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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wondering if you can help me with this situation.

I live in Texas and bought a place in CO last year that we visit as often as possible (several weeks in the winter as well as the summer). It's at 7600 ft, and is at the end of a dirt road at the end of a dirt road. Neighbors all pitch in to help keep the place accessible, and I have a tractor with a snow blower on the back that sees frequent use throughout the season. However, the access from my driveway to the garage is fairly steep and at a slight angle, and I was unable to use the tractor to clear the deep deep drifts that accumulated between my visits up here. Even with chains, it would slide and that was very uncomfortable. So I basically had no access to my garage until the snow melted late spring. The prior owner lived here and maintained the driveway with each snow, but I can't do that at the present time.

I like the Ariens Platinum 30 SHO and the Platinum 28 w tracks, but I cannot find them anywhere in this part of the state or NW New Mexico. I'm hesitant to order it online based on several poor reviews of a couple of "direct" sales sites. I called about a few used machines listed in the area, but am also hesitant to buy a product like this not knowing how much wear and tear it has seen.

It is conceivable that I would have to clear hundreds of yards of driveway and road at times, and I understand both brands would do this work well.

I've also considered the pro line for Ariens, at which point the price difference compared to the Honda isn't as great. But once again, they are not to be found. I do not want to buy a cheapo machine and then need to replace it with another blower in a couple of years. I generally don't mind crying once over the cost. The Honda HSS1332 ATD is available in Durango, and the vast majority of the reviews I've seen about it are great, but is it worth twice the price? Are they that good??

Thank you for any and all guidance you can offer. Happy New Year, and be safe!
 

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The Honda HSS1332 ATD is available in Durango, and ALL of the reviews I've seen about it are great
All?
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104738

I was about to pull the trigger on a Honda but went Ariens hydro pro track 28 instead because

1) reports of the Honda clogging
2) reports of shear pins breaking too easily in the 928
3) my closest dealer sold Ariens.

But if you have nowhere to get warranty service on the Ariens, I'm not sure what I'd do. Do you have a Husqvarna dealer nearby? They also sell a track unit.
 

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All?
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104738[/url[/quote] You do realize that your link has one 1332 problem with clogging, right? You need to be careful with the word "All". The owner of my closest dealership in Traverse City, Michigan has told me that he has not had [I]one[/I] single complaint of clogging of any new Honda HSS snowblower to date. I'm not saying people are not having problems (mainly with the HSS928) because they are, but it is not wholesale across the HSS line. To MMCAN, seems the super wet snow is causing problems. I have super wet snow and have not had any clogging...not even close to clogging. The 1332ATD is a great albeit expensive piece of gear, but not 2x the cost of a tracked Ariens.
 

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You do realize that your link has one 1332 problem with clogging, right? You need to be careful with the word "All".
I didn't say "all" as a statement! He said all the 1332 reviews were positive. And I replied, "all?" meaning that it's not quite all.

BTW there was a second 1332 complaint somewhere. I must have missed it.
 

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Whenever there is a sample size of one, you can safely ignore it, because its meaningless.

Scot
I just reviewed the list and explicitly listed the machine that the person was referring to.

3 of the 10 are 1332.

I'm not claiming this proves anything. Just stating facts.

:smiley-confused013:
 

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...3 of the 10 in that list are 1332. I edited the list to explicitly show the machine type.
I see it now. Thanks for updating. Now it's looking more like a design flaw across the 928 and 1332.

Weird how there's been no problems in my neck of the woods even though we get our fair share of sloppy wet stuff being so close to large bodies of water - Lake Michigan for me and Grand Traverse Bays (2) for Traverse City.
 

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It should be noted, the clogging complaints came from areas of the country with wet heavy snow, you'll be hard pressed to clog any snowblower in colorados fluffy dry snow. Hondas track machines are superior to their competition in a couple ways in my opinion.

How easy it is to turn and roll an HSS Honda with the triggers pulled, rolls like wheels.
Effortless bucket height adjustments, with "infinite"positions, lock it any any point of its travel range.
Effortless chute controls. Dual articulating chute for improved placement in tight conditions. (Hss1332)
On board 12v electric start, no extension cords.


I especially can't understand all the crying about the shears pins. They are not breaking out of thin air, people are hitting things. I broke one, on a rock... YES the pin in question should be a harder material, but deal breaker?...

I put a basic mtd shear pin in its place to finish the driveway and bought a couple from my dealer the next day.
 

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Hondas track machines are superior to their competition in a couple ways in my opinion.
I just went through the buying process and compared Tracked Ariens and Honda models. Here's my take.

The honda rolls the easiest while off - by a mile. Pull the triggers and it moves surprisingly well. The Ariens tracks can be moved but you have to push pretty darn hard. The Hydro is slightly easier because it has a release lever, but it's not much better. I store the Ariens in the garage on a moving dolly and it rolls around quite easily, so it's really not so bad. But the Honda is definitely better here.

The Honda bucket height adjustment is also superior. It's infinitely variable and the bucket raises up higher than the Ariens. I did wonder whether infinitely variable is alway desired though. With the ariens you know where "flat" is. But if I could chose, yeah I'd take Honda's system.

Turning: I'd probably take Honda's triggers as well, but I'm reserving judgement until I use the Ariens in snow. I've only driven it around on dry pavement so far, and it's not very good. You have to push pretty hard to let the machine know you're trying to turn, then it turns a lot. Lifting up on the bars before turning made it turn much more easily. I'm holding out hope that it will work much more effortlessly in snow. The Husqvarna has steering triggers as well.

Chute controls: I'm fine with the lever. Super quick to go from all the way left to all the way right. The electronic controls look slow to me.

12v electric start: I don't need one more battery to worry about charging. I'd rather pull a cord or plug in a cord than have to buy another battery tender.


Shears pins: Yes, absolutely a dealbreaker. I bought an expensive because I want clearing snow to be a) fun and b) efficient. Stopping to change shear pins is neither of those things. If I buy top of the line snowblower I expect to have my hands up in the icy augers as little as possible. Toro advertises their machines don't have shear pins at all. That's not really true but it shows where the competition is going. I understand the purpose of pins, but they shouldn't be breaking unless absolutely necessary.
 

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drmerdp said it well and I concur.
 

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Shears pins: Yes, absolutely a dealbreaker...Stopping to change shear pins is neither of those things. If I buy top of the line snowblower I expect to have my hands up in the icy augers as little as possible..they shouldn't be breaking unless absolutely necessary.
You do realize that the HSS1332ATD has an auger protection system that protects against most shear bolt breaks, right?

I've got 25 hours on a new 1332 and once I hit a small pack of frozen wood chips about 8" in diameter. The blower shut down, I cleared out the chunk in the auger housing, fired back up, blew out a small wad of ice and chips and on my way...real smooth, real nice.

It is one of the greatest features of the new ATD...it works and works well.
 

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Not sure how relevant my opinion is because I don't own the newer generation Honda HSS series. What I can tell you is that I've owned a Honda HS928 for eight years and have never broke a sheer pin. Having said that, I'm vigilant about picking up twigs, sticks, newspapers, phonebooks, trash can lids, dog toys, etc. anywhere near the driveway / sidewalk when I know there's snow in the forecast. When it comes to clogging, I can count on one hand how many times it's happened over eight years. Not sure if the new Honda chute design is any better or any worse than the old design when it comes to clogging because every snowfall condition is uniquely different even when using the same machine. What does make a difference is dealer availability and ease of access. It pays dividends should you ever nice service or parts in a pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just went through the buying process and compared Tracked Ariens and Honda models. Here's my take.

The honda rolls the easiest while off - by a mile. Pull the triggers and it moves surprisingly well. The Ariens tracks can be moved but you have to push pretty darn hard. The Hydro is slightly easier because it has a release lever, but it's not much better. I store the Ariens in the garage on a moving dolly and it rolls around quite easily, so it's really not so bad. But the Honda is definitely better here.

The Honda bucket height adjustment is also superior. It's infinitely variable and the bucket raises up higher than the Ariens. I did wonder whether infinitely variable is alway desired though. With the ariens you know where "flat" is. But if I could chose, yeah I'd take Honda's system.

Turning: I'd probably take Honda's triggers as well, but I'm reserving judgement until I use the Ariens in snow. I've only driven it around on dry pavement so far, and it's not very good. You have to push pretty hard to let the machine know you're trying to turn, then it turns a lot. Lifting up on the bars before turning made it turn much more easily. I'm holding out hope that it will work much more effortlessly in snow. The Husqvarna has steering triggers as well.

Chute controls: I'm fine with the lever. Super quick to go from all the way left to all the way right. The electronic controls look slow to me.

12v electric start: I don't need one more battery to worry about charging. I'd rather pull a cord or plug in a cord than have to buy another battery tender.


Shears pins: Yes, absolutely a dealbreaker. I bought an expensive because I want clearing snow to be a) fun and b) efficient. Stopping to change shear pins is neither of those things. If I buy top of the line snowblower I expect to have my hands up in the icy augers as little as possible. Toro advertises their machines don't have shear pins at all. That's not really true but it shows where the competition is going. I understand the purpose of pins, but they shouldn't be breaking unless absolutely necessary.
So, after this due diligence, you are now the proud owner of the,......???
 

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Chute controls: I'm fine with the lever. Super quick to go from all the way left to all the way right. The electronic controls look slow to me.
I agree, a manual chute lever is certainly quicker. In practice, the chute speed has not proven to be inefficiently slow. That being said, If given the opertunity Id make it faster.

I did hours of research before my decision to purchase a HSS928atd, the fun conclusion... To Each Their Own :)
 

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They are both great machines. If you are fairly mechanically inclined as I am, I do not worry too much about purchasing online. If I would have any issues, 90% I can resolve myself or at least with replacement parts. In my area Ariens is King as their plant is right here in Brillion, WI so dealers and parts are plentiful. They are durable machines but their auto-turn can be either a curse or blessing. I still like the trigger locks as on my Toro. So I have no useful information to offer other than if Honda's are readily available in your area, I would probably go that route, especially if money is not an issue.
 

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I am generally a diehard Ariens guy. IMHO at the $2,000. USD and under price point their 2 stage wheeled models are hard to beat. They offer an excellent combo of power, robust build quality at a reasonable price. Regarding Honda's newer HSS series I have read quite a few reviews regarding their HSS928 models with chute clogging issues.

When we are talking the $3,000. and up price point I would spend the extra money and treat yourself to a Honda HSS1332 and don't look back if you have the budget and the need for a large tracked machine. I would consider them state of the art large heavy duty tracked units. Best of luck on your search and please post some pics after you take delivery.
 

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What's available in the area that it is going to be used ? For ease of service for one and parts ect....

When I bought my Honda the Honda certified service man said the best Ariens barely equivalent to the lowest grade Honda . Sales pitch probably yes but gave me more confidence in my purchase . Because I never saw him until I was putting unit on my truck after the deal was done with the salesman . He was going over unit with me and we were going back and forth about the unit from day to day things to check and what I should watch , lube and daily maintenance ect......
 
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