28 Pro Hydro RapidTrak 1st thoughts - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 58 Old 11-20-2018, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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28 Pro Hydro RapidTrak 1st thoughts

We've now had about 40" of snow since early October. I've had a chance to run this new blower a few times in the last week or so and get acquainted with it. I just did another 8 inches and some plow stuff. More snow coming tonight.

My perspective on this new machine may not be as accurate as others because I had the same old durable 1236 for 28 years. In that respect I'm a little out of date for everything in between 1990 and 2018.

That being said I like this new machine a lot. The engine is very quiet to me. Of course I had the original muffler on the 1236 and was probably running a straight pipe the last many years I like all the controls and how they work. Hand warmers are something that should have been added to snowblowers around the same time they came out for snowmobiles. (maybe they were?) These warmers take a while to get up to speed, but work well enough to wear light insulated finger gloves. The hydrostatic tranny works slick! The chute controls are heads and shoulders above what I had!

The track set up is well thought out. If it has any drawbacks it's that the entire mechanism is exposed to the elements. That could be problematic if a machine had to be kept outside. I had one small issue last week with a small bit of ice hanging things up a bit while in the wheeled position and dropping the track in the garage. That issue easily resolved itself once It started moving and bumping around. Our machine will always be garaged albeit close to the big door where it's a little drafty and will go below freezing in below zero temps outside. One thing I do like about the way the track mechanism is designed is that the vertical bar everything moves on has some play in the sliding mechanism. This could mitigate the freezing problems I just referenced. I'll never know. I'm sure Ariens took this into account when they were designing this unique set up. One of the reasons I went this way was the ease of maneuverability in the wheeled position and the auto turn feature. They both work very well! My initial comment in another thread on the 'floating' lowered track position was wrong. If you release the lever from the wheeled position (as the book says) it does stay floating until you slightly lift the handlebars if stationary. ...then the whole track locks down and also applies more weight to the front end. My limited use so far shows the track will lock in by itself once you start moving forward and bounce a bit. Enough weight transfers to the front end in this position that it can cause the tracks to spin. The dig position has a slight trade off in track footprint because in order to xfer max weight to the front of the machine, it lowers the back bogeys below the front wheel height. This lifts the front wheels about 3/4" off the ground. The added weight to the front is measurable and it digs in well. This position can also cause the tracks to spin if encountering tough stuff. I experimented in all 3 modes today. All worked well and I found the wheeled position to work just fine where there were no car tracks to clean up.

I've not run into a heavy snow situation yet that would potentially bog the engine down and don't expect to...no matter the load I bite into. The only way my old 1236 would bog is if I was cutting into a drift which covered the muffler. Other than that it would chew snow till you stopped. It was a beast! This machine is 8" narrower and a HP or 2 more. I'm expecting good results from heavy snow...like a 2-3 foot storm. This machine chucks snow very well so far.

The 1st pic is the dig position with the front wheels lifted up. The 2nd is the sliding track mechanism vertical bar. The 3rd is from around 1996 at our old house. Might have been the 320" year. The old 1236 took care of it. The 4th pic is from our house last year on 4/20. Got some heavy snow the 3rd week of April last year.
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post #2 of 58 Old 11-20-2018, 11:59 AM
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Very nice machine! I just purchased the 32" Pro Hydro Rapidtrak myself. Have not had a chance to use it as we have not gotten much snow here yet. Glad to read that you are happy with the machine's performance. I debated going with the wheeled version and saving a few hundred $$$. But figured if I'm spending this much, I'll splurge a little since I hope to keep it at least 15 years.

About the only thing I don't care for on the machine is how loose/sloppy the chute rotation control handle feels. I'm referring specifically to the handle mechanism itself. There doesn't appear to be any way to tighten the handle so that it feels firmer and doesn't flop around. Have you noticed that on yours? Other than that minor complaint, it's a beast of a machine.

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post #3 of 58 Old 11-20-2018, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdinMontana View Post
Very nice machine! I just purchased the 32" Pro Hydro Rapidtrak myself. Have not had a chance to use it as we have not gotten much snow here yet. Glad to read that you are happy with the machine's performance. I debated going with the wheeled version and saving a few hundred $$$. But figured if I'm spending this much, I'll splurge a little since I hope to keep it at least 15 years.

About the only thing I don't care for on the machine is how loose/sloppy the chute rotation control handle feels. I'm referring specifically to the handle mechanism itself. There doesn't appear to be any way to tighten the handle so that it feels firmer and doesn't flop around. Have you noticed that on yours? Other than that minor complaint, it's a beast of a machine.
I see the sideways play I think you're referring to? I measured mine at the rubber sleeve. It's 1/4" A quick look underneath doesn't trigger any solutions for me either, but I'm not worried about it. Good luck with the 32!
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post #4 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 06:15 AM
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Just received mine also. Great machine.


It needs a height setting that locks about 2" off the ground for gravel.
I am going to remove the settings bar and create a notch that will lock about 2" off ground.



Blacktop is perfect and transport is excellent.


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post #5 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Just received mine also. Great machine.

It needs a height setting that locks about 2" off the ground for gravel.
I am going to remove the settings bar and create a notch that will lock about 2" off ground.

Blacktop is perfect and transport is excellent.

Bob
No gravel of any kind here. Sounds like a good idea. I'll be curious how it works. If well.....maybe Ariens needs to hear about it. Should be a gratuity connected to it if they like it
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post #6 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 01:14 PM
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Great to hear, just traded in my 4 year old Pro 28 for a hydro rapidtrak. Pick it up next week. canít wait for the hydro, the rapidtrak is a bonus

Ariens Pro Hydro 28 Rapidtrak
Toro 2450
Toro 3650
Toro powerclear 1800
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post #7 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bkwudz View Post
Great to hear, just traded in my 4 year old Pro 28 for a hydro rapidtrak. Pick it up next week. canít wait for the hydro, the rapidtrak is a bonus
Your dealer takes trades ? What state ? See a lot of interest in the Rapidtracks now. Hope they work good this winter.

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post #8 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Your dealer takes trades ? What state ? See a lot of interest in the Rapidtracks now. Hope they work good this winter.
I didn't trade, but my dealer does trade regularly. My son bought a trade in that was part of a new machine deal last month. I imagine, like a car, tough to get a real good deal both ways
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post #9 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 02:42 PM
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In Mass there are a few that do, stuff needs to be in really good shape

Ariens Pro Hydro 28 Rapidtrak
Toro 2450
Toro 3650
Toro powerclear 1800
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post #10 of 58 Old 11-21-2018, 02:45 PM
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yea, might have taken a little hit on the old one, but in my case, my old one needs to disappear and the new one reappear in its place pretty much same day...so the wife does not catch on to whats going on....LOL

Ariens Pro Hydro 28 Rapidtrak
Toro 2450
Toro 3650
Toro powerclear 1800
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