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post #1 of 12 Old 03-26-2016, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO

Hello - I'm new to the forum and looking for input. Now that the season is over I have an opportunity to buy an Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO 306 cc snow blower. My neighbor is moving to a condo soon. He bought the new snow blower in November last year and has used it only once. I didn't know he'd be selling it or I would have asked to try it.
I've read several articles on this forum and other sites concerning problems with the auto-turn feature. From some of the articles it sounds like set-up, including tire pressure, are critical to proper operation. But other articles seem to indicate that uneven surfaces or frozen areas due to previous clearing or where cars have driven and packed snow before any clearing cause serious problems - can't keep it going straight - even when properly set up.
So, I'd appreciate inputs from current owners - particularly if you had those problems and resolved them (and how you resolved them - readjustment, poly skids, etc.).
Also, how does it perform in wet heavy snow, particularly that left by the town/city plows at the end of the driveway?
Thank you in advance for your advice.
JiminRI
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-27-2016, 02:49 AM
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Wet Heavy Snow? It does a great job. You may have to go in slow speed, but it'll get the job done and beautifully. As for the auto turn issues.. well.. I haven't done any fiddling around with my machine yet but I've gotten used to it and am able to manage. My biggest complaint? The gas cap. Would I get another Deluxe 28SHO? You bet.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-27-2016, 09:37 AM
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My machine has the Ariens plastic skids from new and the Auto-Turn works perfectly for me. Steers straight and turns easily when you want. Good traction since both wheels turn even on slippery surfaces or going into a snow bank.

One of the driveways I clear has several trucks and the the tracks don't affect my machine tracking. If the "ruts" are left overnight then the packed frozen snow sticks to the pavement and leaves its mark. A 1/8" skid height will not easily remove that, but the machine steers straight. If you leave your driveway in a rutted state for a few freeze/thaw cycles then you have ice which is just about an immovable object and difficult for any machine to remove, leave alone tracking straight. Even a solid axle machine will not go straight and needs manhandling. Don't know about tracked machines, but they have other issues on a day to day basis.

Auto-Turn has a different feel that you get used to, but it is nice and definitely the best compromise in drive/manoeuvrability. A plus over solid axles and clutch lever systems. Trying to manipulate those levers with mitts and adjust the chute in cold temperatures is a pain. Trying to turn a solid axle machine under any circumstances is difficult and saps your energy and spirit. Open differentials have little traction and usually need chains for ice or slight grades that make for an uneven "bump-bump" experience that is not pleasant.

Good luck.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-27-2016, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys! I appreciate the inputs.

I agree that ice is immovable and don't think any snow blower is effective on ice.

Has anyone with steel skids had a problem tracking that was later solved by plastic/poly skids or readjustment?

And, is it absolutely necessary to leave a 1/8 inch layer of snow?
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-28-2016, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminRI View Post
.........

And, is it absolutely necessary to leave a 1/8 inch layer of snow?
No you can run the machine with the wear bar touching the paved surface and it does a very nice job. On dirt or gravel you need 3/4" or 1" to avoid throwing stones and making a rough mess. An 1/8" clearance will be barely noticed with dry fluffy snow, although you will see the skid plate and tire tread marks a little. Wet snow will leave a thin but noticeable layer on a smooth surface.

Zero clearance on paved surfaces are prone to scratching. The surface needs to be level or the wear bar will scratch the asphalt or paver surface taking the colour off. Expect to see scratch marks unless surface is well sealed and perfectly level. Pavers that are raised a little will either stop the machine or cause it to buck. I find the sidewalks and curb at side of roadway to be quite uneven with missing concrete that makes for a rough ride with zero wear bar clearance.

At 1/8" clearance the steel skids will wear for a long time but the plastic ones will need checking occasionally because they wear more quickly. If you only have one moderately sized driveway the adjustment will be annual I think. At zero clearance the wear is spread over wear bar and skids and no adjustment needed for years. The more weight on the bucket the more the wear but the better the cleaning effect.

In my opinion you need 1/8" clearance, but its really just about looks in winter and summer, or perhaps an annual sealing job. Good luck with your choice.

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-28-2016, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminRI View Post
Is it absolutely necessary to leave a 1/8 inch layer of snow?
It's entirely up to you.

For my gravel / dirt mix driveway I find that I can run my scraper bar 5/8" without picking up very many rocks. After the gravel gets sealed up by snow / ice, as the season progresses, I'm able to eventually work my way down to 1/8".

During some blowing sessions I may run one height for certain areas and adjust it up, or down, for other areas of the drive. It takes just a few minutes (4 nuts.)

Bottom line is, adjust it for the results you are looking for & the conditions you're dealing with.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-31-2016, 08:48 PM
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i owned one...nice machine...my only complaint was that it was terrible on gas...not sure why, but it seemed to go thru gas alot faster than my old one
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-01-2016, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiminRI View Post
Thanks, guys! I appreciate the inputs.

I agree that ice is immovable and don't think any snow blower is effective on ice.

Has anyone with steel skids had a problem tracking that was later solved by plastic/poly skids or readjustment?

And, is it absolutely necessary to leave a 1/8 inch layer of snow?
I had issues with Auto Turn and the stock steel skids. Once i added the 35 dollar Ariens Polys, it works 100% now. Some say this is BS and that it should come with poly skids stock but for me, a measly 35 bucks to solve the issue and im happy. Best snowblower ive ever owned.

2016 Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO AX306cc (921044) | Drift Cutters | Front Weight Kit | Handwarmers
1965 Ariens 10ML60D with 1970 10,000 Series Sno-Thro Attachment 10995 | Tecumseh H70-130216G (7HP)
2016 Ariens Razor SP Mower AC159cc (911175)
2016 Predator 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watt Generator 13HP 420cc (69671)
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-06-2016, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for your help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elt31987 View Post
I had issues with Auto Turn and the stock steel skids. Once i added the 35 dollar Ariens Polys, it works 100% now. Some say this is BS and that it should come with poly skids stock but for me, a measly 35 bucks to solve the issue and im happy. Best snowblower ive ever owned.
Thanks to all who have taken the time to respond. It is appreciated.
To Town and Elt31987: your information is exactly what I was hoping to learn. It convinced me to buy the Deluxe 28 SHO. We had some snow yesterday, but not enough to try the blower - so I'll have to wait until next winter.

Last edited by JiminRI; 04-06-2016 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Added information
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-07-2016, 10:18 PM
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Excellent! Congrats on getting a fine machine!
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