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Old 12-27-2009, 09:01 AM
 
228 posts, read 694,868 times
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Well now that I will be moving up on the bench in Herriman and have a 30' three car wide drive way any thoughts on a snow blower. I was looking at Ariens, Toro, and Troy built. I have mostly a flat surface and not sure which to get single stage or two stage?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,859 posts, read 61,441,632 times
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I would suggest the most HP and widest sweep you can afford. It gets tiring pushing that thing! The one I first bought was small and not very strong. I turned it in after one snowfall for a bigger and stronger one; the dealer took it back w/o extra charge and exchanged it. As I remember it cost $350 and the better one was $500. I think it was one-stage, I remember having to add oil to the gas. It also had an electric starter which was wonderful.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:11 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,676 posts, read 12,396,415 times
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As mentioned above, go for (taking your budget into account),
the largest HP,
widest clearing strip.
Two stage is better than single stage.

When you do get one, immediately buy the spare bolts that *lock* the blades. When they brake, always at some bad moment .....

Bigger units run a 4 cycle. Easier that way.

Make sure self propelled (most of them are)

After one year use, check the drag strips. They are those thingys that keep the blades a certain distance from the ground.

MOST IMPORTANT ...
Remove your daily newspaper BEFORE you clear the snow.
That newspaper gets into your blades ..... good luck removing that .....
Guess how I know .....
Change the oil at end of season before you store, and let run dry.
Check ALL bolts for tightness. Those rattle loose ALL the time.

Last but not least:
There are two different ways of clearing snow, (mechanically)
The ones with the metal blades,
and the ones with the large rubber blades.
The ones with the metal blades must stay above ground, and the self propelling method comes form a drive system somewhere else (more maintenance).
The ones with the large rubber blades, do not need an additional drive system for self propelling, but then you need to make sure it has a large enough engine.
The small ones do not work that well with more than 2 inches of snow, especially when it is wet snow.

If you get the metal blades one, and your drive way is *not smooth* you may get stuck because of the drag strips.

I prefer the self propelled rubber blades units, but the cost is a bit on the high end (close to 500).

My drive way is 50 feet wide and 75 feet long .......
and it has gravel all over ..... (yikes) ... so I use the metal blades one, but have wheels instead of drag strips to keep it off the gravel.

Last edited by irman; 12-28-2009 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: east millcreek
835 posts, read 1,929,917 times
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Irman, it sounds as though you have a little experience with encountering foreign objects with a snowblower! The Sunday paper is the worst thing to suck in..
We are in possession of a great Craftsman big snowblower after our next door neighbor in Park City cleared the sidewalk between our homes and "encountered" a metal toy dump truck. He was not a mechanically inclined individual and just went out a bought a new one. He gave us the "broken" one, we spent about 75 cents on a shear pin and have the Craftsman to this day. Of course the fact that the dump truck belonged to my kid will get me 10 extra laps in hell but I am not keeping track anymore.
The nice thing about the Craftsman is there is still a real live Sears parts store on Main street! Our driveway down here is much steeper and longer than the old one in PC so, in a perfect world, it would be the track drive type but, I am just happy that we have only had to get it out 1 time so far this season!
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: A Place With REAL People
3,028 posts, read 5,906,036 times
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I happen to live on the bench in Herriman. I've observed my neighbors when there is a large snowfall. I've spoken with a few of them. I was a newbie to home ownership and went with a 2 cycle Toro. The upside has been low maintenance, the downside has been they stink a lot due to the oil/gas mixture used, they are noisy as heck, and last but not least if the snowfall is more than say 8 inches you are toast. Other than that it has worked well. In "ultimate" terms there is little doubt in my mind the finest in performance and reliability in the snow blower realm that I've seen in action (including the Craftsman, Toro, Troy Built etc, has been the Honda 4 cycle gas units. They are beefy, easy to start and run, minimally noisy, good on maintenance and kick a$$ in snow as deep as I've seen it in one instance (18" thus far). They are amazing and are not fazed by any snowfall be it wet or powder. They are self propelled (some on small tracks and other models on wheels) and have headlamps to guide you. Are easy to adjust the snow blowing flow housing and everything else. If I were to do it all over there's NO doubt THAT would be my choice. The down side of course is you can easily plan on $500-$800 but it is an investment and they last longer and are more reliable than the typical other brands. Give them a serious look see.....
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Utah
5,103 posts, read 15,597,565 times
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Bought this single stage Honda in November. I've only used it once. I had a hard time moving it forward. Apparently I needed to tilt it forward slightly to engage it in snow removal. Neighbor's son has used it and it worked fine for him. Doesn't smell as bad as 2 stroke but it still stinks. The amount of vibration was a surprise as well. I was going to get the Toro 421Q but found out from the dealer that it now had a Chinese engine in it and not the Briggs-Stratton as years past models had. I liked the location of the chute control on the Toro but opted for the Honda instead.

The dual stage snow throwers are just too big for me to control. I'm only 5'2". I'm afraid the handle bars would be too high for me plus I don't need something that big.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,676 posts, read 12,396,415 times
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Comments inserted

Quote:
Originally Posted by eggalegga View Post
Bought this single stage Honda in November. I've only used it once. I had a hard time moving it forward. Apparently I needed to tilt it forward slightly to engage it in snow removal.

That is NOT *apparently*. That is the way you MUST hold it, in order to get it to move forward.
The speed at which you go forward is regulated by how often you make it push down.
Hold it down ALL the time and the unit might run away from you.
To slow it down, just push down on the handle bars.
The *blades* are large rubber blades and serve as forward propeller system AND as the snow removal system.
This works rather well, especially if the engine is large enough to handle the snow loads AND the self propelled feature, BUT .... is murder if you have gravel on your drive way.
So very good for rather low snow loads, and also good for smooth driveways only. Clears the drive way to almost no snow left.

Neighbor's son has used it and it worked fine for him. Doesn't smell as bad as 2 stroke but it still stinks. The amount of vibration was a surprise as well. I was going to get the Toro 421Q but found out from the dealer that it now had a Chinese engine in it and not the Briggs-Stratton as years past models had. I liked the location of the chute control on the Toro but opted for the Honda instead.

The dual stage snow throwers are just too big for me to control. I'm only 5'2". I'm afraid the handle bars would be too high for me plus I don't need something that big.

I am also about 5'2" and it is no problem for me with my regular metal blade unit. I just steer it at medium speed and it does the job. At my age, I am glad it has an electric starter ....With the size of driveway I have, I wish I could sit behind it .....
So in the end, the choice of a snow blower depends on what driveway surface you have and the average amount of snow you might expect.

Which brand? My suggestion is that you can have it serviced locally by almost any lawnmower shop, else you will have problems in few years.
Those engines DO NEED service regularly to give you years of good service. Mine is 9 years old and still is in good condition.

BTW, the snow blower depicted here from eggalegga is one of the better ones around, but then the price reflects that.....
It is also rather light weight so easy to handle.
For the two choices that eggalegga had, the one she finally got is the better one in the long run.

The *big ones*, with the metal blades and dual stages, are way heavier ....

Last edited by irman; 12-30-2009 at 03:04 PM..
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:44 PM
 
228 posts, read 694,868 times
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Any thoughts on Ariens? It sounds like a two stage is the best with a wide swath. I will check out Honda, Ariens, and Toro. I would prefer to purchase American Made but it sounds like most parts and assembly maybe from overseas.m

Last edited by Hattrick; 01-04-2010 at 07:53 PM..
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