28" ... handing concerns - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-08-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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28" ... handing concerns

Finally had my first look at the Yamaha. Looks like a gr8 machine! My sole concern, as I'm not getting any younger, is handling - and I know that "ease of handing" is a vague and relative term. I had asked the Yamaha salesperson about this, but he dismissed my concern ...

At almost 400 pounds, with no "power steering", I have to assume that steering/turning, especially 180 degrees at the end of the driveway, is going to be a bit of a struggle (an I don't think the 24" will be large enough for our needs)?!?

Although reliability + performance are my biggest concerns, I don't want to regret purchasing a machine with which I struggle to handle.

Other choices at this point are Honda or, perhaps, a Simplicity Pro or Ariens Pro.

Thanks, in advance!

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post #2 of 16 Old 01-08-2017, 10:46 AM
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3,2,1...

Yamaha for performance and reliability is a non issue, to a lot of users, the best.

- Really depends on your type of conditions, type of snow, snowfall amounts, physical location (hills, etc.), driveway materials, etc.

- Proximity to dealer, repair shops, your mechanicals skills, parts availability, etc.

- Before Mato starts in...you'll see apprehension recommending the newest generation of Honda HSS two-stagers (US built), as they are going through teething problems in high slush areas and generally there are some transmission slow-down problems surfacing.

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 #3 of 16 Old 01-08-2017, 10:47 AM
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Personally, I love my Honda's. Not for everyone.

By the way, are you a printmaker? What kind?

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 16 Old 01-08-2017, 10:52 AM
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Sorry to post so many in a row.

On the Honda-front. The steering on the new HSS series is one of the coolest features – works great. Not out long enough for reliability reviews. You'll have to go by Honda reputation.

Auger protection on the HSS1332ATD (US) and HSS928 and HS1332 (Canadian) is also great – works like a charm. Again no one can report on long-term reliability yet.

Being state-side, I wouldn't go Yamaha because of parts availability. If I was looking for a second, backup machine, then I'd consider a clean, well maintained Yammy in a heartbeat.

I won't comment on other brands as I don't have too much direct experience with them outside of neighbors, but Ariens and Toro get high marks. Others will chime in soon.

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.

Last edited by jrom; 01-08-2017 at 10:54 AM. Reason: As usual, attempts at typo correcting :-)
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-08-2017, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

- Really depends on your type of conditions, type of snow, snowfall amounts, physical location (hills, etc.), driveway materials, etc.
We're moving to Barrie, Ontario (north of Toronto). Toronto gets a fair bit of snow; Barrie, I understand, gets about 80% more.
The house is being built ... long'ish, 3 car driveway with a slight slope. Moderate-sized, odd-shaped walkway. Walkway will be interlocked brick. Driveway will be gravel for the first few years and then asphalt or, if we can afford it, interlocking.

- Proximity to dealer, repair shops, your mechanical skills, parts availability, etc.

Not an issue. Repair shops are close by. Our son, who lives not too far away, is a licensed mechanic. The obscene price aside, steering/handling seems to be the sticking point.

- Personally, I love my Honda's. Not for everyone.
Why is that - the "not for everyone" part?

- By the way, are you a printmaker? What kind?
Yes ... full-time for many years.
Hand-pulled embossed etchings and serigraphs.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-09-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting ... thought I'd be able to get some comments here on turning/steering?

On the plus side, a dealer (not overly close, unfortunately) has indicated that he might be able to demo the machine. That would be gr8!
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-09-2017, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printmaker View Post
Interesting ... thought I'd be able to get some comments here on turning/steering?
...
Missed that. One of the single best new features of the US built HSS Honda's. Turns on a dime, very responsive.

I've had to learn that if the auger is at its lowest setting (scraping), the turning isn't as easy, but I also have a gravel/sand/grass uneven driveway (designed it that way). A must is to purchase and install side skids, helps with the overall tracking.

I've got to leave for several hours, but I'll respond to your other comments sometime later.

Hope you can get a demo. Good luck with your decision. There's a ton of info on this site.

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 #8 of 16 Old 01-09-2017, 12:53 PM
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I love my Hondas as well, current Hondas are a HS1332 and a HS621, BUT I love my Yamahas even more .

I dont have any of the new machines but I do have two older Yamahas, a '89 model YS624W and a 90s ys828w.

Dont get intimidated by the turning aspect of tracked machines, most people try to fiddle with them on a showroom floor and get put off by how much effort it takes to use/move these machines on dry surface. In reality, the track machines take only a slight more effort, when being used to remove snow, to move about and turn compared to their wheeled counterparts.

In my opinion the slight effort that you have to make to use these machines without power steering etc gets outweighed by the advantages of having a tracked machines.

People that have been using the old HS series hondas have done without power steering for the past 20 years, without any issue.

IMO get yourself the Yamaha and call it a day, if weight is an issue then get the smaller 624 as that machine is suppose to be really light compared to the 828.

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post #9 of 16 Old 01-09-2017, 02:00 PM
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From what I've seen the yamahas are regarded as the #1 snowblower. I don't have any experience with them, but I can say that I really like my Honda. The HSS's with the steering triggers are wonderful. Pull both triggers and the unit moves freely, and easily.

The Yamaha probably has a hydro disconnect for moving it easily with the engine off (I'm sure someone here can verify that) though the axle is still always locked.

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post #10 of 16 Old 01-09-2017, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC View Post

Dont get intimidated by the turning aspect of tracked machines ... the track machines take only a slight more effort, when being used to remove snow, to move about and turn compared to their wheeled counterparts.

People that have been using the old HS series hondas have done without power steering for the past 20 years, without any issue.
Thanks for the input.
If I'm able to demo the machine, all will be answered. In the interim, the issue is also that the 28" Yamaha weighs almost 100 pounds more than the equivalent Honda. My instinct is to view this added weight as a likely indication of added quality. These days, my old knees lead me to second guess that instinct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC View Post
IMO get yourself the Yamaha and call it a day, if weight is an issue then get the smaller 624 as that machine is suppose to be really light compared to the 828.
The smaller machine is a lot lighter (about 25 pounds less than the 28" Honda) and easier to handle - even pushing it around the showroom. It would probably be more user friendly for average snowfalls. And although I could live with the smaller width, the 40% less H.P. bothers me in light of the heavier snows I know we'll be facing. Maybe I should get 2 different $ize$?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmerdp View Post
The HSS's with the steering triggers are wonderful. Pull both triggers and the unit moves freely, and easily.
Thanks. I had read that, numerous times. But issues of chute clogging and shear pin breakage are bothersome. A dealer of both Yamahas and Hondas mentioned that a number of his commercial accounts have been switching to Yamaha, solely because of down time due to shear pin issues. Of course, that's only hearsay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmerdp View Post
The HSS's with the steering triggers are wonderful. Pull both triggers and the unit moves freely, and easily.

The Yamaha probably has a hydro disconnect for moving it easily with the engine off (I'm sure someone here can verify that) though the axle is still always locked.
I've pushed both around the showroom floor. Both were manageable; I noticed very little difference, even with Yamaha's additional 96 pounds. Turning and steering the Yamaha, however, remains my only issue.
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