Which Ariens to buy? Platinum 30 SHO or? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Which Ariens to buy? Platinum 30 SHO or?

I'll be moving into a new house soon and will be looking to pick up a snowblower for next winter. I've narrowed my choices down to something from Ariens and I'm planning to buy new, as a lot of the used stuff I see around here is either small or pretty well abused and would need a lot of TLC (I've got enough other projects to take up my time, so I'd rather not need to rehab a blower this summer). Considering the amount of snow we get in upstate NY (Rochester area), I'm looking for something beefy.

The total area I'll have to clear is about 2600 square feet (driveway + sidewalk). Driveway is about 100 feet long and varies between 11 and 32 feet wide along its length (wider towards the garage, narrower towards the street). The sidewalk is about 6 feet wide and I'll have to clear about 90 feet of it. It's all flat except for a short sloped bit between the sidewalk and the street (which will likely catch a lot of plow slop and make for a very big, nasty EOD pile). And due to the placement of the driveway relative to the house and a fence, the snow in the middle section of the driveway will have to get blown down the driveway and then moved a second time, I won't be able to blow that area directly into the yard.

I'm looking at the Platinum 30 SHO (haven't talked to any of the local dealers yet, so I'm not sure what they'll do for pricing). From what I'm finding online, it looks like it'll cover my needs pretty well. Only concern I have is the small fuel capacity, as I'd prefer to clear the whole area without needing to stop and refuel. Fuel capacity shouldn't be a dealbreaker though, as it looks like a few have swapped larger tanks onto these.

What does everyone here think? Is the 30 SHO the right choice or should I be looking at something else (like maybe the Pro 28)?
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post #2 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 02:41 PM
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The Platinum 30 SHO and Pro 28 are very similar. You can get a hydrostatic trans in the Pro 28 which is very nice if money is no object. Either way, both are very powerful and capable machines. Price and availability are likely going to be your deciding factors.
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post #3 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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I looked at the idea of the hydro, but it's more money than I want to spend. And the Hydro 28 doesn't have the big fuel tank either. One of the local dealers lists that they've got the Pro 28, 32 and the Platinum 30 SHO in the 2017 models, so I'm planning to see what they're willing to do for price.
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post #4 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 04:01 PM
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I have the 2015 model Platinum 30 SHO and I like it very much. At the time I bought it I was doing 6 driveways for neighbours that needed help and now I am doing 8 so the machine gets a lot of use. I have the plastic Ariens skid shoes to protect paver driveways and the Auto Turn works perfectly. The drive is very strong with the rubber tired disc system. Both wheels drive forcefully except when turning where it is so easy to manoeuvre. It does not get plugged with snow even in the wettest EOD situations with standing water and that is for over 270 ft of EOD. It starts first time every time with the pull starter although it has the 120 volt electric starter. All the controls are easy to use and work quickly.

The gas tank does not hold much and I never could put 3 liters in, 2.5 liters was the most. I changed that tank for the Ariens Pro (B&S engine) gas tank that holds more than 6 liters. Easy to mount with the included mount bar for two of the 4 mounts. Made a mount for the rear right but left the front right unmounted. No problems. The skirting around the tank is needed to keep snow away from governor and other controls, so I modified the Platinum shielding. No problems with carb icing or anything else in the 2 years since installation. It has more room for the oil dip stick access now, so that is a big plus.

The way the governor main spring is setup attached to the air cooling shielding is not consistent across machines due to variation in final position. My engine was running at 3,450 rpm which is spec but way too slow for me. I reattached the spring to the governor arm in the outside hole (rather than bend the other mount). This produced 3,700 rpm which is spec (3,600 +/- 150 rpm). This made a huge difference in performance so that it blows any kind of snow at any speed comfortable for me without clogging. The Platinum and Pro use the same size pulleys for auger/impeller with the dual belts so impeller speed is the same and throwing distance (up to 60 ft) is the same.

The only problem I had was a leaking impeller seal at the gearbox and my dealer fixed that and also replaced the auger shaft seals at the gearbox. Otherwise the Platinum is bullet proof.

I would recommend buying from a dealer and asking about swapping the gas tank and shielding and have the dealer ensure the engine is running at 3,600 rpm or whatever. The 2017 model may have less weight on the bucket than mine, I like the heavy bucket weight more than the light bucket weight on the Pro.

2015 Ariens Platinum 30 SHO - model 921040

Last edited by Town; 03-05-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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post #5 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
What does everyone here think? Is the 30 SHO the right choice or should I be looking at something else (like maybe the Pro 28)?
A member here has previously made a very good case why the Pro 28 is an excellent choice and would go with that having the large fuel tank and beefier handlebars.
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post #6 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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A member here has previously made a very good case why the Pro 28 is an excellent choice and would go with that having the large fuel tank and beefier handlebars.
Was there more to it than that, or just a bit beefier and holds more fuel? And in real-world pricing, is the difference between the 30 SHO and the Pro 28 usually the full $400 or is it less? And what about the cost for the step up to the Pro 32 if I wanted the extra size?

On top of all of that, is there a significant difference in noise output between the Briggs on the Pro 28/32 and the LCT on the 30 SHO?

Last edited by rslifkin; 03-05-2018 at 04:53 PM.
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post #7 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 05:02 PM
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the reason to get the pro is the 23.5 tall bucket and 16 inch rakes also the fuel capacity
I have the 28 inch with the 414cc and3/4 gallon fuel tank its not been issue for me
the 414 cc 20 ft lbs motor is stout as town has said
town gave you all the right points
You are buying 1 time get the pro over 20 yrs its not much more

Last edited by 1132le; 03-05-2018 at 05:16 PM.
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post #8 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, I guess I've got one more question before I head to the dealer. If I'm looking at the Pro models, should I give the 32 a look (depending on their price) or will I not miss the extra couple inches if I go with the 28 (considering the driveway in question)?
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post #9 of 64 Old 03-05-2018, 05:13 PM
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thats personal choice the 28 pro is a steal at around 2100
the 30 sho is a steal at 1600
the 28 sho for 1200 is the best bang for the buck on the market imo
i would buy a used 28 pro for 1300 or 1400 they do come up for sale and be happy
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post #10 of 64 Old 03-06-2018, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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One more question. Engines: The 30 SHO has the LCT engine, the Pro 28 / 32 have the Briggs. Is there any significant durability difference between the 2? Or should I just look at both machines, decide if the extra beef and fuel of the Pro is worth the $$$ and go from there?
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