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As we say in Maine, we have 10 months of winter and 2 months of hard sledding.



I'll be breaking out my (new to me) Deluxe 28 and am considering changing the skids before the first snow. The situation is that I have a square flat driveway, so I originally thought I'd stay with the original skids or go the poly route because I've heard that works best with Auto Turn. However, my front walkway is brick and heaves a lot and I thought that Armor Skids would work best of that surface. Which way to go?



Any insight will be appreciated.
 

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I have the Deluxe 24 and bought the poly skids from the dealer at the same time I bought the blower so I've never used the stock steel skids. That said, my asphalt driveway is not level and does have some bumps but nothing severe and I've never had any issue with the Autoturn. I like it a lot and in fact was the reason I gave away a perfectly good Ariens snowblower to a brother-in-law. But the old one had a straight axle and with some cardiac, knee, and shoulder issues it was getting to be too much of a workout to use it.

The new Ariens with the Autoturn is great, at least for me, and I'm very happy I bought it. That said, I did buy the 2017 model just after Ariens moved the axle to correct issues that some people were having with Autoturn and I never experienced any problems with it not staying straight or being hard to turn. On the contrary it works great for me.
 

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I have a 2014 plat and switched to the poly. Much better (for me) over the OEM steel.
My drive is short, perhaps 50 ft, and tapers downhill, perhaps a 5% grade. The real problems are in the street. We live on a cul-de-sac which means I'm always going around a curve. The steel were a real pita. The poly are much better (for this purpose) but not perfect. Ruts are killers no matter what the shoe.
 

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As we say in Maine, we have 10 months of winter and 2 months of hard sledding.

I'll be breaking out my (new to me) Deluxe 28 and am considering changing the skids before the first snow. The situation is that I have a square flat driveway, so I originally thought I'd stay with the original skids or go the poly route because I've heard that works best with Auto Turn. However, my front walkway is brick and heaves a lot and I thought that Armor Skids would work best of that surface. Which way to go?

Any insight will be appreciated.
I can recommend the Ariens plastic skid shoes. They are low friction and work well with the AutoTurn. The Ariens steel skid shoes are high friction and do not work well with the pre 2017 AutoTurn. I have not used the extra long ArmorSkids since they are very expensive in Canada and hard to find and reviews are mixed with float as a notable problem.

A lot would depend on how the heaving is working: on individual bricks or in line with the path of the snowblower or in line across the snowblower path. My sidewalk pavers heave a bit as angling of individual stones. The scraper bar (set to 1/8") takes the brunt of impacts and does chip the stones (this is far less of a problem than the sidewalks holes and bumps). I need to file the scraper bar to restore, and the pavers are coloured all through so not that noticeable. In this case the plastic skid shoes work satisfactorily and I wouldn't change to steel skid shoes of any length.

If your heaving is across the path of the snowblower then the longer skid shoes may lift the scraper bar above the bricks.
 

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Northern Michigan smallish blacktop drive that is pretty smooth with a small right to left slope onto a paved street. 2018 Plat 24, all stock, scraper set low enough to often see bare blacktop. Steers with two fingers . . . Unless it hits a chunk of frozen crap (rare) is flawless without changing anything (and frozen crap will skew even a solid axle . . . like I was using prior . . .)
 

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Poly skids work very well. I've tried the other types, the plastic has been the best in my situation.
 

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Northern Michigan smallish blacktop drive that is pretty smooth with a small right to left slope onto a paved street. 2018 Plat 24, all stock, scraper set low enough to often see bare blacktop. Steers with two fingers . . . Unless it hits a chunk of frozen crap (rare) is flawless without changing anything (and frozen crap will skew even a solid axle . . . like I was using prior . . .)
The 2018 Platinum would be the re-balanced model with the drive wheels closer to the bucket, like the Pro models. Ariens went this way to alleviate complaints on AutoTurn with steel skid shoes on models before 2017. Seems Ariens made the right decision.
 

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Armor skids to float a bit on some kinds of snow, but they steer well and slide much better than the stock steel skids. They're also much better on uneven ground as they're long enough to prevent the bucket from hitting. I helped the floating by adding some extra weight up front on my Pro 28, right around 30 extra lbs on the skids. It's a bit tough to tip the bucket up now, but it moves snow great.
 

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Personally, AS are so overrated. My machine was a floatie flopper with them on. Hated them. Ended ordering up some UHMW shoes . Size matters and it's just too dang b1g
 

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I have the Ariens poly skids on one of my Ariens,,,,, will be putting them on all my machines as they come into needing new skids,
 

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The 2018 Platinum would be the re-balanced model with the drive wheels closer to the bucket, like the Pro models. Ariens went this way to alleviate complaints on AutoTurn with steel skid shoes on models before 2017. Seems Ariens made the right decision.
Hi Town.

Haven't kept up with the newer Ariens, you saying that the newer Plats have been modified? They move the wheels closer inboard (same position on case) or actually more forward towards the throat?

Does this help much?
 

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Hi Town.

Haven't kept up with the newer Ariens, you saying that the newer Plats have been modified? (YES) They move the wheels closer inboard (same position on case) (NO) or actually more forward towards the throat? (YES)

Does this help much? (YES it allows an apparently similar response to AutoTurn from the stock steel skids as the plastic skids)
Hi enigma,

The wheels and axle were moved forward, toward the bucket. This has the effect of moving some weight off the bucket and onto the wheels. This is called re-balancing and is much the same as the Pro models that did not seem to have problems with their steel skid shoes and their AutoTurn.
 

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The one thing I do know is....I have a 2014 Ariens with the Auto Turn issues, and wasn't happy when I bought it. Thanks to this forum, I went out and bought a set of Poly Shoes, and now am very happy with the Auto Turn system. Before, I wouldn't have dared going close beside my truck, for fear of the machine lurching to the side, but now with the Poly's on, I have complete confidence, and go within inches of vehicles.:smile2:
 
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