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post #1 of 30 Old 09-01-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Snow Blower run time?

Greetings, I've used a snow blower before but I am thinking about getting one this winter since I recently bought a shed. I have two basic questions for all of you experts =)

1. What's the average run time for a ~200cc engine 2-stage? I recently discovered a product called Trufuel and wonder how long each can (32 oz) can last.

2. Is there a recommended buying guide? I've read CR reviews but don't trust them. My budget is $500-700, I live in upstate NY, driveway is about 120 feet long.
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-01-2017, 09:54 PM
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I work on snow blowers a LOT and I honestly think Trufuel is a complete waste of money, Yes it's alcohol free but these engines will run on some pretty bad fuel, I'm not saying they should be run on it but they WAY over charge for Trufuel and these engines run just fine on pump gas. A little gas stabilizer will also keep it in good shape if fuel is stored. I have a 5 gallon and stabilise it before winter and add a little when I refill the container and the blowers start right up in the fall.

For a buying guide, Dang if I seen this post a few hours ago LOL I just sold a real nice machine I was asking $700 for that would have lasted you a LONG time LOL But in that price range I would look at any of the Ariens at the lower end of there price range and also the Toro line. Husqvarna has some decent models also but are not quite as popular, My brother picked one as a floor model on sale when Lowes was clearing them out and it is a nice machine but IMHO here would be the best place to get opinions on what should be purchased and avoided as none of us are sponsored and many of us work on them for side work and see a lot of issues that these things have.

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post #3 of 30 Old 09-01-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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I saw this model the other day on SD (https://slickdeals.net/f/10514768-tr...r-509-in-lowes)
Wonder if it's a good buy or can I get one with better features for $100-200 more.
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-01-2017, 11:03 PM
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I actually prefer the Troy Bilt out of the cheaper brands, Ariens also has this one with a few options for that little bit more, It has 200 quick-turn chute with remote deflector whereas the Troy has 180 and no remote deflector. And it's Ariens with a higher quality standard. IMHO
Ariens Classic 24 in. 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower-920025 - The Home Depot
Also Lowes has the Troy Bilt you found for the same price so you could save on the shipping if you go with the Troy.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Troy-Bilt-S...wer/1000079649

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post #5 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 12:25 AM
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Exclamation snow throwers blowers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunlight99 View Post
Greetings, I've used a snow blower before but I am thinking about getting one this winter since I recently bought a shed. I have two basic questions for all of you experts =)

1. What's the average run time for a ~200cc engine 2-stage? I recently discovered a product called Trufuel and wonder how long each can (32 oz) can last.

2. Is there a recommended buying guide? I've read CR reviews but don't trust them. My budget is $500-700, I live in upstate NY, driveway is about 120 feet long.
================================================== =====================

A couple of things,

There is no real average run time, it depends completely on the fuel, the snow depth, the snow density,wind speed with and without snow falling and if there is any ice buildup PLUS any snow berms left by the plows

Some folks love the premixed canned gasoline some just use high test and mix it a gallon at a time(me) and save money that way by just pouring in some seafoam and not worrying about it as long as the old fuel is either run out and the choke closed to consume any fuel left in it or simply pouring it back into a can or a waste oil can,

If you examined CR you would know that CR is a non profit company and uses a very substantial method of testing snow blowers by using water soaked wood sawdust in in two 10 cubic foot wheel barrows one behind the other on a tarp laid on a concrete surface to run the snow blower through which provides adequate resistance in my opinion to proof a snow thrower or snow blower.


Its better to have a heavier snow thrower and a bit more horsepower so that you will not be short on power and torque.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 01:21 AM
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This is always a risky topic to discuss because different brands have their own groups of loyal groupies.
I will do my best and I'm sure people will correct any errors or difference of opinion.

Coincidentally, I was looking at the Consumer Reports website earlier tonight and was worried by a couple of the brands and models that I saw listed there. Their analysis does not (and cannot) measure the longevity of a machine.

USED:
Firstly I would ask if you have any interest at all in buying a used machine and potentially doing some fairly simple maintenance such as carburetor cleaning or replacement.
The reason I ask is because there's a fairly wide consensus on this forum that machines from 30 years ago were manufactured to last and many people would choose to buy a used machine, do a little maintenance and end up with a machine that is high quality for minimal cost.
In my case, given your budget, I would buy a machine from almost any brand and aim for something 30 years old. I would then pocket the savings. That may not be an option for you if you have no interest in buying a used machine and doing minor maintenance or repairs.

NEW:
For new machines, to a first approximation, you can break the market into four segments
a) machines to avoid
b) lower-end brands
c) middle brands
d) high-end brands

As a new member you may or may not know that the country of manufacture is significant. This is not based on pure jingoism although it sometimes may sound that way.
The following thread discusses country of manufacture and I recently collected the textual data from Scot (one of our members and moderator) and turned it into a spreadsheet format so that you can see at a glance what is made where.

Here is the posting that includes that spreadsheet, look at the very bottom of the post to see the image representing the spreadsheet:
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...2-post261.html

Look at that spreadsheet and AVOID any machine where the engine and snowblower frame are both made entirely in China. As the years go by, that situation may change but, for now at least, that rule holds true.

The brands that survive (after eliminating the 100% Chinese machines) are at the top of that spreadsheet. They are the ones worth considering.

Different people have their own preferences but I think it's fair to say that the quality stratification approximately matches the "family" order in that spreadsheet.

Honda and Ariens at the higher end (plus Yamaha if you are close to Canada)
Toro and Husquvarna in the middle
MTD and Briggs being at the lower end

Don't pay attention to the sub-ordering within a family. The list was never intended to be in quality-order. There is considerable quality overlap.

From my perspective, I would want (first and foremost) a machine that clears the snow, can handle all types and depths of snow and lasts for many years. Everything else is of secondary importance to me.

This isn't a buyers guide because it gives no opinion on the value or irrelevance of things like headlamps, hand warmers and the specific way that a chute is moved to the left or to the right (and whether it stays where you thought you'd put it) or all the other bells and whistles that you may encounter. I consider all of these things to be of secondary importance.

The most important message is to avoid the 100% Chinese brands.
I will leave it to others to nominate their favorite models and to debate the details based on your budget and needs.
I hope this is somewhat helpful and not too controversial.

DRIVEWAY 120':
As far as your driveway is concerned, you probably need a machine that is wider (not narrower) and has a larger engine (not smaller).
Horsepower ratings are no longer quoted but I would probably choose a 10HP 32" machine in your case or the modern day equivalent.

FUEL & ETHANOL:
As far as fuel is concerned, I think it is a non-issue because you should empty all fuel out of the machine at the end of the season or add a stabilizer, shut off the fuel and run the machine until the carburetor is dry. Ethanol-free fuel is a much more important issue for small hand-held tools like leaf blowers because those tiny carburetors can and do get blocked very easily. Even in that case, using a stabilizing additive usually helps to solve the problem and (as always) remove all fuel and run it dry at the end of season.
If you are keen to use ethanol-free gas, check out this website that lists gas stations selling it in bulk at regular pump prices:
https://www.pure-gas.org/

Last edited by unknown1; 09-04-2017 at 12:11 AM.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Glad I found this great place. I have an EGO mower and leaf blower so I was leaning towards an electric snow blower last year (I have no prior experience working with any gas engine tool), but I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger because of the price. And being in upstate NY we get at least one major snowstorm each winter. It was no fun clearing out 2' of snow with a shovel (or 4' of snow at the end of the driveway) I have done that for quite some years now and finally this year I said to myself this is it, I ain't doing it anymore. LOL
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunlight99 View Post
Glad I found this great place. I have an EGO mower and leaf blower so I was leaning towards an electric snow blower last year (I have no prior experience working with any gas engine tool), but I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger because of the price. And being in upstate NY we get at least one major snowstorm each winter. It was no fun clearing out 2' of snow with a shovel (or 4' of snow at the end of the driveway) I have done that for quite some years now and finally this year I said to myself this is it, I ain't doing it anymore. LOL
I don't think a cable-powered electric blower would work well on 120' of driveway. They might be OK for people whose house is right up against the street with hardly any sidewalk. Even if they DID work, dragging the cable around in snow would drive you crazy.

Machines with on-board batteries might not cut it either . I wonder if the battery life would be long enough. I didn't do the math but the number of kilowatt-hours to clear your drive would be big (even if they had the power and strength to work at all). Having said that.. some of the reviews seem to be saying that total power is not as big an issue as I expected to see. Maybe battery technology is improving faster than I thought. People like Elon Musk are driving that research hard. I would also wonder if the batteries decrease their ability to hold charge after a while. I honestly can't say. Those reviewers should know better than I do if they've actually tried it for several seasons. Check to see how often they need to buy new batteries (or replace damaged cells in an existing battery if you are handy with a soldering iron). Batteries are expensive. The total cost of ownership may be much higher than the initial purchase price. Also check to see what your neighbors are using and why.

The storage capacity (amp-hours) drives the price.
Here is a battery chosen at random... $400 buys you 7.5 Ah


Here is another one $200 buys you 4 Ah



Last edited by unknown1; 09-03-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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EGO Battery powered blower is getting closer to the average performance of a single stage. But I understand a single stage would struggle in the type of snow we get in NY.

Is steering feature like the auto turn something that's highly recommended to have?
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-02-2017, 03:05 PM
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On the larger machines steering is a nice option well, Because the bigger machines can get heavy and be a bear to maneuver. Lighter machines not so much because they are easier to lift and move around. A machine that big will be a bit above the budget you posted unless buying used.

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
Snapper 6/22 sold but not forgotten. Was my first.
Ariens ST1027LE workhorse and going strong.
New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.
Dauntae is online now  
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