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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Just joined this forum today since I’m in need of figuring out what to buy for my first snowblower. I’ve researched a lot to a point of information overload. I’m at a point where I need to listen to those who own the various brands out there and their experiences with their machines new and over the course of time. Currently I’ve narrowed it down to 3 machines:

Husqvarna st327p - would be a tight fit in the garage but doable. I figure it is more powerful than the st324p?
Husqvarna st324p - better in size but will it have enough power to easily throw wet snow and handle the snowplow pile?
Ariens platinum 24 sho - seems like it’s more than capable for any condition but the auto turn is a very big concern. I know if I ever had to really fight the machine I would be pretty upset.

Each one has their pros/cons/concerns etc

- I’ve read that Husqvarna are more prone to need repair but is that for the 200 series or 300 series? I’ve heard the 300 series are very well built so where does the quality idea come into play? How does the 300 series quality compare to ariens platinum 24 sho? I also love the idea of a hydrostatic system vs friction as well as a machine that doesn’t have auto turn.

- Ariens is very well built but I keep hearing the problems of the auto turn. I have a flat area to snowblow but I know I would be frustrated to no end if I had to fight the machine to stay in a straight line.

I have considered a Honda and really splurge but have read about clogging issues and underpowered engines. For something that costs as much as it does clogging issues are unacceptable when other brands don’t have these problems with the same snow.

What I’m looking for:

- something to easily handle wet snow and the plow pile snow at the end of the driveway.
- I’m ok with overkill for a snowblower since I want to future proof myself hence the models listed above but I want it to last over the course of time with proper maintenance but not be in the shop all the time.


my driveway is 3 cars wide and 2 cars deep including sidewalk so not that big but decent. Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated by Husqvarna fans and ariens fans. If the quality is there in the 300 series I lean towards the st327p the most/currently.

Thanks
 

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IMHO best bang for the buck is Ariens. The "King of Snow". Over 3 million snow blowers produced since 1960. The #1 selling brand of two-stage snow blowers in the world. Machines that are passed down from one generation to the next. No, it's not just a snow blower. It's an Ariens.
 

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The 300 series Husqvarna are very robust machines. How about Simplicity? The Simplicity P1728E Signature Pro 28" has a 420cc Briggs that will do the job and then some. Have you looked at Toro? The Power Max® HD 1028 OHXE (38802) is one stout fellow also.
 

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Pretty sure that it has been researched on the forum that the Husqvarna and Honda, (HSS series) hydro units are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The 300 series Husqvarna are very robust machines. How about Simplicity? The Simplicity P1728E Signature Pro 28" has a 420cc Briggs that will do the job and then some. Have you looked at Toro? The Power Max® HD 1028 OHXE (38802) is one stout fellow also.
Do you feel any 300 series is equal to the quality level of the ariens? I would much rather have the trigger for turning left or right than the auto-turn as well as the hydro system. Overall, I just want a machine that will last me 15-25 years.
 

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If you truly want a hydro then the Ariens Platinum Sho 24" is out. For me the Honda's and Arien's hydros are not worth the extra $$. But that's me. Other guys on the forum would not have anything but a hydro.
 

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Have you looked at Toro's? They have trigger steering and are made very well. They are the only blowers offered that don't need sheer pins and have the best shoot controls. Ya they run smaller engines but for some reason they don't seem to need more hp. I wish they still made the 926oxe as I love mine.
 

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I don't think you would go wrong with your choices. However I too would be concerned about the ST324 possibly being underpowered. The 300 series Huskies are more substantial than the 200 series but still not as heavy duty as an Ariens Deluxe or higher model. As you probably know the axle position on Ariens machines was repositioned last year to help avoid issues with Auto-Turn. Unless your driveway has a lot of ruts or is in rough condition I wouldn't worry about Auto-Turn issues. Ariens poly skids or Armorskids remedied most issues with Auto-Turn prior to last year's modifications. The Husky 300 series units use Hydro Gear transmissions which are supposed to be a good unit if you want the Hydro with the trigger steering. I would imagine that there are different grades of Hydro Gear transmissions. Ariens also uses this brand for their hydro models. Best of luck on your search, if you want to watch a walkaround vid on the Platinum 24 SHO, I did one and it is attached under my signature. Best of luck on your search and keep us posted.
 

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I did a lot of research and bought a Simplicity. My motivation was the dealer who was local has done work for me in the past, and is an honest guy. My next choice would have been the Ariens. Also, parts availability for Simplicity, as far as I can see, is pretty consistent, and cheap. I got the Signature Series 24 inch. It's a nice machine, it has all the goodies, hand warmers, electric chute controls, up and down, left and right, a headlight, and a 3 yr warrantee. Cost was $1800 plus tax.

I ruled out Husqvarna because I've heard multiple stories of getting parts for machines that weren't really that old. They discontinue parts and the machine becomes scrap metal without them. One example, a customer had to buy a $50 part for $200 from a guy in TX who routinely buys out obsoleted parts. I don't blame the guy in TX, when he's the only one in the country that has a part, however, parts should be available forever if today's availability is any indication. AND it's built like a tank, and easy to move around.

Around here there wasn't an Ariens dealer other than Home Despot, I wanted to deal with a private shop where the owner is present.

Honda, is VERY proud of their stuff, and tend to price higher, in my opinion and only my opinion, priced higher than the competitors for no real good reason.

I didn't look at Troy Built.

That was my reasoning, I hope it helps.
 

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Oh, just one more thing. I was also convinced I wanted the hydrostatic transmission over the friction disk, but for simplicity of repair, cost of repair, and also it wasn't offered in the model I got, I didn't see the big advantage. The friction disk system has been around for DECADES and has very little problems. I wouldn't let a decision hinge on that.

The biggest difference is having to stop when changing speeds. It's not that big of a deal to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well since the census is Husqvarna may not be the better quality I'll narrow it down to Ariens platinum 24 sho and the toro Power Max® HD 826 OXE (38805). I've not looked into Toro much but what are peoples thoughts on them vs ariens platinum 24 sho? I narrowed it down to these 2 since I have limited space in my garage where I need a "smaller" machine.
 

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What I would suggest you do is get behind any machine that you plan on buying see what feels best to you. As another member posted the Toro Quick Stik chute is second to none in terms of ease of use (for mechanically controlled chutes). If you look at newer Toro 2 stage machines next to an Ariens or a Professional Series Simplicity you will notice the Toro employs heavy use of plastics/polymers. The auger bearings and gear case do seem beefy on them. However they are supposed to be very well engineered and many members on this forum praise their performance.
 

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One other thing to consider (if at all) is your property, and whether you need or want a 4 season machine like a
2 wheel mule made by BCS or Grillo.

The two wheel tractors have all gear drive with no V belts and use chevron tires and snow chains for the tires.

They have plenty of power for the attachments/implements like a snow blower and there is no slippage with a
gear drive train versus a V belt drive system.

The Berta 2 stage snow blowers are well built, heavy and will not ride up on piles. When a front mounted attachment
is used the control station and the handle bars are reversed 180 degrees and you are facing the engine as you travel forward into the snow pack. The engine is also the counterweight to the snow blower or snow and leaf sweeper brush system.

The larger 2 wheel tractor models have individual wheel brakes.

I am not sure if you can purchase a snow cab for either the BCS or Grillo 2 wheel tractor/mule but Joel who is the owner of Earth Tools would know for sure as he is a full service and sales BCS and Grillo Dealer.
 

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Well since the census is Husqvarna may not be the better quality I'll narrow it down to Ariens platinum 24 sho and the toro Power Max® HD 826 OXE (38805). I've not looked into Toro much but what are peoples thoughts on them vs ariens platinum 24 sho? I narrowed it down to these 2 since I have limited space in my garage where I need a "smaller" machine.
That's an easy choice for me, get the Toro. The Toro Loncin engines I feel are superior to what Ariens offers. Now in 5-6 years if the majority of LCT engines put into recent service continue to preform then that's another story. Currently the only Ariens I'd buy would have the B&S 420cc on it. Sometimes it's easy to say "oh I only have room for this amount of unit". Dig deep into your garage, get creative, and find space for the Power Max® HD 928 OHXE (38801).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's an easy choice for me, get the Toro. The Toro Loncin engines I feel are superior to what Ariens offers. Now in 5-6 years if the majority of LCT engines put into recent service continue to preform then that's another story. Currently the only Ariens I'd buy would have the B&S 420cc on it. Sometimes it's easy to say "oh I only have room for this amount of unit". Dig deep into your garage, get creative, and find space for the Power Max® HD 928 OHXE (38801).
I have been looking at the power max hd 826 oxe so I’ll take a look at the powermax hd 928 ohxe. Aside from one being 26 inch and the other 28 inch what’s the difference between the two?
 

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The 928 has a 265cc engine and larger tires (at least based on Toro's website photos). Also unlike LCT's, Loncin engines have oil drain tubes on the side of the engine right next to the tire (complicates maintenance a bit) not a big deal but for somebody retentive like myself that's a minus. When Toro still offered Briggs engines this wasn't an issue the drain tube was in the rear of the engine (between the handlebars) where it belongs.
 

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The 928 has a 265cc engine and larger tires (at least based on Toro's website photos). Also unlike LCT's, Loncin engines have oil drain tubes on the side of the engine right next to the tire (complicates maintenance a bit) not a big deal but for somebody retentive like myself that's a minus. When Toro still offered Briggs engines this wasn't an issue the drain tube was in the rear of the engine (between the handlebars) where it belongs.
I just take the tire off, then I put in a 90* elbow and run a pipe to the back. So I only have to deal with it once. My friend has a Poulan I did that on.
 

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I have been looking at the power max hd 826 oxe so I’ll take a look at the powermax hd 928 ohxe. Aside from one being 26 inch and the other 28 inch what’s the difference between the two?
Besides the larger engine that Cardo mentioned, the HD928 also adds handwarmers.
 
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