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Hey all!
Snowblower newbie here.
I have a 350'x12' paved driveway and a wife that works at a hospital. So waiting on a plow guy is not an option and I'm not buying a plow truck ;-) .

I've been looking at The pro 36" and checked it out at a local place this week.
It is a leftover from last season. Salesman was telling me in his opinion the motor on the model he is trying to sell me is better than the one on the new 2014 model. Anyone know anything about this?
What do you all think about the pro 36" in general? The thing looks like a beast!!

Also he quoted me $2900+tax delivery and set up included. Ok price??
 

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Every autumn I update this list with the new models:

http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/Ariens/Page9.html

I havent done it yet for the new 2014 models, but I plan to soon..so I dont know yet if the 2014 Pro36 has a different engine than than the 2013 model..cant find the info online either..(I cant find the new brochure on the Ariens website..)

As for the price, thats not bad! especially considering it includes tax and setup.
If you subtract 8% sales tax, the actual selling price is about $2,700, which is $200 cheaper than the normal selling price, of about $2,900.
(MSRP is about $3,300..actual selling prices range from $2,900 to $3,300..)

https://www.google.com/search?q=ariens+926040&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

If you dont mind spending that kind of money for a snowblower, I say, go for it!
It's nearly "top of the line"..should serve you well for the next 40 years or so..

(Ariens new absolute top of the line, the flagship model, is the new Hydro Pro36..the hydros are new, dont know much about them.
IMO, the older, non-hydro technology is "tried and true"..cant go wrong IMO..the model you are looking at is *not* a Hydro..just FYI..)

Scot
 

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Do you really need the 36" or can you make due with a 32 or 28"? Remeber, each pass you make is going to overlap a bit so you can't just say 12' / 3' = 4 passes. So you are going to end up making 5 passes (unless you leave a bit on the edges). 5 passes is going to leave you stopping at the street which means you are going to make 6 passes regardless. A smaller blower is going to be easier to handle, easier to make the first full pass and easier to store.

Also, 36" might be too wide for your sidewalks. Don't forget trying to drive it around your cars too in the garage or driveway.

As for the engine, if the older one still has a Briggs engine on it he could very well feel it is a better engine than the China engines that are now on them. It could also be that he is just trying to get rid of last years models so he has room for the new ones.
 

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Scotsman, does the dealer want to sell that model because it is the last of American made briggs on it??

JT, Shryp has a point on the size...might seem like it will clean faster at that size but something in the middle like a 30" might be more maneuverable. I have a 28" and that is a big machine in itself.
 

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If you are as lucky as I am your investment will assure you of many snow free years. After a particularly hard winter 3 years ago I bought a 32' Pro. It hasn't snowed since. Best insurance I ever bought.
 

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The current "Pro 36" model in question, 926040, last had the American made Briggs engine on it three years ago..in the 2011 model year, that was the "Briggs 342cc 1650 series" engine. (also had it in 2010)

For the previous two model years, 2012 and 2013 it has had the Chinese engine on this model: 420cc "Ariens Polar Force Pro by B&S."
(the snowblowers coming out right now, Autumn of 2013, are 2014 model year)

We dont yet know what engine is on the 2014 model, but it had the Chinese engine the past two model years..IMO its likely to be the same engine for this year.

This will be the 5th year for the 926040 model. The current Ariens webpage has that model listed, and im assuming the webpage has now been updated to reflect 2014 models! but I dont know that for a fact..

Model 926040:

Autumn of 2009 - (4 years ago) 2010 model year - American made Briggs

Autumn of 2010 - (3 years ago) 2011 model year - American made Briggs

Autumn of 2011 - (2 years ago) 2012 model year - Chinese made Briggs
Autumn of 2012 - (1 year ago) 2013 model year - Chinese made Briggs

Autumn of 2013 - (right now) 2014 model year - We dont know the engine yet.

Scot
 

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You have over a football field of driveway. I would be looking at riders with a blower at minimum. Cheapo plow truck a possibility? Don't even have to register it. Just my personal opinion, but $3K for a walk behind blower is more concerning to me than where the engine was made.
 

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You have over a football field of driveway. I would be looking at riders with a blower at minimum. Cheapo plow truck a possibility? Don't even have to register it. Just my personal opinion, but $3K for a walk behind blower is more concerning to me than where the engine was made.
a football field of driveway? woah..that doesnt seem right..
(Scot does the math)

the driveway is 350' x 12' = 4,200 square feet.

A football field is 360' x 160' = 57,600 square feet.

The driveway is less than 1/10 of a football field..
you must have meant "as long as a football field" im guessing? ;)
but that's not what you said.. ;)

Sure, "as long as a football field" is pretty long, but its only 12 feet wide..
IMO, a high-end walk-behind is perfect for such a driveway..a tractor with a snowblower might be more comfortable, but it wont be any faster..and walk-behind snowblowers arent really "hard work"..you just walk behind them while they do all the work..IMO the only real different between a tractor mounted snowblower and a walk-behind is sitting versus standing..
both have their place, but I dont see this particular driveway as "needing a tractor"..Both a tractor and a walkbehind are fine in this situation, IMO...both will work just fine..

and if you dont need a tractor for other uses around the home, such as a lawn mowing or hauling a trailer, then getting a tractor *just* for use as a snowblower would be overkill..

however, if you *do* need a tractor for other uses around the house, or if you already own one, then adding a snowblower attachment to it could be a great way to go in this case! there are a lot of variables..

JT, you didnt say..is your driveway on a slope or is it basically level?
And do you have, or want to have, a riding mower/Garden Tractor?

As for the cost, that is completely irrelevant to the discussion..I cant afford a $3,000 snowblower, but other people can, and if someone wants to spend 3k on one, more power to them..they will be getting a much higher quality machine than the $500 MTD at Walmart..If you can afford it, spending more is usually better..especially with equipment like snowblowers.
(unless you dont *need* a Pro 36 snowblower for your particular driveway! there is no sense in buying a $3,000 Pro 36 if your driveway is 12x12 feet..but in this case, JT can certainly take advantage of all the features and capabilities of a pro 36 machine..)

Scot
 

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Scot, Let's agree to about 300 feet, or around a 100 yards (I went back and checked, I can do math too), and it's winter.
Doesn't matter the width, we still gotta walk the whole way, turn and come back. Every firickin' time it snows, don't forget storms.
In my personal opinion, I'd pay for the plow. I love snowblowers and rebuilding them, but THAT"S too long.............IMO.
Time is money. Guessing the guy has grass surrounding his drive, so you need a cutting device to shear the grass off the surrounding 600 ft. I would look to a blower that fits the grass cutting machine.
I'd personally get a blade for a 4x4 that he likely already owns.
$3000 for a walk behind blower that is not used for a school or city is crazy, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Still Have not pulled the trigger on the machine yet.

Sscotsman - driveway has a curve and a gentle slope in the middle. The reading I have done leads me to believe that this is nothing the machine cant handle.

The money isn't really an issue. Nor is storage, plenty of room for it in the garage.

I could get a plow truck, but we already have 3 cars and I don't want to deal with having to maintain a "beater"
We have 2 awd cars (Outback and honda element) we aren't putting any blades on them. I should tell the wife that we are going to get one set up on her mustang! lol

We will prolly get a lawn tractor in a year or so, but it is not in our immediate plans. So yes when we get one the thrower attachment would have been ideal, but the timing just isn't right for that.

I may look into the 32" but that will mean another 30min +/- of blowing.
I am thinking the 36" 4 passes clears 9-10', enough to get our cars out.
 

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Still Have not pulled the trigger on the machine yet.

Sscotsman - driveway has a curve and a gentle slope in the middle. The reading I have done leads me to believe that this is nothing the machine cant handle.

The money isn't really an issue. Nor is storage, plenty of room for it in the garage.

I could get a plow truck, but we already have 3 cars and I don't want to deal with having to maintain a "beater"
We have 2 awd cars (Outback and honda element) we aren't putting any blades on them. I should tell the wife that we are going to get one set up on her mustang! lol

We will prolly get a lawn tractor in a year or so, but it is not in our immediate plans. So yes when we get one the thrower attachment would have been ideal, but the timing just isn't right for that.

I may look into the 32" but that will mean another 30min +/- of blowing.
I am thinking the 36" 4 passes clears 9-10', enough to get our cars out.
One more thing to also think about when looking at the 32". Both the Pro 32 and Pro 36 have the same 420cc engine... I can almost bet that the Pro 32 does a better job chucking the deep snow since you have 4 inches less bucket to fill.
 

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jtstott, have you decided on a thrower yet?

I just bought the Ariens Pro 36" and it will be delivered tomorrow. It was $2,650 (out of state, so no sales tax) and the delivery was $150. So, for $2,800, it was quite a bit of savings from the local dealers I went to, which were $3,100 after tax.
 
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