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Hi,

New member here. Been lurking for a while but decided to join as I have some questions.

Last summer I bought a house that has 450' foot driveway which has an incline. In the fall I bought a Honda 1132 track off Craigslist. Long story short, I know those have a great rep but I was very unhappy with the machine. Biggest issues were that the auger would clog with wet snow and it would ride up over wet snow alot. Tried some adjustments but just couldnt get it right. I found that my old Ariens 10/28 did a much better job, although it didnt throw the snow quite as far, it never jammed up and always scraped the driveway nicely. Luckily, I sold the Honda for exactly what I paid with no issues.

While my 10/28 is a very nice machine, its getting old. I have been looking closely at the new Ariens machines, specifically the Platinum 30 and Hydro Pro 36. I would like to have the biggest motor possible so that I can move quicker down the driveway.

I found a 2014 Hydro Pro 36 on craigslist, which I can get for $2000. Looks clean and was used by a homeowner, not a professional. Do you guys think this is a good price? Would this machine do ok on an incline? I like it because its very wide and has the 420cc Briggs Polar Force motor. It has auto-turn, but I hear it works better on the pro machines due to the axle location. Any input on this is appreciated.

Thanks
John
 

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Short answer is no on the incline use, yes to the price. I owned an Ariens HydroPro 28 wheeled machine (Platinum 30 SHO before that) and couldn't take how they constantly would ride up over snow. I added 30 Ibs to the HyroPro and still couldn't keep the bucket down. The driveways I do (part commercial user) all have inclines, and one is very steep. With chains the machines would still fight me non stop and I had to upgrade to a track machine. I bought a new Honda HSS1332ATD and it solved all my problems (absolutely flawless performance). I find it hard to believe the older 1132 you bought clogged so easily, as I can't get mine to clog with wet snow on purpose. I think it wasn't running properly to be honest. Some complain of clogging with the newer Hondas but I can't get mine to clog. You should have kept the 1132 and had it serviced properly.
 

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Thanks for the input. As far as I could tell, the 1132 was setup ok. Motor ran very smoothly and it threw the snow FAR if the auger wasnt clogged. I didnt have any reason to believe the belts were slipping or anything like that. The problem I found was during the late season storms, which were very very wet, the auger itself would just cake up with snow and then it wouldnt move the snow smoothly into the impeller, making it a slow and difficult affair to clear the driveway. The Ariens I could see it caking up somewhat, but it wouldnt do it nearly as bad as the Honda and it didnt seem to slow me down at all. When the snow wasnt so wet the Honda was hard to beat.
 

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I have the Ariens Platinum SHO 30" bucket and LCT 414cc engine. It works very well and never clogs or accumulates snow/slush in the chute or auger/bucket with engine running at stock speeds. There is very good traction from the tires which are both driven strongly by AutoTurn system using the plastic skids, and turns easily and quickly. If you need more traction then chains will give you some extra grip, but be careful with chain selection to ensure the chain design does not allow the cross links to slip down into the deep tire treads.

I have the rubber tired disc drive transmission that works perfectly but no experience with the hydro transmissions.
 

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I have the Ariens Platinum SHO 30" bucket and LCT 414cc engine. It works very well and never clogs or accumulates snow/slush in the chute or auger/bucket with engine running at stock speeds. There is very good traction from the tires which are both driven strongly by AutoTurn system using the plastic skids, and turns easily and quickly. If you need more traction then chains will give you some extra grip, but be careful with chain selection to ensure the chain design does not allow the cross links to slip down into the deep tire treads.

I have the rubber tired disc drive transmission that works perfectly but no experience with the hydro transmissions.
Close to hijack but still with a pertinent question/answer to the OP’s post.
OK, why, what are the objections of allowing the chains to fit into the tire tread grooves? I just purchased an Ariens 28 Pro new and tried to fit some 16X8 chains onto a wheel. And sure, I believe that the chains recommended are the 16X4.8 or something. No chains installed yet, I put that off for now and still undecided if I need to go with the narrower chain.
 

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Close to hijack but still with a pertinent question/answer to the OP’s post.
OK, why, what are the objections of allowing the chains to fit into the tire tread grooves? I just purchased an Ariens 28 Pro new and tried to fit some 16X8 chains onto a wheel. And sure, I believe that the chains recommended are the 16X4.8 or something. No chains installed yet, I put that off for now and still undecided if I need to go with the narrower chain.
If the chains are too wide then they will tend to slip on the tire and if too narrow will just fall off. The sizing should put the side continuous chain about half way down the sidewall where it is widest so when aired up the tire and chain are snug together to avoid slip. So you would want chains to fit a 16x4.8 and not that exact dimension. The width would be from sidewall to sidewall over the treads and not between the treads.

The purpose of chains is to contact the surface under pressure and so dig into that surface to help traction. If the chain is down in the deep groove between the tread blocks then only the rubber tire is contacting the surface. The regular crossover chains are bad for this on the current high traction snow tires fitted to snowblowers, but work well on the turf saver tires of older snowblowers and lawn tractors used with snowblowers.

There are other designs for chains such as the X pattern where the links cross the tire tread at an angle to prevent dropping down into the tread grooves. There are other designs.
 

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My newest machine is a 36 hydro pro snowblower. It's a great machine. Engine is strong and starts on the first pull. It never clogs and with the wheels up front handles fine.

On your conditions, depending on how steep your driveway is my machine may work fine, or if too steep, I might have to buy a set of chains.

But maybe with as long as your diveway is, a plow would be a smarter choice. Especially when it's 10 degrees out and the wind is blowing.

The blower is good otherwise, I won't sell mine. 🙂
 

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Hello 99TJ, welcome to the forum.

Many of our members have installed larger fuel jets in their snow mules carburators to get more power/torque.

Our fellow member Geno created his frankenblower with his older machine and replaced the older stock motor with a honda twin engine and as a result he has a high torque wheel drive snow blower that works very well.

Geno has a very well written and well illustrated thread and story about his walk behind snow blower motor conversion. He trailers the franken blower to clean the church parking lot that he takes care of in the wintertime.

A larger power plant/engine would be my choice for the money for your existing unit if you do not intend to buy new.

I have a long post showing how chains should be installed on a walk behind snow blower on the forum.

V bar chains are the chains of choice for both styles of tires if you do not want to purchase the the X pattern snow chains.

You can add windshield washer fluid to your snow blower tires to add ballast weight to the tires to create more traction.

If you live close to the Canadian border a new Yamaha like the 624 may be an option as its under $2,600.00 USD. Larry Kelly ships the snow blowers he sells across the border from Hamilton, Ontario.

Our fellow Member Coby7 has a new 624 track drive unit that he is very happy with and he talks about it in his many posts.
There are more than a handful of videos showing the new yamaha snow blowers at work in deep snow and attacking the E.O.D. END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER. The You tube video uploade by Luc Gallant shows him attacking the E.O.D. at his home in Canada and his rug rat was there watching and cheering him along.


I use a lot of fluid film to keep my snow blowers from clogging and it improves the casting distance considerably for my snow pups as well and they thank me for it when we have heavy wet salted snowfall.

I always worry about buying used only because you never know what could happen or did happen with a used machine.

If the owner is not interested in letting you take it to the local dealer to let them check it out before you buy it I would walk away and invest in the largest Toro Snow master and put chains on it.

With the MTD cub cadet lawn tractors being so economical price wise with the larger power plants/engines it would/may be worth your while to invest in one of their larger lawn tractors and a snow blower and JUST use it for snow work.
If you do that be sure you can purchase one with a 2 stage snow blower rather than the 3 stage units they offer.


I own a piece of john Deere junk/lawn tractor with an RAD/JD snow blower from Canada and its been a money pit. My small herd of Toro Snow pups always have to clean up after it because it has broken down every winter.
 
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