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Discussion Starter #1
I've been getting away with an Ariens single for ~13 years in Rochester, NY. Main reason was my wife is intimidated by 2-stage and would rarely use it when I'm out of town which is frequent.

The little Ariens is a champ but not for > 8" or heavy snow - chute clogs easily.

My son-in-law works at Sears so I'm torn between Sears and my loyalty to Ariens. I don't want a huge 2-stage. Simple driveway that's pretty level. Something like the Ariens Compact?

What do you guys recommend?
 

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hello shacky, welcome to SBF!! follow your heart
 

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The new Sears machines are MTD. I would say wait until spring / summer and start searching craigslist for an older model Ariens or Toro. There are plenty of fans of both brands from the 60's to the 80's here and when it is warm out you should be able to find one for under $100. That assumes you don't mind getting a little dirty and changing some bearings and such.

As for your single stage, it could be giving you issues if the rubber paddles are worn out and in need of being replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Just heard back from dealer. My carb bowl had water in it and rusted through. As well as need belt/bearings. Going to fix it for now then look for 2-stage as you suggest.

I'm not a fan of MTD : (
 

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Hey Shacky,
welcome to the forum!
Im also in Rochester, and im using a 1971 Ariens as my main machine,
bought it 6 years ago for $250, and it's served me very well..

its only issue has been some carb adjustments, but I didnt know how to properly adjust it myself..I had a friend adjust it, and now it runs like a champ..I suspect it has several more decades in it..

If you want to buy new, I would suggest one of the smaller Ariens 2-stage machines.
At this point in the season, I would just wait..supply is low and limited in the stores right now..might as well do your research, decide exactly what you want, then buy when the machines hit the stores again next Autumn..

and go to a dealer! ;) not a Big Box..
any specific questions you have, ask away..

Scot
 

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Have Ariens Single Stage, Thinking of Adding 2-Stage
I've spent some time in Rochester and it seems like a bigger two stage machine would be mandatory :confused:

I struggled along with a single stage machine for a long time, years, in fact. It really wasn't the best decision but it was my first snow thrower experience.

I hear ya about the issue with the wife running it...I've heard the same. My wife does seem to almost "enjoy" running our SS Ariens :eek: She certainly isn't afraid of it but I don't think she'd get it started on her own. She'd never run our bigger Ariens. Too intimidating, I guess :cool:

Keep an eye on CL, etc. for a used machine, as suggested. I see tons of stuff for sale in my area.

Welcome aboard, Shacky!
 

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I've spent some time in Rochester and it seems like a bigger two stage machine would be mandatory :confused:
I wouldnt say a bigger two stage is mandatory, but I would say a "medium sized" or "normal sized" two stage is mandatory! ;)

Hearing about a single-stage in Western NY is unusual..they do sell them in the stores around here, but they only sell them because people will buy them, not because its a good idea! ;) (same with lots of other products, anywhere..)

Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo get a LOT of snow, thanks to lake effect snow off of lakes Erie and Ontario, but most of our high annual snowfall numbers build up 4 inches at a time..In an average winter week, we can get 2" one day, 4" two days later, 3" three days later, etc., all winter long..

Today we are getting a solid 12", which will probably end up being the largest snowfall, in one "event", of the winter. We can get the occasional 2 footer or 3 footer, but those are the exception..I would say 80% of our annual snow comes in batches of 6" or less..there is just a LOT of those 6" or less snowfalls! ;) adding up to 96 inches, about 8 feet, a year on average..

I would not recommend the smallest of the 2-stage machines..which in the Ariens lineup is represented by the 2 stage 939000 series:



other brands have similar "tiny" 2-stage models..those are too small and under-powered for Western NY..

I would go for the "compact" 920000 series, at least a Compact 24 minimum:




or if you can afford it, the "full size" 921000 series:



Dont need the "top of the line" Pro series..
A nice "Compact 24", "Deluxe 24" or "Platinum 24" would do the job nicely, and should be easy to handle for anyone..not too big, not too small..just right! ;)

Shacky, how big is your driveway and any others areas you need to clear?

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Standard length two car garage straight driveway. Pretty level. Have sidewalk to front door with step down area. I can drop and lift the SS to get that but not a 2-stage.

I just busted my a$$ clearing driveway with the SS 522. I have to keep the belt tensioner real tight then work, work, work at the side of drivway after clearing from center.

I need a 2-stage!
 

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I let my my mom use the 939001, she's 75 , has no cartilage in her knee and walks with a cane. She had a blast using it, did the whole double driveway, took her an hour or so but she had no problem. It moves very slow (single speed, no reverse) and as long as she has something to support her she gets around on two legs. She had no problem pulling it backwards. She likes getting out of the apartment so she's always up for doing yard chores when she visits.

I highly recommend the small compacts or sno-tek 24 for someone intimidated by the big machines, and their driveway is suburban sized. They are super light, easy to control, and will cut a path in 12" drifts like butter.
 

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Standard length two car garage straight driveway. Pretty level. Have sidewalk to front door with step down area. I can drop and lift the SS to get that but not a 2-stage.

I just busted my a$$ clearing driveway with the SS 522. I have to keep the belt tensioner real tight then work, work, work at the side of drivway after clearing from center.

I need a 2-stage!
X2
My son and I did the exact same thing. 16 inches of snow is no match for the SS 522. We need to upgrade. I'm beat....
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Looking at new Deluxe 24. $1,049 no tax no shipping from Snowblowers Direct.

So why should I buy from dealer?

$999 Speedway and HD
 

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Shacky, there's an busy Ariens dealer in Clay NY (near Syracuse) that was delivering all over the region for free and sales tax-less (won't apply to you). They seemed to have good inventory when I purchased a couple machines from them last year. IIRC: Outdoor Power Equip.
 

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So why should I buy from dealer?
Two words: Setup and Service.

there are endless stories in this forum about people buying from a Big Box,
and instantly having problems with a brand new machine..
sometimes it wont even work at all the first time they try to use it,
and they are stuck with a non-working snowblower right when the big storm hits!

90% of the time it can be directly traced to poor set up from Big Box
employees who dont know what they are doing..

and if you do need help, the Big Box is not the place you want to go..
the people there didn't know how to put it together properly in the first place,
so you definitely don't want them looking at it again..
and usually they dont do service in-house anyway, they contract it out to..a dealer! ;)
and the dealers are going to help their "real" customers first,
before servicing a machine that was bought from a Big Box, not from them..

If you buy from a dealer in the first place, your odds are MUCH higher that
the employees there will know what they are doing when it comes to
assembly and adjustments..and if you do need help later, you are dealing
with knowledgeable and experienced people, and they will be willing to help you,
since you are a customer of theirs, not a customer of the Big Box..

So its just SO much better to buy from a dealer, if you can..

If you happen to be "mechanical" and you know a thing or two about how snowblowers work already,
then its fine to buy a snowblower in a box and put it together yourself! ;)
but only if you are confidant in your skills..
if you have never even used a snowblower before, you dont want to go that route! ;)

So those are the main reasons everyone here says "buy from a dealer"..
there are a LOT of problems from the Big Boxes..
its almost always not the machine itself that is the problem,
its poor assembly and poor initial setup and adjustment..and those things are very important..

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Stopped by dealer and the wife like Compact 24. Unfortunately they're all gone. Will see if he can get one for us.
 

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The new Sears machines are MTD. I would say wait until spring / summer and start searching craigslist for an older model Ariens or Toro. There are plenty of fans of both brands from the 60's to the 80's here and when it is warm out you should be able to find one for under $100. That assumes you don't mind getting a little dirty and changing some bearings and such.

As for your single stage, it could be giving you issues if the rubber paddles are worn out and in need of being replaced.

+ 1 on what Shryp said...and add older (but not too old) Simplicity to that list. They are built well. I particularly like the 860 Series and the other ones with the similar build style. :cool:
 

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I let my my mom use the 939001, she's 75 , has no cartilage in her knee and walks with a cane. She had a blast using it, did the whole double driveway, took her an hour or so but she had no problem. It moves very slow (single speed, no reverse) and as long as she has something to support her she gets around on two legs. She had no problem pulling it backwards. She likes getting out of the apartment so she's always up for doing yard chores when she visits.

I highly recommend the small compacts or sno-tek 24 for someone intimidated by the big machines, and their driveway is suburban sized. They are super light, easy to control, and will cut a path in 12" drifts like butter.
God bless your mother. she sounds like a hoot. my mom is in her 90's and she still goes shopping as long as she has two hands on a cart;).

compact 24's are very good and lightweight
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My dealer just got some Compact 24 and Deluxe 28's in. The wife was too intimidated by the 28 even with Auto Turn so we got the Compact 24.

Delivered Monday :)

Now forecasting 8-12" Sunday :mad:
 
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