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post #1 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Snowblower for steep long driveway

Hi,
I will be buying my first snow blower for a steep long drive way. Any recommendations or suggestions will be very helpful.

Paved Driveway Details
Location : Eastern Massachusetts (Boston metro area)
Total length: approximately 240 feet, 90 degree turn after the first (from road) 126 feet
Incline : approximately 11 degrees (19% grade) for 126 feet then slowly reduces to 6 degrees (10% grade) for the remaining near the garage
Width : approximately 12 feet for 126 feet (11 degree incline), increases to 25 feet by the garage
Total area : approximately 4100 sq feet
Shade : Lots of trees, the steep part of the driveway won't be getting much of direct sunlight
Driveway condition : fair, even


We get reasonable amount of snow, usually around 40 inches through the season (single snow storm is usually under 12 inches). 2014-2015 was a difficult year with about 110 inches of snow, but that was an outlier.

Searching the forums, there are posts that indicate that a single stage with a side to side clearing may work (post mentions Toro 721 series). Another recent post suggests that a Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE or 824 QXE would be ideal as it cleans down to the pavement

I am considering

Powermax 724 OE 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower, 16 inch clearing depth, 40 feet throwing distance, $800 at Home Depot (can't post link as this is first post)

Some of the questions I have:
1) Given the driveway and the snow we get, is this Toro up to the task?
2) Do I need to consider snowblower with tracks or adding chains to the wheels will suffice?
3) Will a single stage machine suffice or do I need a 2 stage? Single stage has the advantage of clearing to ground and variable walking speed.
4) Any recommendations?

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 12:37 PM
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My self I would be looking at a 2 stage. Might take a look at track models also Ariens, Husqvarna, Honda come to mind.

2014,TORO 1128 OXE Power Max HD
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 12:46 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

There are plenty of New Englanders here, so you should get a lot of opinions on what you "should" do.

Here are some things that you are going to hear:
1. Stick with Toro, Ariens, or Honda. Simplicity also makes a good snow blower, but their pro line is really where it is at.
2. Stay away from the big box stores, and stick to buying from a dealer. Long story short, the price is the same, but the service is way better.
3. What's your budget?

Here's my opinion, not knowing your budget of course:
Since your driveway is so big, if it is possible, I would attach a snow blower to my GT and ride it out every storm. You will move just as much snow, not have to worry about that incline too much, and you'll be able to clear your own driveway for many, many years to come. The cost will be more than the $799.99 that the Power Max runs for something new, but there are plenty of used options available on Craigslist if you so decide.

If that is not an option, I personally would then go with anything from Ariens or Toro that has a 28" bucket and at least a 250CC engine. I'm assuming you don't want to spend the money on a Honda.....if that were the case buy the GT and the blower like I mentioned previously.

Last edited by Smolenski7; 10-24-2016 at 12:48 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 12:51 PM
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I've read that single stages are NOT good for inclines.
With the later design snow tire thread, they may do ok on inclines.
If you budget was not under 1K, I'd recommend a tracked Honda ideally an HSS1332ATD.
For your budget you may get lucky and find a used Honda HS828, HS928, HS1132 or HS1332 in decent condition for $800-$1500.
If it was me I'd get a tracked blower.
If you get the Toro SnowMaster get the 8hp model.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 01:03 PM
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some good suggestions or already here. My two cents, I would probably go with a tracked model to avoid any icy steep incline issues. A good Husky ST 300 series tracked model should serve you well without breaking the bank, provided you have a dealer you can trust in your area. Best of luck on your search and please post some pics once you've taken delivery.

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Last edited by Cardo111; 10-24-2016 at 06:15 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions! For the budget I was thinking around $1000, may be up to $1500. The new Honda's seem to be more expensive than that. I could take a look at a used snow blower, however my preference is for a new model.

I will take a look at dealers in the area for snowblowers and also look into 28 inch bucket options with larger engines. The tracked models are at the higher end of my budget, I will take a look at them

I don't think attaching anything to my vehicles is an option, so I will be looking at just walking with my snowblower.

Thanks.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 02:16 PM
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You don't have a riding lawn mower? Not that everyone does, but if you do it might be a good choice.

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 02:44 PM
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Yes I would also look at the new Husky you get a pretty good machine for your dollar. It is worth checking out may or may not work but you never know.

2014,TORO 1128 OXE Power Max HD
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 03:05 PM
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hsblowersfan and others here are correct. In my experience with a shorter and less steep dirt driveway is that my older wheeled Ariens ST1032 couldn't make it back up the driveway while blowing even with chains. So I was reduced to blowing down, driving back up the path I just cut, turning around and blowing an new path on the way down. Simple math? Twice the work. My tracked Honda HS1132TA? No problem.

You have trees. So do I. Carry two wrenches, a philips screwdriver to use as a punch, and a bunch of sheer pins in your pocket, because your auger will be "finding" short limbs and other debris in the snow, especially if there has been any wind accompanying the snow storm. That is where the new Honda HSS1332ATD tracked machine with auger protection would really shine.

Good luck! If you are like me (and maybe a few others here), you will buy your first snowblower - try a used one first - and determine what you need by trying it and learning what a snowblower is and is not capable of. And then you will buy the right one on your second purchase.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-24-2016, 03:25 PM
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this is my post from another thread about someone also asking for recommendations for steep driveway. i just copied pasted my post. you can review the whole thread if you want.
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...y-incline.html



i highly recommend a tracked snowblower. I too have a very steep paved driveway. for 10 years i have used a wheeled blower but have always wanted something better to get up the hill. most times with the wheeled blower, i blow easily downhill using gravity of course, but i would then put it in high gear and just drive it up the hill over where i had already blown with the bucket raised up for zero drag. then turn around at the top and go back down. so of course, it takes longer because i only blow in one direction.

this year, i just bought a tracked honda.
if your driveway isn't real large, then go for the HSS724, otherwise the HSS928. if money is too much (they are pricey) look for a used one. however, that will save you $$ but not get teh price down to a box store wheeled unit.

it depends on how much you want to spend on ease of use. personally, i wish i would have bought the tracked blower from the start and not struggled for so long.

my 2c
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