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Just purchased a Ariens Deluxe 28... I grew up using a commercial Deere, so I'm used to a big machine. I travel a lot for business and I thought roller skids might be easier for when my wife has to snowblow. Does anyone have experience with these, I prefer not to waste $$$, thanks in advance!

-JW
 

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I have never used roller skids, so maybe my logic is faulty...but I dont see how roller skids can offer any advantage over "regular" skids..

1. on a snowy driveway, there is very little friction anyway, so regular skids just glide with very little friction.

2. wheels in place of skids could easily be jammed with snow and ice..making them jam up and not turn, which would wear flat spots on the wheels.

3. snowblowers are self-propelled! you dont have to push them anyway! ;) so why would anyone even need rollers in the first place? the power of the machine is WAY more than enough to overcome the miniscule friction of skids on snow..from the operators point of view, I dont even see how you would notice, or need, the difference..

So..I just dont see the point of doing the conversion, I dont see what you would gain, and I dont see any advantage over traditional skids..(and there is one disadvantage..the potential for the wheels to lock up)

Skids have been used for 50 years, there is nothing wrong with them..I think its the best way to go! "if it aint broke, dont fix it!" ;)

(If there is some real advantage to rollers that I am missing, I dont mind being corrected! I would like to hear about it..)

Scot
 

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I agree...

About the only reason i could see for roller skids is to try and alleviate marking on a paved or concrete driveway. But even then your going to have the problems with the wheels getting plugged up.

My old Craftsman blower has two large guide discs that basically act as roller skids. I am planning on replacing them with some real skids as soon as i get the money to. They just don't do anything.
 

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The new "composite" skids are supposed to be better for not leaving marks, compared to metal skids..

but most of the time, if you are moving the snowblower a short distance across the garage floor, or wheeling it out onto a *dry* driveway, such as for Spring manitance, you just push down on the handlebars so the bucket is "floating" and the whole machine is only running on the main wheels..

I suppose with a *really* big and heavy snowblower, and an operator of unusual low "strength", wheels on the bucket instead of skids could be an advantage in that one situation..(when moving the snowblower when you are *not* actually using it to "blow snow")...but those situations are rare, and in most cases it shouldnt be difficult for most people to just push down on the handlebars to lift the bucket..so you still dont really need to drag skids across dry pavement..

and even if you deceided to use rollers just for that particular scenerio, you still have the problem of the wheels freezing/jamming during normal use of clearing the driveway..

If you want rollers just for that situation, consider the new composite skids instead of wheels..they should "glide" fairly easily, even over dry pavement, and they arent supposed to leave marks on pavement:

Ariens (Non-Abrasive) Reversible Skid Shoes.
Safety Guide
Protects decorative concrete surfaces when clearing snow

Non-Abrasive
Durable Polyethylene material designed to resist wear
Does not leave any skid marks on surface

Compatibility
Fits Ariens 932, 924, 926 and 921 series Sno-Thro models
Will NOT fit models with 20" or 22" wide housings

Reversible
Double product life by flipping when worn down
Ariens isnt the only one who makes them..I have seen a few different brands/types at Home Depot and Lowes..they are fairly common now..havent used them myself, so I cant directly say they are "better" than metal skids..but some people like them..

and actually...personally I dont think metal skids damage, or even mark, dry pavement anyway..I personally have no need or desire to change my metal skids..and I have an asphalt driveway and a concrete garage floor..the skids on my 1971 ariens are probably smooth as glass on the bottom! ;) after 40 years of use..(I dont know if they are original or not..but they could be) no damage done to pavement or concrete, and very low friction in any environment..and especially so when clearing snow..

But I always "lift" the bucket anyway, by pushing down on the handlebars, when moving the snowblower around during "not blowing snow" times..so maybe it would leave marks if I didnt do that..but I have never done that..so for me, skids marking the pavement is a non-issue, because I dont drag them on dry pavement..and on snow, during "normal use", I have never noticed any marks of any kind..

Scot
 

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Any thoughts, comments or experience with these? ( http://www.snowblowerskids.com/ ) ArmorSkids? Just bought a pair for my 2010 Ariens Platinum 24 after some difficulty last season with standard skids dealing with several lifted sections of sidewalk and a bumpy old rough finish concrete driveway. Researching alternatives such as rollers and composites I came across these and it seemed to me they would work best for those problems. haven't got a chance to try 'em out yet but they are installed.
 

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Skids

Any thoughts, comments or experience with these? ( SnowBlowerSkids ) ArmorSkids? Just bought a pair for my 2010 Ariens Platinum 24 after some difficulty last season with standard skids dealing with several lifted sections of sidewalk and a bumpy old rough finish concrete driveway. Researching alternatives such as rollers and composites I came across these and it seemed to me they would work best for those problems. haven't got a chance to try 'em out yet but they are installed.
They were brought forward by Snowmann a while back. I thought they had enough potential, I bought a set to try on the Searsasaurus

Being I'm trying a single bolt mount, I added my own limiter to prevent it from dropping if the bolt every should work loose. Haven't tried them yet but we're supposed to be snowed on this weekend.

Where I see rollers paying off is moving it around the garage or on dry surfaces, otherwise skids should do as well as anything IMO.
 

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Any thoughts, comments or experience with these? ( SnowBlowerSkids ) ArmorSkids? Just bought a pair for my 2010 Ariens Platinum 24 after some difficulty last season with standard skids dealing with several lifted sections of sidewalk and a bumpy old rough finish concrete driveway. Researching alternatives such as rollers and composites I came across these and it seemed to me they would work best for those problems. haven't got a chance to try 'em out yet but they are installed.
Looks like a great solution for that particular sidewalk scenario..
bigger skids make sense there..
but if you dont have large peaks and valleys, just a regular flat driveway, probably dont need them..but its a nice solution to a particular problem.

Scot
 

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I installed a set of the composite shoes on my sears last winter and they work well. They are about 8" long and tend to follow ruts,etc, causing the housings on the auger to flex. I may stiffen up the mounting areas so this doesnt happen this season. This is my first post on this forum. Great forum!! Wish I had found it earlier. Regards; Jack
 

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I have a set of Armor Skids on my 36" Ariens, got to try it Sunday, just enough snow Saturday that when it drifted to the sides of the streets it was 4-5 inches deep. Can the blower down the curb to adjust things, get the height right on the skids. They work like a champ!
 

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Just my two cents, this past spring I put in a "paver" driveway. It looks like it is paved with square bricks. Each brick has an end chamfer and those groves would make using little wheels imposable. I also did not want to scratch up my new driveway so I mounted Ariens "non-abrasive shoes".

I understand that is not what you are asking, and may not suit your needs. And I have not tried them yet either, so I can not comment on how well they work. But some readers may find them a useful alterative.
 

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Thinking out loud

I've been thinking on this a while since this thread was started. First off I still think skids are better in the snow, but moving the machine around in the shed etc is where wheels could be beneficial for the wife or kids etc.
My shed faces another one, so you have to make multiple turns etc to get it in and out and that's where wheels might be useful.

I've been thinking about something like a small movers dolly that would slip under the auger assembly or even more intriguing would be a set of wheels that could be lowered when needed and raised when not. Some of the woodworking power tools have mobile bases that do just that, may be something I need to look further into and see if something can be designed.

Just some random thoughts.
 

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Hmm... A set of casters on a lever that could be lowered down which slightly lifts the blower off the skids for easy movement on a hard surfaces... That would be a neat idea! And very useful for many.
 

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Polymer Shoes vs. Rollers

The benefits of roller skid shoes can be realized with Polymer skid shoes with the added advantage of better corrosion resistance and better reliability due to a simpler design and fewer moving parts. Polymer skid shoes also glide freely in all directions, not just forward and reverse. This is important for making turns. I machined a set for my tractor mounted Cub Cadet snow thrower and also have another design for my father-in-law's Ariens. You can see pictures of them at:

Magnitude Engineering
 
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