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I just got finished clearing a 2-4" accumulation of snow. Let me start by saying I have a storm drain in front of my house which backs up more often than it should. I also live near the ocean and have been told that there is no check valve in the drain and in times of high tide seawater forces the storm water backup. The city says I'm on a 10 year list of repairs. Enough of that. Suffice to say that light fluffy snow is generally absent on that side of my house. I also will not mention the brand name of my current machine (I don't think it's fair. I haven't experience with any other brands).

Two years ago I deceided to retire a much used Arien 8 Horse, 2-stage blower and buy a new model. I had had the Ariens for about 8 years. It was dependable but because I have storage issues (no garage or shed) the blower was rusting "on the vine". Before someone chastices me for lack of a shed, my lot of land has no room on which to put a shed (city ordinance). The snowblower is housed under a porch with cover when not in use.

I went to a power equipment dealer intent on buying another Ariens. I was talked into another brand by their salesman who bad mouthed the Ariens as being not of the quality it was in the past. He pointed out a couple of plastic parts on the new Ariens that were cast steel on the line he was pushing. Needless to say he made a sale.

The new machine is the equivalent of the Ariens in horsepower and is 2-stage. That's where the similarity ends. I can remember removing heavy slush laden snow with relative ease with the old Ariens. I even recall skipping of the sidewalk into a 3-4" puddle of water and having the Ariens throw the standing water 10-12 ft. That is a far cry from the new machine. 2-4" of slushy snow continually clogs the discharge chute meaning stopping every other minute to clear the chute.

I did not get an inexpensive snowblower. I paid over $1500.00 for it. By the way, with the way the salesman was bad mouthing the Ariens, I thought the dealer was giving up the Ariens line. They did not. They still sell them. I can't help but wonder if the equivalent Ariens would have been able to take on the slush.
I long for "the good old days".
What models handle slushy snow well?
 

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I think I would have stuck with the ariens.. It's true that they may not be as robust as in the past - nothing is, But they remain at the top of the quality heap, and are still one of the better choices in a new snowblower. Perhaps it's not too late to trade for the Ariens you were considering.
 
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