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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BTW:- I did read many of the previous posts relating to "2 stage units" , Lots of insight here and there, Also Mr. Paul Sikkema Videos are very beneficial.

I will keep this SIMPLE & to the point.
Due to recent surgeries, I will be unable to use my trusty 17 yr old single stage [Honda HS.520]
I now need a 2 stage that will do the heavy work.
Looking to get a 24" (approx) unit, with around 250 CC's.
Ideally with Non marking "SkidShoes".
"DriftCutter" would be also nice, -- as the "Town" really buries the ends of the driveway.
I gotta say some of the newer "FANCY" tech stuff, makes me nervous.
On an Ariens, i read something about "Personal Pace Drive" system.(Sounds Scary!)
Wow,-- What's wrong with a good oldFashioned gear selector?
Then there's stuff, like "Auto turn" \ PowerSteering \ MindReadingAbility \Extra Sensory Perception --etc
I had "SplitBrakes" on my old farm tractor,-- so me thinks a "left" & "Right" trigger on the bar,-- to "Brake" the appropriate wheel, when turning, is a simpler and more robust approach.
Perhaps some of you have Experience + ideas, about turning the unit -- Easily & reliably.
The other thing that i see as possible "FINICKY" is the newer fangled "CHUTE" controls.
Looks like the simpler "crank" controls are yesterYear, but again you guys have more "2 stage" experience than me.
Then there's the whole question of reliability. I cannot afford a 2 stage Honda (wish i could !)
From what i have read so far, --ARIENS and TORO, seem to be toward the top of the heap,
with TroyBilt, CubCadet, and others further down the field.

I think you guys who actually, OWN \ have owned, a 2 stage units, are probably a far better source of information,-- than some person in an office reading bunches of brochures & Flyers & writing a an article based on that.
I am open to any & all suggestions.
I want to make an informed decision, such that my purchase will last as long as my single stage Did, still does [Still as good as, when i bought it in 2004,--I am the one who is rusted out]

My last post in 2017, went un-Answered.
So i hope i have better luck this time around.
Thanks Everyone!
OldGeezer69
 

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Me personally, I operate mostly restored, solid units of years ago....

I have no experience with the brand new machines, as I never had a need, as my restored units have always performed flawless.

I did pick up a pretty new Cub Cadet this past year for dirt cheap, put on new carb and repaired the chewed wires. It has zero turn levers on each handle, as well as joy stick controls, lights, etc ... I did put on the impeller mod due to its impeller clearance.. I am looking forward to operating it this season.

Whatever you get, it's care and maintenance that is going to keep it fresh for many years.

Tire Wheel Plant Vehicle Mower
 

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Contact the local Boy Scouts. If I were around I would happily do your snowblowing.

Otherwise you will need to spend some money for a machine with all the bells and whistles to make this easier. I have people messaging me all the time with this question. Back problems, disabled , partially disabled , etc.

I can NOT recommend anyone with these medical issues doing their own snow removal. I tell them to contact the Boy Scouts. social services, senior services , chamber of commerce , etc. There are usually alternatives to you having to do this.

Maybe even a neighbor for some kind of trade/consideration. I have repaired snowblowers for almost all my neighbors for no charge and have snowblowed their drives/berms etc for free. Usually they insist on paying something. Sometimes money . sometimes beer, steaks, cookies or gifts.
 

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the ariens deluxe machine with their auto steer is pretty nice and likely meets most of your requirements. drift cutters and non marking skids can always be added. my neighbor has a deluxe 24" that he bought after having a stroke a few years back and it is a pretty nice machine. only issue he has had since buying it was carb issues caused by ethanol. otherwise they are nice machines. if i came accross a used one for the right price i would pick it up.

also as mentioned could always try to find someone local to help take care of your driveway. i just dropped off a snowblower at someones house that i will be using to help take care of their driveway and another neighbor. if there was anyone else within reasonable distance of the place i could always help them also. really doesn't take long to do a job with a snowblower.
 

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I believe the simplicity line up has trigger steering as well as the other brands noted above, and not solely in the heavy "pro" series.
 

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Me personally, I operate mostly restored, solid units of years ago....

I have no experience with the brand new machines, as I never had a need, as my restored units have always performed flawless.

I did pick up a pretty new Cub Cadet this past year for dirt cheap, put on new carb and repaired the chewed wires. It has zero turn levers on each handle, as well as joy stick controls, lights, etc ... I did put on the impeller mod due to its impeller clearance.. I am looking forward to operating it this season.

Whatever you get, it's care and maintenance that is going to keep it fresh for many years.

View attachment 183443
I have a Cub 824 SWE that has all the good stuff yours does, that's a really nice blower. I also bought a 28" Yardman that is and would be great for a handicap person with the wheel unlock deal. One thing for sure is to have the electric start.
 

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As crazzywolfie mentioned above, the Ariens Deluxe 24 might be a good choice. The Auto Turn steering works very well and makes it very easy to steer the machine whether it is running or not. I have had trigger steering on a snow blower and much prefer the auto turn. The Deluxe series uses the ice drill style hand crank, which I prefer for it's simplicity. It comes with electric start as most decent blowers do these days.

I think the personal pace feature you refer to are on the little 2 stage Toros and Ariens that are driven by the rubber augers, not the wheels. I definitely don't recommend these, as they require more operator effort tackling deep wet snow and EOD piles just like a single stage.

I would go to Toro, Ariens and Simplicity dealers and check out the different machines in person, get hands on them, move them around, check out the controls, ask dealer what he recommends for your situation.

I understand the desire to continue to look after your own snow clearing, as I will probably be the same way. I have a good friend in his mid 80's still blowing his own snow. As others have mentioned, getting a neighbour or contractor to take care of the snow removal may be a consideration. Heart attacks and broken hips can be life altering or fatal.

Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello Everyone.
Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy lives to reply.
FANTASTIC RESPONSES . . . .
I will go over & review each and every suggestion - - -

I hope i did not come off as some old dude, hating on newer technology.
Indeed this is far from the case.
Some tech advances like EFI, are a massive improvement over "TOILET BOWL" technology (That i grew up with), from a performance, economy and tuning perspective.
But some newer stuff, is here today & gone tomorrow. [Anyone remember "Rear Wheel Steering"]

i read as much as i could about some of these Dubious technologies.
(A) "Personal Pace Drive" system.
(B) "Auto turn"
Regarding,- "Personal Pace Drive" -- Many have said "goes too Fast", Rides up over snow, ETC
Regarding, "Auto turn".
i came across references to the quirks relating to "Auto turn"
Some have stated that the "Auto turn" feature sometimes fires, when travelling straight, -- causing the unit "to Crab", with the operator fighting to keep it going straight
It can happen if:-
One wheel encounters ice, or chunk of ice,
Tire pressure is not spot on,
Traversing a slope on Driveway etc
and most likely a host of other factors

So if i were to rephrase my questions.
For those of you who have real world experience dealing with these new technologies in your snow covered driveways
(A) "Personal Pace Drive" system. (B) "Auto turn" \Trigger-LESS PowerSteering (C) Crank-LESS delivery chutes. (D) other newer Tech

Is this stuff, Solid\Reliable\Worthwhile --???????

I value your real world experience & expertise [NOT THE BROCHURE STUFF]

My driveway is flat Asphalt, Slight slope, 6-7 Car lengths
I am open to a 28" unit [if needs be], Reliability & longevity are Key
-If i have, to spend a little extra,-SO BE IT
Upper Budget Limit[Max]= $1400.00
Thanks again to everyone,
You guy's rock
OldGeezer69
 

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I'm approaching geezer status myself and have issues:p. If I were to buy a new machine I would get auto turn. It is my understanding early complaints with tracking have been addressed. I think its prudent to have scraper bar adjustment such it is not dragging or catching every imperfection in the surface. The Ariens compact or deluxe models seem nice.
I would also consider the mid-tier simplicity which has trigger steering and electric chute control - which is another feature that seems to have been sorted out after early complaints. Good luck, and if you can go stand behind the machine in person it would no doubt be beneficial.
PS Searching youtube videos for a particular model can be a helpful and fun way to aid your decision.
 

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I bought an Ariens 24 inch platinum last year. Auto steer was effortless less. The larger blew though heavy wet snow without issue. EOD drive monster was equally effortless. Compared to my 20 y/o toro 824xl, it doesn’t get any easier. The only will be finding one.
 

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i have had machines with trigger steering but never really cared for it. it just never seemed right for me. stay away from fuel injected snowblowers. they are a nightmare. i think toro's usually have the better chute control but i like the quality of ariens machines better than toro and the fact ariens use metal for their impeller housing and chute where toro have quite a bit of plastic.
 

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Some reference on the Ariens and ease of use.

I listed my Deluxe 28” SHO for sale, and a smaller, retired guy with some mobility issues wanted to try it out before buying. I had the gentleman move the machine around on the pavement with the engine off and on, and he handled it quite easily and liked it. My partner is not a big person and she can handle the 28” wide deluxe no problem.

A 24” Ariens deluxe moves around well with very minimal effort and I would recommend it for your needs. If you find a deal on a platinum 24”, then that would be something better for the heavier snow days.

i also recommend the Honda hss 724 but you would be looking used.
 

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i have had machines with trigger steering but never really cared for it.
I've had 2 blowers without trigger steering and 2 with (Troy-Bilt Tracker 2690 XP and Honda HSS1332AATD). I'm rather fond of it.
 
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This wheeled one is close to your price: Honda Snowblower - $1,699 (Exeter)
 
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I have to laugh a bit, the reason I got the Honda HSS724A was because of two modern features and getting older and a disk repair.

1. Electric Start (and nice its built in/on with the battery)
2. Trigger steering (lot easier on the repaired back)

If it breaks or quits? I have neighbors who will help me out until I fix it.

Electric chute control does not do a lot for me but comes with the package.

Modern cars are much worse.
 

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Depending on how much you can move and bend and such a electric start would be needed so you can plug in and go. I just got a 243cc 2x cub not too much experience yet but would say to possibly look that way or toro powermax depending on how much you want to spend too.
 
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