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A snow blower or snow thrower is a machine for removing snow from an area where it is not wanted, such as a driveway, sidewalk, roadway, railroad track or runway. The term "snow thrower" is often used to encompass snow throwers and snow blowers, however, in proper usage a snow thrower is a machine that uses a single stage to remove or "throw" snow while a snowblower uses two stages to remove or "blow" snow. It can use either electric power, or a gasoline or diesel engine to throw snow to another location or into a truck to be hauled away. This is in contrast with the action of snow plows, which push snow to the front or side (shovels can be similarly used). Snow throwers range from the very small, capable of removing only a few inches (a few cm) of light snow in an 18 to 20 in (457 to 508 mm) path, to the very large, mounted onto heavy duty winter service vehicles and capable of moving 10-foot (3.05 m) wide, or wider, swaths of heavy snow up to 6 feet (1.83 m) deep. Snow blowers can generally be divided into two classes: single stage and two stage. Single-stage snow throwers use a single high-speed impeller to both move the snow into the machine and force it out the discharge chute. The impeller is usually in the form of two or more curved plastic paddles that move snow towards the centerline of the machine where the discharge chute is located. Single-stage snow throwers usually are light duty machines. Small electric machines can actually be picked up to chew away deep snow banks a layer at a time. One exception to the "single-stage snow throwers are small" rule are the enormous single stage rotary snow throwers used by railroads to clear tracks in mountainous areas. These rotary snowplows use one or two very large impellers that can span the entire width of the train and typically discharge to the side. By comparison, two-stage snow blowers have one or more low-speed metal augers that break up the snow and move it into a separate high-speed impeller (sometimes called the fan). The impeller 'blows' or 'projects' the snow out the discharge chute with considerable force. All but the lightest-duty snow blowers are typically two-stage machines. Two-stage snow blowers range in power from a few horsepower to very large machines powered by diesel engines of over 1000 horsepower (746 kW). The large machines are used for clearing roadways and airport runways. These are capable of removing large amounts of snow quickly. Some municipalities use larger snow blowers to clear snow from streets after a snowfall, often by throwing the snow into trucks which haul it away. Each year, there are over 5740 snow blower-related injuries in the United States. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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