So a man walks into a Honda dealership ... - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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So a man walks into a Honda dealership ...

The man in question is me. I'm looking for a snowblower, having not had one for about 10 years.

I went to look at a 28" tracked model Honda. The dealer also carried Toro (had a lot of Toro's) and another brand I had never heard of ... Simplicity.

Salesman tells me that he's happy to see me standing in front of his most expensive (Honda) machine. He then dismisses Toro as not being what "they used to be", and guides me over to a small display of Simplicity's - specifically the Signature Pro series.

He makes grandiose claims that the S.P. is superior to Honda in every respect and, as a bonus, is less expensive.

Anyways, as Consumer Reports seems to be relatively useless, I'm looking for some, hopefully, unbiased opinions...

Is the S.Pro as reliable as Honda? Any and all comments or suggestions would be gr8ly appreciated!!!

p.s. I've also looked at Yamaha. My impression was that it looks to be an excellent machine! But I'm concerned about steering and turning a 400 pound machine without "power steering".
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
He then dismisses Toro as not being what "they used to be"
eh..yes and no. mostly no.
Ariens, Toro and Honda and generally considered to be the "top three" brands for snowblowers.
Toros are still fine..
One thing that has changed recently though: Toro 2-stage snowblowers are now all made in Mexico. Thats a deal-breaker for me personally, and I wouldnt buy one for that reason alone, but your mileage may vary.

Quote:
He makes grandiose claims that the S.P. is superior to Honda in every respect...
Nope, completely wrong! That's a classic case of dealer BS, he obviously needs to sell the Simplicitys more than the other brands.

There is nothing wrong with Simplicity, at all..They are generally believed to be perfectly fine machines (now made by Briggs & Stratton) They arent often discussed here, simply because they are less common that than the other brands..But Simplicity is perfectly fine..but *better* than Honda? no..Basically nothing is better than Honda.

So, all three brands in this case, Toro, Simplicity and Honda, are considered fine machines..you dont have any losers in the bunch.
If they had to be rated, it would Toro at the bottom, then Simplicity, then Honda at the top. But all three are in the top-brands overall..you can do *much* worse than those three.

The Toro and the Simplicity will both have engines made in China, as do all the snowblower brands now, except Honda:

Toro: Body made in Mexico, engine made in China.
Simplicity: Body made in the USA, engine made in China.
Honda: Body made in the USA, engine made in Thailand.

Scot


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Last edited by sscotsman; 01-08-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
...Honda: Body made in the USA, engine made in Thailand. Scot
There may be more, but the hydro trans is US made. At least that's what I've been reading.

We should ask Robert and see what else is made in the USA on the 2-stagers.

Honda HS828TAS (1991) – Made in Japan with Thai built GX240
Honda HSS1332ATD (Late-2015) – Made in USA with Thai built GX390

180" to a rare 350" of snow per year (Alberta Clippers & Lake Michigan), 644' gravel driveway, 2 vehicle parking areas, 500' of trails around small house with an unheated garage.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 11:39 AM
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There may be more, but the hydro trans is US made. At least that's what I've been reading.

We should ask Robert and see what else is made in the USA on the 2-stagers.
Thats basically the same thing as what I said!
Body (including trans, regardless of trans type) made in the USA, engine made in Thailand.
"Body" includes the entire snowblower, apart from the engine.

And that did come from Robert.

Scot


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post #5 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
...Body (including trans, regardless of trans type) made in the USA, engine made in Thailand.
"Body" includes the entire snowblower, apart from the engine.
Scot
I do wish more of it was built/sourced from here. Maybe someday. If the GX engines ever get built here, there will be a lot of eyes on that.

I'm not so sure I'd like to be a first time buyer on those...and I come from a mixed bag of blue collar/white collar family deep in the auto industry in Detroit and in military aircraft/aerospace and tank production. I love American manufacturing.

I've spent time on assembly lines in the 70s...crazy days those were.

Honda HS828TAS (1991) – Made in Japan with Thai built GX240
Honda HSS1332ATD (Late-2015) – Made in USA with Thai built GX390

180" to a rare 350" of snow per year (Alberta Clippers & Lake Michigan), 644' gravel driveway, 2 vehicle parking areas, 500' of trails around small house with an unheated garage.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 12:49 PM
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You need to take anything a sales rep tells you with a grain of salt...they will only tell you what they want you to know, and what is more convenient for them.

Toro 824QXE SNOWMASTER

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post #7 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 01:02 PM
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I have learned to trust dealers very little. Dealers are often going to push what is more profitable or they would have to close their doors. As others have said these are all good machines. I am an Ariens fan I like their combo of a domestic company (China manufactured LCT engines to Ariens specs), quality domestic customer support at a reasonable price. If I lived in a snow belt or an area that gets well over 100 inches of snow per year I would likely go justify the investment in a Honda or Yamaha tracked model (if I didn't live in the states). However there does seem to be potential issues with the chute design on Honda's HSS928 model from what I have read of late.

I have heard/read good things about Toro's snow blowers, personally I am not a fan of their visual build quality and "extensive" use of polymers, along with being made in Mexico with China built side oil discharged Loncin engines. Simplicity was a top name decades ago on par with Ariens, they have diminished in popularity since Briggs bought them out. Their Signature Pro series is still a very robust and well made machine with a commercial grade friction disc drive. I have read that some owners have had issues with the electric chute controls failing. I would be careful with the other series Simplicity machines many have plastic gear driven transmissions that seem prone to failure. When these units fail they require complete replacement.

Best of luck on your search, please post some pics once you have taken delivery of your new machine.

Ariens Platinum 24 SHO w/369cc carbureted LCT motor


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Last edited by Cardo111; 01-08-2017 at 01:39 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies so far.

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Originally Posted by pearlfinish View Post
You need to take anything a sales rep tells you with a grain of salt...they will only tell you what they want you to know, and what is more convenient for them.
Yep. This is kind'a obvious. I always try to remain polite, but assume that if the sales rep's lips are moving, he/she is probably lying.

What I found interesting was that was that he obviously had a lot (!!!) of Toro's in stock, and yet dismissed them.

He had more Honda's in stock than Simplicity. In fact, he didn't have the actual model Simplicity that he had recommended for me in stock - nor was it on order. Unless he was totally BS'ing me, he'd have to special order it, and didn't know how long it would take to get in (not sure from where they're shipped).

Quite frankly, of all the machines I've looked at, I was blown away by the Yamaha - quiet, built like a tank. I'm just left with my concern about turning and steering that 400 pound tank. If it wasn't for that concern, it would have been a no-brainer decision.

Last edited by printmaker; 01-08-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 01:05 PM
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the simplicity would be the " x " factor, we have lots of members on the board that owne Honda's and toro's and are more than happy with them but there isn't much feedback on new simplicity machines. it would be very hard to say that the simplicity is a better machine than a toro just because its made in the usa, that's no proof of anything other than country of origin. toro's made in mexico don't have a bad reputation, most people that buy them don't even know that they are buying a machine made in mexico. simplicity made by briggs has no or hardly any reputation,

current machines
1-toro2450E-38419. 1-toro3000E-38435. 1-toro 3650E-38445
2-toro 521E-38052. 1-toro xl824pt 38086
1-.............,TORO XL 624ps..............
1-............, TORO XL 824ps..............
william
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printmaker View Post
Thanks for the replies so far.



Yep. This is kind'a obvious. I always try to remain polite, but assume that if the sales rep's lips are moving, he/she is probably lying.

What I found interesting was that was that he obviously had a lot (!!!) of Toro's in stock, and yet dismissed them.

He had more Honda's in stock than Simplicity. In fact, he didn't have the actual model Simplicity that he had recommended for me in stock - nor was it on order. Unless he was totally BS'ing me, he'd have to special order it, and didn't know how long it would take to get in (not sure from where they're shipped).

Quite frankly, of all the machines I've looked at, I was blown away by the Yamaha - quiet, built like a tank. I'm just left with my concern about turning and steering that 400 pound tank. If it wasn't for that concern, it would have been a no-brainer decision.
He dismissed the toros because he knows he has no problem selling them. So when he gets someone in there that may not know so much, he'll push his less sold model

Toro 824QXE SNOWMASTER

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