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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, long time lurker. I've had my eye on a Platinum 24, but I'm very leery about auto-turn. My concrete driveway is smooth and relatively flat, other than where it meets the road. But I also like to scrape all the way down to the pavement. If I can't do that without turning things into a wrestling match it's probably a deal breaker because I just don't find that acceptable in a premium machine.

Does anybody with auto-turn use it with the scraper actually scraping down to bare pavement? How does it do when running over, say, packed down tire tracks?

A little history, I currently have a 2001 824 932101 I bought new which has served me well but requires being muscled around to get through tough stuff due to its tendency to climb and relatively light weight. With my son coming into age where he can perhaps help some next season, I'd like something a bit easier to handle. And I'd just like something newer because after 18 seasons the 824 could have major issues at any time. At least that's the story I'm telling my wife. :wink2: Honestly though I've never really liked the 824 much compared to the Simplicity (860?) my dad had when I was growing up, which had a real differential and was built like a tank. Unfortunately the current Simplicity Signature line has those blasted electric chute controls, and I don't like that Toro moved production to Mexico, so I'm looking at another Ariens.
 

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A few years ago, I was in the market for a new blower. I passed on buying a new Ariens because of the Auto Turn issues. Instead, I bought a pristine, 2-year old Ariens with a differential on the left wheel that can be disengaged for ease of turning.

Previously, I had a Craftsman with trigger steering like on the Toros. I would give serious thought to an upper level Toro. Good comments on the Forum and you don’t have to worry about your problem.
 

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my driveway sucks i go right next to the house and cars and it runs straight as and arrow
where my driveway is level it scrapes everything up with it set at 1/8 inch
If you have the blade set on the ground any imperfections is going to pull the machine imo
 

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I was also leery of auto turn before I purchased, but really wanted an Ariens so I ended up with a Deluxe 28 SHO last month. So far, I've had zero issues with auto turn and in fact, I have to admit that I like it - very easy to turn at the end of the driveway, etc., with no levers to try to maneuver with gloves on. Mine goes straight with none of the wandering I had read about. My driveway is gravel, so I leave the scraper up a bit and as a result have tire tracks built up. Auto turn handles that just fine, doesn't pull or wander any more than my old solid axle Craftsman did in the same conditions. Auto turn did feel a bit different at first, but after using the machine a couple of times, I didn't even think about it anymore. I'd say go for the Platinum 24 and don't be concerned about auto turn.
 

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Between 4 friends, my brother, and myself, I can tell you about the experience of auto turn we've had between our 7 combined machines. The machines are 2 deluxe 28's, a deluxe 30, Pro 28, Hydro Pro 28, and 2 Pro 32's purchased anytime between September '13 and September '17. ZERO issues whatsoever. For every 1 auto turn issue there must be 1000 that function perfectly. For me it's a non-issue. I wouldn't let it keep you from purchasing an Ariens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I appreciate the comments, but it appears the people who don't have issues probably don't scrape to the pavement? But that at 1/8" it clears to the pavement? I guess that may be close enough, I've just always put the blade on the ground.

Being a Minnesotan, I'd buy an HD 826 Toro in a heartbeat if they were still made here. It just really bugs me that MTD can still build budget machines in the US but Toro cannot build premium ones. And I'd rather have an LCT engine. I have no doubt they are good machines though.
 

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I admit I'm a bit leery of Autoturn. Though as JJG723 said, maybe I'm just "scared off" by the 1 out of 50? 1000? who have trouble.

But what fundamentally concerns me is that the system has to guess at when the operator is giving a turn input, vs when the bucket just catches on some ice, etc. And that there is no adjustment on the threshold of when it disengages the wheels and starts to turn. So if you would prefer that it worked differently (like required more twisting by the operator), you're kind of stuck.

A system of 2 triggers seems ideal to me. Locked when you choose, up to completely disengaged when you choose. The higher end Toros have this, which I like. The Honda HSS models also do, and I think some of the high end Simplicity machines do as well.

If you're concerned about Autoturn, those might be options.

My current Ariens is about the same age as yours, and has a real differential. There are plenty of differential equipped Ariens on the used market, if you'd prefer that. But the differential machines are more likely to slip on ice, vs Autoturn, since a single wheel being on a slippery surface will make the machine stop.
 
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