Tracks or wheels for my driveway? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 11-05-2016, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Tracks or wheels for my driveway?

My driveway is a paved circular driveway:
- 120' long, one car wide.
- 1/3 of it is a hill. I'd say 10% grade, with the steepest part at 15%
- Opens to a 2-car garage at the bottom of the hill
- Near the road (top of the hill) the opening widens so there's room to park 2 extra cars

My local dealer sells Ariens / Husqvarna. I was thinking I'd get the 24" Ariens Track model to get up the hill, but my local dealer recommended the wheeled Ariens 28". He said he has stopped recommending tracks entirely because of the problems he sees with them. He must have had 30 snowblowers on display, all wheeled models. He said I'll have no problem getting up my driveway with the the wheels.

I'm also concerned about auto-steer. Will being sideways on a sloped hill trigger auto-steer issues? He also said he hasn't had anyone complaining about auto-steer, but if I'm worried about it he'd go with the Husqvarna 28. He said it's a good bang-for-the-buck machine, giving you heated grips, levers to disengage the wheels, and would be more than fine for my need. A quick googling brought up drive belts breaking so I think I'll avoid them.

So I'd love to hear the opinions on whether I'd regret a wheeled unit for my driveway.

Thanks!

Last edited by matto; 11-05-2016 at 08:28 PM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 11-05-2016, 08:35 PM
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For inclines a track machine is definitely better IMO.
You could also look for a used tracked Honda HS928 They do not have trigger steering but are not too bad to turn once you learn how to do it.
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post #3 of 28 Old 11-05-2016, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you that the tracks would be best. But would the wheeled version still work OK? It's $900 cheaper than the 28" track version (!!!) and would be significantly easier to move around in storage.

Or would the 24" non-auto-steer version be sufficient for that sized driveway? 208cc seems awfully small compared to the others in this group.

I'm tempted to go with the 28" track version but that's double the price for nothing if the wheels would have done just fine.

Last edited by matto; 11-05-2016 at 09:04 PM.
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post #4 of 28 Old 11-05-2016, 09:53 PM
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My guess is the dealer wants to sell what he has. Will wheels work? yes. Will tracks be better? Yes. Get tracks, it will make your life easier. I have a steep driveway and the experience of owning both.
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post #5 of 28 Old 11-05-2016, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowG View Post
My guess is the dealer wants to sell what he has. Will wheels work? yes. Will tracks be better? Yes. Get tracks, it will make your life easier. I have a steep driveway and the experience of owning both.
Awesome, thanks.

Do you have Ariens tracks? Would you go 24" and muscle the turns, or 28" with autosteer?

I do wish there were a way to disconnect the transmission on the Ariens so you could push the **** thing around.

Last edited by matto; 11-05-2016 at 10:02 PM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 11-06-2016, 12:13 AM
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I only have experience with an older Ariens ST1032 wheeled with 2 link v-bar chains and a Honda HS1132TA tracked machine.

The Ariens even with chains couldn't blow snow for me up my dirt driveway which I believe is not more than 5 percent grade.
The Honda tracked no problem.
But here's the deal with tracks. If you have real ice (not compressed snow) you need steel to penetrate and you can't put chains on a tracked machine like you can on a wheeled machine although I have read of somebody thinking of putting snowmobile studs on a tracked machine.

One more thing, what is your driveway surface?

If it is gravel, IMHO go tracked for sure.



Are you sure you have a 15 percent grade, because if so, I would not want to live or park below your driveway...
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post #7 of 28 Old 11-06-2016, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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I think it might be nearly 15% in one spot. Definitely at least 10. Yeah it's not ideal.

The surface is asphalt.

Getting out of the driveway in winter (and avoiding sliding down the hill into my other car) is a real concern.
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post #8 of 28 Old 11-06-2016, 08:24 AM
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I was at a honda dealer this week ,after I got my parts that I needed I was i ing the new honda blowers trac and wheel. The owner cam over and I asked him how hard it was to move the track , he told me to hold the triggers so I did . I don't know about ariens track blowers but the honda track move just as easy as a wheeled blower with the engine off but you pay it. You also get what you pay for and honda's have the best resale value.
For wheeled blowers I like the toro's oxe models ,they have trigger steering.

Scott
69 ariens
toro 721r
toro 926 hd oxe
78 powerking 1614/48'' haban snowblower
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post #9 of 28 Old 11-08-2016, 06:23 AM
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I'll get the tracked snowblower just to save the aggravation of having the machine riding up all the time on hard packed snow.
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post #10 of 28 Old 11-08-2016, 07:06 AM
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There is no question that tracked models are more efficient on steep grades and will dig into an icy plow pile more effectively.

That being said I have used a wheeled model under such conditions (steep grade driveway) with good results as well. A front weight kit will help any snow blower keep good contact with the surface and the newer X-Trac design tires do bite into the snow very well. Based on E350's helpful diagram a 15% grade is cutting it close with a wheeled model but it should be okay. A 20% grade I would say you need the tracks. Another tip if I may, always where ice cleats over your boots, I do on my current relatively flat drive, even more important on a steep drive. These are usually available at your local Costco if there is one or can be ordered online, a popular brand is Yaktrax.

Additionally if your dealer is so confident I would ask him if he would take back the machine if there is a traction/performance issue on your driveway if you are unhappy with a wheeled Deluxe 28 SHO. Assure him/her that you will buy a tracked model from them if it doesn't work out. The dealer may not like selling/servicing them but they can certainly order a tracked model.

Best of luck on your search and let us know what you ended up getting.

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