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Hello everyone, I know this isn't under the commercial section but I thought I would get more replies here. I have about 12 houses at the moment and plan to have about 30 by the time the first storm hits. I still don't have a blower, haha, I live in the south eastern part of PA. I need helping picking a reliable and decent power blower that MUST be under $1,100. Any opinions would help thanks. (Yes I know I can't get a commercial blower for that price)
 

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I've only ran my SB eight hours so I know just enough to be dangerous!

I bought a new Ariens Deluxe 24 based on my discussions with several pro landscaping/snow removal business owners, they use and recommend Ariens. I know many pros use other brands and I could have been just as happy with a different machine but I just happened to run into Ariens fans.

I've read that your local dealership is something to consider too. I'd ask around and go with a brand with quality local support. I don't like several things about my machine but there's no questioning the build quality. I don't think they could build a more solid machine for the money.

The 254cc AX is powerful enough for my 24 but it seems like some members think it's underpowered for the 28. The Deluxe 28 SHO has a bigger engine so it should be powerful enough but it's also $100 over budget.

Ariens 921048 Deluxe 28 SHO 28" 306cc Two-Stage Snow Blower
 

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Are all of these Customers going to be in the same neighborhood, or will the new snowblower need to be loaded and unloaded from the back of a pick-up for each location ?
 

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I know your budget is limited, but planning on having to snowblow 30 driveways, I'd go with a 30-32" blower with a powerful engine to accelerate the snow removal process. If you are handy with maintenance, you could search for a good used like a Honda HS1132 for $12-1500, or an Ariens ST1332 for less.
Or buy the Deluxe 24 for the initial accounts and once you have the 30 accounts get a larger snowblower and keep the 24 as a back up or for being used by a helper.
 

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I would buy two used blowers in the 28-32'' range and brand names of ariens ,honda,simplicity and toro. All blowers can break even new ones so having a back up blower is better than a shovel. also 12 driveway's is a lot for one blower and your customers don't want to wait. Trust me on that I have been plowing snow with a truck for thirty five yrs .Some storms it takes me to clean my 35 accounts 6hr's and some storms 40 plus hrs in my warm truck cleaning 30 driveway's and five parking lots
 

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Welcome and good luck on your new venture!

Good advice from the posts above.

I'd budget for a backup blower as soon as possible. Keeping 30 households clear with some of those essential (customers needing to get to work) will test just about any type of equipment...even shovels :smiley-char060:

Get a used or rebuild an older one. I'm partial to Honda, but that's all I've known for the past 25 years. Comes at a price though.

I'd probably start with Ariens too. Lots of talent and ideas from the members here.
 
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By the time I hit reply, hsblowersfan and 69ariens posted. Sounds like I didn't read their advice first...didn't mean to do that.

As my grandpappy used to say, There's some good advice in the hills around here.
 

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Hello everyone, I know this isn't under the commercial section but I thought I would get more replies here. I have about 12 houses at the moment and plan to have about 30 by the time the first storm hits. I still don't have a blower, haha, I live in the south eastern part of PA. I need helping picking a reliable and decent power blower that MUST be under $1,100. Any opinions would help thanks. (Yes I know I can't get a commercial blower for that price)
It has to be as capable as the primary since it may well be a major storm that takes the lead unit down. Being in eastern PA you are subject to wet mixed precipitation storms like we just had. You need power. Thinking you can grind through multiple driveways with a lesser machine will just lead to exhaustion dissatisfaction and more broken machines.

Are you sure you want to take this that far? I have never seen it work out. You won't have control over what is on the ground when you put your equipment in those yards and Mother Nature can be brutal. Getting around and getting through that many properties will be a brutal. Maybe my 15,000 square feet and age warp my perception.

The only time I have seen this work is when coupled with other property management services and then it's part of a bigger team of implements and someone flying a shovel to finish up. Even then it's often just to keep the crew on the payroll for the winter.
 

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This.

And your primary machine needs to be a good one.
and so does snowblower #2. cause you don't know how long sb #1 will be down
when I did snow I was lucky, I was up to 74 customers but most were in groups of up to eight in the same neighborhood, most of those were neighbors so I only had to walk up and down the block. I also had a friend that was doing snow, I could call him up and have him do some of my accounts on his side of town and I would do some of his accounts on my side of town, that saved gas and drive time
 
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Business license? Liability insurance? As to a brand spankin' new machine... If you start at the top, down is the only way you can travel. Buy a couple of good used Toros or Ariens and work with them. For light snows up to 8" or so a single stage will work rings around a two stage but yoj also need to factor in EOD problems whicn no ss will handle well.
Above all be a man of integrity. If you can't make it to a job you need to inform your customer.
I know this information isn't what you asked for but these are some considerations.
I wish you well!
 
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Yeah, starting with 30 customers, as a 1-man business, is insanity and pretty much guaranteed to fail. You can't do 30 driveways in 24 hours, let alone first thing in the morning when everyone needs it done..even 12 is too many. I would start with 5 customers max, and see how it goes..then expand only if you can handle it.

Scot
 

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Yeah, starting with 30 customers, as a 1-man business, is insanity and pretty much guaranteed to fail. You can't do 30 driveways in 24 hours, let alone first thing in the morning when everyone needs it done..even 12 is too many. I would start with 5 customers max, and see how it goes..then expand only if you can handle it.

Scot
My cartesian mind also kind of thought about that. Most guys with small trucks and plows work during the night so that everyone can at least get out in the morning, and then go around their clients again during the day when the cars are usually gone to clean up the job.

The "kid with a shovel" business model doesn't scale up very well unless the number of clients is really small.
 

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I'd have to agree 30 accounts for one guy is a lot. If your customers understand that they all can't have a clean driveway first thing in the morning, then it's feasible. But man those are going to be some long days.

The wear and tear on the machine is one thing, but how about the wear and tear on yourself?! Clearly you need a machine that 28" minimum but most likely 32" for time, efficiency, and sanity. That's a heavier bulkier machine, feel out the balance, ergonomics, and ease of use.

Think about how many 180 degree turns you'll be making. A permanent locked axle is a lot more work to turn then one with axle lock triggers or auto turn. Just saying... I can't imagine you going wrong with an Ariens, toro, or Honda. I'd say a wheeled machine over tracks. Good luck to you.

P.s. Your going to want a backup machine too.
 

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I would go 28" max 24" is very nice and I would go with Ariens 24 platinum 24 with the 369 cc or deluxe 28" with 306 cc. The Ariens models are very balanced with the updates. If you go wider it gets tough maneuvering them around.
 

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Interesting, there is a lot more that goes into running a business like this than most people might think. I agree with having 2 blowers, a main and a back up, but I think if you get a lot of smaller storms a nice thing to have would be one of the bigger singles. They work fast, and clear down to the pavement. They are light and have far less to go wrong than a 2 stage. Think the last of the Toro 2 strokes would be nice to have. Light, simple and powerful.
 
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