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Discussion Starter #1
Just signed up here. I have been browsing the last few weeks trying to learn as much about snow blower as I can. Very good information here.
I am looking to purchase a new snow blower in the next couple of weeks. I live In St. Louis, Mo and a typical winter we will have 4 or 5 snowfalls ranging from 2 – 6 inches. Every couple of years we might get a snowfall up to 8 inches. On average we get about 20 – 24 inches of snow for the year.

My driveway is concrete, level and is 110 feet long and 30 feet wide.

I have been looking at the following Ariens units:
Compact 24”
Deluxe 24”
Platinum 24”
Deluxe 28” +

The Compact 24” is about 50 pounds lighter than the other 3 blowers and think it would be easier to maneuver around but I like the features of the other blowers. I have noticed that the Deluxe 24, 28 and Platinum look more durable and for the little difference in price, should I pursue one of those?

My 12 year old son helps me now with the driveway. We have been out the last couple of weeks looking at these snow blowers and he has tried the larger 28 plus and had a little trouble simulating a turn due to the weight of the machine. The machine was not running and he tried to push down on the handles and barely was able to lift the auger end up to simulate turning around, so that is a concern in purchasing a machine he is unable to operate. My budget is up to $1,500. Recommendations are appreciated.


Thanks in advance

Mike
 

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I Haman old machine guy but there are some guys here that have the new ones and they will chime in.

However for what you are describing the 28" might be overkill. And I don't know about everyone else but when I turn a snow blowers around I don't lift the front up I just let it slide around.
 

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Welcome Saleen Guy!
I'm about to purchase a new Platinum 24 with the new auto turn feature. Look that up on YouTube or google. My needs call for lots of tight turns and the auto turn is supposed to make it an effortless, zero turn machine.
To each his own, but I think this one will suit my needs.
Larry
 

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Turning a snowblower on dry pavement is quite a bit different that turning one in "real use" in the snow..even in an area you have already cleared with the snowblower, there will always be that thin layer of snow remaining, which reduces friction *a lot*..So turning a snowblower in the snow is always a lot easier than turning one on dry pavement..

but having said that, I also agree that the 28" machine is probably overkill for your needs..you get really light snowfall amounts, a 24" machine will serve you just fine..you should always buy "as much" snowblower as you need, but not less..
but there is no real benefit to buying "more" snowblower than you need..
For your snowfall amounts, I would cross the 28-incher off the list.

Scot
 

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Yes, Sscotsman is right. I like my 22 inch blower and I would not get one larger than a 26 inch since it will be much heavier and less maneuverable and take up more space in your garage.
 

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I have relatives that live in Waterloo and a single stage does well for them. I would look at the larger Toro single stages. Your average snowfall depth isn't that deep and it is wetter snow which singles generally do a better job of clearing. Also your drive isn't really large so you will be able to move quicker with a single than a two stage.
 

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And to add to what Flannelman said, single stage machines are faster. My humble opinion but I do speak from experience.
 

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I vote for the single stage too. The only down fall to them is getting threw the windrow from the town plows on big storms at the end of your driveway. But as long as you keep up with storm I think it's your best bet. They are not only cost less up front but are all so cost less to maintain as they have less parts. You son would have no trouble handling it as well, they are light and self propelled by the the paddled auger.
 

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I have a new Deluxe 28 that I just purchased last month. I haven't used it on snow yet, but the auto-turn is effortless even in the "dry". I can't wait to check it out with snow.
Bruce

(Sorry guys, this should have been in the Auto-Turn post)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of the responces. I have thought about a single stage, but a few neighbors have 2 stage blowers and thought about getting a 2 stage unit. I will look at a few single stages and see what I think.

Regards,
Mike
 

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I have the Ariens Platinum 30, and both my neighbor and father-in-law have the Deluxe 28. Great machines. however, another neighbor has the Compact 24. He throws that around effortlessly and clears his driveway just about as quickly as we do, and with less effort. Just for your information, I'm from Newfoundland, Canada and a quick Google search shows an average annual snowfall of 126.9 inches. The Compact 24 seems to do absolutely fine!!
 

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I have the Ariens Platinum 30, and both my neighbor and father-in-law have the Deluxe 28. Great machines. however, another neighbor has the Compact 24. He throws that around effortlessly and clears his driveway just about as quickly as we do, and with less effort. Just for your information, I'm from Newfoundland, Canada and a quick Google search shows an average annual snowfall of 126.9 inches. The Compact 24 seems to do absolutely fine!!
A smaller 2 stage (22-24 inches wide) will work well too and be able to handle greater than 8 inches of snow with ease. Single stage are great for cleaning up 1 inch to 8 inch snow falls but they pretty much choke on heavier than 10 inches of snow. I have a 22 inch 2 stage with an over powered 7hp Predator 212cc plus an impeller kit and in 4th I can keep up with the fastest of single stage blowers for the light stuff plus I can get through the tough compacted windrow at the end of the driveway that is pushed up by the snow plow much better than would a single stage.
 

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Hey Gusto, just in case you're interpreting me wrong (or I'm interpreting you wrong!!) in my post I am indeed recommending the 24" compact. Reading it over, yeah it probably isn't that clear!!
 

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Hey Gusto, just in case you're interpreting me wrong (or I'm interpreting you wrong!!) in my post I am indeed recommending the 24" compact. Reading it over, yeah it probably isn't that clear!!
Yes. Both are smaller 2 stages. I do not have a single stage and I never had one. I put an impeller kit in mine and In 4th I can blow my drive way just as fast as any single stage can. Here is my machine in action

 

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Just in thinking about it....you said 110' driveway...that is not that small...I would lean towards a 2 stage...like that Ariens 24 with auto turn mentioned previous.

Detdrbuzzard would be a good one to ask...I believe he has both types and could assist you on your thinking. Everyone so far has had good ideas so there is lots to think about. Best of luck...let us know which way you are leaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After reading through everyone's suggestions, I started leaning towards a single stage unit. My concern is if the plows come through prior to me removing the snow from in front of my driveway, will a single stage be able to go through the windrow at the end of the drive way. Some of the single stages augers are rubber and I wonder how they would do in the windrow?

I talked to a Ariens dealer and he mentioned that if I only have about 2 inches of snow to remove, that a 2 stage could have trouble throwing the snow since the augers are made to go through deeper snow than 2 inch snow falls. The way he described it, snow will need to pile up inside the unit until it is fuller, then throw the snow. Does this make sense?

Thanks again for all of the help.

Mike
 

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What we do when we have a light snowfall (like 2 inches as you mentioned), we just go faster! The augers don't spin any faster but the faster travel speed allows the chute to fill up. If I were you with a 110 ft. driveway, I would not be thinking about a single stage.
 

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What we do when we have a light snowfall (like 2 inches as you mentioned), we just go faster! The augers don't spin any faster but the faster travel speed allows the chute to fill up. If I were you with a 110 ft. driveway, I would not be thinking about a single stage.
I put my snow blower into 4th or even 5th gear with all the annoying little snow falls (1-4 inches) we had and it is like a real fast walk especially with the Predator 212cc. I even wore out my skids this past season where I usually get 2 to 3 seasons out of them. 2 stage Snow Blowers with impeller kits are much better throwers than non impeller kit 2 stages because the rubber extensions on the impeller gets rid of the typical 1/2 inch of space between the edge of the impeller and the impeller housing. Tightening up the tolerances really improves snow throwing ability.
 
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