Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I will be buying my first snow blower for a steep long drive way. Any recommendations or suggestions will be very helpful.

Paved Driveway Details
Location : Eastern Massachusetts (Boston metro area)
Total length: approximately 240 feet, 90 degree turn after the first (from road) 126 feet
Incline : approximately 11 degrees (19% grade) for 126 feet then slowly reduces to 6 degrees (10% grade) for the remaining near the garage
Width : approximately 12 feet for 126 feet (11 degree incline), increases to 25 feet by the garage
Total area : approximately 4100 sq feet
Shade : Lots of trees, the steep part of the driveway won't be getting much of direct sunlight
Driveway condition : fair, even


We get reasonable amount of snow, usually around 40 inches through the season (single snow storm is usually under 12 inches). 2014-2015 was a difficult year with about 110 inches of snow, but that was an outlier.

Searching the forums, there are posts that indicate that a single stage with a side to side clearing may work (post mentions Toro 721 series). Another recent post suggests that a Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE or 824 QXE would be ideal as it cleans down to the pavement

I am considering

Powermax 724 OE 2-Stage Gas Snow Blower, 16 inch clearing depth, 40 feet throwing distance, $800 at Home Depot (can't post link as this is first post)

Some of the questions I have:
1) Given the driveway and the snow we get, is this Toro up to the task?
2) Do I need to consider snowblower with tracks or adding chains to the wheels will suffice?
3) Will a single stage machine suffice or do I need a 2 stage? Single stage has the advantage of clearing to ground and variable walking speed.
4) Any recommendations?

Thanks for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
My self I would be looking at a 2 stage. Might take a look at track models also Ariens, Husqvarna, Honda come to mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

There are plenty of New Englanders here, so you should get a lot of opinions on what you "should" do.

Here are some things that you are going to hear:
1. Stick with Toro, Ariens, or Honda. Simplicity also makes a good snow blower, but their pro line is really where it is at.
2. Stay away from the big box stores, and stick to buying from a dealer. Long story short, the price is the same, but the service is way better.
3. What's your budget?

Here's my opinion, not knowing your budget of course:
Since your driveway is so big, if it is possible, I would attach a snow blower to my GT and ride it out every storm. You will move just as much snow, not have to worry about that incline too much, and you'll be able to clear your own driveway for many, many years to come. The cost will be more than the $799.99 that the Power Max runs for something new, but there are plenty of used options available on Craigslist if you so decide.

If that is not an option, I personally would then go with anything from Ariens or Toro that has a 28" bucket and at least a 250CC engine. I'm assuming you don't want to spend the money on a Honda.....if that were the case buy the GT and the blower like I mentioned previously.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,455 Posts
I've read that single stages are NOT good for inclines.
With the later design snow tire thread, they may do ok on inclines.
If you budget was not under 1K, I'd recommend a tracked Honda ideally an HSS1332ATD.
For your budget you may get lucky and find a used Honda HS828, HS928, HS1132 or HS1332 in decent condition for $800-$1500.
If it was me I'd get a tracked blower.
If you get the Toro SnowMaster get the 8hp model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
some good suggestions or already here. My two cents, I would probably go with a tracked model to avoid any icy steep incline issues. A good Husky ST 300 series tracked model should serve you well without breaking the bank, provided you have a dealer you can trust in your area. Best of luck on your search and please post some pics once you've taken delivery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestions! For the budget I was thinking around $1000, may be up to $1500. The new Honda's seem to be more expensive than that. I could take a look at a used snow blower, however my preference is for a new model.

I will take a look at dealers in the area for snowblowers and also look into 28 inch bucket options with larger engines. The tracked models are at the higher end of my budget, I will take a look at them

I don't think attaching anything to my vehicles is an option, so I will be looking at just walking with my snowblower.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
You don't have a riding lawn mower? Not that everyone does, but if you do it might be a good choice.

Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Yes I would also look at the new Husky you get a pretty good machine for your dollar. It is worth checking out may or may not work but you never know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
511 Posts
hsblowersfan and others here are correct. In my experience with a shorter and less steep dirt driveway is that my older wheeled Ariens ST1032 couldn't make it back up the driveway while blowing even with chains. So I was reduced to blowing down, driving back up the path I just cut, turning around and blowing an new path on the way down. Simple math? Twice the work. My tracked Honda HS1132TA? No problem.

You have trees. So do I. Carry two wrenches, a philips screwdriver to use as a punch, and a bunch of sheer pins in your pocket, because your auger will be "finding" short limbs and other debris in the snow, especially if there has been any wind accompanying the snow storm. That is where the new Honda HSS1332ATD tracked machine with auger protection would really shine.

Good luck! If you are like me (and maybe a few others here), you will buy your first snowblower - try a used one first - and determine what you need by trying it and learning what a snowblower is and is not capable of. And then you will buy the right one on your second purchase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: digx

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
this is my post from another thread about someone also asking for recommendations for steep driveway. i just copied pasted my post. you can review the whole thread if you want.
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/general-snowblower-discussion/97313-new-member-needs-help-buy-proper-snow-blower-driveway-incline.html



i highly recommend a tracked snowblower. I too have a very steep paved driveway. for 10 years i have used a wheeled blower but have always wanted something better to get up the hill. most times with the wheeled blower, i blow easily downhill using gravity of course, but i would then put it in high gear and just drive it up the hill over where i had already blown with the bucket raised up for zero drag. then turn around at the top and go back down. so of course, it takes longer because i only blow in one direction.

this year, i just bought a tracked honda.
if your driveway isn't real large, then go for the HSS724, otherwise the HSS928. if money is too much (they are pricey) look for a used one. however, that will save you $$ but not get teh price down to a box store wheeled unit.

it depends on how much you want to spend on ease of use. personally, i wish i would have bought the tracked blower from the start and not struggled for so long.

my 2c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Craftsman 1032 or 1132 tracked with electric start. The silver models from the 80's or early 90s. Get it inspected and fully reconditioned by a pro, specifically including carb cleaning and marine grease in all the track bushings. You'll then be into it for about $600, all of which you can recover if you ever decide to sell. It won't throw as far as other newer machines but far enough for your 12' width. As a bonus it will tow you or your car up the driveway if needed. It's a moose so I'm assuming you can handle turning it.

my 2c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone. The hondas are too expensive for me, buying used will be difficult as transporting the unit will be an issue (and I am not the most mechanically inclined).

For a tracked unit I was considering Ariens Platinum Track 24 SHO at $1500, it has 369 cc engine, 24 inch bucket and throws up to 55 feet. husqvarna has the ST 227P which has a 254 cc engine, 27 inch bucket, but it does not have tracks.

I do not have a riding lawn mower, so that won't work.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
I think you may be confusing the Compact 24 tracked model for $1399 USD. Ariens does not make a tracked Platinum 24 SHO. They make a tracked Platinum 28 SHO model for $2099 USD. Which is priced close to Husky's model ST327T but lacks the Husky's hydrostatic automatic transmission. These Ariens prices are from my local dealer who offers Ariens "Online Pricing" which is a promotional pricing, not all dealers offer this, expect to pay about 10% more from dealers who don't offer it.

The wheeled Platinum 24 SHO is offered at $1499 at dealers offering Online Pricing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
If you want to buy the right machine the first time, forget "cheap". Cheap will get you "old" (as in worn out), or lower quality or less capable. (Not always, you might luck out). Total cost of ownership over time is not a big deal. My last machine was still going strong when I sold it after 21 years (to upgrade). I bought it for $700 and sold it for $400 so it cost me $300 for 21 years use. If you sell a more expensive machine sooner you'll be able to sell for more, so TCO might even be similar on a more expensive and desirable machine.

My thought is also you have a huge driveway in the Boston area and that's not a cheap area for real estate. So get what you need and will enjoy using - don't be cheap at your own expense. It's your back.

You've said you're not mechanical so it's safer to buy new, or used, from a local dealer who will service it and provide warranty support. Skip the big box store.

As for type I strongly agree with those who suggest a 2 stage tracked model. Given the size of your driveway, I suggest not less than 28" width. I'd recommend 32".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am in same situation as OP; newbie, 200 ft x 12 ft main driveway with decent incline, Boston metro area.

Was thinking about these two Ariens:
921048 Deluxe 28 SHO (306cc) + heated handgrips ~$1285
921052 Platinum SHO Track 28 (369cc) ~$2100

It's a steep step up in price ($800) to the tracked unit, but still less expensive then a Honda.

Any comments on these two Ariens?

- Will the Deluxe 28 SHO 306cc climb the incline and throw snow sufficiently well or will I have to only go downhill?
- Does a tracked unit require more power to operate which negates some/all of the snow throwing benefits normally granted by a larger engine? (and therefore makes an engine size comparison less helpful)
- Any other good blowers for this scenario (beyond what is mentioned in this thread already, say up to $2200).

Thanks,
-V
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top