General Cold Weather Safety Tips

Before heading outdoors to clear the blanket of snow covering your driveway and sidewalks, MTD Genuine Parts suggests keeping the following cold weather safety tips in mind:

Be Mindful of the Wind Chill

Be aware of the wind chill factor as it represents the impact the temperature and the wind have on the loss of precious body heat. Be especially mindful of Wind Chill Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories. Although the exact parameters for Warnings or Advisories vary from state-to-state, if you learn of one having been announced by the National Weather Service, then perhaps it is best to wait until the weather warms up before heading outdoors.

Dress Appropriately

Tight layers of warm, dry clothing are best. Remember - winter jackets shouldn't just keep the warm air from getting out, they should block the snow and cold air from getting in as well. Use your hood to protect your face and cheeks. Mittens retain more heat than gloves. If gloves are your preference, insulated and leather gloves retain more heat than cotton. Boots should be waterproof with good, rugged soles for sure-footing.

As it turns out, the stories you heard about losing the most body heat through your head aren't exactly true. Studies have shown that you do lose heat through your head, but only in a proportional amount to the rest of your body. The percentage of heat loss through your head may not be in the 40 to 45 percent range (as was one claimed by the U.S. Army Field Manual), but let's agree on the importance of keeping every scrap of body heat we can while outside in the elements. Be smart. Wear a hat.

Dress with safety in mind as well. Avoid wearing long scarves or other loose clothing, which could become entangled in your equipment.

Frostbite Warning Signs

Frostbite can set in quickly if you are not appropriately geared up against cold and wind. The warning signs include a pins-and-needles sensation (also burning, aching, and numbness) or skin discoloration in the exposed area. Bottom line - we don't think you can be too careful when it comes to frostbite. If something doesn't feel or look right, then it is time to head inside to warm your body.

Work Carefully

Let your snow thrower do the heavy lifting for you when the time comes. But it won't be effortless for you as the operator. Make your work safer (and easier!) with the following suggestions:

  • Before the snow falls, avoid any surprises and potential damage to your snow thrower by removing obstacles such as newspapers, dog chains, extension cords, etc., from your clearing path.
  • Step carefully to avoid icy patches on the surface of your driveway.
  • We always recommend using ear and eye protection when operating machinery like snow throwers.
  • Consider cleaning your driveway twice - once as the snow is falling and then again when it is done - in order to lighten the workload.
  • Plan a clearing path which doesn't involve throwing - then re-throwing - the same snow over and over.
  • Be aware of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
  • Minimize - or avoid altogether - the amount of snow thrown onto your trees or landscaping. The weight of the snow can cause damage which you will have to repair come spring. Clear off any buildup with a broom.
  • Do not discharge snow towards houses, windows, or outdoor lighting fixtures.
  • Always throw snow with the wind. Having it blow back on a path you have already cleared can be frustrating. Having it blow back on you is worse.

Be safe. Be warm. And remember - spring is right around the corner!

Fix equipment issues quickly

When you need parts for your snow thrower, you can use the MTD Genuine Parts Part Finder to find the correct one. Common parts include:


Shop equipment and parts

Resolving outdoor power equipment problems as soon as they arise will prolong the life of your machine. Troubleshoot snow thrower problems using our symptom guide.


The MTD Genuine Parts Knowledge Center provides do-it-yourself instructions for performing many basic maintenance items, including replacing spark plugs, drive and auger belts, and engine oil. If you find your machine has a bigger problem, use our service locator to find a qualified MTD service provider in your area.


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