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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, after months of waiting to use the Snowmaster it finally happened-under less than ideal conditions though.


The forecast here in southeast Pa. was for 4-8" total snowfall from this "Winter Storm Niko"but I awoke to about 3" on the ground (the official total was 4" according to the local news).


Snow was fairly light but with a wet layer underneath, on some parts of the driveway the snow was translucent. So, at my Mother's house, I fired up the Toro with one pull and she was alight, let it warm up a couple minutes and off I went. It cleared quite well most areas and the little bit of EOD there was consisted of mostly slush with a couple of big slush balls 8-10" in diameter which the machine ate up but threatened to clog however and it managed to clear itself. The translucent water-logged snow in the middle of the drive did cause it to clog but I slowed down and managed to blow it out, one instance of temporary clogging caused the chute to refuse to move due to the soft icy plug inside but slight jiggling cleared it.


The machine did clear to the pavement and I could hear the scraper bar scrubbing along. It took maybe 15 minutes or so to clear the drive which is 150' long by 1.5 cars wide. I had the tank full when I started and the level was just slightly under the filler neck when finished.


It's amazing how much freedom you have with this machine as I found myself walking at a brisk pace only slowing at the wet areas, pulling it backwards and turning are so easy.


In summary I'm satisfied with it as it throws far enough to clear the width of the drive plus some, speed and maneuverability is great and I can speed up and slow down at will just by changing my walking pace and have infinite speed variability.

In all fairness the "snow" we had was better suited for a plow and I didn't even bother running the 2 stage at my house because I knew it would be useless and I would need a broom handle to clear the plug out. The Snowmaster was able to blow the clogs out and keep going I think because of the funnel shaped lead-in chamber to the chute.

This storm wasn't a good test of the machine for a fair review but I promised folks on another thread to post my first experience with it.


Also I added a cheap inductive hour meter to it of which I found a 3 pack on Ebay for around $17.


I recommend this machine. I plan on picking up some spare ball bearings for the auger, belts, maybe the rotor paddles for future maintenance.

Can't wait for a real storm to work this machine!
 

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Glad your happy with your machine! Sounds like it did very well, considering the conditions. I'll have to remember the tip about moving the chute to possibly help with any clogging I may run into.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rack,

What happened is when it clogged the blockage was in the lower part of the chute and I guess may have partly frozen which temporarily locked up the chute and the joystick control wouldn't move it, I jiggled the stick back and forth a bit and it broke free, only happened once.

I have to check someday if the chute clogs up more when the chute is to either side, due to the direction change it may be that the velocity slows down enough that without a heavy stream it starts to freeze. My 2 stage wouldn't even clear itself and I'd have to use a broomstick to unclog it. At least the Snowmaster seemed to clear itself after a few seconds but I slow way down so as not to over stress the engine especially since it's not broken in.

It's surprising how there's no vibration with the high speed rotor (as Toro calls it), it had some ice on it and still didn't seem to vibrate at least not enough to get my attention.
 

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This is going to sound like an odd suggestion... If it is clogging, go faster not slower. Clogging seems to be caused by heavy snow/ice failing to exit the chute completely then settling at the narrow bottom.

If you go faster (via personal pace) more material enters the chute keeping the narrow bottom constantly bubbling which means it never compresses and clogs.

This advice might seem contrary to everything you know about blowing snow but it works fantastic for me. I get better throw distance, consistent performance, and zero clogs by jogging. My wife walks super slow behind it and rarely the thing looks like it is getting gunked up in the chute (I wouldn't call it a clog, just reduced throw performance, but it is clearly pre-clog).

Actually same advice applies to salt spreaders. Faster gives better performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is going to sound like an odd suggestion... If it is clogging, go faster not slower. Clogging seems to be caused by heavy snow/ice failing to exit the chute completely then settling at the narrow bottom.

If you go faster (via personal pace) more material enters the chute keeping the narrow bottom constantly bubbling which means it never compresses and clogs.

This advice might seem contrary to everything you know about blowing snow but it works fantastic for me. I get better throw distance, consistent performance, and zero clogs by jogging. My wife walks super slow behind it and rarely the thing looks like it is getting gunked up in the chute (I wouldn't call it a clog, just reduced throw performance, but it is clearly pre-clog).

Actually same advice applies to salt spreaders. Faster gives better performance.
Thanks, I understand, If the stream is too light it could freeze but by going faster it would keep clearing any buildup. I did try that but the engine really started to work hard and I'm not comfortable with over stressing a new engine not fully broken in. I read in the Harbor Freight Predator engine manual that for the first several hours you shouldn't run the engine with heavy loads so that's where I got that from.

The layer of snow was too soupy in spots where it clogged, so much so the snow looked translucent or gray, the areas that were wet underneath but had dry snow above worked well.
 
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