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Looking for advice on the comparison between the Ariens Hydro Pro Fastrak (28 or 32) Versus Honda HSS1332ATD. I've seen similar reviews with tons of discussion, but they seemed to lack enough real data on the new Ariens Fastrak feature. After obsessing over it and reading a lot of reviews, I'm still stuck trying to decide.

I live on the West slope in Colorado, where we get 200 to more than 300 inches of snow per year. It's not uncommon for us to need to be clearing snow 3-5 days per week for weeks on end. I want something that's reliable and fast, including the ability to rip right through the end-of-driveway dense stuff. That's why I've narrowed it down to these high-end, tracked machines. I want a tracked machine in order to make it easier to rip through the EOD crud and also because the latest tracked designs and powertrains seem to provide good maneuverability that had been an issue on earlier tracked designs. On the Ariens I'm inclined to go with the 28 inch, in order to be the most power per width. I would be looking at a Honda 1328 instead of the 1332 if they made that. I was able to play with a Honda in the parking lot at the dealer the other day and found it to be very maneuverable. I've seen the latest Ariens Fastrak blowers in person and heard a lot of speculation, but just don't have much feedback from actual users on them. The local dealer where I live carries both Ariens and Honda. People talk about Ariens being lower cost than Honda, but I'm comparing to the Ariens Pro line, which is actually priced about the same as Honda.

I was hearing that the Hondas struggle with wet snow. But I've also heard that they've fixed that. FWIW, we typically get dryer snow here in Colorado, except for some of the later spring storms.

For me the key comparison points are:
-Steering: Love the Honda steering. Heard good things about Ariens Fastrak and I'm optimistic, but looking to hear reviews from others that is based on real experience. This is a key area for me that I just don't have enough feedback on.
-Engine: Honda wins for quality and reputation, but Ariens wins for power.
-Chute Control: Honda electric chute control is nice, but seems annoyingly slow when you want to get through a turn quickly. The Ariens design is quick to change.
-Sheer Pins: The auger protection system on the Honda sounds like a time saver and it sounds like changing sheer pins is a bit easier on the Honda.
-Intangibles: Honda seems to have the highest reputation for quality, but I realize this starts to get into a religious debate.

I'm sure that either one will be more than I need, but feel like I need more feedback before being comfortable spending upwards of $3k on a new machine.

Any help appreciated!
 

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Hi Eric I am on the Eastern side of CO with a cabin in the mountains where my new snow blower will stay. I was torn between the same models along with the Toro 28" power TRX HD as you. Have you watched any of Paul Sikkema videos? He does a great job of reviewing the Ariens and Toro models, but unfortunately no Honda's. He does offer some comparisons in the comments section of one of the videos of the Hondas vs the Ariens 28in Pro Rapidtrak. https://www.youtube.com/c/PaulSikkema/videos

Anyway, after watching his videos, looking at the Ariens and talking to a Honda dealer in my area (Honda is way behind on orders so wouldn't get one until after snow season) I choose the 28in pro Rapid trak which I was able to test at the dealer. Either way you can't go wrong with either machine.

You probably have already made your choice by now so I hope you are enjoying whater machine you got.

Jeff
 
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