28" vs 32" maneuverability - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 8 Unread 09-07-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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28" vs 32" maneuverability

Hello Everyone,

I've decided to purchase an Ariens RapidTrak Hydro Pro to supplement the plow on my truck. I am clearing a large paved parking area (70x80) and a long gravel drive with a steep hill (1/2 mile, mostly done with the truck but want the blower to help clear the hill in big storms). We average around 100" of snow per year. It is mostly wide open, with the exception of the area around the house and garage. I don't have any paths or tight areas to worry about. My question for the forum is the trade off in difficulty to maneuver between the 28 and 32 inch machines. I am clearing a very large area, so the added capacity and cut of the 32 is attractive. My dealer says he doesn't see much difference in maneuverability between the two machines, he says you don't really need to start horsing the machine around until you get into the 36"+ machines. I didn't notice a difference when I test drove them, but that was on dry ground. I've seen a couple posts on the forum suggesting a 32 inch machine can be a difficult to control and maneuver and 28s are much easier. I'm young and fit now, but I hope this machine will last me until I'm not. Do any of you with experience on a 28 or 32 inch machine have insight on the trade offs and whether the 32 inch will be more trouble to control than the extra 4 inches are worth? If they are similar in maneuverability, I plan to go with the larger size. Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Unread 09-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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How fast your body degrades is a function of how much you use it. If you are active, then I would go with the 42, and if you are a couch potato, then I would consider the 28. Either way, sounds like you are making a great choice. Good luck, and give us some data after you use it.
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post #3 of 8 Unread 09-07-2019, 10:45 AM
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Obviously, I meant 32.
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post #4 of 8 Unread 09-07-2019, 09:10 PM
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I went from a 1986 24" tracked Honda to a 2017 32" tracked Honda. Due to improved technology, it it MUCH easier to maneuver. The RapidTrak is comparable; go for the 32"...
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post #5 of 8 Unread Yesterday, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowyWI View Post
Hello Everyone,

I've decided to purchase an Ariens RapidTrak Hydro Pro to supplement the plow on my truck. I am clearing a large paved parking area (70x80) and a long gravel drive with a steep hill (1/2 mile, mostly done with the truck but want the blower to help clear the hill in big storms). We average around 100" of snow per year. It is mostly wide open, with the exception of the area around the house and garage. I don't have any paths or tight areas to worry about. My question for the forum is the trade off in difficulty to maneuver between the 28 and 32 inch machines. I am clearing a very large area, so the added capacity and cut of the 32 is attractive. My dealer says he doesn't see much difference in maneuverability between the two machines, he says you don't really need to start horsing the machine around until you get into the 36"+ machines. I didn't notice a difference when I test drove them, but that was on dry ground. I've seen a couple posts on the forum suggesting a 32 inch machine can be a difficult to control and maneuver and 28s are much easier. I'm young and fit now, but I hope this machine will last me until I'm not. Do any of you with experience on a 28 or 32 inch machine have insight on the trade offs and whether the 32 inch will be more trouble to control than the extra 4 inches are worth? If they are similar in maneuverability, I plan to go with the larger size. Thanks!
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SO if you have 56,000 square feet of access lane plus the parking area as you say you want to clear it with a walk behind snow blower if the truck cannot plow it??????????????????????????

DID you tell this dealer that you potentially have a half mile lane to clear in 6 passes?????????????????????????????????? DID he look at you with a straight face if you told him that????????????????????????????????????

Your going to end up buying too small machine for what you want to do and it will only cause you more problems with V belts that will wear out too soon or break and your going to have melt water freezing in the machine and sticking to the V belts.

1. You are going to run out of fuel long, long, long, long, before you finish your first single pass of 2,680 feet with a walk behind snow blower.

2. your going to be dealing with snow pack that has settled overnight and also developed an ice crust.

3. frostbite exposure risk is also a concern

4. gasoline and being able to carry a 5 gallon can of gasoline on a sled is an issue.

I suppose you should really look at the BCS739 2 wheel tractor with a 32 inch 2 stage Berta snow blower with snow chains as that is only walk behind that is going to handle this work load for you. The BCS739 is an all gear drive machine with no V belts.

You will be able to use the BCS riding sulky dump trailer to carry fuel in a safety can, a shovel, a two way radio, dry sand in a couple of buckets for traction on ice and drinking water or coffee, bear paw snow shoes and food to eat in a small igloo lunch pail for energy, spare gloves, and dry hats because the cold and sweating will really do a job on your body if you do not wear insulated coveralls and a warm hat.

The other issue is snow blindness as you will need amber ski goggles to prevent that from happening as you will really damage your eyes from long term exposure on snow pack.

The other thing is that if you start plowing your going to leave snow banks and the prevailing winds will carry the snow over the bank edge and it will drop and pack and pack some more and heavy snow pack takes a long time to remove with most walk behind snow blowers as they will continually keep plugging with the snow if the chute cannot not clear the bank edge to discharge it.

"It's your money" and it will be your job to keep the driveway open but if that truck breaks an axle or has engine trouble your going to want to have at least a diesel sub compact tractor with 4 wheel drive, loaded rear tires and chains like the BX1870 to use with a rear mount single stage snow thrower or two stage snow blower.

If you get banged up and are unable to do anything at least the spouse can use the sub compact tractor to clear the driveway with no issues as long as she dresses warmly and uses the amber snow goggles to prevent snow blindness. Wearing ski goggles at night while clearing snow is a must as the snow scatter when clearing with a snow blower will also create snow blindness.

I don't have my hand on your wallet, nor do I wish to, but your taking on a task that is too big for a 2 wheel belt driven snow blower with chains.

You need a lot of snow fence on the upwind side too, if you really want to manage this.

That ariens dealer was not doing you any favors or paying attention to your "actual snow removal needs" if you told him or her you may have to use it on a half mile lane if it is to deep for the plow truck.
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post #6 of 8 Unread Yesterday, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. As I said, I'm not looking to replace the truck with a blower. I've lived here through many winters and know what my needs are. The plow serves me well but there are a few spots where a blower will be handy. I plan to use the blower to clear the parking area as plowing it is a pain due to buildings and trees that limit places to put the snow. I plan to also use it on the hill section of my drive in deep storms when the truck sometimes struggles to plow up hill. I would be doing 200 yards of the drive max. Still a lot, but not the full length, I'll leave that for the truck. My dealer listened well and was helpful in identifying a machine that would best meet my needs. Now I just need to decide on a width, and I'm looking for input on how well the different widths maneuver.
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post #7 of 8 Unread Yesterday, 07:12 PM
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Buy a Yamaha 1332 and don't look back as you will need that amount of weight to do this.
It has steering brakes so it is easy to operate.
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post #8 of 8 Unread Today, 03:42 PM
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Out in the territories of SE mass. if the going gets tough ( I have a 1/2 mile dirt road to the cranberry bog from the house) I use a 160 hp Zetor tractor, 4 wheel drive with heated cab and a 9 ft road plow attached to the bucket.....if the going isn't too bad I use the 75 hp 4 wheel drive Ford 445 with the 9 ft plow on the bucket....the last three years I could have used a broom to clear the road, LOL
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