Discuss-Choosing a Snowblower - Page 2 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #11 of 34 Old 10-14-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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For people who try to read all threads like myself....

Remember that some/many people post a question on a thread and just wait for replies without reading all threads that are drifting by.... those people won't know about this database.
I can't tell who does and who doesn't know about this database.

If you think the database has some value and if you see a question that you think could be helped by this database... will you help me out and point them to the spreadsheet thread please.
If I try to do that alone I will spend half my life updating the database and the other half pointing people towards it.
Just point them to the thread (not a specific post on the thread).. that way they'll get the latest version and not one that's been superseded.

Thanks for your help if you are willing to do that :-)
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post #12 of 34 Old 10-15-2017, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Just went looking for data from Husqvarna mainly because I don't see much buzz here on the forum

They have models as high as $2500 but the only information that was readily available that I could find was...
Price, Engine CC, Width and Weight (not specified wet or dry as per usual)
I couldn't find any specs for Throw or Tons/hour
Am I wrong in thinking that these might be important to someone somewhere for some reason?
However they DO have hand-warmers so that's got me sorted. ;-)
At least you can't sue them for overstating claims

However you CAN sue them in the USA if you don't like their HP numbers which they are still showing as 12.2 hp
Hopefully this horse-power can be verified independently but I don't claim to know how off the top of my head.
Presumably they consider themselves to be a Canada-only company these days - no idea

Given the lack of any tangible data that I could find easily
My conclusion is this might be the machine for you if you like orange and shiny but don't care if it actually does anything useful. It may keep your hands warm though. (depends on design specs) may be as high as 12milliwatts .. can't tell.
I won't be adding a column for color

I don't understand the thought process of anyone choosing to buy any of these... maybe they just don't know better.
I suppose it could be brand loyalty but they would need to give me more relevant information before I put on the t-shirt and become a free walking billboard for them.
I wonder what a salesperson would tell you if you asked for that data and where she'd get it from?

Do we have any proud Husqvarna owners who can help me understand this? Do you folks ask this kind of question? Am I being unfair? Did I miss the magic webpage?
How would you verify it if they said.... "No problem.. this model here is WAY better than the Yamaha... throws further and beats them on performance for way less money... you are a smart well-informed buyer.. we don't usually get people as thoughtful as you... here... have a free t-shirt... it's blue.. I can knock $100 off if you buy today... do you need credit?.. no problem!"

Ironic... I just remembered I'm a Husqvarna owner.. got a donation last week from d3500ram and it's still in my Subaru. Maybe I can rebuild it and get those stats for us ;-)

P.S. I suspect there may be a vacancy in their marketing department if anyone's looking for a job. There ought to be.
http://www.husqvarna.com/us/products...30t/961930095/
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Last edited by unknown1; 10-16-2017 at 08:43 PM.
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post #13 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to be fair to Husqvarna so I briefly checked a Craftsman model chosen totally at random from the Sears website

I discovered that model gives no information about Tons/hr or Throw either.

Without any data to confirm this... I am beginning to suspect that many if not all snowblowers from this sector of the market and downwards will also not have that data.

So either I am focusing my attention on the wrong decision criteria when looking for Tons/hr and Throw or there are a huge number of machines out there where you can have no idea until after you've bought it.. taken it home... filled it with oil and gas and tested it yourself. Of course, at that point you usually cannot return them because you've used them.
The only criteria you have to go by are "Does it look like a Snowblower? Does it quack like a Snowblower? then maybe, hopefully, if I'm lucky it may or may not actually be a Snowblower in some sense of the word"

So my question to the salesperson might go something like this...

Yes good morning...sorry?.. no thanks I don't need the t-shirt... I was wondering... I read this on your webpage...
From long winding driveways to the sidewalk in front of your home, the Craftsman 24" 208cc Snow Blower will clear your path with ease. With 8 adjustable speeds, you can quickly and safely throw packed snow and ice without breaking a sweat. The 4-cycle, 208cc OHV engine delivers serious power to help you handle even the worst of blizzards. With easy control grips, you'll be able to work your snow thrower even while wearing your thick winter mittens. Don't let winter take over your driveway and keep your path clear with this amazing Craftsman snow blower.
Can you please show me the specifications that substantiate and help me quantify or even qualify these claims? I'm a bit of a geek and these things interest me. Can I return it at any time for a full refund if it fails to do any or all of the above and will you promise to pay for the transportation? Oh by the way.. can I get that in writing... thanks.... My Grandpa used to LOVE Craftsman. .... sorry?.... No... I thought I said... I don't want a t-shirt.

By the way, did you notice the classic reverse-spin of taking a disadvantage and turning it into a perceived advantage?
while wearing your thick winter mittens
I think this model probably does NOT have hand-warmers but I didn't fact-check
Also this one: $599.99... think of all the printer ink they'd save if they just said $600


Bad News: You can't tell what this is. Your only hope is to look at the engine size and possibly hope it might match one of the models in the database with a similar engine size.
It is left as an exercise for the user to check the database for models with similar engine size to see if that does or does not give an indication. I do know the answer. See attachment #2
I'm pleased to see a further potential benefit of having this type of database. It's been a lot of work.

Good News: Keeping this database up to date is going to be a piece of cake. I was feeling a little guilty that there were hundreds of models that were being ignored by my data. Now I may no longer need to care.

To me this is very strange but seems to be true. People must be buying these machines based on shockingly poor selection criteria and just hoping for the best.

By the way.. read the first negative review for this random model.
Here: Sears.com

If you find the missing data please let me know

Please feel free to correct any errors in my logic and/or conclusions or to offer different interpretations or hypotheses. :-)

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Last edited by unknown1; 10-17-2017 at 04:44 AM.
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post #14 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Have you ever looked at a rating and asked what that really means (if anything at all)?

If I tell you my Bobcat throws up to 120 feet ...

a) 15 feet is "upto" 120 feet... so if that's all I get ... I'm not lying and you can't sue me
b) Did I do a series of meaningful practical tests (that someone else could verify for themselves) average the results and give you the average? maximum? median?
c) What about error bars? 120 feet plus or minus 10 feet
d) Was I lying or maybe manipulating you? What does my claim really mean?
e) Did I calculate the expected range using a bit of math using things like RPM, impeller radius and a few other bits-n-pieces? (I'm still wondering if I know how to get that equation).
f) Did someone else verify it for me like an independent testing lab?
g) What does the little asterisk mean next to those numbers? In plain English it means it MAY throw up to 120 feet... then again it MAY NOT. (What do you do with a number like THAT!?)

I am not endorsing Consumer Reports and I am certainly not endorsing the models they test.
For all I know, ACME blowers may be slipping them a few bucks to sweeten the pot
Come to think about it.. maybe someone is slipping ME a few bucks... or a t-shirt
I promise that is NOT the case ;-)

However.. they have an interesting way of trying to get a bit of unbiased(?) experimentation to at least try to be scientific

For anyone who doesn't know this already. They have a test track full of wet saw-dust and they start throwing the saw-dust around and measure how far it goes etc.

After all...
The way to test bullet-proof glass is to load a rifle.
The way to test an auger-protection system is to throw a brick into your auger bucket
One way to at least try to test a snowblower is to start throwing saw-dust

In an ideal world, I could add a column for tested-throw versus claimed-throw to get a bit more authenticity into the database and maybe even reveal which vendors (if any) have dubious claims.
Remember the Horse-Power lawsuits?

Unfortunately I didn't see any published statistics from CR in a spreadsheet. Pity! I would have jumped on that in a heartbeat.
Maybe they want you to keep coming back to Consumer Reports instead of looking at my database. Makes sense I suppose... at least from their perspective.
That's why I can't endorse them.. if they made that data public.. I would.

Check them out here and scroll down to see their test-track in action https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...wers/index.htm

The green and yellow machine is probably a John Deere so this is old news.... but I still appreciate their attempt and thought it was relevant to this thread.

From my own personal perspective, I think that Tons/hour and Throw are significant metrics.... I just want to make sure I know what those numbers are and where they come from.
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Last edited by unknown1; 10-17-2017 at 04:28 AM.
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post #15 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Making a decision when you don't have all the facts. Especially in the case of lower-end machines

If you agree that Tons/hr and Throw are important... how can we help the buyer whose budget can't afford the machines in the database and the vendor specs don't give that information?
I previously gave an image that answers this but if you are not familiar with seeing data presented as a cross-plot I'll try to explain what I think I see in that data.

You ask the salesperson and she says.. "Oh that's easy.. the bigger the engine the better the tons/hr and the better the throwing distance"
Intuitively that feels right.. but is it? Let's revisit those scatter plots one at a time.

Tons per hour versus Engine Size
Look at image #1. (I tried to inline it but this forum software has me beat)

Does it look like the Tons/hr gets better as the engine size gets bigger?
It does to me. In fact it.. as a rule of thumb.. it looks like it may even be linear... you could draw a straight line up the middle of that graph.
So the data does seem to support what the saleswoman told us. In fact.. I'd probably bet the farm on that if I had to.

Throw versus Engine Size
Take a look at image #2.

Is anyone convinced beyond all doubt that the throw gets better with engine size?
I can see a general trend upwards as we move to the right but it's not as convincing as the previous example.
Also, the points are scattered all over the place.. there has to be something else going on too.. but what?
I certainly would not bet the farm on this one.

Impellers:
But wait a minute.. I read about some kind of high-efficiency impeller design on some website or other.
Could it be that some of these models have one of those and some don't? Maybe that wasn't bling after all.
To answer these questions you'd have to dig deeper into the database but I don't tell you much about the impellers.
In some cases I couldn't even figure out the size.
With the lower-end machine you are looking at all I can say is... I'm not convinced that engine size affects Throw.
It might.. but there's more going on. I'm willing to believe it can't hurt to have a bigger engine though.
I might prefer bigger impellers if I was comparing two models and they were different for the same engine size.

Conclusion:
Bigger engines throw more snow per hour... However, I'm not sure if they throw it a bigger distance or not.. Bigger impellers probably better for that.


Data is great isn't it?
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Last edited by unknown1; 10-16-2017 at 05:46 PM.
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post #16 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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If someone knows the impeller sizes that are missing on the database, please will you post that info on this discussion thread.
As always, links for fact-checking are appreciated if available. I need data for Toro & Honda
& Yamaha

Last edited by unknown1; 10-16-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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post #17 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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I went to check out Cub Cadet from the MTD family because I've seen some activity on the forum in recent days/weeks

To understand what I mean by family see this spreadsheet saying which snowblowers are made in which country
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0J...dJQWo1c0E/view

They have several models from $1100 to $2600
Engines 277cc to 420cc
impellers 14" (this makes me worry about the 12" assumption I made for Honda and Toro)

I found no data for Tons/hr or Throw

Once again, your selection criteria are limited and you will have to go with Engine Size and just hope for the best

I am not going to add Cub Cadet to the database for these reasons
I will remove Husqvarna too. I don't want to accidentally imply a positive endorsement by leaving Husqvarna in there.

There is nothing to be gained by adding a long list of vendors and models if they offer no meaningful data

http://www.cubcadet.com/equipment/Co...ductId=2021368
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Last edited by unknown1; 10-16-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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post #18 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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I went to check out Simplicity from the Briggs & Stratton family
https://www.simplicitymfg.com/na/en_...onal-duty.html

They DO specify throwing distance but not Tons/hr even for their "Commercial" highest price model
I exclude them for that reason

To understand what I mean by family see this spreadsheet saying which snowblowers are made in which country
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0J...dJQWo1c0E/view

I have now sampled at least one brand from each family Husqvarna, MTD & Briggs-Stratton

I do not intend to sample the 100% Chinese family for reasons described in the USA/China thread
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...ade-china.html

Notice that Yamaha are unusual in that there is unconfirmed evidence to suggest that they too are 100% Chinese
However, Yamaha are outliers in many other respects and are not even available in the USA
They stay in the database due to the fact that the specification data is available and they are generally regarded in Canada as being high-end products.

This is probably the end of my search for data and I will not drill down deeper into the mid-range families hoping to find data that probably does not exist.

Last edited by unknown1; 10-16-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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post #19 of 34 Old 10-16-2017, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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;-)
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post #20 of 34 Old 10-17-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hello first-time buyers

Hello first-time buyers

After you've looked at the database and got your head around it and made a few decisions to get to a short-list.
Will you please PM with a rating so I can get a feel for the value it provided.
Let's say a number between 1 and 10 where 1 might signify "total waste of your time and mine" and 10 means "Wow this thing made all my decisions for me"
Maybe also a brief summary of how it helped and how it could be changed to help nail down the criteria that matter to you.
BTW I'm looking for real data not "happy-numbers" they wouldn't help ;-)

By the way PM means private message. Click on my name and a menu should pop up to let you do that
I'll be impressed if you can do that without sending a blank message to me or yourself first.. you'll know what I mean when it happens ;-)

Thanks :-)

Last edited by unknown1; 10-17-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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