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Discussion Starter #1
Honda track machines lock the tracks full-time, which makes 180 degree turns burdensome. I have the HS928TAS.

Ariens track machines have "auto turn," which can give unwanted direction changes if the ground is uneven. Not good if you are working close to your car or truck.

Husqvarna has a hand-grip-situated release for each track that lets you turn only when you want. To me it looks like the best solution. Plus, the Swedes are no strangers to snow.

So how come there are no owner reviews or owner videos of the ST330T? Is there a story? There is one post from a guy who had poor dealer service.

Ken C
 

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The Ariens Auto-turn is truly excellent and more people like it than dislike it. If your machine was not set up properly (and Ariens has a video on how to correct the bucket alignment) then it can be difficult as you described. If you want an easy to turn reliable system, don't pass it up. The uneven ground does not hamper the machine unless your skids are really digging in. If so the Armorskids will be necessary regardless.
 

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That is the exact reason I also went with the Husqvarna over Ariens, although not a tracked model (ST327P). Plus the hydrostatic transmission is great. I don't see why the tracked machine wouldn't also benefit from the trigger steering. The trigger steering also makes it easy to move the machine around when it's not running, just pull the triggers and it freewheels...

I have nothing but positive things to say about my blower as well as my Dad's ST330P and the dealer seemed good when we purchased our machines, but we haven't had a reason to go back for service yet.
 

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I know that there are quite a few folks that fall on either side of the fence between the two. I do not own either two machines, and have no dog in this fight. But if I were looking at the Husqvarna, I would have wished they put the steering mechanism on the axle, inside the box.

From a longevity standpoint, it would have prevented some of the known issues with water intrusion into the steering mechanism.
 

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db9938, I think the new redesigned models do have the the steering inside the chassis. All the ones I looked at did. There are no longer the plastic covers over the axles, its all inside now. I have the old style steering with the covers but I've never had a problem with the steering. I did some online reading about the steering seems that most of the issues were from insufficient lubrication. Right after I purchased mine, when I got my machine home I took off the wheels and covers and found the copper grease Husqvarna uses was used very sparingly. I supplemented the copper grease with some graphite spray I had on hand and it's worked perfectly.
 

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Husqvarna has a hand-grip-situated release for each track that lets you turn only when you want. To me it looks like the best solution. Plus, the Swedes are no strangers to snow.
There's nothing Swedish about Husqvarna snowblowers. They bought out AYP (American Yard Products) a few years back along with the Peerless Gear division of Tecumseh. Husqvarna themselves are now owned (and have been for a while) by Electrolux.

If you already own an HS928 I don't think you're going to be impressed with Husqvarna build quality at all.
 

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According to Wikipedia and Husqvarna's own website the accusation by Electrolux that began in 1977 ended in 2006 when Husqvarna spun off and was it's own company entirely again. From their website:
This is us:

"Husqvarna Group is the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products including robotic lawn mowers, garden tractors, chainsaws and trimmers. The Group is also the European leader in consumer watering products and one of the world leaders in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The Group’s products and solutions are sold via dealers and retailers to both consumers and professional users in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2013 amounted to SEK 30 billion, and the Group had 14,000 employees in more than 40 countries."

Here is a link to the corporate website:This is us | Husqvarna Group

As far as Honda VS Husqvarna snow blower quality I think Honda is in a class all by themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AriensSnowman, I also have an Ariens Compact 24, so I am not anti-Ariens (although the machine needed warranty service after 3 hours of use and the dealer tried to wriggle out of the warranty). However, the folks who posted here and said they like Auto-Turn had to change the skid shoes and no one had an answer for what you do if you are trimming a snow bank and only half the housing has snow to chew (and the machine tries to turn into the bank). IMHO, Ariens should have used a lockable limited slip differential like they use on ATV's for an extra $100, assuming there is room.

Ken C
 

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I will say that while in the showroom they had all of the big name players there, Honda, Ariens, Toro and Husqvarna. Build quality I would say Honda was the best and the other three were all about equal. I would also say each has its own engineering tricks that would make them "better" or different than one another. The quick stick on the Toro seemed slick, but maybe a little flimsy although I haven't read any complaints about them braking, they also have the extra space in the auger housing for snow that doesn't get thrown out immediately. The Husqvarna has the hydro transmission, chute extender, drift cutters and LED light. The Ariens has dual belts, and auto turn. etc....

I would love to own a Honda, but could not justify the price premium over the three other brands. I think no matter which brand you go with you can't go wrong. You just have to prioritize which options you like best and pick. I will say I have been nothing but pleased with the ST327P, but that doesn't mean the other machines wouldn't put a smile on my face either.

Also, the Husqvarnas have all been redesigned. I see nothing outside of the tractor housing on the axles other than bearing support blocks. Husqvarna also claims all cables are teflon coated and they are all pointing in a downward direction to prevent water intrusion. On the mfg. tag it reads "Assembled in America", so I am not sure if any parts are made here, but the machines are at least built here. We know the LCT motors come from China.

I just wanted to give you my thoughts. Ohh it also took me and my father about 2 hours of going back and forth in the show room to decide on which blowers to buy haha. We just couldn't resist the soft glow of the hydrostatic transmissions in the Husqvarna models.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
After being unable to get any comfort as to the reliability of the Husqvarna ST330T here or in other forums, or from their dealers (who badmouthed the machines and tried to switch me to other brands) I decided that their snowblower operation was just not ready for prime time and bought one of those new Honda HSS1332ATD's. Over ten years the $700 difference was not as important as peace of mind.

Ken C
 

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AriensSnowman, I also have an Ariens Compact 24, so I am not anti-Ariens (although the machine needed warranty service after 3 hours of use and the dealer tried to wriggle out of the warranty). However, the folks who posted here and said they like Auto-Turn had to change the skid shoes and no one had an answer for what you do if you are trimming a snow bank and only half the housing has snow to chew (and the machine tries to turn into the bank). IMHO, Ariens should have used a lockable limited slip differential like they use on ATV's for an extra $100, assuming there is room.

Ken C
I am not sure where you got this information. I have autoturn with the standard skid shoes and a gravel driveway. I have never experienced any of the issues you mention. I always trim the snowbank back on the road after the plow goes by and never had the machine try to turn into the bank.

My machine tracks straight as an arrow.
 

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Ken -

I researched Husky and there were some pretty brutal reviews on the previous model of the 330T. We're talking engine/tranny issues - and there was Multiples reviews advising needing repair after X hours *talking less than 20 hrs*.....

Good call on Big Red
 

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Weldy -

I can't recall the exacts, but I would do a complete teardown or close to it and make sure every BOLT is snug. If I recall, aside from the limited life people were getting with broken engines/transmissions, there was a lot of blurb I recall on ~loose bolts~ that caused such early failures.
 

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I believe the issue was with the LCT engines crankcase cover design. The affected engines were from 2011 & 2012. LCT redesigned the cover to prevent this from happening again. Sometime in 2013 Husqvarna opened it's own LCT engine plant to produce it's own engines.
 

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Weldy -

I can't recall the exacts, but I would do a complete teardown or close to it and make sure every BOLT is snug. If I recall, aside from the limited life people were getting with broken engines/transmissions, there was a lot of blurb I recall on ~loose bolts~ that caused such early failures.

Thanks for the tips! Went over everything this morning and all was tight!
 

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Curiousity got the best of me. On the wheel models, it looks to be that the handles disengage the tranny. On the track models, there is a *switch* you pull out to disengage the tranny
 

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I bought a Husqvarna ST330T and had it delivered by the local authorized distributor. He started it twice during the evening of delivery. The following morning I went out to try things the recoil starter just pulled out but the engine did not turn over like it wasn't connected. I electric started it and soon discovered the steering assist also did not work. The right side did nothing and the left side would cause the machine to stop and jerk while making a loud clicking sound. The distributor picked it up a few days later but after 30 days of trying to resolved the problem and working with Husqvarna they couldn't get it to work properly. I have now exchanged it for a Honda.
 
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