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Discussion Starter #1
Just joined this site after stumbling upon it in my initial research on snowblowers. Looks like a great resource!

This is really a two part question. I've shoveled my driveway, sidewalks, and patios for 8 years. I'm still young (31) and it's not that I'm not up to it, it's just that I want to work smarter, not harder. Couple that with a new child in the home, I don't have as much free time as I used to :)

Attached is a rough layout with measurements of my driveway (all paved and little grade, btw).

I will also be removing from a lower patio that is about 50' x 25'. Sidewalks will just be shoveled due to accessibility and how quick I can do them with a shovel.

I've never owned a snowblower and I don't live in a snow heavy area (Northcentral PA). Some years we get a decent amount, other years (like last year) I didn't even have to shovel. I hate purchasing an piece of equipment that is so weather dependent, but alas, something you have to do if you want an easier way.

Initially I thought about getting an ATV and a plow because we could use the ATV for other purposes. However, I think the ATV and plow would be overkill, and I would still be stuck shoveling the lower patio because there isn't an easy way to remove snow with a plow from it due to its shape and being flanked on both sides by retaining wall.

So, knowing everyone here is probably bias, why (other than the aforementioned shortcomings), should I pick a blower over a plow?

Second part of the question:

I also tend to overbuy my power equipment. I don't like buying residential grade equipment even if that means buying too much machine. I want to buy once and cry once. So naturally, my first inclination was Honda. I started doing some research and then came here and see a lot of people really like Arien's as well. It seems that everyone swears by hydro static drive. Is it a must have? The Auto Turn on the Arien's comes standard on some of their lower priced models (i.e. $1000-$1800), but you have to go with their Hydro Pro if you want full hydro drive, correct?

Any other brands or specific models I should be looking into? I have dealer support locally from several stores for Arien's which has me leaning that way (as well as Toro).

I appreciate the help!
 

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Honestly, the ATV sounds like you could have fun with it as well. I might just go ahead and buy that if you have the storage for it and a place to ride it. I recently bought a Honda HSS928AWD which is wheeled with a battery, but have not used it yet. The top of the line is the Honda HSS1332ATD with tracks and a battery. I have been reading here that tracks really help at the end of the driveway. (Your driveway attachment did not post) The HSS1332 also has an auger protection system which shuts down when a solid object is stuck in the auger. Instead of breaking a shear bolt, your auger stops. Honda has excellent engineering with high quality gears and bearings overall. Its engines are used by the rental places and that tells how how tough they are. Ariens is well-respected and a lot of folks here are buying them.

Buy the ATV for the most bang for the buck! You are young and can shovel the patio and will have a lot of enjoyment from the ATV during the other three seasons. If I had a place to ride and storage space, I might have chosen an ATV as well and used that $2500+ towards the ATV. I'm getting older now and my back bothers me so a snowblower was a necessity this year for the first time.
 

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quote ; Any other brands or specific models I should be looking into? I have dealer support locally from several stores for Arien's which has me leaning that way (as well as Toro).

so you like to " over buy "? well............
 

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you could get a snowblower attachment for the atv for the bigger area and pick up a new or used Honda or ariens snowblower for the patio, oh and welcome to SBF
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, everyone. A little surprised at the favor given to the ATV seeing as this is a snowblower forum :) I had read that snowblowers are favored in larger snows because they don't leave piles on the edge that can make removal in future snows a problem.

Anyways, thanks for the welcome! As for the driveway picture, I'm not allowed to post pictures yet since I haven't reached the required post count.

Sent from my Turbo 2.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
I'd normally say get a Honda snowblower (Ariens or Toro would be good choices as well), but considering your situation, I'd get an ATV and a SNOWBLOWER attachment for it, this way you have both things that you'll like to have, and you can have fun with it.
 

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It's hard to give good advice, not knowing how big your driveway is, but maybe an ATV with Snowblower attachment?


North-central PA will get some deep storms, but maybe not frequently. I seriously doubt an ATV with plow would be effective at all in a heavy wet snow deeper than about 7". Even a full sized 4WD truck can have a hard time when it's wet and heavy. (And as you noted, once the banks at the side freeze they impede subsequent removal of additional snow.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, everyone. I have to wait until I reach an appropriate amount of posts before I can post links or images.
 

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At my old place i used an ATV with a plow (52" wide) to push snow down a 200ft driveway (gravel). but i really needed a blower as well as over the winter the driveway shrink in width as eventually the plow will not get the snow over the burm on one side or the other. so i used a smaller blower after i moved the snow with the ATV to blow the snow out into the yard. also used the blower on patio area and such.

now my decision was easy as my father in law kept his ATV at my place for the winters so for the $500 i put the blade kit on, and with a buddy in the industry i was able to purchase a 24" blower on the cheap.

central canada with enough snow but **** cold!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, everyone. Oddly enough, I think I'm going to with a blower. Arien's to be specific. I just think it will fit my needs better at this point, storage will be easier, and it just will allow me to clear all surfaces at my home.

Now to decide. I'm leaning toward the Arien's Platinum series 24 SHO (maybe EFI...is that really worth the price increase), or Deluxe 28 SHO, or the Hydro Pro 28.

Recommendations?
 

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Wait now, my driveway is 180' by 20' and I calculated a 24'' was better. With a 24'' I need 12 runs because you always overlap a few inches. With a 28'' I was doing an odd run with a 12th run with nothing to blow. Bigger is not always better, you're 31 now but you'll be 61 sooner than you think and that 28'' will get heavier and harder to manoeuvre. I'm sixty and in great shape except I have to watch for my lower back and take it from me go with the 24'', you'll be able to do your walkways, your yard and your huge patio. It may take you 17% more time but it will be done with less effort and will be appreciated when the mother in law is visiting.
 

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Thanks, everyone. Oddly enough, I think I'm going to with a blower. Arien's to be specific. I just think it will fit my needs better at this point, storage will be easier, and it just will allow me to clear all surfaces at my home.

Now to decide. I'm leaning toward the Arien's Platinum series 24 SHO (maybe EFI...is that really worth the price increase), or Deluxe 28 SHO, or the Hydro Pro 28.

Recommendations?
Yep, get the Arien's Plat 24" SHO EFI and never look back. Post lots of pics of that bad boy, (when you can) and enjoy.
 

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I think the EFI is worth the price increase. Ariens has extensive experience with the fuel injection in their other machines. You won't have to worry about the ethanol fuel clogging up your carb. That alone is worth the extra cost, IMHO.
 
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