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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I run a car dealership and we are the last to have access to the plow trucks. This is my 2nd season at the dealer. The first season, I didn't know this blower even existed.

This is an Ariens Compact 24" with a 205cc Briggs engine. It was "new" in the 2011 winter season.

I "discovered" it this season. It had old gas in it and had never really been setup. Still seemed pretty new. The scraper bar was dragging on the ground with the skids. The drive didn't engage.

It actually started but ran terribly. Got the old out, put new gas in treated with Seafoam and it came to life. Put 5w30 synthetic in and adjusted the skids. The drive control just needed the nut adjusted and tightened. All set.

My dealer is at the end of the road and we are also the lowest volume in the whole group. We get to use the plow truck last, if at all. This Compact 24 is used to clear walkways, guest parking, and large sections of the lot(s). It is wayyyyyyyy undersized for what we used it for, but it's all we have. I use it for hours at a time without shutting it off. This season, I've probably been at the controls of this blower for at least 10 hours.

Speed - 6 forward gears, but I've never used anything under 4th. Even down narrow walkways and edging up next to the building, it is never under 4th. Reverse gears are stupid slow. Just pull it back. The tires grab well. Even on steep inclines.

Power - The 205cc Briggs is a good runner, but really weak. Anything over a few inches in 6th gear is too much. It doesn't have the power to throw very far. I am hoping the LCT engine on the new ones has more power. I live and work about 20 minutes away from the Briggs corporate headquarters, but I am far from loyal. This engine is flat out under-powered and has slow response. No business in a modern 2 stage blower.

Controls - The markings on the blower don't make sense to anyone. Choke, key position, etc... they are just confusing symbols. All of the controls are basic and that's fine. I hate the chute direction crank though. No matter how much lube I put on it, it's never smooth and squeak free. Having separate height and direction controls seems so far behind the joystick control that Toro uses. It has never failed though. It just works. A headlight is nice to see on a low priced blower.

Reliability - Beast. This thing is a beast. If you're snow blower has a weak link, using it to clear driving lanes in a car lot will show them. It's slow. It struggles under load. But it always keeps going. If I bog it down and kill it, it starts right back up. If I leave it outside overnight, it fires right up. It started with untreated, year old fuel in it. I could probably set it on fire and it would run fine.

Conclusion - Honestly, I love this blower. I can't stress enough that we beat the heck out of it. Imagine using it to plow your street. That's what we do with it. It's like "The Little Engine That Could." Low power, slow, and very basic. But... you just can't kill it. It keeps coming back for more and doing way more than it was ever intended for. Put gas in it and it runs. This is the blower I should have bought for my own small driveway and my Toro 1028 OXE should be at work. For a small residential drive, this is PERFECT. It doesn't launch the snow to unmanageable levels and it's slow speed would be nice for city homes. If the new 208cc LCT is indeed more powerful, you'd have yourself a great blower for under $1,000. With the 205cc Briggs, I'm not sure it could make it through the pile that the snow plow will leave at the end of your driveway... but you're **** sure it will try.

And that's that. If you want to know more, just ask.

Thanks!
 

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Great review moretorque!
 

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great review and a nice combo you have at home. at 205cc it probally has only 5 - 6 hp
 

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really late to this party... my new to me 2010 model with the briggs engine throws snow 30-40ft no problem... and all your other points are also true.

I bought this to replace an old TRS27 that I used in the country to clear 200ft of gravel drive... now I only have a double wide drive by 40ft. so the size of it is what make the most sense to me, and also the Ariens reliability
 

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Power - The 205cc Briggs is a good runner, but really weak. Anything over a few inches in 6th gear is too much. It doesn't have the power to throw very far. I am hoping the LCT engine on the new ones has more power. I live and work about 20 minutes away from the Briggs corporate headquarters, but I am far from loyal. This engine is flat out under-powered and has slow response. No business in a modern 2 stage blower.

I agree about the power aspect, but keep in mind that is why they offer the Deluxe, Platinum etc. with more power. Even if price was no object, that extra power comes with a cost in terms of size and weight. The compact however is a compromise in power to be compact.


Controls - The markings on the blower don't make sense to anyone. Choke, key position, etc... they are just confusing symbols. All of the controls are basic and that's fine.
Totally agree. Even knowing how it all works I can never remember because the symbols the way presented just don't make any sense.
 
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