Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, been reading the forum for some time and finally making my first post!

My 12 year old craftsman 24" 2 stage SB has been giving me problems with each use... it has become the family joke :) I'm mechanically savvy but have maintained it with very little love over the years. Wife is ready to drop $1k in a new one but I'm struggling with making the final decision. Part of me wants to fix the current problem, a simple carb cleaning and fuel filter replacement should be all it needs... on the other hand I miss the days when it just worked reliably every time. So I can keep it running this winter and overhaul it over the summer... or replace it and sell the old one.

Second dilemma is what to look at if I am to buy a new SB. From my reading here it seems like Ariens and Toro have a similar following. Oh... I live in PA, 200' blacktop driveway, and snow falls usually averaging in the 6" with considerable snow drift and EOD mountain...

When shopping for my JD ride-on, I learned that the HD models have some lighter duty components as opposed to the dealer models... is that true for SBs as well? (My local dealer doesn't stand behind his work... but I'm sure I can find another not too far away)

From what I read, Ariens deluxe 24" should be well powered, however larger augers may stress the same motor more. I also looked at the Toro 3x series... I read good things but not sure if most is marketing hype or real world feedback. Seems like a 2 stage SB with a reinvented second stage impeller... I could see how this might shave away compacted snow a little easier. Am I on the right track or overlooking a better model in this price range?

Sorry for all the questions, I know you guys will steer me right!

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately not... too many toys forced the ride-on and SB to be stored outdoors last 2 years. I will be building a new shelter next summer...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Your JD logo made me think of a Snow blower attachment for my John Deere LA125... sitting down in a sheltered ride-on doesn't sound too bad either!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,670 Posts
hello tuvix, welcome to SBF!! first off you are getting toro mixed up with troy built, toro doesn't make a 3x snowblower. like you I have limited space in my garage so a bucket much over 24" isn't going to fit in there, how well does your craftsman fit in your garage? sounds like one thing you want with your new snowblower is to have as much ( or more ) power than you have with your old snowblower
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Welcome.

\Ariens models sold at HD do not have downgraded components compared to the same model available anywhere else. A Deluxe 24 is a Deluxe 24. However, dealers can also carry higher end models than HD does (like the Pro line) and those will naturally enough have some upgrades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
hello tuvix, welcome to SBF!! first off you are getting toro mixed up with troy built, toro doesn't make a 3x snowblower. like you I have limited space in my garage so a bucket much over 24" isn't going to fit in there, how well does your craftsman fit in your garage? sounds like one thing you want with your new snowblower is to have as much ( or more ) power than you have with your old snowblower
Like detdrbuzzerd said toro does not make the 3x. That is an mtd and you are correct it is a gimmick . With a 200 ft drive way I would buy a 28'' ariens or toro hd models . It will cost you a little more but well worth getting done sooner .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Toro

Toro 928 HD or next model below it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
My bad, you're absolutely right, I got my T's mixed up!

To be fair, my Craftsman 5.5HP / 24" (Model 31AS6BCE799) has served me well power wise. I'm open to larger widths but I had read some negativity about the Ariens Deluxe models above 24" being under powered as well as some issues with the turning assist... It was however the brand that stood out the most in reading this forum. Seeing I have no room for the 24" as is, bigger would not change the fact that I will need to build storage for it this coming spring.

I do have a bad back and cleaning everything up faster would be very beneficial, I could get to work faster in the morning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
the Ariens Deluxe models above 24" being under powered as well as some issues with the turning assist...
The 2016/17 model has a design change with respect to weight which mitigates the Auto-Turn issues you are talking about. My deluxe 24 is a breeze to move around and turn, and my drive way has a slight slope to it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Sooo your wife is ready for a new snowblower and you are apprehensive!? LoL. You haven't described the symptoms of your craftsman, so I can't say that a carb cleaning will actually fix anything.

As for a new blower, I can't suggest an MTD built machine. Build quality drives me bananas. You'll be happy with a toro or Ariens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all, this is invaluable info!

So to respond to some of the input..
Great to hear the Ariens have solved the steering issues. I take it the consensus is that the same 254cc engine used in the Deluxe 24" is not under-powered on the 28" model? I do have a bad back so the heavier 30" seems intimidating... also not finding it under $1400, compared to $1100 on the 28" model.

In looking at the Toro Snowmaster, is that not a similar gimmick to the Troy 3x? Seems like a single stage thrower with a different auger design... (Not bashing Toro here in any way, just an un-educated first impression)

As for the Toro 928 HD... it seems to run at 1.5x cost as an Ariens Deluxe 28". Not an apples to apples comparison?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
In looking at the Toro Snowmaster, is that not a similar gimmick to the Troy 3x? Seems like a single stage thrower with a different auger design... (Not bashing Toro here in any way, just an un-educated first impression)
Not a gimmick at all. I've been using my Snowmaster 724 QXE since last year and while I was a little apprehensive before purchase, I'm totally on board. Yes, it is technically a single stage with a different auger design. They call it "inline two stage" because the sides of the auger pull snow toward the center, and the center paddle (much smaller and more scoop-like than a standard SS) throws the snow out the chute. The bucket and chute design are shallower in their tapering to maximize throwing distance. It may not throw as consistently far as a two stage, since it lacks an impeller, but if you keep it moving (and keeping it full of snow), it definitely can throw 20-30 feet no problem. The lack of impeller lets Toro use more power in the auger, which spins very fast ("10 times faster than a 2-stage"). This also allows the blower to be a lot lighter, needing much smaller tires (this isn't a disadvantage).

The lack of weight on this blower means it moves around more like a lawnmower than a typically two stage blower, and Toro even put their personal pace system on it. This means that the controls are very minimal: one lever to engage the auger, Toro's "quick chute" joystick (which is awesome), and the personal pace bar to push the blower and engage the drive-train. All this means that I can clear my driveway and sidewalk in much less time than my neighbors.

End of driveway snow is the one question mark for most people, since SS blowers typically suck here. My Snowmaster 724 has been able to handle EOD, without fail. I do need to slow down a bit, because the hard-packed EOD snow slows down the auger, but as long as you listen to the engine, you'll be just fine. EOD is the one place that I think the extra ~$100 for the 824 might be nice, because it would handle it a little faster, but my 724 hasn't failed me yet, even when EOD snow is 2-6 inches higher than the bucket. I have no regrets.

Finally, the other nice thing about the fact it is a SS, and that Toro has a well-designed compression scraper bar, is that it works in a couple inches of snow as well as a foot of snow...meaning you don't need two machines.

Whether or not you buy a Snowmaster is up to you and your personal situation, I just wanted you to know what I know to help if your decision (or make it more complicated :D).
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top