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Old 09-05-2019, 05:09 PM
 
2,838 posts, read 1,631,783 times
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^ 75 foot drive? I'd agree with you. But the OP said 25' of light, fluffy snow most of the year. If you know anything about snow/water ratios, you'd know that 1" of water can make about 10" (or less) of wet snow at 30 degrees but 30" at 12 degrees! So the OP's snow is much lighter and easier to clear. That's why I suggested a low maintenance electric. For the less common wetter snow, the OP will just need to slow down.

Here's a link explaining snow water ratios: https://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/88Mod11Prob1.pdf

It's just from NASA, so you might consider it fake news of course...
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:12 PM
 
2,505 posts, read 6,456,386 times
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I am in CT now since 2015 and have a 7hp 24" 2 stage electric start blower with reverse,absolutely flawless.I am 86,use it on patio.paths around house,on top of lawn.
No rust,chips and pads on chute still excellent,pads can be reversed from wear,mine are still o'k used on asphalt driveway.

Last edited by DanBev; 09-05-2019 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,771 posts, read 49,520,953 times
Reputation: 14565
Zero maintenance-

A shovel!

Almost zero effort-

A plow!
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:35 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,283 posts, read 980,127 times
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I can only share my experience from living most of my life in Ohio. I started out with a single stage 20 mower when I lived in town, then moved up to a 26 two stage Craftsman when I moved to the country. The Craftsman was way underpowered for what it was. It really struggled to throw wet snow.
If I lived in an area like Colorado where snowfall can be measured in feet instead of inches, I would buy a Honda powered blower. No question about its power or reliability.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:30 PM
 
2,672 posts, read 708,693 times
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My vacation home is at 7400 feet in Deer Valley (Park City) UT near the Ski Slopes and my driveway has quite a slope. From the road, my driveway slopes down to the garage - about 100 feet or so. Previously, my vacation home was at 6500 feet with a very flat driveway.

I mention the pitch of the driveway -- either flat or sloped -- because that matters more than you might think. Read on.

I suspect our snow is very similar to yours - classic Western snow which is quite different from the snow in, say, upstate New York or the upper Mid-West. Where I am we get quite a bit more snow than you do, but once you get the kind of snowfall you have, even more snow doesn't change the tool you should use.

So the above is my frame of reference.

Here's my take: Get a self-propelled gasoline powered 2 stage snowblower with an electric starter where you plug in an extension cord and press a button to start it. Don't look back.

Now: do you have a flat driveway or does it slope? If it slopes, definitely get a snowblower with self-propelled tracks rather than wheels. People on this thread will disagree with me - but at the end of a season, you'll be glad you got one like this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-C...0028/303254671

If your driveway is flat, you can get away with powered wheels instead of tracks. Still, get something that is easy to turn (not all are!!!) such as this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-D...1045/207094915

I think the 24" width would be great. You can go much wider, but then it takes more and more "manhandling" ("personhandling"?).

* Do not get electric. It will work for you sometimes - but you need one tool to handle all situations, and electric just isn't it.

* Do not get single stage. Most (all?) single stage are NOT self-propelled. Get a two stage snowblower. Three stage is overkill and not worth the extra money -- unless you find a used one.

* Transmission: Some are "fluid drive" or some synonym for that. It is a nice-to-have but not worth the extra money in your case. Just get one with with 4 to 6 forward speeds and at least 1 reverse.

Last edited by RationalExpectations; 09-05-2019 at 08:41 PM..
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:08 PM
 
766 posts, read 230,911 times
Reputation: 2770
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
^ 75 foot drive? I'd agree with you. But the OP said 25' of light, fluffy snow most of the year. If you know anything about snow/water ratios, you'd know that 1" of water can make about 10" (or less) of wet snow at 30 degrees but 30" at 12 degrees! So the OP's snow is much lighter and easier to clear. That's why I suggested a low maintenance electric. For the less common wetter snow, the OP will just need to slow down.
Here's a link explaining snow water ratios: https://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/88Mod11Prob1.pdf
It's just from NASA, so you might consider it fake news of course...
I apologize, I went back and read the OP's post, and he did say 25', it was the 1st reply that mentioned a 75' long drive.

I agree on water content (not sure if you're confusing me with someone else, I don't argue with NASA), but my experience with snow is the Midwest (Chicago area), and it's quite often heavy, wet, and drifting here. I'd personally love to have an electric for the "dustings" (less than an inch of light snow), but currently just use a wide pusher, and if it needs to be lifted and thrown, I use the blower for the last windrow to lift it onto the pile. Drifting is a huge variable (as is driveway slope, per one of the last responses), but yeah, water content is huge. Bottom line, only the OP can make this decision, since he's most familiar with the type of snow he gets - for instance, does the 113" come an inch at a time, or eight inches at a time? My own blower is Toro's largest, two-stroke single-stage (they quit making them about a decade ago), and it handles everything Mother Nature has thrown at me so far. I like the rubber paddles, because they clean right down to the pavement. My drive is 100' long by about 12' wide.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:19 AM
 
5,566 posts, read 2,546,186 times
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Well, I was the one in Boston (plenty of snow, but probably not 110" per year; sometimes light and fluffy and sometimes wicked wet and heavy) and a 75 foot driveway; and I managed with an electric blower.

Yes, I had to shovel the berm at the end from the plows by hand. Yes, it took a lot longer to clear the driveway than it would have if I had had a big gas powered two stage self propelled (like my neighbor with the 150 foot steeply sloping driveway).

On the other hand, I've been dealing with small internal combustion engines for 50 years now, and frankly, any time I can subcontract power production to the local electric utility I will. I don't care how much trouble you take with them, sooner or later you're going to get a hard-start or no-start condition for any number of reasons - usually when you really need the thing to start and start right now, dammit, so I can get to the office for that important meeting with the company president at 7:00 am.

I would not claim the electric snowblower can do everything, it certainly doesn't have the capabilities of the big Ariens. If you have one of those houses where the driveway dives down under the house and you're going to have to throw the snow up 10 feet just to get it over the retaining wall, or something like that, then you need some real serious power. And if I were buying (as opposed to renting) a house with a long driveway and a big shed in the back, in a snowy part of the country where I expected to live for many years to come, I might very well buy the big Ariens AND a little electric. But I am telling you that it's perfectly feasible to exist in a snowy part of the country and get along just fine with the little electric.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:52 AM
 
436 posts, read 623,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
I second the vote for electric. They're much lighter so easier to handle, and simpler, which means more reliable. Downside is they're less powerful and need a cord, but the lower power, as others have said, can be offset with a bit more work. And dry, fluffy snow is the easiest to work with.

I have a bigger area to clear, drive and parking area, so I have a gas powered 26" blower, and it's heavy. Without the easy turning option it's a beast to turn around, and refueling is never fun or nice smelling.
All my tools (lawn mower, blower, grass/edge trimmer, hedge trimmer) are battery operated (EGO brand) except the snowblower because sometimes we lose power during snowstorm.

And I can live without mowing the lawn till the power comes back but then we never lose power during non-winter months. I am in NJ.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,056 posts, read 6,010,379 times
Reputation: 9811
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
It's that time of the year in Colorado, when we need to start making winter purchases. I live at 7000 feet and we get 113 inches of snow per year, but it's pretty spread out from October-May.<>
I prefer to use my credit card, but most kids want cash. Hire it done by one of the neighbors' kids.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:13 PM
 
Location: NJ
24,460 posts, read 30,625,284 times
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one thing that i have learned is to get more power than you think you need. my driveway is about 130 feet long so i went with the Ariens Deluxe 24 24-in Two-stage Self-propelled Gas Snow Blower. yours is 25 feet so maybe that electric one will do. they are easy to use and low maintenance and at about $250 its cheap enough that if you do want something else at least you didnt pay $800 for something.

i havent had snow yet since i bought it though.
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