Could use an opinion...which one? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-09-2014, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question Could use an opinion...which one?

Hello everybody. I've been looking around for along time and have pretty much narrowed my search for a new snowblower down to the following two. Ariens Platinum 24 SHO or Husqvarna ST324P. I have a one car wide drive about 80 feet long and 200-300 feet of sidewalk. I live in Southern New Jersey. Sometimes we get 2-3" of snow followed by an hour of rain and then other times 12"+ of snow only. Both of these machines may be a little more than I actually need but I will also end up doing a couple of neighbor driveways and sidewalks as well.

Both of these machines seem to have their advantages. I have two dealers close to my house. One sells the Husqvarna and the other the Ariens.

Any opinions or recommendations of one vs the other would be great.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-10-2014, 09:45 PM
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Some members here drool over the Ariens SHO series with good reason and for the husky it seems a sturdy machine but I would have reservations over the red button on the dash which might indicate a chute electric motor as it doesn't say on the Husky site.

Good Luck

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.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-10-2014, 11:34 PM
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Opinion on 24" ers

I just agonized for months over the exact same decision. As an engineer I love these type of researches and decisions. I think these are the best 24" blowers available. There are a lot of what I consider minor differences, but there are 2 major differences that came into play for me.

The one which may appear the most obvious is the transmission. The Husqvarna has a hydro which is usually found only on Pro machines. This is a big deal and I'm sure makes this machine very easy to use and silky smooth. The Ariens has a friction disc system which seems rather mickey-mouse compared to a hydro, but it has been around since Christ was a kid and Ariens has the pinnacle in its design. Simple can be beautiful and certainly easy to troubleshoot and repair. A good hydro unit should never need any repair with maintenance fluid changes. Advantage Husqvarna.

The second one, which I never hear much discussion of, is the impeller diameter. Ariens have 14" impellers vs 12" for almost everybody else. The throughput of 2 stage (and 3x) machines is dictated by what the impeller can discharge. Impeller diameter, rpm, blade design, and exit chute size all play into this. A larger diameter has higher throughput (if the rest of the system is designed appropriately around it). I assume Ariens has designed the rest of the system adequately around the larger impeller. Advantage Ariens.

I chose the Ariens just barely above the Husky because of the impeller, but I really want that hydro tranny. I figured snow throughput was more important than smooth gear transitions.

The motors are both LCT motors, with the Ariens having the 306cc and the Husky the 254cc. Both more than enough power for a 24" machine and maybe a slight advantage for the Ariens. This was an indication that Ariens did their homework on the design of the SHO system.

I must admit that I have a history with Ariens also. I have a 1966 10M-6D which still operates at 100%. I acquired it 9 years ago, and with some very minor repairs (muffler, throttle cable, friction disc replaced) all done by me, it is the envy of my neighborhood. A 48 yr old machine that still operates at 100% says a lot to me.

So, I bought the Ariens. You should buy the Husqvarna and we'll compare notes throughout the winter. I am in Michigan, but if we lived closer, I would offer to trade once in a while so we could get experience with both machines and then see which one we would fight over.

The Honda and Yamaha guys will argue otherwise. I am a huge fan of Honda products and have owned them my entire adult life with nothing but satisfaction, but their snow blower prices are stupid high. I could own both the Ariens and the Husky for about the price of a Honda/Yamaha.

Good Luck.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-12-2014, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the great responses. I was agonizing over this tonight. It's funny I called the ariens dealer to feel them out and see if I needed to order the platinum 24 sho. They couldn't understand why I would want that blower over the 28+ they had in stock. It really does come down to the fact that all my research has pointed me to the fact that I want a machine that is well built, will last and has that something extra. The impeller size is something that has definitely pointed me to the ariens. What good are larger buckets and less power if you simply can't get the snow out of the way. Who cares if I'm over powered 90% of the time. When we get that 18-24" storm from time to time I'm going to have my property done in no time compared to my neighbors. For me it is a no brainier to spend a couple extra hundred dollars to get high quality. I don't mind the 24" width. It will also make it easier to store and get by any cars on my driveway.

Now, the hydro drive with a 1400 price tag seems almost to good to be true.

I'm convinced for at least the evening to go with the ariens. I reserve the right to change my mind in the morning.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-12-2014, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lebenfitti View Post
I A good hydro unit should never need any repair with maintenance fluid changes. Advantage Husqvarna.
I'm not sure about the Husqvarna but if I recall Ariens does not recommend a fluid change in the maintenance schedule for the Hydo.

The Ariens transmissions are made by Hydo-Gear #RT-310
Hydro-Gear - Hydrostatic Transmissions - BDR

Hydo-Grear notes it a "maintenance-free design". You can however take it apart and replace the parts that you need if you like.

You can also buy the complete Hydro for about $225 if you ever need one.
Ariens 926053 (000101 - 094999) Hydro Pro 28DLE Parts Diagrams for Reduction Drive

I went back and forth about getting a Hydo, after I went thru the above I decided to take one for a whirl.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-13-2014, 10:06 PM
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Ariens has the track record for sure… I have heard that the husky has stepped it up to be more completive but I think I would still lean ariens in this case. Friction disc’s are fairly easy to work on so repairs if any are needed should be simple. You also get a bigger impeller and more power for deep, heavy and wet snow. 24’’ will store easier then a 28 and bigger.
As for the husky I think they would work fine but that hydro hasn’t been around long so maybe you get the ariens and wait to see if there are any issues with the husky.
Remember you can always upgrade later if needed. I would also think that ariens would have a better resale value and demand over the husky.
Good luck!

Honda HS 828 (Shoe-less significant restoration)
Honda HS 1132 TAS (simple restoration)
Ariens ST7524E
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-18-2014, 09:14 PM
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I was recently looking at the same 2 machines & this is what I found;
1. both the platinum 24 & the st324p have the same price tag $1400
2. both have LCT engines, Ariens 306cc & Husq 254cc, both are more then sufficient for a 24" machine
3. both have 16" tires
4. both have joystick controls & heated grips
5. Ariens- auto turn (just that auto), Husq power steering (triggers under handles)
6. both have a cast iron gear box Ariens 5 year? & Husq 10 year warranty!
7. both have 14" steel auger
8. both have a 14" impeller - Arien steel 3 blade, Husq cast iron 4 blade
9. Husq comes with both steel & poly skid shoes, Arien just steel

Personally I'm liking the Husq, however both companies have solid reputations.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-18-2014, 09:23 PM
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I recently took delivery of an Ariens Platinum 24". I looked at the Husqvarna, I like their chainsaws. I thought the Ariens was built better. I bought at a small dealer that sells lots of Husqvarna products, but had only one (token) Husqvarna blower ..... many Compact, Deluxe, Platinum & Pro blowers. Plus a power brush.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-18-2014, 09:30 PM
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I like the warranty on the husky and the cast iron impeller. However that may make the machine harder to maneuver. Check the thickness of the steel on the husky. Make sure it doesn't feel flimsy. Ariens platinums are built like tanks.

Ariens Platinum SHO 24" Armored Up!
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-18-2014, 09:39 PM
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Cast iron impeller seems like a bad idea to me. Yes, it is more mass so it should slow down less once it gets up to speed, but cast iron can be kind of brittle if you hit it just right. Steel will bend and can be fixed, cast iron will crack or shatter.

Please direct all snow blower questions to the forums and not to me with PMs.
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