pain after two hours of blowing on 26 properties.

So that's my self diagnosis. I've never been to a doctor or chiropractor. But I do know some people swear by them. If the problem persists past the few days needed for recovery, I'll consider it.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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What would be really nice is if the Doctor could write a prescription for all of those "Winter Snow Removal Equipment" Toys mentioned earlier, it would be nice if the health insurance would "Cover it", and "Pay" for all the stuff mentioned.
 

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Snow Caster tractors are not as useful as they look . The short lived auger belt is brutally expensive, they steer poorly, lack maneuverability, and aren't as good as a two stage walk behind snow blower . If you've got a big driveway, consider a plow blade for your tractor . * No Expensive Auger Belt, no fiddling with adjustments * overall, much more useful .
Plow snow in winter, push compost in summer .
 
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