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post #1 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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New member from Iowa

Hi All,

I'm in the process of searching for a new or new to me snow blower, so I thought this would be a good place to do some research. I've had blowers in the past, but gave my last one to my daughter because I had a tractor mounted blower on a JD 318. I then acquired a JD 455 with a blade, which I still have. However, the boss and I moved and I no longer have the garage space here for the big old Deere, so it is at my acreage 2 1/2 hours away. Since we are both in our mid-60s, and since I have back problems, shoveling our two car driveway and sidewalk is getting old rather quickly. Since we have seven grandkids in Iowa, finding a warmer place is not an option...according to Grandma anyway. This global warming thing seems to be taking too long, so I guess a blower is the next best thing.

Being retired is great, but it also means watching the expenses so I'm not opposed to a used machine, which is what brings me here. Any advice would be welcomed.

Thanks,

Russ
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 01:45 PM
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Plenty of good used machines around, but many of them are surely in need of some maintenance, and it helps if you are somewhat knowledgeable, and know how to turn a wrench.

If you are not going to perform the maintenance, etc., you may want to consider getting one from a dealer, who will keep it maintained and running for you.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 01:56 PM
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Many of us on here work on other's snowblowers. It's not unusual for a nice looking machine that runs good needing a lot of work. My charge is cheaper than the local shops and $200-$250 is not unusual for me to charge, $100-$150 being the usual minimum, and I've charged as much as $350-$400, these prices are including the parts. I never charge more than I feel the snowblower is worth used in my area.

My brand preferences are Honda, Simplicity Pro, Ariens, Simplicity, Toro. I'd like to think everyone in here will agree though not in this order. Some of the older John Deere's were made by Ariens and are good machines.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I do my own maintenance on everything I own, so no dealer needed. Snow blowers are relatively simple machines, so I don't forsee any grave issues. I think I have a blower located. My wife and I are going to have a look at it tomorrow, so I may have something to report. It's a 2016 Sno-Tek 920402 by Ariens with a fabric cab. It looks like it has seen very little use. The guy claims only used 6 times, then his job started taking him out of town often, so he had to hire a service or risk having the city plow and charge him a ridiculous fee.

I know it's probably part or all Chinese, but I figure Ariens will most likely carry parts for it. I'm not doing commercial work, just my driveway and maybe my sister's from time to time. Most of the time her grandson or step son do hers, so mostly mine. They have too much plastic, but what else is new these days. One thing I've learned is that everything mechanical can and probably will break at some point, but proper maintenance goes a long ways in keeping issues to a minimum. It will probably outlast me anyway, lol! At least it should last longer than I will want to be plowing snow anyway.

Thanks again for the advice.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 06:41 PM
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Welcome to the SBF Gettysburg ....

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier!!
2019 Ariens Compact 24...
2013 Craftsman 22" 179cc better than shoveling
XM -1000, galvanized steel Shovel with gator grip tape....
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 06:46 PM
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The Sno-Tek machine's are Ariens' low-end line. I'd rather have a "real" Ariens, if it were me. But as you said, proper maintenance and care will help any machine.

This video is worth a watch, before buying a used blower:

Good luck. Your tractors sound very cool!

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RedOctobyr View Post
The Sno-Tek machine's are Ariens' low-end line. I'd rather have a "real" Ariens, if it were me. But as you said, proper maintenance and care will help any machine.

Good luck. Your tractors sound very cool!
Lol! I'd rather have a real Ariens too, but my wife is umm...frugal, so sometimes it's better to make do. I have come to the conclusion that shoveling sucks and the Sno-Tek will undoubtedly suck a lot less.

Actually, other than the Asian engine and the plastic chute, the Sno-Tek has pretty much all the features of the Ariens Classic 24 that I had picked out at half the cost...plus it has a cab. I know the cab is not an expensive addition, but my wife thinks it rocks. I got over the need to be macho years ago, so a cab won't break my heart either.

Oh, and thanks on the tractors. The 318 eventually crapped out on me though, but the 455 is still going strong. It's a beast. I don't use the blade much because I bought a Massey-Ferguson 1736 with a loader and a backhoe. With the front assist, that thing will move snow like no other! I'll be on it sometime tomorrow as we are heading to the cabin after looking at/buying (maybe) the blower because we need to bring back a load of firewood. The JD is mostly for mowing now.

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 06:08 AM
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the Sno-Tek ended up in my trailer. The thing doesn't have so much a scratch on it. It runs and operates like a new machine. Turns out the original owner is a plastic surgeon specializing in reconstruction for cancer patients. As such, he's never quite sure how long is day will be, so he ended up hiring someone to blow the snow. Seemed like an upstanding guy. I couldn't find a reason not to buy it. The blower with cab, a gas can, and half a quart of oil for $400 seemed like a deal to me. Since he lives on a paved street and has a concrete driveway and maybe 50 feet of sidewalk, I can see why even the paint on the auger and impeller is still like new.

The one thing that kind of surprised me was how small it is. I think my previous blower was at least a 28" with I believe an 8 or 10 horse motor...much more massive! That is great though, because my drive is fairly small and my storage space pretty limited. All in all, I'm quite pleased with the deal.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 11:47 PM
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Congrats! Sounds like a great buy. Pictures when you can!

Ariens 1969 10,000 Series-- Tractor 10965 serial # 005841 with 10995 serial # 023507 Sno-Thro
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