Help me choose - Noma 5/24, Noma 6.5/24, or Ariens 5/22
Help me choose, I have a conundrum, not sure what to do.
I am in Central NJ, snows 2-5 times a year, 1" -5" , one 6" -8" or 10" -12", then once every 3 years a 24", have a short driveway that would hold 4 cars plus 100' sidewalk.
I want a large machine, a small machine, and a single stage machine for my own property and I do some neighbors for money.
I am not snowblower poor, just have to many and wife is upset. I have 2 large machines which I'd like to keep both right now as I do walks and drives in the neighborhood and not sure yet which large machine to keep and sell. A 1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp/29" I got last year and a similar year Murray Noma 9hp/27" I got this year. Both have very little mileage on them. I also have a couple of single stage, one to sell, I use for light stuff where a 2 stage is useless getting down to the concrete.
Now this is what I am asking about.
I have 2 smaller machines, both in good shape, both need nothing, either is ready to sell or keep. I want only one small machine.
1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp 22" , 9" impeller, 15" or so high front housing, I've had for 12 years, in good shape. Very light and mobile, smaller tires, not knobby.
Then a Murray Noma 5hp/24", about a 1995, that has some use on it, the previous owner had a long driveway but still Central NJ, not MA, ME, MI, MN, VT! with a 12" impeller, 16" high front housing, definitely a bigger machine and heavier machine, and bulkier to move around compared to the Ariens, with knobby tires.
As it stands between the two as is, I want to keep the Ariens because it's light and mobile. But I have a second choice.
Selling the 22" Ariens, keeping the 24" Noma only if I removed the 5hp and put on a 212cc 6 1/2hp Predator engine. This way I would have a machine that is still relatively small, though bulky but at least it's not as big, bulky to maneuver, and heavy as the 9 and 10hp, but has more power than 5hp, and substantially more power than a Tecumseh. So I am able to do deeper snow and wetter snow without bringing out the larger 9 and 10hp machines. I'm hoping the Noma with the larger 12" impeller, the higher auger housing, pulling in more snow especially in wet or heavy or deep snow won't overwhelm the Predator. I figure I can use a lower gear or take out the 9hp or 10hp machine, and if I decide o sell the larger 9 & 10hp machines, the Noma with the Predator will still be substantial enough to handle the snows we get.
Opinions, comments, suggestions please.
1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale