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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
so I think I am between these two, I have a three car garage with an approx 7 car driveway that is I think is about 61 feet long as it goes from 3 width into 1 width to get out.

I want to store the blower in my garage between two bays, so if I measured correctly I can at most get something that is 30" wide, I have more room in the garage but trying to get it out the door with a car in there would be a challenge if its any bigger.

And then there is the cost factor, as the 24" Platinum is about $800 less than the 28" Professional.

Wondering if anyone has any direct experience with either of these and would recommend one over the other?

Also wondering how much time would be saved with the 28" over the 24"? the guy at the store said either would work for me, just a matter of time to get the job done.

Also wondering if either of the two would be better for my wife to occasionally use should I not be around?

thanks
 

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Your driveway isnt unreasonably large, not enough to worry about scoop size, IMO.
IMO, a 24" would be totally fine..my driveway is about that size, maybe a little bigger, and I have no issues with a 24".

Since garage space is the most important consideration, I would go with the 24".

cheaper.
better for the garage issue.
easier/lighter for the wife.

the only benefit of the 28" is *slightly* faster clear times..but IMO, the time difference will be small, and not enough of a benefit to outweigh the drawbacks:

more expensive
worse for the garage issue
heavier/more difficult for the wife. (although that one probably isnt a meaningful difference)

so, weighing the pros and cons, I would say 24" is the clear winner.

Scot
 

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Regarding the difference in size, good opinions have already addressed this issue and it's ultimately your decision. If you want to watch a detailed walkaround of the Platinum 24 SHO you can watch my YouTube vid below my signature. If your wife is under 5'9" tall she will have a much easier time using the Platinum 24 as it features a 21" bucket height and a low profile engine design. While the Pro 28 is clearly the more substantial of the two it is a large machine with a 23.5 high bucket height (harder to see over if you're not taller). Good luck!
 

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I also deal with a 2 car garage and I have a 24" Ariens. I can do a 28" machine with moving a car up just 2"-4" (if possible) does wonders for easier in and out access. With the photo of which you show of your beautiful home, $800 more for a pro over say 10-20 years down the road would not even be an issue for me. Especially if you get good size storms. Granted, a lot more fuel will be used, but having all that power and strength would make me feel more assured if and when I would need it. I think my Ariens bucket is only about 20 1/2" tall at the front and I am only around 5'6"? I have used my next door neighbors newer Ariens which has the 23 1/2" bucket and there is really no big deal. I actually liked the taller front. It made me feel a little bit more... non stopable when clearing. A bit silly but true. Because when I went back to my machine, it sort felt more like a toy. It all depends on what you can handle. Go to the dealer and maneuver the machines you are considering around and try to get a feel for them.
 

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28” was my limit too. It sits pretty between cars in my garage when staged for snow and fits nicely in my shed with my current arrangement. (10 pounds of sh*t in a 5 pound bag.)

I’m certain that the platinum 24 will do wonderfully and your wife can operate it with little trouble.

For your application, The pro 28 is a product of excess. Excess power and clearing capacity. I love to dip into that category, it’s my jam. But is the extra 800 bucks worth it to you? You can take that money and buy a single stage for quick cleanups in light snowfall.

Personally, I have my Honda HSS 28” and a single stage machine that my wife likes to use. She usually shadows me while using the Honda and gets the driveway clean down to the pavement. Teamwork.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I also deal with a 2 car garage and I have a 24" Ariens. I can do a 28" machine with moving a car up just 2"-4" (if possible) does wonders for easier in and out access. With the photo of which you show of your beautiful home, $800 more for a pro over say 10-20 years down the road would not even be an issue for me. Especially if you get good size storms. Granted, a lot more fuel will be used, but having all that power and strength would make me feel more assured if and when I would need it. I think my Ariens bucket is only about 20 1/2" tall at the front and I am only around 5'6"? I have used my next door neighbors newer Ariens which has the 23 1/2" bucket and there is really no big deal. I actually liked the taller front. It made me feel a little bit more... non stopable when clearing. A bit silly but true. Because when I went back to my machine, it sort felt more like a toy. It all depends on what you can handle. Go to the dealer and maneuver the machines you are considering around and try to get a feel for them.
Hey thanks, yeah I am torn, I have never owned a snowblower before so this will be my first and while I could spend the 2k there is a part of me that doesn't really want to until I am sure I am comfortable with it, but I also don't like buying things that aren't made well. The Pro was nice, but even for me it seemed rather large, I almost think the Platinum 30 seemed more manageable but I know that wouldn't fit that well, and unfortunately I don't have a shed as my house is all on conservation land so it will have to live in the garage all the time.

Regarding the difference in size, good opinions have already addressed this issue and it's ultimately your decision. If you want to watch a detailed walkaround of the Platinum 24 SHO you can watch my YouTube vid below my signature. If your wife is under 5'9" tall she will have a much easier time using the Platinum 24 as it features a 21" bucket height and a low profile engine design. While the Pro 28 is clearly the more substantial of the two it is a large machine with a 23.5 high bucket height (harder to see over if you're not taller). Good luck!
Thanks, I will check out that video

Your driveway isnt unreasonably large, not enough to worry about scoop size, IMO.
IMO, a 24" would be totally fine..my driveway is about that size, maybe a little bigger, and I have no issues with a 24".

Since garage space is the most important consideration, I would go with the 24".

cheaper.
better for the garage issue.
easier/lighter for the wife.

the only benefit of the 28" is *slightly* faster clear times..but IMO, the time difference will be small, and not enough of a benefit to outweigh the drawbacks:

more expensive
worse for the garage issue
heavier/more difficult for the wife. (although that one probably isnt a meaningful difference)

so, weighing the pros and cons, I would say 24" is the clear winner.

Scot
Thanks, I spoke with the local dealer and he said that the 28" would just mean less time clearing out, I have one other local dealer that I am going to check with on availability and then hopefully make a decision

28” was my limit too. It sits pretty between cars in my garage when staged for snow and fits nicely in my shed with my current arrangement. (10 pounds of sh*t in a 5 pound bag.)

I’m certain that the platinum 24 will do wonderfully and your wife can operate it with little trouble.

For your application, The pro 28 is a product of excess. Excess power and clearing capacity. I love to dip into that category, it’s my jam. But is the extra 800 bucks worth it to you? You can take that money and buy a single stage for quick cleanups in light snowfall.

Personally, I have my Honda HSS 28” and a single stage machine that my wife likes to use. She usually shadows me while using the Honda and gets the driveway clean down to the pavement. Teamwork.
Nice, my wife did ask though I think the chances of her actually using it are pretty slim....for me its just a matter of cost, I think if I had owned a bunch before then spending the 2k+ would be no problem (though I might start to think of a Honda at that price)
 

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@bozack please consider this:

Looking at, evaluating, test driving and becoming comfortable with a snowblower on a sunny, warm fall day at a dealers shop is an almost insignificant part of owning and using a snowblower. Perhaps even misleading. The biggest threat is price, not weather.

Using and depending on one during a storm or blizzard - just you alone, with the machine in an extraordinarily harsh environment - is a whole different experience. In these conditions, the Pro won't seem quite so huge as it does in the showroom. And the 420cc Briggs is magnificent.

After owning two lesser, often inadequate machines, I bought an Ariens Pro 28. Having used it three winters to deal many Noreasters and three NWS defined blizzards, I can assure you it is not a "product of excess." My application and yours are very similar. Our locations, and annual expected snowfall are doubtless different.

Was the Pro 28 worth the extra 800 bucks? Absolutely!

Would I buy another today, given the 2018 Ariens lineup? Yep, without question!

Please choose wisely.

Best Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@bozack please consider this:

Looking at, evaluating, test driving and becoming comfortable with a snowblower on a sunny, warm fall day at a dealers shop is an almost insignificant part of owning and using a snowblower. Perhaps even misleading. The biggest threat is price, not weather.

Using and depending on one during a storm or blizzard - just you alone, with the machine in an extraordinarily harsh environment - is a whole different experience. In these conditions, the Pro won't seem quite so huge as it does in the showroom. And the 420cc Briggs is magnificent.

After owning two lesser, often inadequate machines, I bought an Ariens Pro 28. Having used it three winters to deal many Noreasters and three NWS defined blizzards, I can assure you it is not a "product of excess." My application and yours are very similar. Our locations, and annual expected snowfall are doubtless different.

Was the Pro 28 worth the extra 800 bucks? Absolutely!

Would I buy another today, given the 2018 Ariens lineup? Yep, without question!

Please choose wisely.

Best Regards,
hi Jim, I guess my main question is how much of a disadvantage will I be at with the platinum 24 vs the Pro 28, if its just a time issue (less time to clear) then I am ok with that as it offsets my price and storage concerns, however if its that the machine can't handle a NE winter then that is a different story.

I visited two ariens dealers, one told me that my driveway was too large for a 24" machine and was steering me towards either a Honda for nearly 3K or a $1200 Ariens 28" deluxe sho...they said there is no point in paying $2200 for an Ariens 28" Pro when a Honda is a superior machine for only a little more, the other dealer said I'd be fine with the 24", it would just take a little longer than the 28" pro, and he advised me to steer clear of the 28" deluxe as in his words bucket size wasn't as important as the available power, clearly some conflicting info there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's amazing what a dealer will say and try to push...
Well to be fair with the second dealer I had to ask to get their guy and he didn't push really hard, was just like meh whatever you want....the first guy was really pro Honda and said I'd get one Honda for every 3 ariens I needed.
 

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@bozack, I assume from post #8 that your located somewhere here in New England.

BTW your home is really beautiful! It looks new. If so, congratulations!

The "$3k" Honda is so expensive because: 1) It's a Honda, and; 2) It's hydrostatic drive.

A comparable Ariens Pro would be this 28" @ $2799:

https://www.ariens.com/en-us/snow-products/snow-blowers/professional/hydro-pro-28-efi

Or this 36" @ $3499:

https://www.ariens.com/en-us/snow-products/snow-blowers/professional/hydro-pro-36-efi

The Ariens Pro you've been referring to is this 28" @$2199:

https://www.ariens.com/en-us/snow-products/snow-blowers/professional/professional-28

It has a conventional friction-disc drive. Hydro drives have been used many years in lawn tractors, but are relatively new in snow blowers. I've never operated a hydro drive blower, but if I had to buy a new machine tomorrow, I'd seriously consider a Hydro Pro 28. Also note the Hydro Pros are fuel injected. The "base" Pro has a carburetor. All Ariens Pros are equipped with the B&S 420cc, 21 ft/lb engine. It's the most powerful snowblower engine available in the US. It's the engine to have when carving thru the snow plow pile out at the end of your driveway.

You've not mentioned which model Honda the dealer is steering you toward. I'll assume it's this one:

https://powerequipment.honda.com/snowblowers/models/hss928aw-hss928awd

The "awd" @ $2789 carries a battery for electric start. The "aw" model @ $2579 does not. Note that both of these have 270cc engines. Apparently, Honda doesn't specify torque. No doubt they're capable machines.

Obviously snow falls in a wide variety consistencies and depths. If it's "wet" and/or deep, it takes more power to move. The more power your machine has, the easier it'll be on you.

IMO, the 369cc, 17 ft/lb Ariens Platinum 24 (either carb or injected) is a better choice than any Honda. It can handle a New England winter. I wouldn't seriously consider an Ariens Deluxe SHO 306cc. If cost is your overriding concern, get the Platinum. If performance is more important than cost - and we're only talkin' $700ish here - get the Pro. Their physical dimensions are very similar. Use the Ariens comparison tool to evaluate the two.

Of all the machines you're considering, IMO the best value is the "base" Ariens Pro 28. I've used mine three winters. I paid sticker price for it ($1999 in the fall of '13). It was worth every penny, and proves it every time we do battle with Mother Nature.
 

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Apparently, Honda doesn't specify torque. No doubt they're capable machines.
Sure they do...

GX200 (196cc) on the 7/24 puts out 9.1 lb-ft @ 2500rpm and 5.5 HP @ 3600rpm

GX270 (270cc) on the 9/28 puts out 14.1 lb-ft @ 2500rpm and 8.5 HP @ 3600rpm

GX390 (389cc) on the 13/32 puts out 19.5 lb-ft @ 2500rpm and 11.7 HP @ 3600rpm
 
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