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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,

New member here. I've done a lot of reading but could still use some help for those with more experience than me. I'm in NJ, about 30" of snow per year, asphalt driveway is about 220 feet and half of it is on an incline of about 10 degrees. It's about 12 degrees at the very bottom of the driveway. It seems like some people think that's pretty steep and others think it isn't. I'm trying to figure out if tracks will make a significant difference in this case or if it's overkill.

The Platinum series is within my budget so I'm trying to choose between the SHO Track 28 and the SHO 30 (wheels). I'm also concerned about the amount of effort it would take moving the tracked machine around in the garage when it's not being used, but mostly concerned about getting stuck at the bottom of the driveway.

I'm also open to other suggestions, but want to keep it under $2500. Thanks.
 

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:welcome: aboard! Personally you have a robust budget if it were my money I would go with the Ariens Pro 28 non hydro model $2200. + tax. This machine offers substantial build quality on par with old school '60's & 70's Ariens (with the modern goodies, quick turn chute, heated grips) with proper care can last a lifetime or so. Additionally a 420cc briggs engine with a large fuel tank (won't have to refill doing your large driveway), 16" auger, braced auger housing, heavier gauge side panels...You have a long driveway, 10° sounds pretty steep but the Pro is a heavy machine and the Kenda X-trac type tires are very aggressive and should do the job without issue. I own a Platinum 24 SHO probably more machine than needed for this area, more is always better than less than you need. I love the power per inch, the true test of a machine is how it handles the town plow pile. The Platinums are very nice machines that are moderately priced. The main short coming so far is once you get over 306cc With the newer LCT Gen 3 low profile engines the fuel tank is a mismatch for the engine, you will likely have to refill in a big storm when working your driveway they are just too small. The Platinum series is essentially a Deluxe with some bells and whistles and more power of course in my opinion well worth the extra cost over the Deluxe if you can swing it. BTW Sheffield offers excellent financing essentially a free loan. I don't know how Ariens still sells the Deluxe 28 (likely their bread & butter machine) if most consumers did any research they would realize for a $100. more they get an additional 52cc's, improved belts, pulleys, impeller and throwing distance buying the Deluxe 28 SHO for $1200. USD. The Deluxe 28 is underpowered with the 254cc engine.

The wheeled model will be much more maneuvarable unless we are talking Ariens Rapid Trak which starts over $3k we don't live in a snowbelt and it would be hard to justify that price even if you can afford it. Hope this helps you. Best of luck on your search and keep us posted.
 

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I just bought a brand new 2018 Platinum SHO Track myself 2 weeks ago yesterday. I don't have a sloped driveway, just a very loose gravel surface - that was my reason for wanting a tracked snowblower. I haven't had the opportunity to use it but I can say so far, tracked machines are not maneuverable like wheeled machines. I have no doubt it would handle your driveway very easily but with the tires that are being utilized on todays machines, you may want to look at the Pro 28 ($2200) and/or the Pro 32 ($2499). Both have the Briggs & Stratton 420cc engines and 16" tires. The treads are amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I didn't realize the Pro 28 was priced so closely to the Platinum 30. I'll definitely check out the Pro.
 

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@t77 given your location, a wheeled Pro 28 is likely a good choice.

The tire tread is aggressive, it maneuvers easily and handles end of driveway snowplow heaps perhaps better than any other machine.

Please take a look at one before you buy a Platinum.

Best Regards,
 

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I looked at every snowblower made for 7 months before I decided on a Ariens Pro 28 Hydro. I went with the hydro trans due what I read throughout here and elsewhere, saying they are glad they went with the hydro and ask the Honda guys as well. If I was going to come up with $2,500.00, in my option I would spring another $300.00 and get a new Ariens 28 Hydro Pro wheeled. I spoke personally to commercial guys and they say they only use wheeled, hydro machines and make the jobs quicker and the machines more productive. The non Hydro version is also a very capable machine and is $600.00 cheaper.
 

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If your main decision point is tracked vs wheeled, don't worry. I have a 24" tracked, and it is easier to maneuver than my 30" wheeled. It can be moved in the garage, easily, but NOT as conveniently. The pins have to be pulled first on the sprockets. Or, just park it on a cheap furniture dolly at end of job and its then easier to move than the wheeled blower. Mine stays on the dolly all "off season", not a problem. All the other above discussed issues are a matter of your individual choice, you'll not go wrong with any Ariens, or Honda.
No snow here, yet, so I've had no chance to play with mine this season :)
Cheers.
 

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If your main decision point is tracked vs wheeled, don't worry. I have a 24" tracked, and it is easier to maneuver than my 30" wheeled. It can be moved in the garage, easily, but NOT as conveniently. The pins have to be pulled first on the sprockets. Or, just park it on a cheap furniture dolly at end of job and its then easier to move than the wheeled blower. Mine stays on the dolly all "off season", not a problem. All the other above discussed issues are a matter of your individual choice, you'll not go wrong with any Ariens, or Honda.
No snow here, yet, so I've had no chance to play with mine this season :)
Cheers.

The furniture dolly is a GREAT idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for all the advice, guys. Hydro, huh? I'll have to do some more reading to try to justify that. It's getting pricey!
 

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Just want thank all who contributed to this thread. Today I picked up my new Pro 28. This should guarantee that I get no major snowfalls for a year or two! But, I'll be ready when it comes.
 

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Just want thank all who contributed to this thread. Today I picked up my new Pro 28. This should guarantee that I get no major snowfalls for a year or two! But, I'll be ready when it comes.
Pics?
 

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Just want thank all who contributed to this thread. Today I picked up my new Pro 28. This should guarantee that I get no major snowfalls for a year or two! But, I'll be ready when it comes.
Great choice!

I've found my Pro 28 has absolutely no value as a snow deterrent.

As a snow mover, it's superb. You chose wisely.
 

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For snow deterrence, Blowers don't count! You need to invest $12 to $15K in a new sled, plus a new trailer, and of course the new tow vehicle. Then you'll never get snow again! Its a rule of nature or something :)
 
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