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As winter weather begins, supply chain issues causing shortage of snow blowers

Snowblower shortage
Posted at 5:58 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 06:58:07-05

HOWARD (NBC 26) — With winter weather in full swing, supply chain issues are making it difficult for hardware stores to stock up on snowblowers. Kimps Ace Hardware in Howard has been experiencing delays with its snowblower manufacturers for more than a year.

"Our pre-season orders that we placed back in October last year are still not here and so we're running on residual inventory and/or I have other sources of getting stuff through Ace Hardware," said service manager Wes Kimps.

The supply chain crisis has caused many of the store's shipments to arrive months later than expected. Owner Craig Kimps says the store has just recently began receiving items they would normally put out for summer.

"We couldn't get lawn mowers and all of a sudden now lawn mowers started trickling in last week. We got fourteen riding lawn mowers that we don't need right now," Kimps said.

He says one factor contributing to the delays is a shortage of engines that are needed to build the snowblowers.

"Most of our manufacturers, our Toros and our Ariens and everything, they're all locally built and so if the engines get there, they can get them done and get them out to us quickly," Kimps said.

He recommends shoppers looking for a new snowblower get out as early as possible this year, especially if they're looking to grab one of the store's more popular models.

"The 24 and the 28-inch are the real hard-to-get ones. The extreme ones, the track-drive, stuff like that you can get your hands on because there's limited production of those. But the real popular ones, they're tough to get," Kimps said.

Kimps says the store purchased an off-site warehouse two years ago and was able to stock up on snow blowers early so they could cover prebuys. However, once mid-season hits, he says he has no way of guaranteeing what will be available for last-minute shoppers.

"Once it hits there's no guarantees. If you want one I would go out and grab one right away," Kimps said. "You can't tell how long it's going to last. The popular models may all be gone so at that point you may be limited to what we have, not what you want."