Fastest snowblower that digs in...RapidTrak?? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-25-2019, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Fastest snowblower that digs in...RapidTrak??

Hi, I have an Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO for the last 1 year and it’s my first snowblower. It is great but I have been wondering if a RapidTrak would be just as fast but offer better performance plowing through heavy wet snow and scraping off snow that has been driven over once.

I live in South Dakota so the snow amount is moderate. I live on a pretty steep hill. I have a 35 ft deep three car driveway, a semicircular turnaround and 100ft of two lane road to clear.

I want the fastest most effective machine. Suggestions?
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-25-2019, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hi, I have an Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO for the last 1 year and it’s my first snowblower. It is great but I have been wondering if a RapidTrak would be just as fast but offer better performance plowing through heavy wet snow and scraping off snow that has been driven over once.

I live in South Dakota so the snow amount is moderate. I live on a pretty steep hill. I have a 35 ft deep three car driveway, a semicircular turnaround and 100ft of two lane road to clear.

I want the fastest most effective machine. Suggestions?
================================================== =========

Your probably not old enough to remember the blizzard of 1966 eh?


Your already behind the 8 ball on this as you need adhesion and that means much more weight to create traction.

Short of traveling north of the border and purchasing a Yamaha 1332 or 1028 in Alberta or Manitoba you are limited to one of the Yardman? 48 inch wide 4 wheel walk behinds and snow chains for the wheels which would be less costly than a Yamaha 1332 or Yamaha 1028.

Save the ariens as a back up unit and buy chains for it and the weight kit and purchase one of the 48 inch wide yardman units and chains and you will be well prepared.



Last edited by leonz; 05-25-2019 at 06:23 PM. Reason: stuff
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-26-2019, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. The Yamaha looks like an impressive machine. The price is also pretty impressive. Big auger and impeller, plenty of power etc. I can see why people recommend them over the Honda 1332.

I couldn’t find a yard man 48” machine but I have heard of the Craftsman 45” that was in their pro series up till a couple years ago. I heard they were a dog but I could be wrong and I could be thinking of a different machine than you are referring to.

My wheeled Ariens will go right up and down my driveway in average snow and I like the maneuverability of it. In 14” of heavy wet snow (slightly slushy at the very bottom) it lost traction and I had to manhandle it through the snow and it was riding up. It also wouldn’t scrape snow off if it had been driven on.

Will any walk behind snowblower scrape off snow that has been driven on once?

I know a tracked unit will have better traction to push through that heavy wet stuff, but aren’t most of them slower than a wheeled unit? That’s why I wondered about the RapidTrak. I don’t want a machine that is slow moving but unstoppable...most of my snows are little 4” nothings and I’d go crazy if the blower couldn’t go pretty fast.
post #4 of 18 Old 05-26-2019, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonz View Post
================================================== =========

Your probably not old enough to remember the blizzard of 1966 eh?
Ha, I remember that one! But this was north of Washington, D.C. and we got a whole week off of school, very rare for that area. It was forecast as light flurries and we ended up with three feet of light flurries, and the wind blew it around for two more days after the snow stopped.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-27-2019, 10:16 AM
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We live in heavy snow country. I've been snowblowing for over 50 years. Here's my take given I just bought a 28" Rapid Trak Pro last fall....coming from almost 30 years with an Ariens 1236 (I almost bought the 1332 Honda, but didn't after weighing out the pros / cons of each)

To answer your speed question. The hydro tranny on the Pro works very well! It's also quite fast. What it will scrape up after being driven over depends on the weight of the vehicle driving over the snow. The heavier the vehicle the harder it is to peel up. I experimented with this very issue last fall. I found that one time over with our vehicles (+/- 4200#) was no problem in regular track mode or most times in the wheeled position too. I tried driving over it 3,4,5 times before going after it. The Rapid Trak dig mode peeled the tracks up, but I had to go very slowly.

As for getting a very wide walk behind machine, I wouldn't do it unless you're just going to blow fluff up most of the time. The wider it is, the harder it will be to make a clean pass without lifting the bucket a bit on one side or the other going over irregularities. It's one of the reasons why I downsized from a 36.

I was quite pleased with our new blower for the 100 inches it saw before we left for warmer climes in early January this year. I would have gone with the Ariens Rapid Trak 32" if we were here all winter. There was still snow in our neighborhood when we got home just 2 weeks ago.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-27-2019, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks for the reply. The Yamaha looks like an impressive machine. The price is also pretty impressive. Big auger and impeller, plenty of power etc. I can see why people recommend them over the Honda 1332.

I couldnít find a yard man 48Ē machine but I have heard of the Craftsman 45Ē that was in their pro series up till a couple years ago. I heard they were a dog but I could be wrong and I could be thinking of a different machine than you are referring to.

My wheeled Ariens will go right up and down my driveway in average snow and I like the maneuverability of it. In 14Ē of heavy wet snow (slightly slushy at the very bottom) it lost traction and I had to manhandle it through the snow and it was riding up. It also wouldnít scrape snow off if it had been driven on.

Will any walk behind snowblower scrape off snow that has been driven on once?

I know a tracked unit will have better traction to push through that heavy wet stuff, but arenít most of them slower than a wheeled unit? Thatís why I wondered about the RapidTrak. I donít want a machine that is slow moving but unstoppable...most of my snows are little 4Ē nothings and Iíd go crazy if the blower couldnít go pretty fast.
================================================== =================


Hello Lorenmjones,


The problem is still adhesion as the snow blower tires are small. You only have a square inch or less of rubber contacting the pavement for each tires.

If you do not have a toothed scraper bar it will not clear to the pavement.

The only thing that is going to skim down to pavement with a wheeled unit is to use a BCS two wheel tractor and a berta snow blower attachment as the Berta 2 stage snow blowers are heavy and will not ride up on snow pack.

Back to the current issue and If you do anything I would do this first, purchase 2 link V bar chains NOT ladder link chains for the snow mules tires that you have and make sure the tires are fully inflated after mounting the chains.

The V bar ice and snow chains provide a high amount of traction and as you will have snow pack on the driveway it will let them bite in very well and you will need to travel at a slower pace.

Snow removal for the consumer is not at all dependent on snow removal science. It is a case of what a consumer wants/thinks he or she needs and what the manufacturers are willing to make and still make money.

If you are using all season tires any snow pack left on the driveway will be a problem for you unless you have 4-6 bags of tube sand in the vehicle and a box of snow chains.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-27-2019, 09:11 PM
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I can generally scrape up driven-on snow down to 1/4" thickness or so with my wheeled Pro 28 unless it's really well packed, in which case the skids don't sink all the way though (the stock skids dug in a little better than the armorskids, but the longer skids handle better and protect the bucket better). But my machine is heavy (about 380 lbs), as it's converted to battery start (about 30 lbs added to the back of the bucket) and has a 10 lb weight bar at the front of the bucket. It still maneuvers fine at that weight, but you learn to move it by turning it and not by lifting the bucket (as it takes a good bit of force on the handles to lift it).
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-27-2019, 09:34 PM
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Leonz -why do you think you only have 1 sq. In. of contact patch on each tire ? With about 10 psi per tire, you would end up with a 20 lb. Machine. Help me out here.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-27-2019, 11:36 PM
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The surface area of the properly inflated tire that contacts the ground is very small in square area
and much less than a car tire which may have a total square inch of rubber hitting the asphalt.

This is why I told him he needs chains for his snow mule.

In another example a 33 or 39 nine inch diameter drive wheel of a diesel locomotive will have only
the surface area of a dime in contact with the ball of the rail head at any time.

He needs a good set of V bar chains for his snow mule. and maybe the weight kit.

I have to go to bed :^(
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-28-2019, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonz View Post
The surface area of the properly inflated tire that contacts the ground is very small in square area
and much less than a car tire which may have a total square inch of rubber hitting the asphalt.

This is why I told him he needs chains for his snow mule.

In another example a 33 or 39 nine inch diameter drive wheel of a diesel locomotive will have only
the surface area of a dime in contact with the ball of the rail head at any time.

He needs a good set of V bar chains for his snow mule. and maybe the weight kit.

I have to go to bed :^(

A steel drive wheel on a diesel locomotive has nothing to do with your argument. We are talking about rubber tires that are filled air to some pressure.



Take you 250 lb snowblower or snow mule, in your vernacular, and wet the tire, then measure the contact patch of the wet pavement, and I will bet that it is more than 1 sq. in.


But, I do agree with you that chains will help his traction issue !


Sorry for using bandwidth on this diversion, but I am just trying to educate myself !
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