Need a snowblower for 900ft Gravel driveway. - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Need a snowblower for 900ft Gravel driveway.

The past 12 years I have owned 2 Ariens 825's. They have been great. I have a gravel driveway that is crazy long. Sometimes I have a friend plow it, other times I just take about 2 hours and take 6 passes (up and back 3 times). I live in NH and get a lot of snow.

I just bought a very expensive snowblower, not an Ariens, and after one use the impeller housing looks worse than my 12 year old Ariens? It seems to have a thinner softer metal. A mess. Just looking at it I can't imagine it lasting more than 2 years before I gouge through the impeller housing.

PLEASE, can somebody tell me if they know if I bought the Pro Series 28 or 32 if the the impeller housing is bulletproof! Does it have thicker metal than the Deluxe or the Platinum? I need thick metal like I had on those old Ariens 825's that will withstand the punishment of gravel. ****, those old Ariens I have look like they could handle the gravel for another 12 years, but unfortunatley my motors and mechanicals are tired.

1) I need a really TOUIGH snowblower! any suggestions. Thick tough impeller housing.
2) And, if I get an Ariens, will the auto-turn make me nuts! Look at this driveway, it is a seriously uneven surface and often times when I get some help from a plow I have to go back out and cut the banks back if another storm is coming. So, I will be running the machine with 1/2 a bucket to shave back the banks, and there will be a lot of gravel mixed in. Will I be fighting the auto-turn.

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Below is a pic of my driveway. Only a small portion of it because it continues through the woods a long way. I blurred out the picture of my new 2016 machine that doesn't seem to be able to handle the gravel with thin metal that is all shredded to bare gouged metal already. I blurred it out because I don't want to be accused of bashing another brand.

Bummer, but I need 2 machines anyway, and I will take this one to my other property that has only hard top and it will be fine there. I will still need a TOUGH machine for this gravel property. Suggestions please.


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post #2 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:18 PM
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Hate to tell you this but the thickness is all the same across the board. the metal everybody gets and uses comes from places around the globe these days. not like the stuff from days gone by. so what everbrand you are thinking of next. you will have the same headache.

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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post #3 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:25 PM
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look for a old 70's erin's on cl. and repower that 1 for this app you have. a new old stock engine is cheaper. then 1 of those fancy new blowers you just bought. like badcat scored a 1971 32cut for less than 200 bucks. between the new engine and a used blower it is way cheaper then what you have already spent.

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post #4 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Bummer. If you are right, the new metal is crap.

My 12 year old 825's look great. but I need a 28 or 32" machine for obvious reasons with a quality metal impeller housing!

I heard the Pro Series had thicker metal on the bucket and impeller housing, I guess that is incorrect.
If you are right, the only option I have is to buy a new model 32, because I don't want a used one, and I guess I will have to bring the brand new machine to a welder and have them weld a 3/32 inch belt of steel inside the impeller. CRAZY!!! I will first have to spend a fortune, and then have to improve the quality of the housing to where it was on older models. bummer.

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post #5 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:37 PM
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jmo.....look for a vintage ariens ( im not partial to any machine) that has been looked after, refurb it and sling gravel. once you have a layer of ice built on your driveway, switch over to a machine that wasnt built for your ( and mine) situation.

24 " 1967? Ariens Sno thro
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post #6 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:40 PM
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bad news situation?

Wow.......you're talking about a roughly 3/16 of a mile driveway (990' would be the actual measurement)!!!

If it were mine to deal with, I think I'd have my own plow, rather than relying on a somewhat puny machine to get the job done, particularly when you're getting snows in quick succession.

When I think about the time you are investing keeping that drive open, it just blows my mind. I guess you must sleep with the few hours of free time you have.

I'd be looking for a more realistic solution.
Just one man's opinion.

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post #7 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRockFish View Post
Bummer. If you are right, the new metal is crap.

My 12 year old 825's look great. but I need a 28 or 32" machine for obvious reasons with a quality metal impeller housing!

I heard the Pro Series had thicker metal on the bucket and impeller housing, I guess that is incorrect.
If you are right, the only option I have is to buy a new model 32, because I don't want a used one, and I guess I will have to bring the brand new machine to a welder and have them weld a 3/32 inch belt of steel inside the impeller. CRAZY!!! I will first have to spend a fortune, and then have to improve the quality of the housing to where it was on older models. bummer.
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH The new metal is crap. you can thank free trade 4 that 1. for the amount of cash you have already spent on new ones. you could have totally rebuilt a old model for less than a half of what you already spent.

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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post #8 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, my driveway is basically a golf drivable par 4!!! I live in the middle of 33 acres.

Plow guys charge between $100 and $250 each storm. That's just the way it is! They all charge per pass and come back 2-3 times a storm at about $80 a visit. Adds up quick.

So, I can rip this out in 1.5 hours - maybe 2. That's pretty good money for that amount of time. And it gets done when I want it and wider than the plow guy usually does it. Not bad exercise and after a dozen storms I'm paying off the machine. We got snow almost everyday last February with almost 10 feet that month! Machine pays for itself in one month vs. plow charges.

Last edited by McRockFish; 01-02-2016 at 09:54 PM.
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post #9 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 11:00 PM
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When i was looking for a new snowblower in early 2015 I was told the Platinum machines were 13 gauge steel while the Pro series were the heavier 12 gauge. They certainly seemed to be built to a higher standard, although my Platinum is built with heavier steel than previous machines I have owned back to 1974. Older machines have a nostalgic aura but do not compare to the performance of current machines.

You can check the actual thickness of the metal in the impeller housing and compare it to the Platinum or any home-owner Ariens machine. At the bottom of the impeller housing at the back is a large vertical opening to allow water from melting snow to escape and not freeze the impeller. You can measure the thickness of the steel at that point fairly easily, I think.

I have not had any problems with Auto Turn on my machine. Ariens offers a 36" model (as well as several 32" models) that would make your driveway seem a lot shorter.

Good luck.

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post #10 of 49 Old 01-02-2016, 11:27 PM
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Sounds like you need a good set of automotive snow tires on your car or truck and you need to set the skids on the blower lower so you're leaving more snow over the gravel.

Nothing tolerates sucking up the gravel. You need to make sure the scraper is high enough so it's not digging in.
You could try lining the impeller housing with plastic and then replace it yearly but I'm on 400 feet of gravel and I don't have any problems with it.

That size I'd sure have a rider with a blower.

.
Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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