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Discussion Starter #1
The past couple years of global warming have convinced me I need a good snowblower for my son. He shovels three homes, his, his grandparents, and his elderly neighbor. This global warming is wearing him out. He also sees the opportunity to make some extra income with such a machine. I'd prefer function over fancy, just a plain old hardworking TW-like machine that gets the job done. Drives are about 20x50 feet, but sloped, so getting back up the hills is important. I'd like a 120 volt electric start and tracks. I also wouldn't mind a good used machine so someone else eats the depreciation. Suggestions from those with experience?
 

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The past couple years of global warming have convinced me I need a good snowblower for my son. He shovels three homes, his, his grandparents, and his elderly neighbor. This global warming is wearing him out. He also sees the opportunity to make some extra income with such a machine. I'd prefer function over fancy, just a plain old hardworking TW-like machine that gets the job done. Drives are about 20x50 feet, but sloped, so getting back up the hills is important. I'd like a 120 volt electric start and tracks. I also wouldn't mind a good used machine so someone else eats the depreciation. Suggestions from those with experience?
Skip the tracks. They are no better on ice than rubber tires with chains. Tracks limit mobility to a gym style workout unless the engine is running. Also I suspect that even though you are getting more snow than normal any of the tracked models would be real overkill. Your needs would be very well served with a Sno-Tek 24" 2 stage machine like I have. This machine is built by Ariens and can be had new for roughly $600 at Home Depot. This has been my third heavy winter with mine and my drive and parking would be larger than all three of the ones you listed combined.


Tom
 

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Ariens or Toro- at least 8 horse. Not sure about track models. I sold a craftsman 5 horse with tracks, I only used it at my friend's that bought it. Worked good for size, but ran out of gas, combination of small gas tank - long driveway.
I had a Toro with solid drum blades awesome thrower but 1 lever design was hard to use. I kept the Ariens 828 in ruff condition because handle / control lay out was easier to operate. Mine were 80's models. I have an old Ariens from late 60, early 70's that Id like to sell. Got a different motor to bolt on. I think the old motor is good just can't get carb right.
 

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Thoughtful argument for a wheeled machine, D-TW, thanks. Chains would not be a problem. Ice is as common as snow down here. Freezing rain and sleet do a lot of damage and come several inches at a time on a regular basis. I can see where chains on tires would be a good choice. Cheaper, too!

Studies of changing climate do indicate increasing winter precip for this area, though. The past few years have shown the predicted trends to be pretty close. We will maintain this engine the same way we do all our other seasonal machines. Some are 30+ years old and still start first pull every season, even after 5-6 years of no use. No-snow years are a valid concern but won't be a big deal because of our established storage routines.
 

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Betcha we could get the carb right, Padi. Pre-emission small engine carbs are all about good sealing and cleanliness because the fuel and vacuum passages are very small. Almost always a bad gasket or o-ring and/or partially clogged fuel and vacuum passages is the problem.
 

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The past couple years of global warming have convinced me I need a good snowblower for my son. He shovels three homes, his, his grandparents, and his elderly neighbor. This global warming is wearing him out. He also sees the opportunity to make some extra income with such a machine. I'd prefer function over fancy, just a plain old hardworking TW-like machine that gets the job done. Drives are about 20x50 feet, but sloped, so getting back up the hills is important. I'd like a 120 volt electric start and tracks. I also wouldn't mind a good used machine so someone else eats the depreciation. Suggestions from those with experience?
Qwerty, if you ar not just giving us a bad time I have one that has about 20 minutes on it. Electric start, but has wheels. I bought it in ND when we had a snow and used it once and then no snow. I live on the west coast and it hardly snows here ever. I will bring it with me if you are serious.
 

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Thoughtful argument for a wheeled machine, D-TW, thanks. Chains would not be a problem. Ice is as common as snow down here. Freezing rain and sleet do a lot of damage and come several inches at a time on a regular basis. I can see where chains on tires would be a good choice. Cheaper, too!

Studies of changing climate do indicate increasing winter precip for this area, though. The past few years have shown the predicted trends to be pretty close. We will maintain this engine the same way we do all our other seasonal machines. Some are 30+ years old and still start first pull every season, even after 5-6 years of no use. No-snow years are a valid concern but won't be a big deal because of our established storage routines.

I do routine maintenance on mine twice a year. In the spring I clean and lube the entire machine. I run the gas tank and carb dry then refill with a full tank of ethanol free gas plus one ounce of Seafoam for good measure. In the fall it comes out with both of my generators and I change the oil and check tire pressure. Clean the air filter, check/replace spark plugs as necessary. My Sno-Teck will start on the second pull every time at temperatures above 10 degrees. Below 10 degrees it depends on how long it has been idle. If it has been brutally cold and idle for a week or so I usually just plug it in and use the electric starter. After it starts it will re-fire with one pull every time. This machine has exceeded every possible expectation and then some. Oh yeah and it will launch even heavy wet snow a solid 45 feet. The light fluffy stuff an honest 65 feet.


Tom
 

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I have an old Craftsman tracked machine, 9HP, 28". When it's time I will replace it with another tracked model, IMO, the tracks make maneuvering much easier. I also use it to make paths around the house and out to my shed. I think a wheeled model would have a hard time running on grass. My next one will be a Honda or Husky, the Honda has true hydro-static drive, no more slipping belts.
 

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I have an old Craftsman tracked machine, 9HP, 28". When it's time I will replace it with another tracked model, IMO, the tracks make maneuvering much easier. I also use it to make paths around the house and out to my shed. I think a wheeled model would have a hard time running on grass. My next one will be a Honda or Husky, the Honda has true hydro-static drive, no more slipping belts.
+1 on the tracked snowblower. I have a 1995 Craftsman 5 hp 28" snowblower with tracks. It was made by Murray for Sears, and repair parts are still reasonably available. Here in PA we sometimes get large/deep snows. When you have a tracked machine, you can clear a 24" deep snow in two "layers". Just let the machine ride high to take off the first 12" of snow depth, then turn around and remove the second 12" layer of snow. At the very least, this almost always happens where the snow plow pushes the road open past the end of our driveway. Yesterday that wall of packed snow was waist high - took me just two passes to clear a path thorough the wall of snow! (Did do some rocking back and forth, but it's a great workout for an elderly retiree.) Without tracks, I couldn't make paths through the yard to the deck and to the back door, much less grind my way through a wall of snow at the end of the driveway. Earlier this week I cleared about a 6" snow that had a hard crust of ice on the top, and made the snow blower vibrate fiercely as it chewed up the ice. Unfortunately, this does require the replacement of the drive belt and auger belts fairly regularly. My replacement set of belts (from Amazon) should arrive today!
- - - Jim
 

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I am a believer in Utility! Equipment with small engines such as snow blowers, chaain saws, weed wackers, Ice augers and other tools spend most of their lives sitting around waiting for the need to be used comes around. It never fails, the day you have to get it out of storage the dam thing won't start or run right. Old fuel and gummed up carbs is usually the problem.

Go big or go home. You do have grass down there and I suspect your son who keeps the driveways cleared of snow probably also mows the grass. A riding mower with a snow blower and chains might be just the ticket for him. This way the tractor never has down time sitting around for months at a time while the fuel goes stale. 4 Wheel drive is a nice option but usually not necessary unless you get a lot of snow or have steeply sloped driveways. If you already have a riding mower you might check around to see if there is a blower attachment for it.

When I lived in Rochester NY I had a Craftsman rider mower with the blower. It was rather poor quality but I must admit it did the job very well all year long for mowing and blowing and we got hammered not just with heavy snows but my driveway could get drifted in even if we didn't get a fresh snow, all it took was a change in wind direction.

GaryL
 

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Skip the tracks. They are no better on ice than rubber tires with chains. Tracks limit mobility to a gym style workout unless the engine is running.
+1 for no tracks unless what you are blowing has a good pitch and is very slippery or you plan to use it on stairs...i am in the market for a snowblower as well and from everything i have read Ariens or Honda is the way to go for a blower...both have their pluses and minuses but they will both get the job done...here are a couple of links that will help you with your decision...a tractor mounted unit would be good for long straight runs but the turning radius isn't the best

Snow Blowers Direct - Your Online Snow Thrower Superstore
MovingSnow.com - Research, Compare and Buy the Best Snow Blower For You!

also check this post out...
http://tw200forum.com/forum/off-topic/14083-honda-snowblowers.html#post169650
 

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Sounds like electric starting isn't needed. In my opinion elec. starts just let people kill off poorly maintained engines. I pull my motor through the first time then an easy second pull brings it to life. I had an elec. start on one I bought cheap in the summer just to resale when it snowed. It's a good selling point. If you buy a used one, make sure it has a cold engine, Pull start it, Then test the elec.

Mine is an early 70s with a current honda clone chicom engine with twice the rating of the original motor. I've thrown snow over 40' with a breeze. It will eat snow over 2' deep.
 

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I just looked up the yardman I have. It is 814 and change. It has a two speed reverse and several forward speeds. It truly has about 20 minutes on it. If any of you folks that live in the snowy areas and need one I will bring it. Just taking up space in my shop. will take offers.
 

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I am still using my 1962 toro that I found in the garbage in 1989. Complete mechanical restoration, original paint.
Hopefully this is the last winter for it, as we have a snowmelt system planned.(I design and service heating systems).
With all the heaving of asphalt and fieldstone, it is time to do it all over, so might as well throw some heat in it.
No more shovelling for Al.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My son WILL have snow removal equipment before next winter, unless I die, which would mean he'd have to spend the snow blower cash in my pocket on a funeral.. He just bought a new riding mower, so I'll check in to a snow blower for it. That would be the best option since all the drives have a gentle slope that will help move into the snow. Getting back up might be a problem, but chains and wheel weights will cure that. A mower mounted unit will make the transportation between houses a non-issue as all are within a couple blocks. However, we don't have seasonal equipment starting problems because we take preemptive measures.

I can't commit to picking anything up in Moab because I won't know about the government job until end of next week. If I get it I can't do Moab. If I do Moab, it will be on Tdub or Tdub2 and I'd have no way to carry it home.
 

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i know no one wants to think about this now but i'm saving up for a snowblower this year...was looking at the following Ariens models...leaning towards the deluxe models at the moment cause i'm not sure i like the "quick turn" joystick mechanism on the platinum and above models...the deluxe and below models have the 2.5x hand crank...anyone have any input on that?...seems like a wonky design...i live near the ocean so when we do get snow we typically get the wet heavy stuff...i also have a long driveway that wraps around the side and back of my house with a hammerhead so i can only throw snow to one side of the driveway...the driveway is about 150' long and varies in width from about 12' to 25' so it's a good sized area to clean...i have been using a single stage craftsman snowblower with plastic wheels which couldn't do anything in the big storms this past season which sucked so i'm looking to step up to something better...any input/advice would be appreciated...thanks

Deluxe 24 12ft-lb 254cc
Deluxe 28 12ft-lb 254cc (same engine as above model with a wider bucket)
Deluxe 30 15ft-lb 306cc (this model and above have hand warmers i believe)
Platinum 24 SHO 15ft-lb 369cc
Platinum 30 SHO 20ft-lb 414cc
 

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Point.

Are you just looking at walk behinds? And new?

150' is a pretty good sized drive.

If you are a tinkerer at all, I just looked on MAss CL and found some decent offerings, but I am VERY partial to CCI (Case Colt Ingersoll) machines.





Rock solid and easier to work on. Incredibly versatile. And classic, IMO. But I have a sickness.



Case Colt Ingersoll Lawn and Garden Tractor Forum
 

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Yea I am looking for a new walk behind...a tractor mounted unit won't be feasible for my situation...but thanks...those machines do look nice!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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No doubt when it comes to snowblowers, Ariens is at the top of the heap. And have been for years.

While living in the city and with less than adequate funds, I limped along an old Roper for years. Found it on the curb and replaced flywheel key for a buck. Then one year we had a huge storm on Christmas Eve and our first born was just six weeks old. Stranded. Working the heck out of that Roper, the exhaust loosen up and melted the plastic fuel elbow on carb. Quite exhilarating (and embarrassing) looking down and realizing that you are pushing a machine down the sidewalk that is on fire. On a busy street with people watching.

I said no more and went with the most standard 21" SnoTek. Not even gears or reverse. Even their value line were well built.

Did a little looking. It seems some think the smaller 254cc engine gets a little taxed in heavy stuff, so I think I would stay away from the dlx 28.

The dlx 30 has a bit more cc's and is without the "quick turn" feature that some have said won't stay in position. I am not sure what your dealer has on the floor, but the Ariens site say that hand warmers and drift cutters are "optional" on the dlxs, but maybe your dealer has one that is equipped already.

Being that you have such a large area to clear, and being that you can only throw it one way, the SHO (Super High Output) is tempting, but as you already said, you did not care too much for design of the "quick turn". As well of others I have read about. I like really simple designs with fewer moving parts. It is just easier when repairs are needed. Less things to break.

Whether or not it (SHO) is really needed. I found that the value SnoTek would shoot it far into the yard across the street. I had to be aware of where I was tossing it.

Have I got you even more undecided yet?

I think if it me, I would save a little money (albeit not much) and go with the Deluxe 30 with optional drift cutters. I would waive the hand warmers, but that is a little creature comfort that you will have to decide on.

Not sure if i helped at all or if I just made the noggin' hurt a little more. Apologies if it was the latter.

Have you looked and read in the snowblower forums? Hands on experience there.

Now ride your motorcycle down to lake and jump in for a swim and quit with all this snow talk. ;)

Happy Shopping (I would try to buy from dealer and not box store and get them to sweetin' the deal as BEST they can). :rolleyes:

Jeff.
 

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thanks for the info...yea i'm leaning towards the sho engines right now just for the extra power cause we tend to get a lot of wet heavy stuff over here...just wish they had the crank chute mechanism but i'm probably going to deal with the wonky chute mechanism and modify it if need be...trying to decide between the 24" sho or the 30" sho...the 24 will be a little smaller to store, easier to maneuver in tight spots and 25lbs lighter if my wife has to use it...but 45cc less engine, 5 ft-lbs less torque and 6" smaller bucket than the 30...but i think the 24 sho is the right choice for us
 
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