Snowfalls rev up snowblower sales

Barb Sweet
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Anyone looking for a snowblower may have to accept their fate and keep shovelling.
The blowers are hard to find in the St. John’s metro area. Some dealers have lengthy waitlists on orders and there seems to be little chance of clearance sales.
“We’ve pretty much sold out. We have 55 coming and a list with 70 names,” said John Seymour, sales manager with Honda One.

Ralph Seward clears away snow for his friends using his snowblower last January in Cowan Heights in St. John’s. Snowblowers are hard to come by in the St. John’s metro area as sales have picked up due to heavy snowfall. — Telegram file photo

“It’s pretty incredible this year.”

ATVs with plows are also popular, he said.

At Canadian Tire on Elizabeth Avenue, manager Greg Rowsell said he’s got 50 snowblowers coming in next week and expects to sell them quickly.

The store has already sold around 80 this year. Salt and snowshoes are in and out of stock and toboggans are hard to come by. The store still has shovels, but not as big a variety.

Rowsell was expecting nearly two dozen pallets of salt this week, but it goes fast. He said the store went through a couple of months’ supply in two to three weeks.

He’ll continue to bring in snowblowers as long as they can be sourced from the corporation, but most areas of Canada are having a heavy winter.

“Everyone is getting hammered,” Rowsell said.

Blue Water Marine and Equipment ltd. has been busy selling and repairing snowblowers. The blowers are sold out.

“Normally we see blowers moving around February,” sales manager Mike Williams said.

An order is due to arrive in a couple of days, but all are sold already. Another order due to arrive in two weeks is half sold.

Owner Wayne Williams said the shop sold out before Christmas and even factories are having a hard time keeping up with demand.

“I’d say it’s tripled,” he said of the season’s sales.

Harvey and Co. Ltd.-Newfoundland Kubota Ltd. doesn’t sell traditional snowblowers, but it does

sell tractors, snowblower attachments and other gear such as blades.

A lot of sales happen in the summer, but general manager Darcy Tucker said a couple of winters of heavy snow drive sales for seasons after. Winters of little snowfall see sales slow.

“This weather will have a lingering effect,” Tucker said.

“Anyone putting it off can’t anymore.”

The most popular model is the $19,900 BX25 tractor, a small model that appeals to residential users. It’s equipped with a front-end loader and backhoe. There’s also a snowblower attachment available.

In 2013, 129 of the tractors were sold, Tucker said.

“We had probably 60 in stock. The guys thought I was crazy. Anyway, they are all gone,” Tucker said, adding he’s lining up more to fill the need this month.

“It’s the ultimate tool if you have a bad back, are aging, lazy or just don’t care to shovel anymore, like me.”

Organizations: Canadian Tire, Water Marine and Equipment

Geographic location: Elizabeth Avenue, Canada

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