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I live in central CT, with a 220 ft driveway I am looking for a snow blower that will work well also clearing a path through the yard for my dogs. The question is do I go with tracks or tires? The previous blower was extremely hard to use in the yard constantly getting stuck, will chains really help tires cope with the yard or just pay for the track models? Model wise I was looking at:
Ariens ST28LET
Husqvarna 1827EXLT
Honda HS928K1TA
I would love the Honda but not sure I can handle the price, the Ariens is 1000$ cheaper but maybe the honda is worth the money? I am a little worried about the Husqvarna and Ariens models in terms of quality since I think they are sold at big box stores.
Any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated!
thanks
 

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I have used 2 wheeled blowers in grass without chains and didn't have any problems.
 

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Tires

I'd say what happens really depends on your tires.
Here's the snowblower I fixed up for my daughter. She had a fairly steep drive and this one did a great job. Pneumatic tires with little cleats but had chains

This is the one I used most of the year. Started with hard rubber tires and chains (which I didn't like). I found some knobby tires and rims that I modified to fit and used it the rest of the year that way. These tires did just as well as the previous ones.

This is the last one I got last year. I fixed it up and only got to use the last time we got dumped on. It has tires like the first one but no chains.

I'd say this one did so-so. It did move the snow but had a fair amount of slippage and I have a 2' incline from the sidewalk to the lawn. I could not get it to back up the incline on it's own, I had to drag it up. My keeper machine is similar to this one and though it has the same tires on it, for now it has chains. When I can get some knobbies, these will go but for now it's chains on that one.

To me it all comes down to the tires and type tread on them. With the right tires, no chains needed but if they don't have those deep cleats on them then you'll probably need chains if you get snow like we did in Minnesota.

My opinion.
 

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I use my Ariens on grass a lot. I have not had much trouble at all. However, I will admit the 1336 is a heavy machine with big tires.



 

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Good skids or rollers would be important too.. I go over grass to make a path to the back driveway and shed every winter, always end up digging in. Going to try a new set of skids from snowblowerskids.com this year, hoping the size will help float over the grass and the gravel driveway a bit better. I don't think your going to gain anything between tires or tracks. If your getting stuck on grass its because your scraper bar is hanging up, thats what happens to me. Raise it up a little higher, leave a light layer of snow to get packed down and then you have a surface to go over the next time.
 

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Maybe it is technique. I used a Toro 3521 with 6.5 HP and original hard rubber tires and also an Ariens 8/24 modified with an 11 HP engine and Snow Hog tires. Mine is set really low to scrape the driveway clean and one other thing I think I do is push down slightly on the handles so the front end doesn't dig in. Maybe you can try skimming the surface with it?

I had an old MTD single stage a few years ago and I believe I did the same with that in the grass, just never did as big of an area.
 

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I also clean a path in my back yard of about 130' and since i have my scraper set pretty low for paved driveway use it will tend to dig in on grass. I just press down on the bars slightly raising the front of the blower up maybe a inch or so. Never had a problem getting stuck.
 

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The track models rule period.
Totally eliminates back strain from pulling on the bars like a G-orilla.
They also have easy setting to keep cutting bar off the ground at will.

With that long a drive, deep snow, drifted, snow chains are a must with tires.
Get the 2 link series where cross chains are closer together. About $60.
If you have custom pavers on the drive, there are plastic chains.

Making trails in grass, the same is needed leaving a 2 inch pack on the grass keeps it from looking tore up in spring.

If your handy, with wood, then throw away the steel skids, and use 6"
long by 4" tall , 1" thick nylon plates.
They can be modified to any shape that works.

This stuff drills easier than wood, never leaves rust on the garage floor.
And really makes the machine travel nice down the driveway regardless of surface.
I swear half the traction is lost trying to push steel skids on bare surface.
Exposed aggregate is the worst up hill.

Good Luck
 

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My 1995 Troy built 21" auger drive has done a great job it lays the grass pretty flat but does not dig it up, being fussy about my yard I worried about whacking the lawn never has happened. I have a dog, feed the birds and other critters I clear a good sized area and redo every time it snows adds up most winters. When the snow melts you cannot see any damage.
I may try my new TB 726 wheel driven not sure if I will be able to get through my gates to get out back, Hmmm maybe a set of lift off hinges are in order. The auger drive goes through the garage out the back door. Neat thing about the auger drive is when done cleaning up it climbs back up the one step into the garage. I just tip high enough to set the auger on the step then lift it up an tap the auger control it walks in.

Phil
 

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Track drive sucks... No offense to those that have them but i have tried them, they always sit and spin.

Mine with tires and chains never gets stuck. You haven't lived until you spent an hour in -20F trying to get a track drive snowblower to work on ice.
 

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Track drive sucks... No offense to those that have them but i have tried them, they always sit and spin.

Mine with tires and chains never gets stuck. You haven't lived until you spent an hour in -20F trying to get a track drive snowblower to work on ice.
Come on, thats like saying 4wd sucks on ice. It's ice, everything sucks on ice. I have tracks, but haven't had any traction problems yet. My only issue is sometimes turning when not moving.
 

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My 73 Craftsman with the old style studded lawn tires and a set of chains don't mind ice. Its kinda fun skating behind it as it pulls me!! Thats the benefit of having an older unit, a few hundred pounds of weight to make it stick.

The track drives have other downfalls to. All your doing is spreading the weight of the machine out of a greater area, the center of the track on the ones i have played with only have the weight of the idler on it, some don't even have that extra idler.

All i know is they looked like a good idea, i tried a few, not for me... My old Craftsman will drag me along in any conditions, i usually stick her in first gear and steer it one handed, doesn't need much attention just goes in a straight line.
 
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