Time to upgrade - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Been a rough February here in northern WI... record snows have me looking to upgrade. The old 24" Craftsman has served me ok for 13 years, but always been a few things I never got along with... doesn't dig well in packed snow, traction is not great as the wheels slip as soon as it hits any bit of resistance, and rides right up snowbanks at the end of driveway rather than cutting through them. 10 years ago, no prob, just take 10 inch passes... now I'm older and budget allows for the upgrade and hopefully by one that ticks all the boxes.

I have a 30' x 30' driveway and about 200 feet of sidewalk to clear. EOD snow gets big on my street, and ways plowed overnight so a chunky packed 2-3 foot mountain can be left for me during an 8-12 inch snow a few times a winter. Really looking for something to easily tackle the EOD better. I am also annoyed by taking 1/2 passes with 4" snowfalls with the current 24" craftsman as well as its aforementioned lackluster performance when tackling the EOD. Otherwise on light to moderate snow, the craftsman did the job.. just slower than I would like

I am looking at the Toro 826 and the Toro HD 928 for the next machine. I think either will throw far enough for my needs, as I dont want to move snow too close to the house or blow into my neighbors yard. Price difference is not concerning, just want the right machine, not over powered or underpowered.

The 26" would be easier to store where I keep it now in my 3 car garage, but could rearrange a bit and find a spot for the 28" if it's worth it, so space not really a problem, but a consideration.

I like the 26" width and weight of 180lbs on the 826 as it may be easier to manuver.. but concerned it may be too light and crawl up packed snow and not clean down to pavement as well like my current Craftsman. Also has a smaller 11" auger.

Like the power of the HD 928 and 14" auger and 16" wheels... but concerned it may be too wide and heavy for the residential sidewalks with the added 100lbs over the 826... it weighs in at about 270lbs I believe. I may never want for anything more for my needs with the 928, but dont want to have to wrestle with the thing every winter either on the majority of small snows we get.

For those with similar property to clear, is the 28" overkill or too difficult to manuver on residential sidewalks? I think it will perform better on the EOD and street plow pile in front of the mailbox on the curb, but can the 826 do just as well in an easier to manage package?

Any advice appreciated!

Last edited by Tonybrown32; 02-26-2019 at 01:08 AM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 04:47 AM
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Welcome to SBF, Tony.
Hopefully some of the guys who own newer machines will be along to lend a hand. However, if you have consistent, large EOD piles I'd probably go with the larger 928. Being heavier it shouldn't ride up as quickly as the lighter 826. As far as sidewalks, they are at least 36" wide where we live. The only concern there is turning it around but I have heard all good things about Toro steering.
Also, when you do make your selection be sure to set the skids and "tune" your machine if purchasing from a big box store. They hire anyone to assemble these machines and they are not always the best at what they do. Finally... Read your manual. Now is probably a good time to make a purchase since winter is winding down and no one wants to store inventory till the next season. Heck, you may even get a decent discount if you are the type to haggle a bit. Let us know what you choose.

Joe

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post #3 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by micah68kj View Post
Welcome to SBF, Tony.
Hopefully some of the guys who own newer machines will be along to lend a hand. However, if you have consistent, large EOD piles I'd probably go with the larger 928. Being heavier it shouldn't ride up as quickly as the lighter 826. As far as sidewalks, they are at least 36" wide where we live. The only concern there is turning it around but I have heard all good things about Toro steering.
Also, when you do make your selection be sure to set the skids and "tune" your machine if purchasing from a big box store. They hire anyone to assemble these machines and they are not always the best at what they do. Finally... Read your manual. Now is probably a good time to make a purchase since winter is winding down and no one wants to store inventory till the next season. Heck, you may even get a decent discount if you are the type to haggle a bit. Let us know what you choose.
Thanks for that... Our sidewalk is actually 60" wide, but usually a little grass overhang so let's call it closer to 56" or so effectively. I usually need to make 2 full passes, plus a third pass to clean up the last little big... which turns into a 4th pass anyway to get back to the house... one of the reasons I regretted not getting the 26" when I bought my current blower. Usually I just keep going down the sidewalk to either neighbors driveway to turn around... even with the 24" its not easy turning around mid sidewalk when the snow gets deep on the lawns.

I think I am leaning toward the larger 928, 28" blowers just looks so BIG and heavy compared to my 24", and I'm not getting any younger... perhaps with the new turning assistance and better ability to carve through the snow, these newer models don't need to be manhandled nearly as much as my old blower and I'm being needlessly concerned about size... but I really don't want to land on the 826 and be disappointed or wonder if I should have gone bigger either... so hard not being able to try either of them or even see them in person. Hoping someone with experience with a 260lb 28" blower of any model can weigh in on pros and cons of that size for a smaller residential application similar to mine.

My local Toro dealer is out of stock on all blowers for the season... so is the local Ariens dealer. I'm sure crushing the all time record snowfall amounts this month helped clear the showrooms early! I can still get the Toros though by ordering online through Toro.. they will ship for free to the dealer, the dealer will set it up and deliver to my house for free as well which is a nice service.

I probably need to decide pretty quick, or I'll be looking at a 2019-2020 model in the fall instead! lol..
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 10:53 AM
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Location?

Joe

Sent from my junky old Hisense 7" tablet that I can barely see.
Toro 724
Toro CCR 3650E
Toro 5/21 sold
Ariens 5/22 ss ..Sold
Ariens Sno Tek 7/24 sold.
Old green plastic snow shovel... Sent.to shovel Heaven
Old quarry shovel for ice.
New.green shovel
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Location?
Of course.. I forgot... Wisconsin. About 1.5 hours due East of Minneapolis.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 12:12 PM
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For the EOD a Toro Powershift is without peer. The 1132 with the big Briggs is a beast and will tackle that EOD without a struggle. The mechanism that moves the wheels rearward to put weight on the bucket prevents it from climbing, and the Briggs is a torque monster. My Powershifts seem to handle the wet stuff without an impeller kit as well.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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For the EOD a Toro Powershift is without peer. The 1132 with the big Briggs is a beast and will tackle that EOD without a struggle. The mechanism that moves the wheels rearward to put weight on the bucket prevents it from climbing, and the Briggs is a torque monster. My Powershifts seem to handle the wet stuff without an impeller kit as well.
That thing sounds huge at 32" but impressive... but I'm alrady worried 28" might be too big for my 30' x 30' driveway and sidewalk!
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 01:31 PM
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I am almost with you on 928.....You mentioned wheels and impeller size, 13 more cc in power(252cc vs. 265CC), bigger gas tank(0.5 more liters) and 84LBS. MORE!!!! Is my only worry for you..

Cranman might be able to alleviate the weight issue. Cranman does the Auto steer null out the weight difference or just moving it around aside from turning it
will be still a big difference @ 84lbs worth?????? Everything else says go for the 926 but that weight makes me worry for him. Cranman is your powershift an 8 or bigger??? How does it perform at EOD??

Maybe Tony you could go to dealer and compare the two actually in person....maybe the weight will be well distributed so the weight does not seem so bad???
Either way it might help you make the call. Moving the 926 around just in showroom might make you say either Yay or NAY right away!!!
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I am almost with you on 928.....You mentioned wheels and impeller size, 13 more cc in power(252cc vs. 265CC), bigger gas tank(0.5 more liters) and 84LBS. MORE!!!! Is my only worry for you..

Cranman might be able to alleviate the weight issue. Cranman does the Auto steer null out the weight difference or just moving it around aside from turning it
will be still a big difference @ 84lbs worth?????? Everything else says go for the 926 but that weight makes me worry for him. Cranman is your powershift an 8 or bigger??? How does it perform at EOD??

Maybe Tony you could go to dealer and compare the two actually in person....maybe the weight will be well distributed so the weight does not seem so bad???
Either way it might help you make the call. Moving the 926 around just in showroom might make you say either Yay or NAY right away!!!
You summed it up! My only 2 stage experience is with my current 15 year old 24" craftsman, that needs some manhandling to push around and turn... I assume these newer models with steering assist will make it much easier to maneuver, even with the heavier weight, so perhaps my concern is unfounded.. hard to say without any way to try them out hands on... The 26" 826 shouldn't be much of a difference, as it weighs about the same as my current blower, but that 80lb jump to the 28" HD 928 seemed pretty significant! I also don't have any neighbors have anything more than a basic MTD model from Menards around here either.

I was at the dealer yesterday, looking for info, and hoping to see the size differences. Completely out of stock on ALL blowers for the season. They can't even order me one. Only way to get one is order from Toro online store, Toro ships for free to the dealer, the dealer sets it up for me and delivers to my house for free... great service, but will take about 7-10 days.

I even asked if they had any similar size models back in the repair shop I could at least look at, but they didn't have any to see back there either... other brands in for repairs or tune ups, but nothing close to what I was looking for... On the bright side, I guess that's a good thing there's not much to look at in repairs though!
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-26-2019, 02:15 PM
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Tony, here's an operational review by Paul Sikkema in Chippewa Falls. He has a whole bunch of info on YouTube.
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