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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello guys,

I am considering to buy an Ariens Hydro Pro 28 and was hoping to get some input from some of you that already have the machine or something close to it. First I will try to describe what the machine would have to handle, then I will say why I, for the time being, have landed on the Hydro Pro 28.

I own a cabin in the mountains that we use about every second weekend in the winter months. Sometimes it snows a lot, like in the previous week it had snowed 2 feet. From the main road (shared with other cabin owners) I have a gravel road that is 1000 feet long (0.2 miles) and I have a large parking area for 4 cars and a terrace of about 700 sq ft. My initial plan was to buy a Deluxe 24DLE for the parking area and terrace and to use a local contractor that has a tractor with a back mounted snowblower to clear the road (see example picture below. The problem is that the contractor was not able to clear the road the last time we visited and he said it was because there is a lot of drift at my road and the snow was about 3 feet. His snow removal equipment was mounted on the back of the tractor and then 3 feet is just too much. I could off course use a different contractor but the guy I have an appointment with already clears the main road in the area and thus charges less to take the extra time to clear my road compared to one that has to drive all the way just to clear my road. The snow is rarely wet and heavy because it is so high up that the temperature is very cold and thus the snow light.

Instead of paying for a different contractor I have been thinking about buying a heavy duty machine to clear the road at times when there has been so much snow that the guy I have an appointment with cannot do it. I don’t mind making a few passes and have prioritized maneuverability over width. I have considered Hydro Pro 28 and Hydro Pro 28 EFI. My choice for now is the Hydro Pro 28 because it has a larger fuel tank than the EFI model, I think the EFI technology is immature and believe the battery will not last long in the temperatures we have here. The machine will be stored inside, but not in a heated area. I have attached a picture from the entrance area so you have an idea if what kind of snow we have to deal with.

So, finally to my question. Is it possible to clear this amount of snow with a traditional snowblower or will I be disappointed if I buy one? I think it is a very big investment for something that will be used only occasionally, but still it would feel great not being dependent of other people to have access to our cabin. The best would be if I could rent a machine somewhere to test once, but I have not been able to find anyone for rent in my area.

Much appreciate any comment to my post.

Best regards,
Snowman_44
 

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:welcome: to SBF Snowman_44

Sounds a little odd that a 3 point snowblower (guessing) couldn't take on a 3 foot drift.

1,000 ft of gravel is a lot to do with a walk behind but it is doable IMHO. I think I might be looking at getting a rider if I had the room to store it though.
The first pass might be a little rough with a deep drift but once you get that done, like you mention you can take whatever cut works for you at whatever speed.
You just want to make sure a snowblower is set up high enough that you're not sucking up gravel as no machine likes that stuff and worst case can get behind the impeller and jam it.
The hydro pro would be a good choice.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you Kiss4aFrog!

Yes it sounds strange that he was not able to clear the road, but he argumented that since the tractor had to go into the snow/drift before the snowblower part, it was just too much snow. I saw that he had tried.
 

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.

If that is the actual pic of the 3 point blower, tractor man is using the wrong type for the "big" snow.

He is using an "inverted" blower which requires the tractor to be driven into/onto the snow before the blower hits it. This type works great for lighter snowfalls and instances when you have to back-in. Super efficient in places with rows of houses and very short driveways, like in a +55 retirement community.

Tractor man should be using the conventional type where the blower hits the snow first, not the tractor:




With only a 28" and that much snow and driveway length I think it would take all weekend to clear out but i guess once thats done its just easy maintenance in the following weeks?

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If that is the actual pic of the 3 point blower, tractor man is using the wrong type for the "big" snow.

He is using an "inverted" blower which requires the tractor to be driven into/onto the snow before the blower hits it. This type works great for lighter snowfalls and instances when you have to back-in. Super efficient in places with rows of houses and very short driveways, like in a +55 retirement community.

Tractor man should be using the conventional type where the blower hits the snow first, not the tractor:




With only a 28" and that much snow and driveway length I think it would take all weekend to clear out but i guess once thats done its just easy maintenance in the following weeks?

.


Agree 100% with the explanation above. We live in Lake Effect Central NW Lower Michigan. Cleared many drifts of three foot or more with a 3PH New Holland 716C blower mounted on a Kubota L3010 tractor. Kubota has AG tires plus chains. No problems whatsoever in 20 + years of experience. Have never seen a drift that his rig could not get through, provided the driver knows how to approach it.


How big is his tractor?? Make and model number?? IME any kind of walk behind 'blower is the wrong tool for your road up to the cabin.


NB
 

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Saw a Kioti tractor with a blower mounted on the front and a nice warm cab.....would be perfect for this application.
 

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Hire a professional with the proper equipment. You will be wasting your time and money trying to do it on your own since you are not there to make multiple passes during the storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Guys and thanks for your comments.

I don't know the make and model of the tractor, but it is a large machine like on the picture and the snowblower is inverted. There is not much I can do about what equipment he uses on his tractor, but I could hire somebody else to do the job. Only problem is that it will cost much more because they will have to drive a long way to get there. The guy I use now, used to own the land where the cabins are placed, so he is pretty close by and everybody is using him for the common cabin roads.

Anyway I need a snowblower for the terrace and parking spaces, so the question is if I pay the extra dollars for a Hydro Pro 28, will I then be able to clear the road too. From your comments, I guess not. So maybe I have to look for a different contractor after all.

I visited my local Ariens dealer today and they claimed the Pro 28 would do the job. They did not have any demo models for rent. It would have been very nice to test before buying. I will visit another dealer today and ask there as well.

BTW: It looks like the Hydro Pro EFI fuel tanks have been upgraded to a larger size. At least the one at my closest dealer claimed it was as big as on the carb model, and it looked similar in size too.
 

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Forget trying to clear the 1,000ft gravel road.Bad idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are so inclined going down this path, you'll need a tracked unit. it will also take you 4-6 hrs to clear that amount of snow.
 

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The road would take a while to do with a walk-behind (unless you want to take a 36" or something and re-power it to build a beast with lots of snow processing speed), so I'd try to avoid needing to use it for that. But the Pro 28 (hydro or disc drive) is a very solid unit and should work for everything else you need to clear (and would do the road in a pinch given enough time).
 

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I like snow blowing, but I would probably tire of your scenario real quick if I had to use only a snow blower. Having said that, I would get at least a Pro 32, if not the 36 for a job as big as you've described.
 

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You've getting plenty of advice, I just wanted to agree that your service guys blower is likely to struggle with anything deep. I took it for granted it was a typical tractor snowblower first into the snow mount and not the pull behind kind. Makes a huge difference in deep snow.

Just because your drive is long I'm not sure that you'd need a tracked machine unless you have some steeper grades to climb. You mentioned "terrace", would that be something that is significantly different in grade and present a challenge in getting to ??
The wheeled machines do a good job and they're less expensive to buy and track or track related repair.
I'm still inclined to suggest getting a rider if it will do the drive, parking area and terrace.

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.Assuming the contractor has an adequate tractor, why not suggest to him that he get a 3PH rear mount snowblower or, better yet, a front mounted blower? So that he can service all properties that he is hired to plow, under any and all conditions ?


(Like 98.7% of all other snowplow pros use) None of the big tractor dealers here carry those pull through 'blowers: rare as hens teeth. I go to a lot of farm sales, see lots of snow plows and tractor mounted snow blowers; have never laid eyes on one of those.
 

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I have the 28 Hydro Pro EFI. The machine is a beast for throwing snow. I have no doubt that it will handle anything you throw at it.
The length of the driveway will certainly take you some time to do if it is especially deep.
You now have me curious on the fuel tank capacity...mine is 2 quarts. How much in the "bigger tank" that you speak of.
 

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You now have me curious on the fuel tank capacity...mine is 2 quarts. How much in the "bigger tank" that you speak of.
The carb-ed Pros with the Briggs 420cc (instead of the LCT 420cc used on the EFI Pros) have a 1.5 gallon (6 quart) tank. Weirdly, the EFI Pros spec an even smaller tank than the 3-ish quarts the other LCT powered (EFI and carb) Ariens blowers have.
 

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The Hydro Pro's have the largest and most powerful engine on a walk behind snowblower - 420cc. They will blow anything and far! However, you're up against some DEEP snow. Will the machine do it? Yes. But you will have to make multiple passes over the same area to clean snow that deep. Only you can decide if you want to do that or not. In my opinion, a front mounted blower on a 4WD tractor is the way to go. But the cost for that equipment is MUCH higher than the Hydro Pro.

This might be a silly question but whichever machine you might get (walk behind, tractor, etc), where is it going to be stored? If you get 3' drifts of snow and pull up to your cabin without an easy way to get to the machine, then I would consider subbing out the work. Yes, it's going to cost money but the benefit would be tyhat you're able to get to your cabin quick and easy. I'm assuming you go to your cabin to enjoy life and not necessarily work. It's more than just a little work to clean 3' drifts of snow with ANY walk behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You've getting plenty of advice, I just wanted to agree that your service guys blower is likely to struggle with anything deep. I took it for granted it was a typical tractor snowblower first into the snow mount and not the pull behind kind. Makes a huge difference in deep snow.

Just because your drive is long I'm not sure that you'd need a tracked machine unless you have some steeper grades to climb. You mentioned "terrace", would that be something that is significantly different in grade and present a challenge in getting to ??
The wheeled machines do a good job and they're less expensive to buy and track or track related repair.
I'm still inclined to suggest getting a rider if it will do the drive, parking area and terrace.

.
Hi,

I guess the reason he is using a pull behind is because the common cabin roads are quite long in total and he will probably be able to drive faster with a pull behind. There are about 100 cabins in the area.

The terrace is not elevated more than a few inches so it is not a problem to drive on to it with a wheeled model. The road is not steep so I think a weeled model will be ok. The tracked machines are quite more expensive.

I am not sure if a rider can be used on the terrace and I also have limited space for storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
.Assuming the contractor has an adequate tractor, why not suggest to him that he get a 3PH rear mount snowblower or, better yet, a front mounted blower? So that he can service all properties that he is hired to plow, under any and all conditions ?


(Like 98.7% of all other snowplow pros use) None of the big tractor dealers here carry those pull through 'blowers: rare as hens teeth. I go to a lot of farm sales, see lots of snow plows and tractor mounted snow blowers; have never laid eyes on one of those.
Hi,

I talked with the guy the other day and he said there are about 100 cabins in the area but only two roads like mine that gets real heavy drifts, and which he cannot service. I guess he will be reluctant to invest in a front mounted device with only "two more" customers.

Here in Norway these back mounted blowers are quite often used on small roads where the tractors can't drive at a decent speed. On asphalted roads where it is possible to drive faster I believe they mostly use a plow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have the 28 Hydro Pro EFI. The machine is a beast for throwing snow. I have no doubt that it will handle anything you throw at it.
The length of the driveway will certainly take you some time to do if it is especially deep.
You now have me curious on the fuel tank capacity...mine is 2 quarts. How much in the "bigger tank" that you speak of.

I don't know how big it was but the sales person said that it was equal as the standard Pro. Originally the Pro EFI had a 2.0qt tank and the normal Pro had 5.9qt: https://www.ariens.com/downloads/Ariens-Professional-SellSheet-CE.pdf
 
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