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I returned from a business trip today (Friday) and missed the 8" snowfall that occurred on Tuesday. Thankfully one of my neighbors blew my driveway while I was gone.

My other neighbor is still away on vaca so I thought I would clean up around my mailbox and then do his driveway which has been untouched since the snow.

No dice.

The snow has seen lots of cold temps and is now hard enough to stand on in most places and the machine can't cut into to it at all. Honestly I dont think any machine could cut into it so can't really fault the machine.

And I am helpless until it softens up.

Moral of story: attack the snow soon after it falls!




 

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I had the same problem with all my blowers and had to pull out my Gravely Convertible with it's 12hp cast iron engine and the units cast iron frame weighing 500 lbs scrapped up the snow because it is so front heavy.
 

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Machines of today are not built tough enough to handle that kind of hard packed snow, they would be flexing every which way. This is where an old school heavy duty thick steel, big transmission with over-built components could attack it.

Augers extending out in front of the machine gnawing away at the hard pack without riding up, ground edge scraper blades and heavy front ends with lots of muscle to the machine could get the job done. The only thing missing from that era of blower is serrated augers.
 

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Our storm was just like that, a bit less snow 4-6" of heavy wet snow that seemed to ice over even before it stopped falling. The only way to attack it with my small Toro 3000 2 stroke is to take my sharpest snow shovel and break it up into chunks, it may take an hr or more just to do that but then I could blow it. While for most storms I don't really need a 2 stage and my narrow driveway with the cars in it makes most 2 stages too big to be practical, if I could find a 20-21" 2 stage that might be my next one. Most are just too wide for the way my property is. I considered a Snowmaster too but while its better than a normal single stage it still has some of the same drawbacks. The inabilty to cut through frozen over snow being the main one.
 

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The Snowmaster certainly does have some of the drawbacks of a SS, but I found that the larger 252cc engine in the 824 does help to the extent the auger can break through the ice. The biggest difficulty for it is deep snows that start to melt (or are slushy) before refreezing. Of course, a small 2 stager isn't going to do extremely well in that, either, unless you've got a much more powerful engine and a front end weight (or saw blades for an auger). And if you've got those, then the 2 stage machine becomes a hassle to deal with in smaller snows.
 

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Our storm was just like that, a bit less snow 4-6" of heavy wet snow that seemed to ice over even before it stopped falling. The only way to attack it with my small Toro 3000 2 stroke is to take my sharpest snow shovel and break it up into chunks, it may take an hr or more just to do that but then I could blow it. While for most storms I don't really need a 2 stage and my narrow driveway with the cars in it makes most 2 stages too big to be practical, if I could find a 20-21" 2 stage that might be my next one. Most are just too wide for the way my property is. I considered a Snowmaster too but while its better than a normal single stage it still has some of the same drawbacks. The inabilty to cut through frozen over snow being the main one.
I don't know about every new machine today or in the past 20 yrs but in the 60s and 70s they had 3hp, 3 1/2hp, and I believe 4hp with 20" or 21" widths. Yardman Snowbird made a 5hp 21", picture of it is posted here under Snowbird. Look on eBay or Craigslist for these old machines. Not in all cases but most they are going to be lousy looking though some may not need any repairs and are in running condition.
 

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Machines of today are not built tough enough to handle that kind of hard packed snow, they would be flexing every which way. This is where an old school heavy duty thick steel, big transmission with over-built components could attack it.

Augers extending out in front of the machine gnawing away at the hard pack without riding up, ground edge scraper blades and heavy front ends with lots of muscle to the machine could get the job done. The only thing missing from that era of blower is serrated augers.
I do believe 100% the key to hard packed snow that you can stand on and the overnight EOD that you have to chop before you can blow, is to have the augers that extend beyond the housing.

If you have a second older machine, you may want to consider using a jig saw and cutting away 4"-6" of the front and sides of the auger housing in effect extending the auger out in front.

I picked up off the curb a 7hp 24" C3 Yardman Snowbird, not a real Snowbird, not a real Yardman, I believe this was when MTD bought them early on in the mid to late 70s.

I wondered what I was going to do with this as the engine was blown. I wasn't sure what I was going to power it with, an 8hp Tecumseh I had sitting and waiting, or swap my Noma's 5hp with the 8hp and put the 5hp on the Yardman. I also wasn't sure if I was going to keep it, junk it, or sell it as it was old and I felt it was dangerous with the auger sticking out! So so dangerous but you can slip and get consumed by any auger.

Now I know what to do with it. With the auger out front, power it up with the 8hp and use it for the EOD when the town plows. It may save me starting up my 500 lb. 12hp long dinasaur, my Gravely Convertible.
 

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I do believe 100% the key to hard packed snow that you can stand on and the overnight EOD that you have to chop before you can blow, is to have the augers that extend beyond the housing.

If you have a second older machine, you may want to consider using a jig saw and cutting away 4"-6" of the front and sides of the auger housing in effect extending the auger out in front.

Now I know what to do with it. With the auger out front, power it up with the 8hp and use it for the EOD when the town plows. It may save me starting up my 500 lb. 12hp long dinasaur, my Gravely Convertible.
Hundred percent true the augers were the business end of any machine back in the day when they stuck out front chopping and dicing anything in its' path which allowed forward progress in difficult situations. Machines of late cannot do that with the recessed designs, 6 pound auger boxes have been reduced to 1 lb. of light duty white metal.

All I have ever run until this past year were Snowbirds having started young with the family owned one around 1968. Aside the initial engine to main-shaft belt every component from there on out is heavy shaft, gears and chains driving the machine with an ultra tough frame holding it all together. The biggest frame they made was the 6hp 263 which has never failed me, it ain't fast but nothing stops it. In all those years I can count on one hand breaking the 5/16 shear bolt which protects the augers and was due to a large chunk of ice stopping them dead. When an obstruction was large enough to break a shear bolt you knew it as the machine will make a loud bang and shudder from all the bound up torque.

The evolution and current crop of snowblowers mine included are all similarly built and don't impress me compared to what we produced decades ago, it is what is though.
 

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You need an IceMaster or a 2-stage snow blower with aggressive augers (extending beyond housing).
 

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Our storm was just like that, a bit less snow 4-6" of heavy wet snow that seemed to ice over even before it stopped falling. The only way to attack it with my small Toro 3000 2 stroke is to take my sharpest snow shovel and break it up into chunks, it may take an hr or more just to do that but then I could blow it. While for most storms I don't really need a 2 stage and my narrow driveway with the cars in it makes most 2 stages too big to be practical, if I could find a 20-21" 2 stage that might be my next one. Most are just too wide for the way my property is. I considered a Snowmaster too but while its better than a normal single stage it still has some of the same drawbacks. The inabilty to cut through frozen over snow being the main one.
I don't know if Toro still has this available , but I have a compact 22" 2 stage lawnboy (toro painted green) with a 5 hp tecumseh. I may be going backwards, but I'm considering replacing it with a Honda single stage or the smaller toro snowmaster. Trying to find something a little lighter in weight and with easier chute controls. Have about 100 ft single car width driveway with minimal incline.
 

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I don't know if Toro still has this available , but I have a compact 22" 2 stage lawnboy (toro painted green) with a 5 hp tecumseh. I may be going backwards, but I'm considering replacing it with a Honda single stage or the smaller toro snowmaster. Trying to find something a little lighter in weight and with easier chute controls. Have about 100 ft single car width driveway with minimal incline.
I believe your Lawnboy was discontinued a number of years ago.
As the previous posters found out the Toro Snowmaster does have some drawbacks, not many but some. Almost any two stage without serrated teeth augers or the augers sticking out past the bucket as well as any single stage will have trouble with hard, frozen snow. That being said the Snowmaster is still a good machine for most people who get average snowfalls of less than 18".
 
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