Reasons I Regret buying the Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Reasons I Regret buying the Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28

With the huge disclaimer that I have used it only once, I present my top 5 reasons why I regret buying my Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28. I will update it as I use it more if these impressions change.

1) Turning basically sucks. The auto-turn does very little. You still have to muscle it just to get the auto-turn to realize you're trying to turn. And if you're stopped you can't turn it at all. Boo on Ariens for marketing it as if it actually works.

2) Adjusting the bucket height is not a smooth process. Squeezing the lever to adjust bucket height slides a rod out of a slot. When there is pressure up or down on the bucket (which is most of the time, unless you're on a perfectly flat surface) there is force on this rod so it's not easy to move out of the slot. That means you either need to a) squeeze the lever really hard (which I suspect will eventually snap a cable), or b) pull up or down on the bars to equalize the forces, then pull the lever. It's not a simple maneuver and nowhere near as elegant as Honda's gas shock system.

3) #1 and #2 combine to make the entire process of turning annoyingly complicated. First, to raise the bucket you're pulling up (or pushing down) on the handle bars while pulling the bucket lever to get it free. Then you're muscling the machine trying to get it to turn. Then you're back to adjusting bucket height to get it back down and into the proper indexed slot so it's locked. That's just way too much effort. You might ask: why not just turn it without raising the bucket? Yeah, good luck with that.

4) No float mode. My driveway isn't flat (hence the desire for tracks!). It has ups, downs and undulations. Since the bucket is locked at one height it alternates between a) smashing into the ground with tremendous force (when approaching an uphill), or b) it's off the ground higher than it should be (when cresting a hill). Thus it's alternating between grinding away the poly skids and leaving lots of extra snow on the ground.

5) I could have bought the wheeled Hydro Pro 28 AND the track upgrade kit for the same total cost. I could have tried out the wheels to see if they worked on my driveway, and only upgraded to these tracks if I decided I really needed them. Buying the track version first is passing on a free set of wheels.


In hindsight I wish I had bought a Husqvarna ST327T. It has a float mode and handle bar triggers, solving of #1 and #3 above. It also costs less than the wheeled Ariens so that addresses #4 as well.

And someone may say, "But will that Husky still be running 15 years from now?" I don't know but at least I'd have a blower that isn't a pain in the ass to use today.

Last edited by matto; 01-19-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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To address issues 2-4 I am experimenting with creating a float mode on the Ariens. I've removed the spring that controls the bucket height adjustment lever. Now when I pull the lever up it stays up and the bucket is free to move up and down like on a wheeled unit (float mode!). To lock the bucket I need to align the bucket to the height I want and then push the lever down with my hand to insert the rod into the slot so it locks.

Last edited by matto; 01-19-2017 at 09:00 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:05 PM
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How disappointing. Sorry for your buyer's remorse.

Sounds like you've encountered real challenges, given the uneven terrain you're working with.

I find Autoturn works well on my wheeled Platinum 24. I'm not surprised that it's less effective on a tracked machine.

Perhaps wheels would help. But, that's more money to spend on an experiment.

Hope you can find a good solution.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:08 PM
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Should have bought a plow, not a blower.

just sayin
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strato View Post
How disappointing. Sorry for your buyer's remorse.

Sounds like you've encountered real challenges, given the uneven terrain you're working with.
Thanks. I'm hopeful I'll be able to make it work. Between my jerry-rigged float-mode and hopefully getting better at turning as I do it more, I'm hoping the overall experience improves.

I was mostly posting for the sake of others who are debating buying a track machine, so they think through all these issues.

Last edited by matto; 01-19-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappy View Post
Should have bought a plow, not a blower.

just sayin
Nope. Nowhere to put the snow. I needed a blower.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappy View Post
Should have bought a plow, not a blower.

just sayin
No big deal, a plow can be added...



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post #8 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:23 PM
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Certainly a wheeled machine would work better on uneven surfaces as it can "pivot" better, but the disadvantage would be on the inclines. Also it should be a lot easier to turn it on snow rather than on a dry surface (just like older Honda and Yamaha with fixed axles).
Hopefully you'll find solutions to your issues.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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It's possible I just sucked at using it my first try. Hopefully it'll get a lot better as I use it more.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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Garage
Most machines will last 15 years as long as they are maintained.
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