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TLDR: Should I get the Ariens Platinum 30, Professional 32, HydroPro 32 or HydroPro 36??

Hi - I'm pretty new to the forum... have been lurking for a few weeks to get as much of your wisdom as possible. I've narrowed down my search for a new snowblower to Ariens, but need guidance about which one to choose. So, I've decided to finally come out of the shadows and ask for your insight.

I currently have a 5 year old Toro Power Max 826LE. It's been a good machine, but I'd like something a bit more robust... and I want Auto-Turn because I'm tired of wrestling with the Toro fixed axle every time I need to turn around. I'd also like to spend less time cleaning the driveway. I'll just sell this machine on CL.

My driveway is approximately 3000 square feet... about 200 feet in total length. Part of the driveway curves. Half the driveway is a moderate slope.

I like the Ariens because they seem like a good value, I like the Auto-Turn and the heated grips. I started looking at the Platinum 30, but have decided to step up to the Pro. The more I've been looking, the HydroPro 32 seems like a neat machine that make cleaning the driveway less of a chore. My local dealer is selling the HydroPro 32 for $2999. However, I could step up to the HydroPro 36 for $3099.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it worth it to get a HydroPro 36 instead of a 32 for $100 more? Is the 36 maneuverable or is it a beast to handle?

2) HydroPro transmission seems like a nice feature... to smoothly change speed and direction at whim. Is it worth it... or should I really just be looking at the Professional 32 without the fancy transmission?

3) Am I going way overboard and have I been sucked in by the slick marketing? Should I just stick with the original plan and get a Platinum 30?

Thanks for helping out!

Ryan
 

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TLDR: Should I get the Ariens Platinum 30, Professional 32, HydroPro 32 or HydroPro 36??

Hi - I'm pretty new to the forum... have been lurking for a few weeks to get as much of your wisdom as possible. I've narrowed down my search for a new snowblower to Ariens, but need guidance about which one to choose. So, I've decided to finally come out of the shadows and ask for your insight.

I currently have a 5 year old Toro Power Max 826LE. It's been a good machine, but I'd like something a bit more robust... and I want Auto-Turn because I'm tired of wrestling with the Toro fixed axle every time I need to turn around. I'd also like to spend less time cleaning the driveway. I'll just sell this machine on CL.

My driveway is approximately 3000 square feet... about 200 feet in total length. Part of the driveway curves. Half the driveway is a moderate slope.

I like the Ariens because they seem like a good value, I like the Auto-Turn and the heated grips. I started looking at the Platinum 30, but have decided to step up to the Pro. The more I've been looking, the HydroPro 32 seems like a neat machine that make cleaning the driveway less of a chore. My local dealer is selling the HydroPro 32 for $2999. However, I could step up to the HydroPro 36 for $3099.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it worth it to get a HydroPro 36 instead of a 32 for $100 more? Is the 36 maneuverable or is it a beast to handle?

2) HydroPro transmission seems like a nice feature... to smoothly change speed and direction at whim. Is it worth it... or should I really just be looking at the Professional 32 without the fancy transmission?

3) Am I going way overboard and have I been sucked in by the slick marketing? Should I just stick with the original plan and get a Platinum 30?

Thanks for helping out!

Ryan
I don't own an ariens hydro, but I have a hydro Honda. I love the hydro, and would definitely recommend it to anybody. You'll cut down on time spent working because you don't have to stop every time you need to switch gears. Good luck in your decision!
 

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I don't own a hydro anything but I do own a deluxe 28 with the trigger-auto-turn, heated grips,meltbuddy,& led's. I bought this unit only slightly used and right now I have about a $ 1000.00 into it. Its a **** of a machine
and will tackle almost any major snowfall. With your driveway in mind you could get a deluxe 30 ,platinum 30,32. and be pretty happy & save yourself some coin.

ARIENS PLATINIUM ST30DLE

Ariens 921029 Platinum ST30DLE 30" 369cc Two-Stage Snow Blower
 

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Well it doesn't sound like money is an object for you and I am going to bet that space and storing one of these machines isn't a problem either. Why not just consider a 28" machine? A little smaller and easier to handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. My budget is around $3000. But if I spend only half that I'd be quite pleased. Yeah, I have the space for a 36 in machine. I currently have the 26 in Toro and want something bigger to clear the drive faster. Just seems to take too long now. This is why I was looking at the 30 - 36 in range. I like the idea of Honda but seems like the tracks are a real pain to maneuver in the 32 in. Plus no heated grips.

@Kielbasa - You mention I should get a 28 in machine. I'm wondering if 2 inches will really make much difference over my current 26 in?
 

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I don't own an ariens hydro, but I have a hydro Honda. I love the hydro, and would definitely recommend it to anybody. You'll cut down on time spent working because you don't have to stop every time you need to switch gears. Good luck in your decision!
If I was in the market for a hydro, I would've went Honda. I like the engine better than the China ones. ;)
 

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IMHO,China/Japan what is the real difference:confused:
My positive experiences with two Honda mowers and a Honda generator vs lack of experience with engines from LCT. That's the difference.
 

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My positive experiences with two Honda mowers and a Honda generator vs lack of experience with engines from LCT. That's the difference.
I have 1 Honda push mower,Honda gen 2000i,2 Honda hs520 snow blowers,honda mantis tiller,and Honda weed whip.Had good luck with all.That said I have also had the same good luck with my briggs engines on my other equipment.:D
 

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My Ariens is a (24"). My driveways longest stretch is 100' from the street up to the left garage with a width of 10'6". If I took full swipes, I would have to make 6 passes no matter what with that extra 6". But since I have been using this machine, I have always done the first 24" swipe and then the 1/2 to 3/4 swipes. All this does is add more more swipe for me.

If you use a 30" machine, it'd take 5 passes and a 36" machine would take 4. I think a 28" machine would basically work out the same as the 30".

I guess my thinking is............ do those 2-3 less passes make up for the price difference, the handling, the storage of the machine and the toll on your body as you get older? Now I know a lot of guys have longer driveways then I do, but they probably have a lot more area for easier clearing. To me, that would be a pleasure then to deal with obstructions with a 100' driveway.

Now someone correct me if I am wrong, but all of these impellers are 14" now, correct? I just like the idea of the amount of snow going through the impeller area from a 28" grab then a 30", 32" or a 36".

I side with a 28" machine.





Thanks for the replies. My budget is around $3000. But if I spend only half that I'd be quite pleased. Yeah, I have the space for a 36 in machine. I currently have the 26 in Toro and want something bigger to clear the drive faster. Just seems to take too long now. This is why I was looking at the 30 - 36 in range. I like the idea of Honda but seems like the tracks are a real pain to maneuver in the 32 in. Plus no heated grips.

@Kielbasa - You mention I should get a 28 in machine. I'm wondering if 2 inches will really make much difference over my current 26 in?
 

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My Ariens is a (24"). My driveways longest stretch is 100' from the street up to the left garage with a width of 10'6". If I took full swipes, I would have to make 6 passes no matter what with that extra 6". But since I have been using this machine, I have always done the first 24" swipe and then the 1/2 to 3/4 swipes. All this does is add more more swipe for me.
A wider machine means you can often do sidewalks in one pass vs two as well. But I also went 28", because it felt more "bucket heavy" than the 24".
 

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IMHO,China/Japan what is the real difference:confused:
Face it China is the new Japan. At one time (1950's and 1960's) all Japanese products were considered junk too and then the 1973 Arab Oil embargo crisis happened and all of a sudden America started buying Japenese cars for better fuel efficiency. The public bought them and found out that they were of good quaility and were reliable such as the Honda Civic for example.

Also American automobile manufacturers answer to Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla was the poorly designed and engineered Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto.

I have 3 HF Predator 212cc engines and all 3 of them are so much better running and easier to start and soo much quieter and more powerful engines than the POS flat head Tecumseh that came on my old 1996 model year MTD snow blower. The Predator engines are a modern OHV engine that is based upon the Honda Small OHV engine design. (Honda Clones) They have Cast iron cylinder sleeves and dual ball bearing supported crank shafts and they start and run just like the Honda engines. Honda took it's expertise learned from manufacturing motorcycle engines and built a high quality well engineered small compact OHV engine that totally changed how small engines are built.
Do you see any Flat head engines being built anymore!

I for one am no fan of the old flat head tempermental issues with tuning the carburetor Tecumseh engines that were renown for blowing connecting rods at RPMs at slightly over stock 3600rpms or if they run low on oil. Both Tecumseh and to a lesser extent Briggs and Stratton made their fortunes by making engines as cheaply as they could and enjoyed a virtual monopoly until Honda started making their Fine OHV engines back in the late 1980's. Tecumseh failed because they were complacent and their products were not up to the quality standards of their competition. They kept making the same old stuff (flat head engines) and failed to innovate and improve the quaility of their product. Tecumseh's first OHV engines were also plagued with an innefective compression release mechanism and were renowned for kicking back and in some cases even injuring people when the pull start handle was ripped out of their hands. They were slow to improve their products and the fix to the compression release problem was an expensive new camshaft that would fix it for awhile if you were lucky.

I say if your Tecumseh runs fine enjoy it while it lasts becuase as Jackmels and I say they are unfortunately known to be tempermental with their carburation and I am a busy man and I do not have time to waste putzing around with poor running engines.

I have 2 Briggs and Stratton engines on my 2 lawn mowers and both of them run great and start easily so I will keep them.

The Tecumseh had to go because it never stayed in tune and was hard to start and ended up running like crap no matter how well I maintained it and I bought it new and maintained it very well throughout the years.

I also run full synthetic Amsoil in all my engines and I change the oil yearly on my snowblower and 2 times a season on my lawn mowers. I also clean the carburetors and put in a fresh new spark plug yearly in all my equipment. By the way I also own 2 older Polaris snowmobiles and an old Tigershark Personal watercraft and an old outboard 50hp boat engine on my boat. I do all my own maintanece on these too so I sure the **** know what I am talking about plus I even did maitanence for a Lawn service and Landscaping company back in my College days and we had no Tecumseh's engines on any of our equipment since the co-owner of the company Randy was a mechanic by trade and the Kawasaki engines were far better runners on the commercial ZTR hydrostatic tansmission lawn mowers and were far more mechanically reliable than the Briggs commericial engines by far. Tecumseh didn't even have presence here in this busy company. We also had 2 Honda engines one was on the Seed spreader machine and the other was on the Yard aerator machine and they always ran great and started easily too.
 

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Call me old fashioned. Call me too patriotic. Call me foolish... Call me what you choose but I refuse to buy from a country that uses forced child labor. Not being political.I just happen to care about children. I'll keep taking time to repair my old flat head engines and pray the Tecumsehs' hold together. Not limited to blowers. I try my best to buy american when I possibly can and there is a choice. But, I'm just a dumb old hick from Wv. What do I know?
 

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Joe Yes I likewise do try and buy American made when I can. Unfortunately that is becoming more and more difficult. Cheap labor from Central America and South east Asia has lead to companies that used to manufacture goods here in the USA to relocate to other countries such as China. On paper China claims that they forbid child labor in children under 16 years of age but it is seldom enforced especially in the low cost consumer goods market. They ranked #20 on the list of countries as compile by Maplecroft as the worst countries for Child labor.

My main beef with Tecumseh is that they simply took the American consumer for granted and they became complacent and failed to innovate and improve their engines design. Unfortunately not all American made products are the best in the world and many of those companies that had made poor products have either failed like Tecumseh or been forced to improve their products and become competitive again such as the remaining American Automobile manufacturers. We live in a Global economy now and the only way American Companies can compete is by developing good brand loyalty much like what Honda and Toyota have done and stand behind their products. American Manufacturing companies should strive to make the best Products in the world. I agree that the average consumer goes in to China-Mart and buys the cheapest of the cheap stuff does not help our remaining Manufacturers survive. Despite that pressure their are still American Manufacturing sucess stories and hopefully they will continue to thrive. So kudos for buying American products when there is a choice. I own many American made tools and I am willing to pay a premium for the Made in the USA. Too bad there are no more small engine manufacturing based in America anymore.
 

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IMHO,China/Japan what is the real difference:confused:
What is the difference between a GX commercial grade Honda engine or a aluminum Chinese engine? If you have to ask, you'll never understand. IMO for most people it's about quality more then "American made". Chinese made usually = lesser quality.

Beside quality I like that Honda doesn't sell out to cheapen a product and makes their own high quality product in-house. They've actually started making more and more products at their USA plant because wages here are competitive with wages in Japan so it saves on logistics. I'm a working guy so yeah I'll pay more for quality and knowing it wasn't made with slave labor.

I kinda felt greasey when I was looking for blowers and discovered Arien's house-brand engine was actually a Chinese motor. The fact that LCT is American-owned and their headquarters is here and they decide to manufacture overseas sours it even more for me.

Although in my homework the 420CC Briggs motor on the pro series Ariens is in fact USA made still. Other briggs motors are not. Shame on them, but hey if we keep buying cheap goods made abroad with borderline slave labor, they'll keep making them.
 

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Although in my homework the 420CC Briggs motor on the pro series Ariens is in fact USA made still. Other briggs motors are not. Shame on them, but hey if we keep buying cheap goods made abroad with borderline slave labor, they'll keep making them.
One of the senior guys here made a statement earlier this year saying all engines for snow blowers come from China now.

Personally, from a mfg viewpoint, I'd never agree that China = Japan.

Japan is known for hi-quality in terms of electronics, optics, cars, motorcycles and more. Possibly the finest available anywhere.
 

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One of the senior guys here made a statement earlier this year saying all engines for snow blowers come from China now.

Personally, from a mfg viewpoint, I'd never agree that China = Japan.

Japan is known for hi-quality in terms of electronics, optics, cars, motorcycles and more. Possibly the finest available anywhere.
For electronics this isn't true anymore, I don't think Sony even makes their own TV panels anymore. Could Japan make an iPhone? I don't know.
 

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One of the senior guys here made a statement earlier this year saying all engines for snow blowers come from China now.

Personally, from a mfg viewpoint, I'd never agree that China = Japan.

Japan is known for hi-quality in terms of electronics, optics, cars, motorcycles and more. Possibly the finest available anywhere.
Yes that is true. However at one time Japanese goods were considered to be of inferior quality. China is becoming the manufacturing giant of the world. It makes many goods that are sold in retailers throughout the world. Most of the products are of marginal quality but not all are necessary junk. Even a few of the products are of very good to excellent quality. I am saying that China is changing too and not everything that is made over their is junk.
 

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One of the senior guys here made a statement earlier this year saying all engines for snow blowers come from China now.

Personally, from a mfg viewpoint, I'd never agree that China = Japan.

Japan is known for hi-quality in terms of electronics, optics, cars, motorcycles and more. Possibly the finest available anywhere.
I agree ;)
 
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