Steering certain snowblowers - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Steering certain snowblowers

Hello all. I am new to snow throwers and I just picked up a Craftsman 24-in. 208cc Dual-Stage Snowblower (model 88173)

I read the manual and know how to operate the unit, but there's no mention of steering or any wheel pin release which I've been reading about in other forums that can allow the wheels to free spin for steering.

When the drive is disengaged, you can push the wheels forward and backwards just fine, but you can't steer them without skidding the wheels since they are locked rotating together.

So as a rookie, I'm thinking this is normal in some snow blowers that aren't too feature rich. Some people say the skidding tires are not a big deal in snow which is slippery (which is fine)

My question is, are you damaging the unit by pivoting it on skidding tires? Should you pivot it on the skid shoes with the wheels lifted? What's the proper way of steering?

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 04:34 PM
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Well to begin, welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had.

As far as Craftsman, I'm not too keen with. But I can say that some blowers feature a steering mechanism of sorts and some do not. If there isn't a pin to lock/unlock the wheels then you probably just have a standard straight axle. In snowy conditions it provides more traction when using the machine, but turning may pose to be a good workout. However, when you actually do use it, the snow on the ground certainly helps you in turning the blower.

And to answer the question - no, you should not be causing damage to the unit

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good response! As long as it's normal and isn't damaging my axle and drive mechanism, I'll deal with wrestling with my U-turns.

Thanks for the peace of mind!
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 04:50 PM
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Steerable blowers (I have one that's a Craftsman) have a trigger on each handle or in some cases on one handle (some Ariens). When you squeeze the trigger on that side, it disengages the wheel on that side. The wheel on the other side continues to turn so the blower turns. For example, squeezing the left trigger disengages the left wheel. The right wheel continues to turn so the blower turns to the LEFT.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 05:20 PM
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most snow blowers work on the skid steer platform. ALOHA to the forms..: cool:

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 05:29 PM
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This snowblower model does not have easy steer hence straight axle but a 24" unit should be easy enough to handle.

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.

Last edited by Normex; 10-05-2014 at 09:08 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 07:10 PM
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Welcome, and I agree with what has been said. You might wear your tires down with skid steering after 40 years. But the reality is, that you would not still own the machine, or some other major component has failed prior to that point.

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MTD....2 stage(modern 8.5 HP) not my favorite
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 09:11 PM
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Your model probably has a bolt that secures the wheel, and the wheel is keyed to the axle shaft, which means that one side cannot be manually unlocked.

Some models have this setup, and others have an un-keyed wheel with a pin so you can manually lock or unlock the wheels as necessary.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 10:11 PM
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It will be much easier to turn (skid) when it's on snow.
You will see.
Unlocking a wheel in the off season makes it much easier to maneuver in/out of the shed/corner of garage or whatever.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-05-2014, 10:18 PM
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From the sounds of it, he can't unlock the wheel because his model will not allow, though.
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