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Old 12-17-2007, 12:48 PM
302 posts, read 973,643 times
Reputation: 132


I'm shopping for a snow blower for my home and need some advice. I've always had a truck with a plow, but now I just don't have the time to commit to a snow route for customers. My driveway is about 65 feet long and 15 wide. I get terrible snow drifts. I would also like to make some paths in my back yard for my dog to roam around in. Also this will be stored outside/locked with a chain and perhaps a tarp over it until it is needed. (Is this a safe practice for the blower? Not worried about theft...)

I'm really not educated on these as I have plowed my/parents driveways since the age of 15. What make/model, size should I be looking for. I'm in Snowy Syracuse,NY where we receive large amounts of lake-effect snow.....

I'm open for any advice....I don't want to walk into a dealership and get "taken for a ride" so that is why I'm here looking for some input. Willing to spend around $700-$1200

Thank-You and Happy Holidays!!
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:06 PM
Location: North of the Cow Pasture and South of the Wind Turbines
857 posts, read 2,667,527 times
Reputation: 2279
Well you have a good budget and should be able to get a really good blower for that money. I would stay away from the big box stores as you will never have any support.

We have a really good Sears in Oneonta that also has a small engine repair shop so they stand by the product and can fix it, and I have bought a few things from them including a commercial power washer after returning two from other "big box" type stores that both broke after 1 hour. So it is so hard to find good equipment, but personally, and IMO, I would look at the Craftmans line. Otherwise you have to pick a dealer that sells and repairs and knows the product. At this point for small engine machinery, I always look there first.


I don't think there would be too much problem leaving it outside, I have one in my barn and it's not a lot warmer, but having it protected from the elements won't hurt. Just make sure you keep fresh gas in it and start it regularly, and change out the oil after 10,20 hours or so. Obviously you want one with some help from the engine driving the back wheels so you are not pushing the darn thing.

They only do well in about a foot or so, the bigger the better, and you can get a "snow cab" for not much more to protect you when it's snowing out. As for protecting it tarp it, or get an ATV cover online somewhere and completely cover it and try to leave it where it won't get "snowed in".

It is tough doing it that way but 65 ft is not bad, better than 1000 that I have to do (yawn esp this weekend). Also if you have a small lawn tractor or similar you can get a two stage snow thrower to mount on the front in your budget, but given what the conditions are, the tractor will get stuck no doubt without 4 wheel drive.

Why give up that warm cab? On a side note since I busted my plow today if you are looking to sell that truck and plow I am looking... Good luck if you hone in on a brand/model I will ask around. Also there is a House forum here and perhaps the Auto forum where you might get some additional help. Or try some of the snowier state forums as well. Personally if I could find a Diesel snow blower that would be the best for the cold. Also good for you I make a bunch of trails, etc for my doggies, makes a world of difference for them.

Good luck!


Last edited by BovinaCowHateWindTurbines; 12-17-2007 at 03:16 PM..
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:01 AM
Location: Skaneateles
142 posts, read 724,726 times
Reputation: 73
We bought an older, used John Deere last winter and it has been great. We keep it in the garage, though, so that isn't much help. We paid $400 for it and bought it from a snowmobile dealership. I've been told that the older models are better than the new ones.
Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:30 PM
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Floral Park, NY
563 posts, read 2,322,545 times
Reputation: 211
I am nowhere near you right now and growing up on LI, we got snow almost every year anda decent shot of snow every other year with occasional blizzards sprinkled in in my high school/college years but I have to suggest TORO brand. My parents bought this blower years ago (1991 maybe). They moved and I got it. My fiancee is still in NY working while I am working in FL so I leave it in her garage for myself and the neighbor to use depending on when I am there but this little TORO (4.5 hp CCR 2000 series 2 cycle has to be almost 15 years old and has seen its fair share of snow and ice storms in those 15 years. 94-96 was blizzard and ice storm central for us. Once again, nothing like Syracuse will get but I have to say with regular maintenance and replacement of worn parts, and one carb job on it last year, it starts on the first pull. Just got it goin a few weeks ago to warm it up. Highly recommend Toro. (www.toro.com) Go to their website and you can bring up a list of dealers in the area as well as models. I agree too go with smaller dealers who are more knowledgeable and where you will feel good about the purchase.

Not sure if metal vs. plastic augers (can't spell that) is an option on bigger machines or even recommended in the snow belt. Previous poster's suggestion of John Deeres and Craftman series are also a good bet. THey have reliable and decent models available. Not sure if older vs. newer is better or worse but I do beleive they don't make things like they used to anymore. Things are not really made to be repaired anymore...throw away and buy new. I swear by Toro though...even my mower is Toro.

Good luck

PS. My grandfather has an Ariens...not really sure how that works out for him but its a big metal beast and he is 85 and he pushes that around to clear his driveway (AGainst our advice). Has not told me any issues so I guess its ok.

EDIT: Go to the homeowners tab on the left side of the website and click on snow throwers and it will bring up their two model series. I also did a quick check of the syracuse area, not sure of zip so i used 13220 and I got 5 in the area:

Phone: (315) 458-2121 Fax: (315) 458-2099
Services Toro products regardless of where purchased.
Phone: (315) 699-2838 Fax: (315) 699-9780
Master Service Dealer.
Services Toro products regardless of where purchased.
Phone: (315) 652-5734 Fax: (315) 652-3314
Services Toro products regardless of where purchased.
Phone: (315) 488-0921 Fax: (315) 488-5608
Phone: (315) 468-4011 Fax: (315) 468-4057

The second is considered a MASTER SERVICE DEALER. I equate that probably to like Chryslers 5-star dealership award probably. Good luck.

Last edited by Samrai309; 12-18-2007 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: More info:
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:33 AM
302 posts, read 973,643 times
Reputation: 132
Default Thank you

to everyone that has replied. Looks like I'll get myself an early Xmas present after all!
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:09 AM
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,944,244 times
Reputation: 2860
Dear cuse,

I do not think we are allowed to post links here.....but do a search for

OPE net..... it stands for Outdoor power equipment and net of course is short for internet. There you will find the best advice on any snowblower needs. PM me if you do not find it, etc....

there is much to consider when picking a snowblower....

1) What state or province do you live in? How much snow do you generally get at one time. How much in a season?

2) How large is your driveway? Is it paved? Is it flat? If not flat, what approximate angle is the incline? Do you also plan on clearing snow off pathways, sidewalks, etc? Do you have fences, other obstructions that require you to move snow twice, or throw it past obsticles, such as a neighbors house, fencing, hedgerow, etc?

3) Will you be removing snow from property other than that of your primary residence?

4) What's the most you're prepared to spend on snow removal equipment?

5) Do you plan on removing the snow as needed or wait until you cannot see out the windows?

6) Will the equipment be stored in an enclosed area or outside in the elements? If storing in an enclosed area, is the area heated? Any storage limitations?

7) Who will be the primary person using the equipment? Will anyone smaller in size and strength be using the equipment or, anyone with physical limitations?

8 ) Do you already have a relationship with a local outdoor power equipment dealer that you trust?

9) Will you be performing the routine maintenance or relying on someone else?

10) Would you possibly use the equipment after dark?

These are just some things to think about BEFORE you buy.

Personally, I like the Ariens line......but Toro makes nice snowblowers also. Honda snowblowers are the cadillac, but expensive.

Buying from a good dealer is smart......many big box sellers do not even know how to prep them, and good luck getting service from a big box....they farm the service out to a dealer, who will fix what HE sells first.

Good luck!!

Frank D.
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:53 AM
302 posts, read 973,643 times
Reputation: 132
Thanks Frank for the tips....thought you moved to Fl.?? I just returned to NY myself. Have Happy Holidays!!
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:29 AM
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,944,244 times
Reputation: 2860

No, I have not moved to Florida yet.....although I am here now. I have to fly back to WNY in two days.

We bought the house in Florida, and visit there a few times a year, but I am a full time WNY'er for another 3 years.........actually 1287 days or so.......but whose counting??

Good luck on the snowblower purchase.......many schools of thought on them...I lean towards the better name brands, but ANY snowblower can be good if they are well maintained......stabilized gas, synthetic oil....I wax mine before each season and use floor wax on the chute.

Here it is.....

The forum I mentioned has everything you ever want to know about snowblowers and mowers....I'm there a lot......great bunch of guys.

See ya!!

Frank D.
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