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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All -
I am a first-time poster here, but long-time reader, and am looking for some advice.


I live in Western NY (just outside of Buffalo) and have an OOOLD Honda HS55 that has a dying subtransmission. I played around with it for quite a while, and came to the conclusion that it most likely is in need of some repairs that I am not willing to fund for a 30+ year old machine- parts are scarce too. (adjusted shift cables & rod and also adjustment bolt underneath) I LOVE the tracks on this unit and how much torque/grip this has when removing snow - there is little to no riding up a snowbank due to this design. I have used a few other people's Ariens wheeled units (a platinum 24 and a deluxe 28) and felt that these do not hold the bucket down to the driveway(at times remember lifting up on the handles to compensate) as well as my little hs55.


So because I am looking to upgrade, I would like a 28" as a have a 3-car width driveway, that can take a while to clear with the little HS55. I am currently comparing the Ariens Proessional 28, Ariens Platinum RapidTrack 28 and the Honda HSS928AT. The Pro 28 is a beast, and has lots of nice features, but I am afraid that it (with wheels) will not perform as well as the HS55 did, in keeping it on the pavement. The rapid Track 28 looks very intriguing, but is more $$ than the pro, and am unsure how this new hybrid track system will perform compared to the Honda. The HSS928 is apparently the "Ferrari" (according to a local dealer) and is most similar to what I currently have, but when compared against the Ariens has a smaller motor, documented clogging issues, no heated hand grips, and what I understand is a slow remote-operating chute (can anyone verify this?). I am looking to keep the price around $2000, if I can with a max of $2500. I have seen some talk about the Cub Cadet 3-stage with tracks, which seems a bit gimmicky, as the extra fan would be taking power from the auger, but am interested to hear any thoughts there as well.


Any advice would be helpful
 

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A wheeled machine will be more likely to ride up and tilt back than a tracked machine, but you can add weight to the front end of the wheeled unit to help keep the bucket down. The Pro 28 is a pretty heavy unit at 340 lbs, but the bucket isn't super heavy (in the sense that it doesn't take much downward pressure on the handlebars to tip the bucket up).

Although it seems like the battery start conversion I'm finishing up on mine will definitely correct the light bucket (by adding 30 lbs of battery and tray to the back of the bucket). Because it's mounted behind the skids, it should also help drive traction, as some of the weight will be on the wheels (probably about 20 lbs on the skids / 10 on the wheels if I had to guess, maybe a little closer to 15/15). I haven't finished putting stuff back together (a little bit of weight will go back on behind the axle) but right now it takes a decent bit of force to lift the bucket.
 

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You should look at the new track drive 824 Yamaha snow blower.
You are close enough to the border to visit Kelly Powersports in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Yamaha 824 would fit within your price range after the discount of the US dollar to Loonie dollar exchange rate and the refund of the sales tax back to you at the border crossing station.

The Yamaha 824 is a track drive unit with a Teflon lined chute.

If you have time visit you tube and look for luc gallant and you will see him operating his 824 in heavy snow pack at the end of his driveway killing off the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER and the snow boulders that the plow truck saddled him with. The junior rug rat is cheering him on as his wife is filming the video as he is slaying the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER.
 

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I have a older Ariens pro 1128, with the battery start. Ive taken care of 3-6 driveways durring larger storms, plus some 500 feet of public sidewalk that gets the snow from the plowes. The pros are just built to run hard all day long. They are great for your lake effect snow belt. Ive only experianced the bucket ride up in very heavy storms at end of driveway. I ran it 8 hours straight during our big February 2013 blizzard of genuine 36" of snow. I was breaking open every neighbors yard that had a leser machine. Hand warmers work great. Just as important has the engine itself.

Id love to demo a rapid track. I had a very old sears craftsman track unit that was underpowered at 5 hp, and was torture to move. My father in lawsn honda track 28" , while smooth running, was a bit underpowered, and the tracks that are geat in big storms, were a hastle in the garage and turning on pavement.
 

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"...when compared against the Ariens has a smaller motor, documented clogging issues, no heated hand grips, and what I understand is a slow remote-operating chute (can anyone verify this?). I am looking to keep the price around $2000, if I can with a max of $2500."

Not trying to sway you towards Honda as the Ariens has some really strong points – especially for the money (except for possibly the Hyrdo Pro RapidTrack), but Honda has a fix for any clogging US-built (mid to late 2015 to present) HSS blower with a new chute, and while I like having the motorized chute controls, they are too slow for the way I am used to changing directions with my manual version. I do wish they were faster. I find I have to slow down my snow blowing technique to let the chute direction change keep up. Heated grips would be nice, but not a deal breaker for me.

My 27 year old 8hp HS828 is getting underpowered for the deepest and wettest of snow here, but it has a ton of hours. My GX390 (with bigger jet) is plenty strong for what I throw it into.

I do have to say I really like both of my tracked Honda's...and so do a few of my neighbors who have tried them both.


"...the tracks that are geat in big storms, were a hastle in the garage and turning on pavement."

The tracks on the previous mid to late 2015 Japan-built HS blowers are indeed pretty hard to turn on dry hard surfaces, but the new US-built HSS have trigger release controls that work great and you can turn on a dime with hardly any effort.
 

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"...when compared against the Ariens has a smaller motor, documented clogging issues, no heated hand grips, and what I understand is a slow remote-operating chute (can anyone verify this?). I am looking to keep the price around $2000, if I can with a max of $2500."




"...the tracks that are geat in big storms, were a hastle in the garage and turning on pavement."

The tracks on the previous mid to late 2015 Japan-built HS blowers are indeed pretty hard to turn on dry hard surfaces, but the new US-built HSS have trigger release controls that work great and you can turn on a dime with hardly any effort.
I learned somthing today ! But i still prefer a machine that you can easily move without having to start it up.
 

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I learned somthing today ! But i still prefer a machine that you can easily move without having to start it up.
These things move around with ease, unpowered. Lift the bucket up some, pull on the triggers and they move around like nothing I've seen before. Try an HSS1332ATD at a dealer and you'll see. I can't speak for the 928 or 724, but I think they'd even be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi All -
I am a first-time poster here, but long-time reader, and am looking for some advice.


I live in Western NY (just outside of Buffalo) and have an OOOLD Honda HS55 that has a dying subtransmission. I played around with it for quite a while, and came to the conclusion that it most likely is in need of some repairs that I am not willing to fund for a 30+ year old machine- parts are scarce too. (adjusted shift cables & rod and also adjustment bolt underneath) I LOVE the tracks on this unit and how much torque/grip this has when removing snow - there is little to no riding up a snowbank due to this design. I have used a few other people's Ariens wheeled units (a platinum 24 and a deluxe 28) and felt that these do not hold the bucket down to the driveway(at times remember lifting up on the handles to compensate) as well as my little hs55.


So because I am looking to upgrade, I would like a 28" as a have a 3-car width driveway, that can take a while to clear with the little HS55. I am currently comparing the Ariens Proessional 28, Ariens Platinum RapidTrack 28 and the Honda HSS928AT. The Pro 28 is a beast, and has lots of nice features, but I am afraid that it (with wheels) will not perform as well as the HS55 did, in keeping it on the pavement. The rapid Track 28 looks very intriguing, but is more $$ than the pro, and am unsure how this new hybrid track system will perform compared to the Honda. The HSS928 is apparently the "Ferrari" (according to a local dealer) and is most similar to what I currently have, but when compared against the Ariens has a smaller motor, documented clogging issues, no heated hand grips, and what I understand is a slow remote-operating chute (can anyone verify this?). I am looking to keep the price around $2000, if I can with a max of $2500. I have seen some talk about the Cub Cadet 3-stage with tracks, which seems a bit gimmicky, as the extra fan would be taking power from the auger, but am interested to hear any thoughts there as well.


Any advice would be helpful

Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions and their own experiences. I have all but eliminated the Cub Cadet from the mix, based on the numerous clog issues that are being reported. Living in WNY, we receive wet snow fairly often. So between the Ariens Pro 28 and the HSS 928, does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on the Honda having a smaller engine and narrower chute? Does the Honda feel underpowered at all?
 

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I would look at the honda. Have the dealer fix the chute prior to delivery and then re jet the carburetor. The wheeled hydro 28 is a great machine until you have to deal with the wheels in heavy snow.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions and their own experiences. I have all but eliminated the Cub Cadet from the mix, based on the numerous clog issues that are being reported. Living in WNY, we receive wet snow fairly often. So between the Ariens Pro 28 and the HSS 928, does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on the Honda having a smaller engine and narrower chute? Does the Honda feel underpowered at all?
you are asking a subjective question
5 could say its under powered 5 could say its superman
its about 8 real hp
the ariens pro is 12.5 real hp
honda makes up for the smaller engine with very high impeller speeds and a tighter drum so it still throws 50 plus feet
the 270 cc has much lower torq which what is needed for deep wet snow in order to not lug down


myself id get the pro for $2200 and put an impeller kit on it and let it eat
 

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Yes the Honda could use 11 hp however if you are not in a rush it’s a much better machine then the hydro pro. The problem with the hydro pro is the wheels and shear pins. The Honda with tracks will walk through any snow the wheels will make you work. The shear pins on the ariens are a real pita when they break. I often needed a hammer and punch to get out the broken piece. The Honda design is such that the broken pin falls away. Honda has come out with a chute mod and if you re jet the carburetor the Honda will do everything the ariens will do and you will not have to work as hard with the eod and sidewalk crud due to it having tracks. And if you can splurge the 1332 walks all over any ariens out there, there really is no comparison between the two. I have owned the hydro 28 the Honda HSS 928 and I currently own 2 hss1332’s.
 

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takes 4 min to change a broken pin hardly a big deal
ive only broken 2 in 40 plus yrs its not a concern at all hockeyman
3k plus on a snowblower that might be better then something that cost 50% less not a good value imo
the 28 sho 30 sho or the pro would be monsters as compared to what you are running now
28 sho is all you need $1249 imo
 

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It takes a real special person to know what someone else needs while sitting behind their computer screen. I ran the ariens pro 28’s for years and they are fine but they are inferior to the Honda it’s that simple. I used to break 2 or 3 shear pins a storm and it takes far longer then 4 min to change one, with the auger protection system on the Honda I break one every 2 or 3 storms now.. The bucket on the ariens will absolutely ride up and it takes some serious effort to get through the eod crud with wheels. By the end of a large storm I would be exhausted because the ariens would make me work so hard to get through it. I can drink a coffee and run the Honda you only need one hand no matter the snow. If you can afford the Honda it is a far superior machine it is that simple you get what you pay for in this world.
 

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I have the HSS928AWD and I like to be able to move the machine around without starting it up. It does ride up on the End of Driveway EOD pile though and takes some muscle at that point. I am getting the new chute retrofitted right now. I did not find it underpowered, although it does bog down a little bit at the EOD pile if you are pushing it too fast and you have to go a little slower once you get there.
 

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Realistically, I'd say the decision should come down to the tracks. If he really needs the tracks, get the Honda or consider the Pro 28 Hydro Track (similar in price at around $3k). If wheels will do the job, the regular Pro 28 will save some money. The Honda does have less power, so it might require moving a bit slower, especially in deep spots or the EOD. But it'll be up to his standards of what "fast enough" is to determine if it's actually underpowered or if it's enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Realistically, I'd say the decision should come down to the tracks. If he really needs the tracks, get the Honda or consider the Pro 28 Hydro Track (similar in price at around $3k). If wheels will do the job, the regular Pro 28 will save some money. The Honda does have less power, so it might require moving a bit slower, especially in deep spots or the EOD. But it'll be up to his standards of what "fast enough" is to determine if it's actually underpowered or if it's enough.
You, my friend, just hit the nail on the with where my head is at right now! I absolutely LOVE my tracks on the HS55, but the features on the Pro 28 are undeniable. If $$ were no object, at this point, I think ideally I would spring for the Pro 28 RapidTrak. The most difficult decision is track vs wheels. I've only known track so far, so trying to get a feel for whether I would have buyer's remorse with a wheeled Pro unit. The price difference between the wheeled Pro and the RapidTrack is ~$900.
 

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How much of a rush are you in to buy? If your old Honda will make it through the beginning of this winter and you want to experiment, you're welcome to come out to Rochester when we get our first snow and give my wheeled Pro 28 a try. It's a bit heavier than a standard one due to the battery start conversion, but that'll give an idea of how it works with some added weight.

As far as the Ariens track units, there's the Platinum 28 SHO Rapidtrak ($2400) and then the Pro 28 Hydro Track (which is a more conventional track setup for $3000), so you've got some choices in the track world.
 

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I'm only seeing RapidTrak units on Ariens' website, not regular tracks, unless I'm looking in the wrong place? Oops, sorry, looked again. There's a Tracked models section, you have to look there, not under Pro.

I think RapidTrak units can't keep the bucket elevated off the ground, like a conventional track. I think they can still bias weight onto the tracks, at least.

I wonder how well AutoTurn does with tracks, vs Honda's dual triggers steering. I think I prefer the idea of manual steering control, at least nothing needs to interpret what's going on, and try to read your mind. You just squeeze whichever trigger is needed, and the rest of the time it goes straight.
 

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You, my friend, just hit the nail on the with where my head is at right now! I absolutely LOVE my tracks on the HS55, but the features on the Pro 28 are undeniable. If $$ were no object, at this point, I think ideally I would spring for the Pro 28 RapidTrak. The most difficult decision is track vs wheels. I've only known track so far, so trying to get a feel for whether I would have buyer's remorse with a wheeled Pro unit. The price difference between the wheeled Pro and the RapidTrack is ~$900.
I went from wheels to tracks and would never go back. I personally would be highly disappointed if I went from tracks to wheels at this point. Obviously wheels will get the job done as millions of snowblowers are equipped with them, but the tracks are superior and with the Honda triggers there is no down side imo.
 
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