Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

After last winter in my new home using a plowing service and shoveling as needed, I've decided to purchase a snowblower. I live in Madison, WI where average snowfalls for the season total between 45 - 60 inches; most snowfall is 5-6 inches with the occasional larger storm. My driveway is 18' x 56 with a front walk and sidewalk area.

I'm considering either a Toro 721E or an Ariens Path-pro 208 EC. I think either one of these will cover 90% of what I need. My concern is the end of the driveway plow mess and the times when we do get heavier snowfalls.

I admit there is a part of me that wants to buy the Ariens Compact 22 although I think it might be overkill. I can't imagine pulling it out for anything under 4 inches which means I'm shoveling most of the time.

I should add that I have room in my garage for any of these machines.

I'd appreciate any advice from forum members that live in a similar climate with their snowblowers or went through the same decision process I'm going through now.

Thanks,

--Joel
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
4,160 Posts
Can you justify both? Either that or maybe get the single stage now and keep an eye on craigslist for an older 2 stage for pretty cheap. Are you capable of fixing things yourself? You can basically find broken ones for free - $50 and even if you end up putting a $100 Harbor Freight engine on it you can come out with a decent machine for cheap.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
9,913 Posts
The lighter the snow the faster forward speed you can go and the speed helps feed the impeller enough to help it throw. So if it's a bit too big I'd much prefer that to having my back broken trying to "help" it through the end of dive pile from the plow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
While I'd love to buy both types, I don't have the money or storage space at the moment. I like the idea of getting a two stage off of Craigslist. There are are whole bunch of them out there when I checked yesterday.

I went to my dealer today to take a look at the Toro and Ariens machines. He still has the 621 in stock marked down from it's high of last year. I compared the Ariens 208 EC ($599) to the Torro 621 QZE ($679). The guy who owns the store lives near me and recommended the Toro for my application in a single stage. To be fair, he was originally showing me the 621E for $499, I'm the one who was looking at the higher end model. In comparing the two, I liked the balance of the Toro better, and the Quick shoot and zip deflector feature was slicker than the Ariens. I thought the Ariens had better engine access for maintenance, was more compact for storage, and of course has a bigger engine. The warranty is also one year more than the Toro.

In all honesty I'm leaning to the Toro despite the smaller engine. I'm unclear what difference the larger engine is going to make in real world application and the Quickshoot is superior to the Ariens.

Anything else I should be taking into account? Am I looking at this the wrong way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Just another guy from Madison.. Their was/is a Ariens ST724 on CL for sale in Evansville that looks real good and has a Ariens snow cab ($300). I've had great luck with used ariens for many years. P.S. welcome
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I live in Madison, WI area too, I have had a single stage, never again. If you had a plowing service come in, I would think that you would minimally need a 2 stage. The stuff the plow leaves at the end of the driveway is generally difficult even for a smaller 2 stage. I have found the 2 stage to work great even for a few inches of fluff, just run in high gear. I went from a 24" 2 stage to a larger one. They say we are in for a rough winter, choose wisely :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
I agree with Razir66.. The snowfalls here are just too unpredictable anymore. 20-25 years ago each winter was pretty much same year after year.. not no more. Just one big storm and you'll be glad you went with the bigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
After thinking about it for a two days and surveying my neighbors, there was general agreement that two stage was the way to go. Everyone that had a one stage was disappointed by the performance in larger storms (6 plus inches) and in their ability to clear the end of the driveway from the plow.

So, I'm going to look at an Ariens Compact 24 tomorrow. Price is $800 everywhere and the warranty is extended by 5 years if I buy by Friday. I figure I'll have the machine for a minimum of 10 years; seems like a good investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
After thinking about it for a two days and surveying my neighbors, there was general agreement that two stage was the way to go. Everyone that had a one stage was disappointed by the performance in larger storms (6 plus inches) and in their ability to clear the end of the driveway from the plow.

So, I'm going to look at an Ariens Compact 24 tomorrow. Price is $800 everywhere and the warranty is extended by 5 years if I buy by Friday. I figure I'll have the machine for a minimum of 10 years; seems like a good investment.
That's exactly what I did... seems like an awesome machine, even though I haven't tried it in the snow yet. Home Depot let me use a 10% off coupon I had for Lowes, so that knocked the price down a tad.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
9,913 Posts
Everyone that had a one stage was disappointed by the performance in larger storms (6 plus inches) and in their ability to clear the end of the driveway from the plow.
Sounds like a good plan to get the dual and the longer warranty. ;)

I have to say when I had both a single and dual stage machine available in the city (double wide paved), the single got the most use. It was quick and easy and up to about 6-8 inches worked well ... except for the EOD pile. That's where the two stage can't be beat in my opinion.
Now I'm out in the county and with close to 100yrds of gravel driveway there just isn't any way I'd even think of using the single unless everything else was broken !! :eek:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top