New Toro HD 928 OAE - Pros/Cons first use - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-02-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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New Toro HD 928 OAE - Pros/Cons first use

Hey all,

Been using a Craftsman 24" 2 stage for about 15 years now, and with the record snows we've had, decided to upgrade to something a little bigger that can throw the snow a little further and better tackle the large plow piles at the end of the driveway and in front of my mailbox.

Debated between an Airens deluxe 24" or 28" and a Toro 826 or HD 928. Snowblowers are out of stock everywhere, and couldn't even get an Airens, so pretty much made my decision for me and went for the Toro HD 928 OAE. Chose the HD 928 for the 14" impeller and 16" wheels, and the 28" bucket will save me a pass or two on the sidewalks, as ours are 60" wide.

I was able to order a Toro online, and was shipped direct to the dealer in town. They were supposed to set it up and deliver to my house. They had it all set up, called me, and couldn't deliver until Wed unfortunately, but I wanted it for the snow we got last night, so went and picked it up myself.. no biggie. They helped me load it up and off I went...

Checked it over in the garage before the first use, and noticed the auger cable spring wasn't even hooked into the hole of the control arm, it was hooked around it... so fixed that. Figured based on that I better check everything. The traction cable wasn't adjusted properly either.. so adjusted that.. everything looked pretty good from there so fired it up with one pull, and took a pass down the driveway... realized it was really hard to keep straight. Checked the skids and scraper bar height, and those weren't adjusted either.. so was pushing the scraper bar along making it hard to slide down the concrete.

What a poor setup job by the dealer in my opinion... but whatever, got it set up and cleared the driveway, the road by the mailbox, made a new path in the backyad for the dog... spend a couple hours just getting used to it.

This machine is much more powerful than my craftsman and much more heavy. Here's my pro's and cons so far:

Pros
- Power. This easily throws 40-50 feet. It's almost a con since I can throw from the road almost to my house, and am afraid I might throw an ice chunk through a window! lol.
- Adjusting the chute with the joystick is great, although I need some practice with it, as I let go of the button too late, and sometimes it falls back to full upward position on me
- Cuts through the packed deep snow at the end of the drive very well.. much better than my old blower
- Doesn't ride up on snow piles or deep snow like my old one. The Toro only rode up once I hit some solid icy stuff, but I expected that. The old Craftsman though, would ride up a LOT.
- The Toro was a champ through the yard, and going slow, easily cut through snowpack a few inches higher than the bucket. I gave up trying last week with the Craftsman.. it was futile..

Cons
- Heavy. Its manageable, but definitely more difficult to maneuver than my smaller 24". I think I may just need to form some new habits, and learn not to try to steer and control it like my old one.
- I've also needed to use the reverse on this one given it's weight and size, where I rarely needed to with the old one.. I could easily pull it backwards without using reverse gear.
- Keeping it straight down the driveway is difficult. The metal skids catch on the concrete easily and pulls it left and right.. so can't keep a straight line easy. It could be the brand new metal skids, I'll give it a few snows and if it continues will maybe try some poly skids that glide on the concrete better, or it's just a product of the steering assist. My old blower only had poly skids the whole 15 years I had it, but didn't have the steering assist like this Toro.
- Uneven surfaces are difficult. The small slope at the end of the drive was difficult to take sideways with the Toro as the skids and plate catch a lot, and pull the machine off line easily, where the old 24" really just stayed straight just fine... the one or two raised concrete pad edges I have also were a bit more difficult to ride over with the heavier Toro as well.

The only other thing I had issues with, which wasn't a pro or a con... was that the traction and auger levers are opposite of my last blower... ugg... this was the most difficult thing for me. Old habits die hard, and working my old blower was 2nd nature controlling the auger on and off while turning circles in 6th gear.. was a chore with the Toro trying to remember to use the opposite hand to cut power to the auger or traction... felt like an idiot a few times today lol! That will get better though after a few snows... just really didn't expect that to be that difficult of a transition.

Quick summery, loving the power of the 928 for the deep packed stuff and ability to throw snow farther with more control of the chute, and will be glad to have it when we get the 8-12" wet March snows... but might miss the smaller 24" for the smaller 2-4" snows I want to just clean up quickly... but maybe with some practice learning the controls better, I'll be able to whip the 928 around in 6th gear just as well in time.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-02-2019, 07:34 PM
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I just got an 8/24 and I agree about the controls.

I keep saying left in my head, but I am still grasping the right to engage the drive.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-02-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Right? A few times I ran up a bank and about tipped backwards toward me, or almost hit my car taking my hand off the right lever thinking it would stop, but kept on goin.. my neighbors probably thought I was drunk..lol
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-02-2019, 08:12 PM
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I had a Craftsman for 18 years and it is a learning curve about which hand does what. But if I can get used to it you will also.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-02-2019, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for the info, and review! For those, like me, unfamiliar with this machine, I was trying to figure out if it uses trigger steering. It does not, it uses an automatic differential, I'm guessing like the one in the Ariens AutoTurn system.

If so, it will be susceptible to catching on things on the driveway surface, which can confuse the steering, and kind of cause it to freak out. A common solution for Ariens machines has been to go to the plastic skids. I think they glide better, and maybe also have a smoother profile at the front, but at any rate, those are supposed to reduce it trying to catch on things.

If Toro doesn't make their own plastic skids, you can get some on eBay, made by different individuals/companies. One example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/TORO-SKID-SHOE-106-4588-01-SET-OF-2-POLY-REVERSIBLE-REPLACEMENTS/173604618874?hash=item286ba4427a:g:ZIMAAOSw-BlcB~bQ:rk:3f:1&frcectupt=true

If the scraper bar and skid shoes are adjusted correctly, but it's still catching and pulling to the side, I'd definitely look into different skids. A lot of people have reported the plastic skids making a big difference with their AutoTurn machines. I have them on my Ariens (not AutoTurn), and still like how they slide, how they're easier on the driveway surface, and how they don't leave rust spots on the garage floor. Mine have held up well so far, after about 4 seasons on asphalt, they are showing very little wear.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-03-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks.. yes, the Toro has the same auto steering as the Airens. Definately going to try some poly skids. I also know that when I replaced my scraper bar a few times on the old blower, the first few snows it wasnt as smooth either until it wore down the high spots a bit..
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-03-2019, 01:27 PM
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You might want to consider Armor Skids too. I love mine! Snow Blower Skids for all makes and models
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-03-2019, 01:41 PM
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How are the skid shoes adjusted? People often adjust them to keep the scraper bar just slightly off the ground.

Like putting a paint stirrer stick under the scraper bar, and then adjusting the skid shoes until they're on the ground. Remove the paint sticks, and make sure there's still a small gap between the scraper bar and the ground. If not, prop the scraper up a bit more, and adjust again.

That should help reduce the scraper bar's desire to catch on driveway imperfections, ice, etc.

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