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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've covered the tour of the Ariens factory and visit to their museum in two other threads. One of the things that I had really hoped to do was get a first hand chance to operate some of their newest examples of snowblowers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fire any of them up, but did give a good look over of two of their latest offerings after seeing how they were manufactured in the factory and seeing their lineage in the museum.

The overall impression when I stepped up to them was one of extreme quality. The paint finish being the first thing you notice is pretty much flawless. I didn't see any place where there was any skimping on the application of paint. From the visit in the factory, I saw the line where paint is applied, and like many manufacturing plants, paint is applied to most areas by robotic arms, but, there are living breathing humans on the line applying paint to those areas that robots don't get to.

Secondly, these machines are robust. There was no signs of flex or weakness when I grabbed the handle bars and raised the auger bucket off of the floor. Finally, all of the controls were well placed, solid and functioned smoothly.

I'd have loved to have gone out back and run at least one of them through their paces, but sadly, it didn't happen. Rob Wittl said that they had put on a demonstration the day before where they used cracked corn as the medium in place of snow. The reason they chose cracked corn was to duplicate running frozen ice through the snowblower. He said that even their smaller single stage snow throwers did well.

I did take a list of questions with me to ask from those I've seen on the forum, and those are pretty much covered in the thread about the visit to the museum.

Here are a couple of pictures of one of their Sno-Tek snowblowers tossing that cracked corn.




Here is a stock photo of one of their new offerings, a Deluxe 28 SHO.



Here's an overall explanation of the changes and additions to the Ariens line of snowblowers. I think it is important to note the list of machines offered exclusively through dealerships.

New models for the Ariens Sno-Thro lineup include the following:
· 921044 – Deluxe 28 SHO – this is a dealer-only Deluxe 28 model that has the new 306cc Ariens AX engine (15 ft/lbs of torque), Auto-Turn steering, 16x5” directional tires, Super High Output impeller, and throws snow up to 55 feet. This replaces 921037 (Deluxe 28+) from last season.

· 921039 – Platinum SHO Track 28 – this is a dealer-only Platinum 28 Track model that has the new 369cc Ariens AX engine (17 ft/lbs of torque), Auto-Turn steering, 5.5” wide tracks, quick turn chute control, Super High Output impeller, and throws snow up to 55 feet.

While there are not any new “features” that have been added to our lineup this season, we have made aesthetic changes to the line as a whole to provide consistency, simplicity, and to increase user comfort and understanding of the Sno-Thro controls through:
· A new, one-color bezel design for a simple, clean and updated look

· Updated control knobs for user comfort

· A new control panel that visually connects the instruction icons to the corresponding controls

Changes to existing models include:
· 921030 – Deluxe 28 now has 16x5” directional tires as opposed to the 16” Polar Trac tires last season

· 921032 – Deluxe 30 now has hand warmers, which it did not have last season

· 921038 – Platinum 24 SHO has the new 369cc Ariens AX engine (17 ft/lbs of torque) as opposed to a 306cc Ariens AX engine last season

Models sold exclusively through our dealers are:
· 921044 – Deluxe 28 SHO

· 921038 – Platinum 24 SHO

· 921040 – Platinum 30 SHO

· 926053 – Hydro Pro 28

· 926517 – Hydro Pro 32 (while supplies last)

· 926055 – Hydro Pro 36

· 921039 – Platinum SHO Track 28

· 926056 – Hydro Pro Track 28


Ariens did quite a bit of work before the season began to determine what could be done to continue improving delivery rates, and meet demand throughout the season. They took a hard look at their model mix, and was able to reduce the number of models in the Ariens Sno-Thro line. That allowed their factory to focus on the highest volume and best-selling models so they can get product into the hands of consumers in a more timely fashion.

For complete information, check out their web page for product information, accessories and special offerings.
 

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The Deluxe24 I just bought at local Ariens Dealer has the AX LCT 354cc 12.5 Lbs Torque Engine, yet I don't see it on Dealer only sales List. I bought from Dealer fully assembled and delivered as I don't think a Dealer would put an On-Line purchased Machine on the top of "to do List" if repairs are needed when the Snow starts flying! So my guess is this Model can be purchased online. It was between Deluxe 24 and Compact 24. Thought Deluxe offered much more for the extra C-Note! ( have not read much here regarding AX 354cc? ) Got it with extended Warranty Promo, $999 plus Tax.
 

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As cbnsoul stated Ariens/LCT do not make a 354cc engine and if they did it would produce more than 12.5 ft/lbs. of torque. I think that you meant the 254cc engine that does put out 12.5 ft./lbs. of torque. The Deluxe 24 is not a dealer only machine it can be purchased at either Home Depot or an Ariens dealer.

I agree with you it was well worth the extra $100. Over the Compact 24. I wish you the best of luck with your new machine!
 
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