Newbie! Sloping, Steep asphalt driveway, need blower advice - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie! Sloping, Steep asphalt driveway, need blower advice

First post and new to any snowblower machine at all!


After a few days of research, it looks as though Ariens and Cub Cadet are the ones mentioned the most.


Ariens in general look pretty solid but have heard a lot of comments on the Autoturn feature and only working in relatively flat driveways. When there is grade or slope, it sounds like they are a bear to keep going in a straight line. Sounds like the machine needs to be man-handled a lot more. Because of this, I am very hesitant on such a large purchase.


What started my look is the Cub Cadet at Costco for $699.


I went to HD last night and looked at the machines, but was too cold for any salesguy to be present. So I basically moved them around on my own.


Ariens Deluxe 28 (921030), Big and unusually heavy to move around. $1,099. I think this is last years model, but priced the same as:


Ariens Deluxe 28 (921046). Amazingly easier to move around and much more balanced than the 921030. $1,099. Don't know if this is good or not.


Cub Cadet 2x 24. Actually felt nice and looked good overall. $799


SnoTek 24" (920402), nice and light. Felt easier to move around than the Ariens. $649


I don't need to overspend if I don't have to, but my main concern is getting a $1100 machine hauled out there to find out it's a disaster on the steep driveway with side slope to it. Sounds like the Cub Cadet can maintain a straight line better than the Ariens, and I don't know about the SnoTek (other than I know it's made by Ariens, but may not have the autoturn feature).


Advice?


Thanks!
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 11:21 AM
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Which machine to purchase is asked a lot it seems and I'm a newbie.

IMO it's a personal decision.

Buy by price.
Buy by size depending on area to clean and annual snow fall.
Buy the brand you like.
Buy because the dealer is close and you won't work on it or parts are easy to get.


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post #3 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 11:24 AM
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I will add that buying from a local dealer could help with future needs and support small business. HD will be of no help IMO.


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post #4 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 11:52 AM
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As with most things, buying at HD is different quality then dealers. The type of drivetrain (hydro/friction) makes a difference on a hill, also power makes a difference, I look for smaller buckets (under 26") and bigger hp (over 8hp [270cc])


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post #5 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I see there is a local Ariens dealer so I'll check them out besides HD.


The most important concern is the auto turn option on the Ariens and if I'll have problems keeping a straight line.
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_me View Post


Advice?


Yes, help yourself by helping others: Are you throwing snow in northern Georgia or the Northwest Territories? You make no mention of how long the drive is. Sidewalks to deal with as well?


SnoTek is Ariens' value line.


Heft, when it comes to snow blowers, is considered a benefit.


The newest Ariens have had some modifications made to the AutoTurn system. You'd focus on only the newest models.


Most here will advise against Home Depot and that lot as you will have no one to turn to when you want to make a warranty claim.

2014 Ariens 21" Path Pro 938030
2015 Ariens 24" SHO 921038 | poly skids
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post #7 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Location is in the NW part of the county, N Idaho panhandle. The snow I will be dealing with is typically heavier, wet snow that tends to weigh down tree limbs and interrupt power around the whole lake. Getting into the house starts with about 200' of gravel driveway, and then drops down a steep, asphalt grade that is 300' long x 12' wide. No sidewalks.


In addition, my sister lives next door and has a longer driveway, 300' long x 14' wide. Also asphalt with a steep grade, but does not curve around a corner like mine.


I will only look at dealers in the area an not HD/Lowes. Thanks for the heads-up on warranty claims.


I'm in Colorado now and heading up in a week, but there is snow now. Trying to do a little research before heading up and trying to scramble finding a machine on Dec 23rd. All the mothers and girls will be up there before me and I'll start to hear about difficulties getting out of driveway. It makes it very hard to get out if the driveway is not cleared after a snow.
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post #8 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 04:19 PM
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Yikes, you're gonna be busy !! That's a lot of ground to cover.


We've got a steep (smooth) drive. It hasn't presented many challenges for the snow throwers over the years. Some might recommend a tracked machine in that setting, but those move way up $$$. The tires on the traditional machines can be fitted with chains. I've got chains and have never used them.


I guess you need to address whether your wife would ever have to run the machine in your absence. The newest machines are EFI and that will be ideal for those who can't deal with chokes and the like. The AutoTurn system makes the machines highly maneuverable but then there's that intimidation factor.


It sounds like you're going to want to focus on something bigger. Ariens has a beautiful 28" SHO, but that's moving well north of your target price.

2014 Ariens 21" Path Pro 938030
2015 Ariens 24" SHO 921038 | poly skids
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post #9 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 04:23 PM
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BTW, Dan just added this nice video yesterday of a tracked 28" SHO machine:


https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...sho-track.html
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-15-2016, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberT View Post
Yikes, you're gonna be busy !! That's a lot of ground to cover.


We've got a steep (smooth) drive. It hasn't presented many challenges for the snow throwers over the years. Some might recommend a tracked machine in that setting, but those move way up $$$. The tires on the traditional machines can be fitted with chains. I've got chains and have never used them.


I guess you need to address whether your wife would ever have to run the machine in your absence. The newest machines are EFI and that will be ideal for those who can't deal with chokes and the like. The AutoTurn system makes the machines highly maneuverable but then there's that intimidation factor.


It sounds like you're going to want to focus on something bigger. Ariens has a beautiful 28" SHO, but that's moving well north of your target price.

Yea, a little dicey with snow on it and our guy who plowed last year has decided not to do residential this year....hence me looking at snow blowers. This is hard because my wife and kids go up a week earlier than me. Last year the power went out for 2 weeks. Generator in garage but hard to explain how to hook it up and maintain when I'm 2000 miles away. Needless to say, frustration was there and I had no control. Once I got there, plugged generator into electrical panel and we were good to go! Wife much happier then.


Now, again with a lot of snow there and more coming, I'm trying to get ahead of the game before rolling in a day before Christmas.


My brother wants to get a big ol' plow and put it on his Tahoe....but those are several thousand dollars. I don't think he realizes that cost.
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