Track Conversion - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-02-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Track Conversion

Just looking at my options.
Does anybody know if there is a kit to convert a Hydro Pro from wheels to tracks? If so, $$?
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-03-2014, 06:35 PM
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I have a tracked 32" and I'm wishing I had purchased a wheeled machine. I'd have to use chains on my 600' drive that is fairly steep but the tracks are a hand full. I'd do a lot of research before I changed.
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post #3 of 28 Old 03-03-2014, 11:10 PM
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Track conversion kits are not available for hydrostatic models. The conversion would be too invasive and expensive.
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-04-2014, 12:57 AM
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Saw the conversion kit, linked below, on E-Bay for Ariens snowblowers. They are asking $531. I didn't study the model numbers too closely so you would have to make sure it fits.




Ariens Hydro Pro 36


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post #5 of 28 Old 03-05-2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattM View Post
Saw the conversion kit, linked below, on E-Bay for Ariens snowblowers. They are asking $531. I didn't study the model numbers too closely so you would have to make sure it fits.

Geneuine Ariens Gravely 72601900 Track Drive Conversion Kit | eBay
That is not for a hydro.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-05-2014, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Snowmann!

pfn, what exactly do you mean by "a handful"? Your input is a valuable component of my research! I have 300 yards of gently sloping driveway, and I have a 30 hp diesel 4x4 hydrostatic tractor with a front mounted 63 inch snow blower. When the prop shaft from PTO to blower broke in January, we were snowed in for tree days. I kept it open for a couple of days with my old Ariens 824, but it was too much for it, and a bearing on the impeller shaft went out. I repaired that, but now the starter went out, and I don't seem to be able to get the governor working right. So I am thinking about getting one that is handy to clean up on walkways and in front of garage doors, and hopefully can function as a back up for the driveway if the big blower should fail again.
At last count, a week ago, the local paper said our total snow fall for the winter stood at 140 inches. That in itself is bad enough, but with the winds we have had, causing a lot of drifting, there have been days when I have had to blow sections with over two feet of snow twice in one day.

Last edited by Roar; 03-05-2014 at 10:44 PM.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-06-2014, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Thanks, Snowmann!

pfn, what exactly do you mean by "a handful"? Your input is a valuable component of my research! I have 300 yards of gently sloping driveway, and I have a 30 hp diesel 4x4 hydrostatic tractor with a front mounted 63 inch snow blower. When the prop shaft from PTO to blower broke in January, we were snowed in for tree days. I kept it open for a couple of days with my old Ariens 824, but it was too much for it, and a bearing on the impeller shaft went out. I repaired that, but now the starter went out, and I don't seem to be able to get the governor working right. So I am thinking about getting one that is handy to clean up on walkways and in front of garage doors, and hopefully can function as a back up for the driveway if the big blower should fail again.
At last count, a week ago, the local paper said our total snow fall for the winter stood at 140 inches. That in itself is bad enough, but with the winds we have had, causing a lot of drifting, there have been days when I have had to blow sections with over two feet of snow twice in one day.
I wish that I had done the research that I suggest before I purchased my tracked 32' Ariens Pro. I have seen nothing in the any of the posts to this site over the few years that I have been reading it to suggest that a wheeled machine, with chains, is incapable of handling a sloped, paved surface. As I said my driveway is long, paved and fairly steep. It's not crazy steep but... . Certainly my tracked machine handles the job effectively enough but it is heavy, difficult to turn on the job (my drive isn't too twisty) and impossible to maneuver with out ice, or snow under the tracks. Had I done the investigation I recommend I'd have chosen wheels and chains. If I thought I could recoup enough of my investment to buy a new wheeled 28' Hydro Pro or even a friction disk machine I'd do it in a heart beat.
Want to trade?

Last edited by pfn; 03-06-2014 at 11:26 AM.
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-06-2014, 02:04 PM
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Interesting, that's too bad.

I've had chains on my machines for years. I recently had to do a storm without chains on one, and it was kind of a mess. My driveway has a decent incline, and we had a layer of ice from previous storms. So, admittedly, worst-case.

I tried the no-chains machine (with Snow-Hogs), and was having traction problems. Locking up the differential helped, but only some, and traded off for being tough to maneuver.

Changed to the with-chains machine (same size and same tires), and had no trouble, even with the differential active (unlocked).

I'm a believer in chains. Awesome tires are great, but rubber will still slip on ice. And with a differential, you don't even have to drag the chains to turn around.

I wouldn't say no to a nice hydrostatic transmission, of course, but I'm happy with chains and a differential.

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-06-2014, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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pfn,
That is interetsing. Does your tracked blower not have any form of disengaging one track from the other?
My son has an older Yardman 10-28 with tracks that he swears by. You steer it by disengaging one track at a time with little levers under the handles. I just barely tried it, and I think I could get used to that system, except he doesn't think they make them that way any more. He brought it over when he came over with is Kubota BX2660 and opened up my driveway after we were snowed in, or was it blown in! I used it a little then. He left it here, but when I tried to use it later, the right track has seized up more or less. That renders it useless.
My old Ariens has the lock pin on one wheel. That has worked well for me for a long time. In tight spaces with a lot of maneuvering, pull the pin out to unlock, and when going straight and/or needing extra traction, I lock the axle. The thing has what looks like turf tires, so it already had chains when I bought it used close to 20 years ago. I am looking at chains for the tractor too, by the way. It has R4 tires, and they don't have much grip on snow and ice.
Your comments have been very helpful.
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-06-2014, 02:59 PM
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RedOctobyr said... "I'm a believer in chains. Awesome tires are great, but rubber will still slip on ice. And with a differential, you don't even have to drag the chains to turn around." Obviously I didn't make my point as your statement is my point. To Road...My 2011 model ST32DLET Pro Track (for those who may want to know) is a very heavy machine, in the vicinity of 400 lbs. It sits on rubber tracks that puts something like 18" of rubber on the ground on each track. The tracks will move independently (I believe it has the same differential as wheeled machines) but if you put 400 lbs on any 18" piece of rubber and try and turn it... well, you'll have to put your back into it. I'm personally sorry I bought tracks. I believe thy are overkill. I'm nearly certain that wheels and chains would be more to my liking. Maybe it's just me.

Last edited by pfn; 03-06-2014 at 03:21 PM.
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