Snowblower Forum banner
21 - 39 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
ya i have heard really good thing about the return policy at costco so it definitely wouldn't be bad to go new from somewhere like that. buying used can be a bit of a gamble but generally i am only looking when they are cheap cheap. the 28" machine i got for my aunts rescue was $20 and the muffler needed new bolt and it had a flat tire but it ran and worked. it even had electric start. picked up another machine a couple months ago for free that just needs a new drive cable and if i really wanted to i could red neck repair it for under $5 but i have dealt with enough machines to know what i am getting myself into.

my only advised whatever route you go is try to find a local supply of ethanol free gas. shell or canadian tires 91 octane gas is ethanol free. the ethanol free gas is better for the fuel system long term and you are less likely to have issues with the carb if you run it.
Thanks for the gas tip!!! I'd heard that long ago I think but forgot about it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and have a question that is as old as time: do I need tracks? Bare with me though since I do have some options and a pic included in case that helps.

First winter at our new house and we’re looking to get a snowblower (first snowblower). Interior of BC Canada so I'm assuming a reasonable amount of snow...apparently 11' is an average year.

We aren’t sure what type to get. We have a fairly long gravel/dirt driveway (about 350’ per a measurement on Google) that has a decent slope to it as well (see attached…that is the steepest part of the driveway). We aren’t sure if we require a snowblower with tracks or maybe some chains with suffice.

We do have an old ATV with a plow that the previous owner of the house left behind (providing I can repair the mounts for the plow lol) but they said that the ATV alone was not enough if the snow was very heavy or to throw the snow further off the driveway (since with a plow alone it will get narrower and narrower.)

We have a few options as well.

1) We can park at the top of the steepest pitch so the steeped part only NEEDS to be walkable. Technically we can even park at the top of the driveway but that would be annoying.

2) I can store the snowblower closer to the top of the driveway so it would mostly only need to do a downward slope when actually plowing (I don't know if that even makes a difference)

Specific model suggestions would be nice but step 1 is figuring out what I NEED. We don't want to spend so much to get a Honda but I've after doing some research I've heard some good things about Ariens. Or if you have a diamond in the rough company that no one else knows about ;)

I'm going to ask the suggestion of a "local" dealer (about 45 minutes away) but I don't have any existing relationship with them yet so not sure if they'll try to upsell me.

View attachment 180560
OK stupid questions time;
1. Do you have to drive through the gate to access a local roador is the road access at the top of the driveway?????
2. Is that trailer going to be there all winter????
3. is the grey shed where your going to store the snow mule or is it a well house????

a. If your saying that 11 feet of the white crap is what you get on average OYYYYY.

if "a" is the case candidly you really need a "used in good condition Kubota 1860 or Kubota 1870" with a rear mounted Pronovost regular Puma model 48 inch snow blower, loaded rear tires and V bar chains and "armor skids" for the snow blowers skids.

You need adhesion and traction at the same time with a dirt driveway like that and a 4 wheel drive kubota 1860 /1870 as stated above is the only way to manage it as a new riding lawn mower with a snow blower and chains will not handle it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
But tracks (crawlers) ARE better if you want to be able to lift the augers slightly on demand to keep them out of the gravel...
Since he is always on gravel in this situation, he should be setting his skids at the appropriate height and doing so would negate the need for the tilt feature.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oneacer

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Amazes me how people can build in such precarious places ....

Building in these places sure requires some fore thought in what life is going to be like, and the proper tools/equipment needed to live in those conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
OK stupid questions time;
1. Do you have to drive through the gate to access a local roador is the road access at the top of the driveway?????
2. Is that trailer going to be there all winter????
3. is the grey shed where your going to store the snow mule or is it a well house????

a. If your saying that 11 feet of the white crap is what you get on average OYYYYY.

if "a" is the case candidly you really need a "used in good condition Kubota 1860 or Kubota 1870" with a rear mounted Pronovost regular Puma model 48 inch snow blower, loaded rear tires and V bar chains and "armor skids" for the snow blowers skids.

You need adhesion and traction at the same time with a dirt driveway like that and a 4 wheel drive kubota 1860 /1870 as stated above is the only way to manage it as a new riding lawn mower with a snow blower and chains will not handle it.
LOL good questions
1) Road access is at the top of the driveway. That gate is just to keep the dog from visiting the neighbours all the time.

2) The trailer can and will likely be moved. Probably to where the black SUV is parked in the pic. Pretty flexible on that if you have a great idea.

3) May get stored in the grey shed. Can also be stored under the "house" looking structure on the left. Or at the bottom by the actual house (not in pic).

The average snow...I can't say from experience because I just moved here. I'd love to get a Kubota like you mentioned, or actual tractor, but just not in the budget this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Amazes me how people can build in such precarious places ....

Building in these places sure requires some fore thought in what life is going to be like, and the proper tools/equipment needed to live in those conditions.
When the original owners built the place they apparently got a lot more snow and didn't even have electricity! Think they were pretty rugged and capable people. Many of the places around here are only cottages and have even steeper driveways. I was told by my neighbour that my place is the only one on this side of the road that people could drive down to the house in the winter. The rest they park at the road and walk down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
Hello lostincanada,

It really sounds like your going to need a BCS 853 2 wheel tractor with
a Resciano single stage snow blower to handle everything and have
zero issues with the gravel driveway as long as the snow blower
skids are fully lowered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
[
Good to hear that a 28" might work. 28 was the smallest I was thinking.

I think I knew that track would be better but I was trying to save some money and seeing if I could get away with tires and chains (particularly if I stored the snowblower higher up on the driveway and only plowed going downhill...but I might regret trying to same money a year or two from now.)

Just moved to this new place. I'm about 35 minutes west of Kamloops.



I'll check out that older post and see if I can gather any tips!
QUOTE="lostincanada, post: 1785125, member: 143883"]
Oh! Here's to hoping I find someone looking to unload their larger machine!

Maybe an unpopular opinion here but, similar to what you said about getting a backup wheeled machine, I've thought about getting one of Costco's largest machines (28" currently) because if there are reliability issues then they have a great return policy. I wouldn't abuse it for stupid maintenance issues but it reduces the worries of getting a used lemon. I guess the issue is that I wouldn't know what to look out for buying second hand.
[/QUOTE]
It may be worthwhile to consider getting one of Costco's 28" machines and putting chains on it. Best case, you clear snow up and downhill (even if you can only do a partial cut going up through heavier snow). Worst case, you only clear snow going downhill and either keep it as a backup or sell it (and the chains) in nearly new condition. Either way, it will know if you NEED a tracked machine or not.

If you do chose the Costco option, make sure to check that all bolts have been properly tightened; as sometimes factory installed bolts have only been put in finger tight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
The first time the junk dies your going to be dragging the extension cord down the driveway to start it and until you
get rid of the junk it will continue to do this when it begins to clear a heavy snow pack.

I lived it with my fathers not listening to me to buy a good machine while I was growing up and getting
screamed at because the snow was not cleared and screaming back at him because the machine did not work.

You need power to create torque and traction/weight to create adhesion.

The very first time you have a snow fall your going to see what your white crap/snow is going to look like and you will see how dense it is when the crap starts piling up in front of your snow blower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The first time the junk dies your going to be dragging the extension cord down the driveway to start it and until you
get rid of the junk it will continue to do this when it begins to clear a heavy snow pack.

I lived it with my fathers not listening to me to buy a good machine while I was growing up and getting
screamed at because the snow was not cleared and screaming back at him because the machine did not work.

You need power to create torque and traction/weight to create adhesion.

The very first time you have a snow fall your going to see what your white crap/snow is going to look like and you will see how dense it is when the crap starts piling up in front of your snow blower.
LOL I think I sort of get what you mean. But I don't get the extension cord part. Is that because the pull-start doesn't work on a lot of machines even after it's been running?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
LOL I think I sort of get what you mean. But I don't get the extension cord part.
Is that because the pull-start doesn't work on a lot of machines even after it's been running?
That and the fact that in 1969-70 I was an exhausted 14 year old idiot trying to keep the damn POS running and walking back and forth with a 100 foot extension cord because the new POS would not start manually after simply advancing into a snow pile on the driveway.

Our collective motto around here is "BUY ONCE CRY ONCE" With your property in Gods country being what it is a new BCS 853 with the Resciano 32 inch Single Stage Snow thrower OR the BERTA 32 inch 2 stage will work wonders for you because 11 feet of annual snowfall is nothing to mess with unless you have a big enough snow mule to get rid of it.

The BCS 853 2 wheel tractor is an all gear drive 2 wheel tractor with the honda GX390 13 horsepower gas engine with electric start.
You can install rubber or metal tracks on this mule if you want or leave the tires on with V bar chains making sure you have the tires loaded with windshield washer fluid for more ballast to go along with the V bar chains.
The drive system for the Resciano single stage snow throwers and the BERTA 2 stage snow blowers are all gear drive-meaning no belts.
We are like racoons around here as we love to see and play with shiny things and also spend other folks money while dreaming of big snow removal tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
Our collective motto around here is "BUY ONCE CRY ONCE" With your property in Gods country
that might be your moto because i feel like people sometimes get stung a lot even with the newer machines especially when they need parts. i know someone with a ariens machine that had a cable fail and the cable was $130 or so at the time. i replaced it with a coat hanger to make it usable. the price came down eventually but it was still $70 which is a bit high for a cable that should probably only be $30 or less and not $130 since it could be replaced with a coat hanger. heck the fact that it failed with so little use was also very disappointing but it was out of warranty by that point. if you had to pay a shop i am guessing it would be a $2-300 repair which might almost be enough to cry over especially on a $1500-2000 machine. that is where the costco one may be worth trying. i have heard Costco has done returns on machines even when the equipment has failed due to operator error.

i run cheap junk machines but i usually take pretty good care of them and they have usually been pretty reliable but there is always the possibility that you may have to do some wrenching if you buy used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
I am only trying to help the man, not spend his money but with my looking at his situation he needs power and adhesion.

The BCS and Grillo 2 wheel tractors have been made for over 5 decades now and the BERTA and Resciano Giuliano snow blowers were designed to be used in the Alps.

Power, torque and adhesion especially on sloped driveways are money in the bank for anyone that needs to clear heavy moisture laden snow that has been sitting overnight.

If he is going to have to live with 132 inches of snow a year, I candidly think what I stated above applies and a 13 horsepower gear driven machine with electric start is what will do it as long as he uses V bar chains on the tires or rubber or or metal tracks.

A gear driven snow blower reduces the number of parts needed. The final drive for the Resciano Giuliano single stage snow throwers is a heavy enclosed roller chain drive. The Berta 2 stage snow blowers use heat treated gears bathed in oil and shear pins for the impeller and cross augers.

The Berta snow blowers have two different types of skids one is actually an adjustable roller for pavement and the other is a skid plate that has height adjustments in the leg.

The only other machine I would recommend for his situation is the Yamaha 1028EJ as it has a gas shock for height adjustment and plenty of weight for adhesion and it has electric start so the spouse can also use it easily.

I hope the neighbors dog is willing to help shovel or drag a sled using milk bone bribes if needed.



My thoughts on a foggy cool day on my mountain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
Am I the only one thinking he needs a truck with a plow ?
a plow truck may not work depending on how steep the hill is or there is a possibility the truck may only be able to plow going down the hill and even then plows are limited depending on whether you got somewhere to pile the snow. at least with a snowblower it will throw the snow 25+ft so they usually move the snow completely out of your way where you will never have to deal or worry about it again. i know at my aunts rescue we were plowing snow about 50ft or more past the edge of the parking lot to make sure we had space to pile snow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
a plow truck may not work depending on how steep the hill is or there is a possibility the truck may only be able to plow going down the hill and even then plows are limited depending on whether you got somewhere to pile the snow. at least with a snowblower it will throw the snow 25+ft so they usually move the snow completely out of your way where you will never have to deal or worry about it again. i know at my aunts rescue we were plowing snow about 50ft or more past the edge of the parking lot to make sure we had space to pile snow.
This was my concern with only a plow. Before this we lived in a complex of semi-detached units. It was a flat road through the units and the plow struggled towards the and of the winter (and it was a full-size truck.) I think I'll need to be able to throw the snow out of the way (and maybe manipulate it a bit to make a ski course down the drive lol)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Hey, that's an idea .... Just park on the bottom, and use a type of chain motion ski lift ... 😁😁😊😊
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
Top