A snow blower makes clearing a driveway much easier in the winter. There are ways to use a snow blower that can speed up the process and require fewer passes along the driveway. Safety glasses should be worn to protect your eyes from any debris or ice chunks that may be picked up by your blower.
Driveways against a home or building
If your driveway is against your home, you'll want to clear all of the snow away from your home. Start in about the middle of your driveway, lengthwise, and make the first pass shooting the snow as far as possible away from your house. Turn around and change the direction of the shoot on the blower. The next path will be closer to your home and slightly overlapping the cleared path.
When you've reached the end of the second pass, change the direction of the shoot back away from your house. This path will again be closer to the house and slightly overlapping the cleared area. Continue in this pattern until one half of the length of the driveway is clear. With a narrow driveway, this should only take three to four passes.
Clearing the other half of the driveway will depend on how strong your snow blower is. If it was able to clear the snow fully off the driveway on the first passes you do not have to go back over any areas. Begin your next pass on the snow-covered section closest to your home. Overlap the cleared area slightly, shooting the snow away from your home. Continue with the slight overlapping pattern as you move up and down the length of the driveway.
With a centered driveway, you do not need to worry about keeping the snow you are clearing away from your home. Simply begin in the middle lengthwise and complete your passes without changing the direction of the shoot. Just remember to overlap the cleared area slightly with each pass to avoid knocking snow back onto your driveway.
In extremely windy conditions, direct the shoot of your blower to throw snow in the direction of the wind. Even if it is against your home, you will only be fighting nature if you go against the wind direction.
If the snow is too deep, you may need to clear away the top level before you use your blower. Estimate how much you need to clear and shovel enough for the snow blower to work. This will still be faster than shoveling the entire driveway.
Do not use a single-stage snow blower with an auger directly on a gravel driveway. The auger will pick up the gravel along with the snow. Do not run the snow blower off the edge of the driveway to avoid damaging the lawn.