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Discussion Starter #1
I've been given the task of purchasing a new snowblower for my aunt. She is 5'4 120lbs. We live near Lake George, NY. Currently she shovels her 2000' driveway. She has an older Simplicity 870s. She said the 870s is too big and heavy for her. I've got $1000 to spend. I think the power/auto steering would be perfect. And two-stage is a must. I've narrowed my choices down to the Ariens Deluxe 24 with auto turn or the Husqvarna ST224P. I am leaning towards the Ariens because I have 3 dealers in about a 10 mile radius. But the Husqvarna has adjustable handles and seems to be more user friendly (based only on youtube videos). I wanted to hear some opinions before I buy something. Sorry for the long post just wanted to give the whole situation. Thanks in advance!
 

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Toro full size single stage is a good size and move snow good, QXE I think is the model


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IMO I think it would be a good idea to get her behind the controls of them and see if either machine fits her better than the other. 5'4" is not that tall a person and though she might have someone to hire now, they grow up and move which could leave her in the future having to blow the snow herself or move.
 

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Yeah - try it out at a dealer first. See if it works out and she's not intimidated with them. Nothing wrong with a quality single stage either..... easier to operate and handle. Just may have to go out a few times in the big dumps. I prefer mine most of the time just because it's faster and we dont often get more than 3 or 4 inches at a time.....
 

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I almost had a heart attack myself when I read 2000' driveway? First off, how old is your aunt? But don't let her hear me asking you that. :wink: Is she more than capable of handling the job? Maybe a good nephew could tackle the job for her? Or as someone mentioned, hiring of a plow guy? I am not experienced with what she has been using, as far as size and weight wise, but I would think just about any machine would be a bit heavy for her, no? But I have always been a believer in... letting the machine do the work and just be the guider of the machine...
 

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I've used my new Ariens Deluxe 24 about six hours now and I wouldn't recommend it for someone who isn't heavy enough to muscle it around a little bit or tall enough to reach over the dash to operate the chute crank.

For me the best drive speed for lighter events is too fast for the u-turn at the end of a pass. So I turn around with the drive disengaged or down shift before the corner to turn at a slower speed. I may just be a poor driver but the auto turn at the end of a pass isn't what I thought it would be.

My upper body strength isn't the best and when there's packed snow or ice on the cement under the fresh snow it's a minor workout to keep it straight, nothing major but it isn't like a self propelled lawn mower where you just point and casually walk behind. You need to keep a firm grip on it to keep it going straight. But like I said it's just when the surface under the snow is uneven otherwise it cruises along all Fat, Dumb, and Happy.

I feel like either the chute control is on the wrong side or the interlock needs to be reversed.
Since the drive lever (left side) interlocks to hold the auger lever down (right side) you're forced to stretch across the machine to reach the chute crank (left side) if you don't want to stop every time you need to adjust the discharge direction. I have to change from side to straight twice on every pass and it's a hassle. I'm only 5'8'' and it's a stretch reach across and redirect the chute on the fly. It's easiest to stop the machine and adjust the chute with the left hand but it's not convenient to stop every time.

The balance is great for lifting the front end to turn the machine but it makes it a little light when blowing so it likes to climb a little in EOD pile but it's nothing to back up and take another bite. It's got plenty of power to do the job.

I think it's a great machine overall but maybe not the right machine in your situation. I'd definitely have anyone size it up in person before buying it.
 

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2000' driveway
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Lake George snow (avg is 60" per yr, almost double what NJ gets)
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an old plow truck, or paying someone to plow it

Other than maybe a Gravely no small machine can handle that much...one blizzard and it'd be wore out.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I mis-typed the length of the driveway. It's only about 200' lol sorry. There aren't any neighborhood kids she could hire or nephews either. I have a truck with a plow. But she is VERY independent. Lived alone for 10+ years so she's used to doing everything on her own. I go out of my way to go over and plow every storm but by the time I get over there she already has it done (I work night shifts). I tell her all the time to leave it and I will take care of it but she insists on doing it herself. With the avg snowfall I really wanted to stick with a two stage. I planned on taking her to try out each model but wanted to do some homework before I brought her anywhere.
 

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If the ,qxe's not your thing , try out the toro 826 and 826 hd with the trigger steering
 
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