1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

snow blower recommendations

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by JoeT, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Noreaster78

    Noreaster78 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Sudbury, MA Surrounded by snowflakes.
    Once you go hydro, its hard to go back. That would be a fun review, i look forward to it.

    You may be a little surprised though, those simplicity signature pros are solid machines. They have had the square tubular handles for decades, just what ariens went to on the pro series. They are built well and perform well. Better than a honda or ariens pro? That is pushing it, IMO. Power boost is just a CVT that automatically lowers the gear ration to the impeller / auger when the RPMs drop on the motor. Its the reverse of a snowmobile transmission.
    Being acquired by Briggs didn't do them any favors. In fact that is what made airens move away from the intek snow motors and look for a new provider ( LCT ) Oddly, i believe the first LCT powered aries was the snowtek, and that was while the ariens machines had intek snows.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    garandman likes this.

  2. Lsgun1

    Lsgun1

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,212
    Likes Received:
    152
    Location:
    Billerica
    Screaming for tall chute, the old machines are unreal quality but missing the convenient controls up top by the handle bars is what made me get rid of mine.
     
  3. Captian Matt

    Captian Matt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    21
    I had used the Honda hydro and liked it but was talked into the Simplicity over the Honda by two dealers that sold both. Both felt the Honda was a great machine but they didn't think it was worth the extra money. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is power brooms! Those get used more than the snow blowers. Rather than cover walkways with sand and ice melt that can be tracked in and mess up flooring, I sweep them bare. For that I use Ariens and have been very please! I am a property manager and buy a lot of equipment so I really appreciate when a dealer sells me down rather than sell the most expensive.
     
  4. Bison

    Bison NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    80
    I have two Honda snowblowers which are both track models. I have the 928 and the 1132.

    The 1132 is a beast and handles everything and throws the snow 75 feet or more. This is critical for me as I have a very wide and long driveway, and like the snow thrown into the middle of the front yard. It will also throw the snow high which helps in one area where I have to throw it over a 4 foot stone wall with whatever snow is on top of it. The main reason I bought the Honda was for the tracks. I live on a main road and the plows will pile up feet upon feet of mucky snow at the end of the driveway. With the blower locked in the position that puts the weight on the front of the machine, it does not ride up on the piled up snow. It just mows right through it. It is heavy and requires some exertion to turn and manage. It would be too much machine for many. I have had it for 14+years

    The 928 is a mini-beast. This last snow, I waited until the snow ended and the town had plowed. At the end of my in-laws driveway was a 4 foot mound of snow. No problem. My father-in-law who is 82 will often clear the driveway before I make it there because it is such an awesome machine to run. My teens could operate this machine with no problem. With the hydrostatic drive and a small amount of patience, it will do all of the work for you at your pace. I would recommend this snowblower to anyone who has more than a little snow to move. The other thing I love about this machine is that it will walk up stairs with the tracks. So, after a large storm, I can walk it up a short set of steps and blow the sidewalk in no time. I have had it for 13+ years. I bought it the very next year because doing my in-laws driveway sucked with their crappy Toro.

    I also have a Grasshopper front mount tractor with a 48" snowblower. This machine is way too much fun to operate. I highly recommend it to anyone that has large areas of snow to move. It has a joystick operated lift for the blower and rotate for the chute. Easy and very fast. But $$$. IMG_1285.JPG IMG_1289.JPG
     
    garandman likes this.
  5. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    The Honda 928 housing is only 19.75” tall. In the bad winter, there were a number of times we had to bring the Honda Home and swap it for the Ariens, with a 24” bucket. Really annoying.

    [​IMG]

    In Europe they sell them with a 24” add-on housing. There’s a guy in the US who’s started making them. The kit is $100 or so.

    saktonyj AT gmail.com

    Picture. Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
     
  6. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    Honda shear pins are easy to change: but you break a lot of them. Ariens shear pin breaks were rare: but the Center section usually required a punch and hammer to knock it out.

    Resolved to remedy this once and for all. When I loosened the pin in the new RapidTrak (the black pins) it came right out! Measured the pin at 0.324” A 21/64” drill bit will fit in the hole, and that’s 0.328, so they’ve finally addressed that.

    Gotta measure the old pins on the 1124 next and drill them out a couple thousandths.
     
  7. Captian Matt

    Captian Matt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    21
    I have been interested in the Grasshopper and have heard good feedback. I am skeptical of a single stage but glad to hear you have had a good experience. My dealer swears by it.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Arlington
    I have the same Honda, had the same issue. I just let it go through the deep snow and the snow just went over the top of it and I cleaned it up next pass.
     
  9. UNSUB

    UNSUB NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,656
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    North Shore MA
     
  10. Bison

    Bison NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    80
    Do you use ABC in Marshfield? They are good guys.

    In general, I was skeptical about the single stage as well. In practice, the limiting factor is power of your tractor. Had I known I was going to like using it to blow snow, I would have gotten more HP. I had a need and a tractor sitting idle, so I put the blower on it. It does very well even in deep snow. The only clogging I have had is if it is really wet/heavy snow and I let the tractor bog down. So, in those conditions, I take a smaller cut or go a bit slower. I also think the joystick design is very good, but could be even better. The other issue is that the chute should be taller and allow for a more vertical throw. It throws the snow about 30 feet. I think a more powerful tractor would throw it farther. You can also load some of the tractor weight onto the blower if you put the blower all of the way down. This makes it harder to blow snow going up an incline. I have been toying with adding ballast to the tires to keep more weight on them in this situation. But, in practice, just raising the blower slightly also works.

    Changing from blower to mower or the other way takes about an hour by myself. I have two sets of tires: one with chains and one larger turf set without.
     
  11. JohnZ

    JohnZ

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    426


    Add an onboard camera so you could operate it from the lazyboy and this would be perfect.
     
    ldi, northframingham and garandman like this.
  12. northframingham

    northframingham NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,365
    Likes Received:
    632
    Location:
    Framingham, MA.
    Thanks!! Its getting delivered in a few days. I have (2) weight kits on order too!
    I really appreciate your input and sharing your vast knowledge.
     
  13. Captian Matt

    Captian Matt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    21
    Yup, Bill and Matt are great! Thanks for the feedback.
     
  14. bkibler

    bkibler NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    The Commonwealth
    I have to look back over my shoulder, but clearing snow with my big Kubota snowblower is almost as nice as sitting on the sofa. 15157965587870.jpg
     
    System6ix and garandman like this.
  15. Coyote33

    Coyote33

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    21,708
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    What do you do, drive backwards, looking over your shoulder the entire way? [rofl][laugh][laugh]
     
    bkibler likes this.
  16. cbrxx

    cbrxx NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    237
    Location:
    Metrowest Boston
    Thats where I got mine. Huge difference. The v-bar type is big enough to work with the deep treads.

    TIRE CHAINS-v bar-truck
     
  17. bkibler

    bkibler NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    The Commonwealth
    I hear you: my back and neck aren't laughing. But there is a plow blade on the front, which gets used most of the time. I bought this snowblower from a guy who was switching to a skid steer snowblower, because his neck couldn't take driving in reverse anymore.
     
  18. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    I think somebody on TBN bought a backup camera kit and rigged it in his cab so he could face forward. Might be worth looking into.

    On our Kubota all we have is Edge Tamers on the FEL bucket, which work great.. Haven’t invested in more because a local contractor plows it when we aren’t there.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    dustoff22 and northframingham like this.
  19. bkibler

    bkibler NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    The Commonwealth
    +1 on the edge tamer: I built something similar out of rubber snow plow edge for my smaller Kubota, which doesn't have a quick disconnect bucket.

    IMAG0891.jpg
     
  20. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    Guy on TBN has this. Chevy pickup with a 454, with a small block V8 in the bed to drive the thrower.

    [​IMG]
     
    mikelawtown and Coyote33 like this.
  21. bkibler

    bkibler NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    The Commonwealth
    ^ Never mind the snowblower...that is some serious lighting!
     
  22. Coyote33

    Coyote33

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    21,708
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    How does he get the power from the bed to the snowblower? Some good chains, also.
     
  23. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    Believe it’s all hydraulic.
     
  24. Noreaster78

    Noreaster78 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Sudbury, MA Surrounded by snowflakes.
    Is your TV behind your couch too?
    :emoji_grin:
     
    Coyote33 likes this.
  25. mikelawtown

    mikelawtown NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,231
    Likes Received:
    1,173
    Location:
    Mass Blah Blah Blah
    In laws Gilson still going strong
     

    Attached Files:

    garandman likes this.
  26. dustoff22

    dustoff22 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    A big +1 for Edge Tamers..........solved (mostly that is) the problem with my gravel driveway!
     
    garandman likes this.
  27. northframingham

    northframingham NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,365
    Likes Received:
    632
    Location:
    Framingham, MA.
    My recommendations: Buy the highest level ARIENS you can afford.
    Use Fresh High Octane Gas; and a decent fuel stabilizer like Stabil 360 ( I use a combo of Stabul 360 & SeaFoam)
    The higher end models like the PRO's are really well made and will last 2-4 DECADES (if you take care of them)

    My snowblowers ARIENS Hydro Pro 28" "and"
    Snapper SS822E single stage which I prefer for a "slush" covered driveway (like our last storm)

    IMG_0175 (Edited).jpg IMG_0182 (Edited).JPG IMG_0244 (Edited).jpg
     
    garandman likes this.
  28. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    14,167
    Likes Received:
    2,091
    Location:
    NH
    I am thinking of getting rid of my 5 year old 30" Ariens and getting something easier to use. This "auto turn" feature is garbage... I have to be continuously be fighting the thing from turning the entire time, just to keep it straight. And when I actually do want to turn, it doesn't help me at all unless I tilt it back on its wheels only then it turns fine.

    What would people recommend that is otherwise similar in size but doesn't beat me up the whole time? I have an old 24" Craftsman which is easy to use but it doesn't have the power nor the necessary capacity to suck in snow.
     
  29. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    LOL. I hear ya. My ancient Snapper seems to chew through snow mounds better because I'm not fighting it to stay straight. Excepting size (the Snapper is MUCH smaller than my Ariens) I have a choice of fighting some left-right stuff with the Ariens or smelling like an engine with the Snapper. Emissions was not a big issue in 1994 or so.


    Here's the good news: It's Feb 9 and the extended forecast shows little-to-no snow. Now you're up to the 23rd or so. Seems like there should be some good deals on snowblowers now. ;)

    I'm damned glad this year wasn't that serious. Only one terrible storm. A few nuisance ones. We'll certainly get at least one more frustrating one. But that'll be it. And it's damned warm for February. (Funny was 9 days ago Weather Channel telling us that February is going to be MUCH colder than average in the Northeast while showing a 2-week forecast that was all-but-one-day above average. ????)
     
  30. garandman

    garandman Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12,202
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    Not sure of the years, but after the first couple years of auto-turn, Ariens moved the axle back something like 3/4”. This made it more stable. Sounds like you have an older one.

    You are welcome to try our RapidTrak with auto-turn, it works very well. I would definitely contact Ariens, I’ve heard they have made good on a number of these older machines.
     
    northframingham likes this.

Share This Page