I pulled the trigger and got me an Ariens Platinum 24 SHO. It's suppose to be a nasty winter this year. So I decided to hit it head on. So this is my first snowblower. Any tips or advice for a newbie?
Can't wait for the first snow to try her out. Got the carb version..... not enough good reviews on the efi yet to give it a go.Congrats on a mighty fine machine. You'll be grinning ear to ear. Go slow with it for the first few snows you get, break her in gently. Does it have EFI?
RTFM. That is, Read The "Friendly" Manual. No, don't read it. Study it. Study it until you have it memorized and can do the maintenance blindfolded.
Okay, that may be a little extreme. But read the manual, do the maintenance. 99.9% of the problems that people have with snow blowers are from failure to read and understand the manual, and from failure to keep up with the maintenance on them. And then they wonder why the machine won't perform as advertised. This applies across all brands - if not maintained, all of them will fail eventually.
I do my snow blower maintenance in the spring, when the weather is warm but before it gets too hot. Then it's a pleasure to work on it, change the oil, grease everything that needs grease, oil what needs oiled, and the like. Look at the belts, grease the wheel bearings, and the axles. You'll be glad you did when the wheels need to come off! And now with fall approaching, I know that when the snow falls all I need to do is check the oil, fill it with gas, pull the rope and go. Because I did all those little nagging maintenance items last April.
BTW, I just did all that stuff yesterday on the pressure washer including pumping antifreeze through the pump. And along about late November/early December I'll do the lawn mower.
Now, it really doesn't matter WHEN the maintenance gets done, as long as it gets done. I just do the snow blower in the spring 'cause that's the easiest time for me. Fall will work just as well, but then you have a bit less time to get off your duff and order replacement belts and such if it needs them.
And when the snow is two feet deep and rising is the wrong time to think about snow blower maintenance. Sadly, that's about the time that all too many people think about it and then all of a sudden it's a dire emergency. Then I think of the line "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part". Here's your shovel, dumbass!
Thanks for the excellent advice.Couple things:
* Never, ever clean the chute or auger bucket while machine is running
* Always check the oil and gas before starting
(note... I put Stabil and Seafoam in all my gas for the small engines)
* Follow your manual for lube areas and intervals, per your use
* Plan accordingly before you start blowing, as to where and what direction you will be throwing the snow
* It will come real quick to you when you are blowing against the wind, and make corrections accordingly .. /forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
* Keep in mind the street area where your driveway starts, as plow accumulation at the end will be heavy, take smaller bites and go slow if need be. Always keep the ends wide enough, or every storm will close your driveway entrance smaller and smaller.
* Don't try and get so close to garage doors or steps, etc..... that's why they make shovels.
There will be much more you will pick up on as you start your season of blowing.
Thanks, it's the simple things that can make the difference in getting through the job safely.Just a reminder that, if the machine clogs, tremendous force has built up on the belts,(kinetic energy), so use the clog tool or a broomstick to clear a clog. Do not use your hands. The impeller can move and you could be injured.
Pick up mats, dog chain/rope and sticks on the area to be cleaned before the snow arrives. Have a shear bolt and the proper wrenches in place.
I like to use goggles for the blowing snow.