Connects the Professional Snow & Ice Management Industry

Sidewalk Equipment

Sidewalk Equipment

Match sidewalk equipment to the task at hand

Production rates vary based on multiple factors, including snow depth, moisture content, level of detail needed, obstacles and site/pavement layout, and attachment/equipment type. Study and measure your production rates for the application and environment in which you work.

Read "Site engineering for sidewalk efficiency" for tips on succesful sidewalk management.




  • Lightweight, flexible, and gets into tight spaces
  • Easy to detail in areas with nooks and crannies such as around light bollards, ramps, curbs and steps
  • Comes in varying widths
  • Low impact and is not likely to cause property damage
  • Plastic or polycarbonate blades glide easily over pavement cracks
  • Can be used any time
  • Requires muscle/hand labor
  • Less effective on heavy/wet snow, particularly over 6-in. 
  • Less sturdy models will break under commercial use
  • Straight handles are less efficient than "D" handles
  • Metal or aluminum may bend or round at the corners decreasing effectiveness
Hand labor production rates will vary dramatically based on the detail of the service area. Production rate will decrease significantly with increased snowfall. Snow pushers clear snow faster than shovels but do not lift or place heavy snow and slush as well as shovels.
STAGE (Prosumer lines) 
  • Lightweight, portable and easily maneuverable
  • Good substitute for shovel/pusher on long sidewalks. Doesn’t wear out operator like a shovel
  • Better on narrow walks where one pass down and back will clear the full width (typical width about 21-in.)
  • Less effective on wet snow
  • Limited throw distance
  • Throws snow and may risk property damage
  • 2-cycle gas odor
  • Limited ability to move compacted snow & ice
  • Can’t use around pedestrians or traffic                                     
Good for long walk/runs on lighter snowfalls as an alternative to shoveling. The larger/wider the area, the single-stage blower will lack throwing distance, particularly on snow with more moisture.
  • Can throw snow out of area
  • Traction to power through deep snow
  • Can cut into chunky ice/snow pack
  • Multiple speed settings
  • Sizes ranging from 20-in. to larger than 40-in.
  • Manufactured for durability
  • Less portable, heavy
  • Requires ramps for loading off trucks or trailer
  • Power and throw distance increases risk of property or personal injury
  • Can’t use around pedestrians or traffic                                     
Production rate will not drop off with heavier snowfalls. It can clear 6 to 8 in. almost as efficiently as  2-in. Production rate will vary by width and horsepower.


  • Better for long straight runs
  • Lower cost relative to high production rate
  • Good ground speed to go from site to site
  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Can be used around pedestrians with caution
  • Lacks maneuverability in tight areas
  • Minimal attachment options
  • Light operating capacity
  • No enclosed cab/heat
  • Limited ability to windrow snow over 12-in. to 18-in.
  • “Hot rodding” can lead to injury
Production is well suited in areas where limited turning and angling of blade is necessary. Bigger is not necessarily better. Smaller units (under 500 cc) have the power to clear snow. Blades/attachments are manufactured by third parties. Use a urethane cutting edge to reduce damage to pavement and likelihood of tripping the blade.
  • Enclosed cab/heat options
  • Seats two with good visibility
  • Bed for salt spreader or tools
  • Can handle 6-ft. blades and multi-positional V blades
  • Can drive moderate distances from site to site
  • More maneuverable than Jeep or small truck
  • Not street legal
  • Powered attachments may require separate power units
  • Lighter-weight plows may not be suitable for commercial use
  • Power steering and 4WD necessary
  • Needs better suspension packages to carry loads
Well-suited for larger, more open sites. Electric over hydraulic plows can be used on properly sized stout units, allowing UTVs to operate like Jeeps but in smaller areas requiring greater maneuverability.
  • Zero turn, highly maneuverable
  • Multiple attachment options
  • Smaller sizes available for narrower sidewalks
  • Can scale up from walks to parking lots depending on attachments
  • Stacking and loading capabilities
  • Weight, limited by site restrictions
  • Cost
  • Reduced visibility
  • Operator comfort. Difficult to work out of for extended periods
Great maneuverability for getting into small areas is offset by reduced visibility and potential to cause damage in tight areas. Wide range of attachments make skid steers very versatile.
  • Multiple attachment options compatible with skid steers
  • 3-point hitch option
  • Maneuverable with switchable 4-wheel steering
  • Driveable from site to site
  • Seats two with good visibility
  • Good lifting for stacking
  • Bed for spreader/materials/tools
  • Intuitive for new operators with
    some equipment experience
  • Weight (use may be limited by site restrictions)
  • More specific to certain size/type of sites
  • Cost can be limiting without a second-season application
In many cases has the ability to outperform a truck. It is fast enough to drive from site to site, with very good maneuverability and versatility to perform many tasks.
  • Options range from lower-end consumer to higher-end prosumer series with multiple attachments
  • Comfortable to operate
  • Good visibility
  • Cab enclosures with heat available on certain units
  • Prosumer grade better equipped to handle travel betwwen sites
  • Lightweight
  • Limited cab enclosures on lower-end units
  • Consumer units limited to site work or must be transported 
  • Weight kits necessary to improve performance
  • Can’t stack without loader arms
  • Single seat
Probably best visibility for small equipment. Small units are efficient on midsized sites (10,000 sq.ft. +) where continuous service is needed during heavy events. Size up for larger sites where higher production is needed.
  • Articulating design makes for good maneuverability
  • Heated cab enclosure
  • Multiple attachment options
  • Municipal versions have 120+ hp units available for heavy snow and high-production regions
  • Smaller units must be transported from site to site
  • Larger municipal units have high entry price points
  • Need a winter/snow tire for best operation and weight kits for proper balance
  • More advanced operator training required
For smaller-sized power units production rates will be higher when performing more detailed work when compared to an ATV or consumer series tractor. Versatility and maneuverability make this a good detailing machine. Municipal-grade units can provide tremendous capacity to cut through deep snow and travel for miles but come at a significant investment.  An array of attachments will allow equipment to be used in varying conditions without a significant reduction in production.

NOTE: Other equipment, such as backpack blowers and lawn equipment power units retrofitted with blowers or blades can also be used. Small pickup trucks and Jeeps offer capacity and mobility from site to site and are good options when the site can accommodate a larger sized vehicle and plow. When purchasing equipment, we often look for alternate uses to maximize our investment. While dual purpose is a solid strategy, buy the right equipment for the job, giving you the greatest efficiency possible. (Photos are not intended to indicate manufacturer recommendations).

Last modified on Friday, 09 December 2011 12:23
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