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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings: Due to injury can only use one arm. Has anyone seen or developed a device to let you use a two stage ariens style snowblower with only one hand? Perhaps a bar across the handles that lets you start the wheels, then lock the augers turning?

any suggestions welcome

Sean
 

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Starting with the choice of machine, you would want a AutoTurn machine because they ate easy to turn and turn around with one hand. Ariens has that with models going back before 2015. A light balanced bucket on Ariens for 2017 will help. Other manufacturers have those features too.
A bar connecting drive clutch and auger clutch should work fine. My 2022 Pro has electric chute control with right thumb operation that may help.
Good luck.
 
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I think weight would be a big factor. A medium machine with steering assist and joystick chute control. Thumb control for height adjustment.

Think the dual control with just one handle would be doable. A bar across clamped/attached on each end of the handles would allow you one hand control.

I am only familiar with the Honda so suggest looking at the HSS724 . I'm sure Ariens and Toro ( the big 3 IMO ) would have similar user friendly machines.
 

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I'm thinking that one can't use an Ariens 10000 series Sno-Thro because an Ariens 10000 Sno-Thro doesn't have any operator presence controls. It has a "clutch lever" on the left hand-grip which is released to engage the tractor drive. Indeed the tractor's movement and the Sno-Thro attachment operation does not require an operator to be present at all!

There is a spring-loaded rod at the clutch lever's pivot. The clutch lever and the rod are individually actuated in sequence :
1. Squeeze clutch lever
2. Engage rod

Rod engagement holds the clutch in its disengaged position. This spring-loaded rod can be operated with one's thumb after one has squeezed the clutch lever.

With the clutch held in its disengaged position by the spring-loaded rod, one's arm is free to place the tractor speed shift lever (located at the right hand-grip) at any of 4 forward speed positions or neutral position or reverse position.

After the appropriate tractor speed has been selected, one can simply squeeze (momentarily) the clutch lever which enables the spring-loaded rod to release from the clutch lever pivot. Let go of the clutch lever and the tractor will travel forward, backward or remain in place (neutral) depending upon which tractor speed one have selected. An operator does not have to continually hold any operator presence control during machine operation

One might easily engage/disengage the Sno-Thro attachment with a single arm. The tractor will operate with or without the Sno-Thro attachment engaged.

An operator presence control for this machine might follow the practice used for watercraft which employs a lanyard that is pulled if the watercraft's operator becomes separated from the watercraft. One might adapt a lanyard (as employed on watercraft) to a normally-closed ignition kill-switch which has ween wired in series into the ignition coil's grounding wire circuit which has been bonded to ground.

The theory is as follows: The engine's ignition coil has a grounding wire circuit. If the grounding wire contacts the engine, frame, etc to complete the circuit then the ignition system is defeated (disabled) then there is no spark at the spark plug then the engine stops running.

The normally-closed switch contacts would be gagged open by the lanyard device. This enables the ignition system. To disable the ignition system, the lanyard is yanked away from the kill-switch and the spring-loaded, normally-closed switch contacts would come together; completing the coil grounding circuit which disables the ignition system. Boaters might securely fasten the lanyard to their body.

The Sno-Thro attachment's augers are quite powerful. Augers exert sufficient force to break up large, solid ice chunks. Shear bolts protect the auger gearbox from damage if the augers bind on tree branches, soccer balls, tire chains, newspapers, etc. The machine has absolutely no safety mechanisms to shut it down if an operator were to become entangled in the augers.
 

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Well yes there is a way, when I use my Compact 24 which is an easy machine to use so here is what I do with it most of the time. Now I know what I am going to tell you to do will be frowned on my people, but to each his own. I get the machine running then I use a rubber strap to hold the auger lever down, that way I can just worry about the speed lever only and can drive it with one hand. I would also use roller wheels on the front of the bucket as it really helps the blower move much easier. Before anyone gets hurt about what I do here, remember the machines a lot of you guys like are the 70's Ariens machines that can plow snow by itself? so this is not much different and those machines can be a little scary to run for some people. If I were handicaped I would figure out a way to get it done, but I don't let things in life stop me. If you have the will, you will find a way to make this happen.
 

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Well yes there is a way, when I use my Compact 24 which is an easy machine to use so here is what I do with it most of the time. Now I know what I am going to tell you to do will be frowned on my people, but to each his own. I get the machine running then I use a rubber strap to hold the auger lever down, that way I can just worry about the speed lever only and can drive it with one hand. I would also use roller wheels on the front of the bucket as it really helps the blower move much easier. Before anyone gets hurt about what I do here, remember the machines a lot of you guys like are the 70's Ariens machines that can plow snow by itself? so this is not much different and those machines can be a little scary to run for some people. If I were handicaped I would figure out a way to get it done, but I don't let things in life stop me. If you have the will, you will find a way to make this happen.
so what exactly are you dong with your freed up arm, taking selfies?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
forgive my directness, but which is your good arm? i ask, because some snowblowers have the auger lever on the left and the drive lever on the right, but others have the drive lever on the left.
Thanks for the suggestions. My left arm is out of commission, which is the lever side for the blower wheels. The right side is for the auger, and it locks down whenever the left side is down.

Sean
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. My left arm is out of commission, which is the lever side for the blower wheels. The right side is for the auger, and it locks down whenever the left side is down.
sounds like you may need a MTD machine lol. i find my hand gets much more sore running my neighbors Ariens than running my mtd. i am right handed and the mtd is built to be one handed with the right hand and you use your left to control the chute. i wouldn't mind a Ariens machine but if i did buy one i would likely customize it to be run right handed.
 

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For various reasons I one-hand it often. I will tell you how I do this on my HSS 1332. Sometimes I use mechanical assistance to hold down both the drive and the auger levers. I do this to change my position and operate to the side of the machine or when I have a long distance to transport with the auger housing elevated and the handlebars in the weeds. FIRST figure out what the best emergency STOP will be. I practiced that move in dry runs a dozen times. In my scenario I had four options to stop. I'll enlarge on that in a minute. The one I use almost exclusively is to bring the speed lever to neutral. The mechanical hold down: To hold the levers down I use those large plastic pinch clamps from the big box store. You can get a bag of a dozen or so of different sizes for 20 bucks or so. When I place them on the lever/grip assembly I place them as close to the end as possible.
When not in use they are clamped on the frame somewhere. I go slower than normal unless I am in a wide open space where an emergency disengage is not critical. *To Start: Neutral > set speed > clamp/s on > proceed forward. To change chute orientation: Neutral > chute > proceed forward.
The emergency disengage methods I could use are 1. key switch 2. gear lever to neutral 3. knock off clamp on drive lever. 4. knock off clamp on auger lever. Of course it is best to let the lever up slowly every time that you can but in a pinch rip that SOB off at light speed. I did quite a bit of PRACTICE going very slow. I found that my control operation improved as my muscle memory improved, takes time! I went slow for quite a while.The scenario you are speculating on will have practice baked in with every use. I will tell you that in the three years that I have been using this method I yanked off the auger clamp one time when I ran over a branch in the yard on the way to one of my out buildings. I do think most of us here would also try to figure something out. Please don't kill the neighbors cat.

Be advised:
THIS IS HOW I DO IT AND I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT ANYONE ELSE ATTEMPT THIS OPERATION

* undoubtedly not possible on many machines.
 

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Sean Farley,

Is this a temporary conditiom?

I had rotator cuff surgery in the fall, I'm close to where I would give it a go if it snowed.

CCMoe
 

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My 932500 Ariens AKA: 520, 5+2, original crossover, etc, is a 2 stage practically made for one hand operation. Lawn mower loop style handlebar, single full length bail, instant freewheel reverse and forward, auger propelled. Propulsion is supplied by rubber tires on the rakes that turn at 1/10th the speed of the impeller, and in addition, by placing the handle loop into your gut and slowly advancing forward(when it gets wet and heavy).

It's a constant slip design. One finger can operate this machine and at just over 100 lbs, it's perfectly safe to operate from the pilot position or astride either port or starboard during turns (which comes in very handy when it gets tight). Can clear over 12 inches on first pass like any other 2 stage, yet easier to one hand than your average 21 inch self propelled lawn mower.

There is a similar current model in production, it has a slightly smaller foreign engine and some other changes...the Ariens 932050. but If you have a sloped or uneven driveway, it's not for you, you'll need a regular dual control self propelled 2s.
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