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The Classic is Ariens entry level 2 stage blower. It has a smaller motor, smaller tires and wheels, lighter weight and pretty much a bare bones basic machine. That said, I'd take it over any other "entry level" machine like similar sized Craftsman, Troy Bilt, etc. It may be Ariens lowest cost 2 stage but they still back it with a good warranty. These "smaller" machines will still handle 12" dumps and more if you just slow down and take your time. They are a solid machine for budget conscience buyers. If you live in an area that "regularly" gets 12" or more of snowfall at one time you would probably appreciate a bigger machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks again. Forgot to mention his driveway etc is a dirt/ gravel lane. Compacted pretty hard. Hopefully that doesn’t make a difference.
 

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Gravel driveway is not an issue, just have to raise the scraper bar up to about 3/4" by lowering the side skid shoes. This should be done on a flat level surface using multiple paint stir sticks under the scraper bar. It's covered in the owners manual.
 

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My dad who's in NE PA near the NY border is using a HydroPro 32. He'll be turning 72 this year.

So far, he says it's the best machine he's owned and it turns easy. I think he's owned it 3 or 4 years now.
 

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If he’s just using it for the walkways and around the garage, I would say the 24”. If he’s going to use it to widen out the driveway from what the plow pushes, I’d go with the 28” as long as he doesn't try to muscle the machine around. Let the blower do all the work.
i’d buy him set of borium cleats. The kind that stretch onto the bottom of your boots to keep his feet underneath him and not to slip……
 

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Given that your Dad is very fit for his age, he will easily be able to handle a deluxe 28 and it isn’t too big. The Ariens deluxe are easy to maneuver with auto turn period, and the nature of the design also makes the blower very easy to tilt back and move around with the engine off. Not to mention the machine is self propelled and will require low input for the drive described.

You can go 24 as recommended but can handle the 28. Take him for a tour if you can and he can move the machine around. I would have no problem having my gf work a 30” wide Ariens deluxe and she is only 5’5” and not a powerlifter. Too much emphasis is put on the width and size of these machines without considering just how user friendly and easy they are to move around imo.
 

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Given that your Dad is very fit for his age, he will easily be able to handle a deluxe 28 and it isn’t too big. The Ariens deluxe are easy to maneuver with auto turn period, and the nature of the design also makes the blower very easy to tilt back and move around with the engine off. Not to mention the machine is self propelled and will require low input for the drive described.

You can go 24 as recommended but can handle the 28. Take him for a tour if you can and he can move the machine around. I would have no problem having my gf work a 30” wide Ariens deluxe and she is only 5’5” and not a powerlifter. Too much emphasis is put on the width and size of these machines without considering just how user friendly and easy they are to move around imo.
Well said!
My 28sho is just as easy, if not easier, to maneuver than my little mtd 5/22, because of the auto turn.
 

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To the OP-

As the others above have already said, the Deluxe 28 is an easy handling machine. Your dad will do just fine with it. Auto turn really works very well. By the sounds of it, a 24" would work well for what your dad needs when he is cleaning up after the plow truck, but having a little bit bigger will be handy if he's cleaning off a few five inches because the plow truck hasn't come. Get him the heated grips too.
 

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To the OP-

As the others above have already said, the Deluxe 28 is an easy handling machine. Your dad will do just fine with it. Auto turn really works very well. By the sounds of it, a 24" would work well for what your dad needs when he is cleaning up after the plow truck, but having a little bit bigger will be handy if he's cleaning off a few five inches because the plow truck hasn't come. Get him the heated grips too.
Just get Dad the Ariens 24” hot rod… Platinum 24SHO. Easier to operate chute controls, heated grips, more power and still super easy to move around.
 

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Just get Dad the Ariens 24” hot rod… Platinum 24SHO. Easier to operate chute controls, heated grips, more power and still super easy to move around.
The chute control is a good point to discuss.

The Deluxe series has the "ice auger" control which is good and bad.
The good-
1. The chute rotation can be increased by removing the stops off the plate gear (under the black guard).
2. The "ice auger" crank does provide good leverage to rotate the chute while blowing snow.
3. Very effective to move the chute on the go, so that the snow discharge can be directed semi-accurately. (as opposed to a Toro joystick which has click stops)
4. Very simple mechanism which if it ever require repair, there just isn't much to go wrong.
5. It works very well once you're tuned in.

The bad-
1. Awkward for a while until you get used to it.
2. Not really an ergonomically intuitive system.
2. Could be difficult to reach for a shorter person.
3. Can be a "rub your head and pat your belly" type of thing.

Platinum- More obvious to use. This might be a good feature for an older person who likely has a bit slower reaction time Can't ever have too much power.

One point about both the Deluxe and especially the Platinums- Both of these machines can throw the snow very well. When Ariens says 50 or 55 ft throwing distance, they are not kidding. Of course, you won't throw powder or wet snow 50-55 ft into the wind etc, but the distance will be measured on a calm day with average snow. Important to keep the throwing distance in mind, just in case the neighbor's driveway is close.
Funny story- One of my friends went to the Ariens dealer and told them that he wanted the most powerful 24-28" snowblower that they sold, because he wanted to throw all his snow into the neighbor's driveway. He came home with a Platinum 24.
 

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The chute control is a good point to discuss.

The Deluxe series has the "ice auger" control which is good and bad.
The good-
1. The chute rotation can be increased by removing the stops off the plate gear (under the black guard).
2. The "ice auger" crank does provide good leverage to rotate the chute while blowing snow.
3. Very effective to move the chute on the go, so that the snow discharge can be directed semi-accurately. (as opposed to a Toro joystick which has click stops)
4. Very simple mechanism which if it ever require repair, there just isn't much to go wrong.
5. It works very well once you're tuned in.

The bad-
1. Awkward for a while until you get used to it.
2. Not really an ergonomically intuitive system.
2. Could be difficult to reach for a shorter person.
3. Can be a "rub your head and pat your belly" type of thing.

Platinum- More obvious to use. This might be a good feature for an older person who likely has a bit slower reaction time Can't ever have too much power.

One point about both the Deluxe and especially the Platinums- Both of these machines can throw the snow very well. When Ariens says 50 or 55 ft throwing distance, they are not kidding. Of course, you won't throw powder or wet snow 50-55 ft into the wind etc, but the distance will be measured on a calm day with average snow. Important to keep the throwing distance in mind, just in case the neighbor's driveway is close.
Funny story- One of my friends went to the Ariens dealer and told them that he wanted the most powerful 24-28" snowblower that they sold, because he wanted to throw all his snow into the neighbor's driveway. He came home with a Platinum 24.
The platinum SHO IS the most power 24” on the market ( I believe), and it’s super easy to handle& and it has most of the bells & whistles. They crush the EOD pile, and are near impossible to plug in wet snow. The engine has kind of a nasty growl under load. I love mine, and he’ll love his too! Your a good son!
 

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Get your Mom one of these battery powered transfer pumps, many to choose from.
I bought one last year and they work great, wish I would have bought one years ago.
I had no idea such a thing existed. Thanks that looks perfect for her!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I updated the post but will post here too..... Purchased the 24 Deluxe and he's very happy with it and looking forward to using it. No one had the Platinum so that was kind of left out of the decision. I think the 24 size will actually work out better than the 28 since he'll be able to use it for more years and fit into tighter spots to save shoveling as much as possible. I imagine since the driveway is rough the 24 will catch on stones a little less and be more comfortable to use down the road too. Thanks so much for all the replies. I didn't expect to get so many. I am quarantined with covid in our household so I couldn't shop with my Dad or even be there when he got it. At least he has it before the potential snow this weekend! This made a great 75 birthday present.
 

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My 24 Deluxe is coming Monday or Tuesday. I like it for the weight and slightly bigger engine, the auto turn and bigger wheels.
The 24 Deluxe was delivered palletized from Estes Freight in IA.
Ariens hit it out of the park with this one. The oil was included and filled correctly.
The centered machine balance and auto drive make a huge difference. It feels like a weight kit is needed up front though.
4 pulls after gassing up and she started. The starting procedure was not difficult.
The 24 Compact 208 engine here wasn't a slacker if I had upped the rpms.
I'm done pushing the 24 Compact around.
It should sail quick!


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