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Hi, after having a few snowblowers and an ATV mounted plow, I'm done messing around. I need a real snowblower. A snowblower that will blow 12-14 inches of whatever Allah sends my way, loves it, and begs me for more. problems I've had with previous snowblowers: craftsman 24 inch was cheap, and needed belts and friction disk after only a few years, otherwise actually worked pretty good for only a small/cheap blower; cub cadet 3x 28 inch would climb up in most snows, refused to bite no matter what, and the low speed wasn't low enough for heavy snow; the plow just piled the snow, which isn't ideal given the limited space between houses here; and the third snowblower was just junk.

I have two driveways, one in town that's 50 feet long by 14 feet wide, one out of town 300 feet long plus a road I occasionally have to clear enough room to drive through. Both gravel.

My requirements: The belts cannot overheat and fail, I need to be able to just keep moving, even if it's at the lowest speed the first pass (though ideally I wouldn't need the lowest speed at this price range), not stopping periodically to let them cool down. I need it to take 14 inches in one go, I can't usually snowblow more than once per snowfall. I should NEVER have to replace a shear pin unless I try to blow a house through it, my craftsman tried blowing trees and never broke one, and it only cost $600 (the third snowblower broke a shear pin every time out, sometimes two, just on snow). I get they are there to protect the mechanics, but if the gearbox can't handle a piece of firewood or a board, it shouldn't be in a blower of this price. Has to be able to blow plowed snow up to 20 inches deep (this would obviously be partial passes).

Now, I know this is a lot to ask from non tractor mounted snowblowers at times, but should not be unreasonable given what I'm willing to spend and I'm willing to not blow snow at a running pace, I just want to keep moving in what I consider pretty low depths of snow and not have the thing breaking.

What I'm considering: Arien's 36 inch pro hydro efi $3600, cub cadet 3X 30" PRO H Snow Blower $2600, or cub cadet tractor mounted snow blower behind an XT2 tractor with a 24 HP kohler $unk (dependant on options)

Things I'm leery about; the Arien's name used to be synonymous with quality, auto turn problems seem abundant and its ability to track straight seems questionable, durability seem model dependant, also EFI is new and the headlight is useless. The cub seems quality, but not sure if I'll have the same climbing issue. The tractor mounted unit I'm worried about the approach angle getting it onto a trailer or into my garage, unsure the impeller size.

So, some things I want my next snowblower to have: decent headlights, some sort of steering assist, ideally a 14 inch impeller so it can really move high volumes of snow, and gobs of power available (ideally while not guzzling fuel, thus the EFI consideration). I would appreciate thoughts from anyone who has experience with any of these machines, hopefully my post isn't too long.
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