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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to pull the trigger very soon on a snow blower. I recently found a Hydro Pro 36" for less than a Pro 36", but I can't find many reviews on the Hydro Pro line. I was hoping someone here could shed some light on that for me.

I appreciate any help!!
 

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Sorry. WAY to rich for my wallet.
 

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They appear to be pretty much identical with the exception of the hydro drive. If you have found a hydro for less than a standard drive, I would have to say something isn't right. Maybe it's last years model, in which case you lose the auto-turn, which is going to be a real plus on a 36" wide monster that weighs close to 400 lbs. All things being equal I would say the hydro drive is a definite plus, but I wouldn't give up the auto-turn to get it.
JMHO
Good luck.
Larry
 

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I'm not sold on the hydro drive. When they work the are better (and they are nearly bullet proof) but IF they brake they are very expensive to fix. They make sense on equipment that is often changes directions or speed like a tractor but a snow blower is, most often, slow and steady so the hydro seems overkill. Standard drive on other units have been around for many years is also nearly bullet proof but when they brake it is a very easy and inexpensive fix. I generally go with 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' school of thought and the hydro drive flies in the face of that.
 

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Here is the review a made of mine last year.
Engines are wonderful: Review: Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28 Snowblower

It is the track version however. The only drawback to the hydro transmission is that on REVERSE, it is too slow and seems to lack force and i find myself pulling at the snowblower to go in reverse (when there is a bit of a hill). But in forward, no problem at all.

BUT, this might not be a problem with wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Blue Hill and pfn, very valid points made.

I think I'll stick with the standard drive. Hopefully I'll pull the trigger on a thrower this weekend. I'll be sure to post something once I decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is the review a made of mine last year.
Engines are wonderful: Review: Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28 Snowblower

It is the track version however. The only drawback to the hydro transmission is that on REVERSE, it is too slow and seems to lack force and i find myself pulling at the snowblower to go in reverse (when there is a bit of a hill). But in forward, no problem at all.

BUT, this might not be a problem with wheels.
Thanks, Seb! Great review!
 

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I just pulled the trigger on a Hydro Pro 28. Spoke with several dealers and mechanics before making the $400 decision. Most seemed to suggest that the hydro is reliable but expensive to replace. The friction disc is also reliable but individual parts can be replaced as they fail. Most said that the ease of drivability justified the price.

The factor that drove my decision was the power steering triggers I had on my previous thrower. I used them to stop the machine without popping the clutch. The hydro will allow me to adjust pace forward and backward with greater ease.
 

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I don't think you'll be sorry Garnet. It's a matter of figuring out what's best for your needs. With Ariens, either one should be a quality machine and you've got the 5 year warranty working for you as well.:)
 

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The Hydro Pro arrived today, pics posted in the intro thread. I spent some time rolling around the driveway today. Love the transmission and Auto Turn feature. The Hydro control is a little tight, I expect it will loosen up a bit with time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Congrats to both of you on your new throwers!

I talked to the seller of the Hydro Pro 36" today. He said it's a 2014 model and the price is $2775, a little less than a Pro 36". The tax savings of buying out of state will cover the shipping costs, so I can basically get the Hydro Pro for the cost of the Pro. Seems like a pretty good deal.

What do you guys think?
 

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Actually mine's not a hydro, but your deal sounds pretty good to me. If you pull the trigger before November 1, you get an extra two years warranty too. Hard to pass up.
 
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