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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Have really appreciated all the info I've gained from reading the threads here!

Have been clearing a steep gravel driveway with a smaller machine but feel it's time to upgrade and had a couple concerns and was curious if anyone might be able to chime in.

On both accounts it related to the steepness of the drive - pretty steep. On my smaller 24" machine with 13" Snowhog tires, it struggled going up, but adding chains solved the issue. It's a light and small machine though, well under 200 lbs.

I've been looking at larger 28-30" machines from Ariens and Toro all with 16" and the better X-Trac type tires but these are almost 300lb machines. My first thought would be better tires and more weight would mean more traction but then again it's more weight to move up the hill.

Secondly with the extra weight thinking of downhill as well - in gear do these bigger say Ariens machines have any resistance against gravity when in gear?

Thanks for any info you guys would be able to share - mostly considering the Ariens but seems like the auto turn could either be a savior or a nemesis although from what I'm reading with the Ariens update and better skids it should hopefully work as expected...
 

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I have a new Toro 928 HD with the 16 inch tires and use it on a drive that has a grade to it. I was surprised how well these tires do on snow covered ice, not a problem.
Going down the grade it holds it's selected speed.

This is a second home so I'm not there to keep drive clear.
Used it once when the grade was icy to the point that if I took it out of gear me and the blower would slide down the grade, put it in gear and it stopped. No chains.

Your grade may be steeper.
 

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My fathers snowblower with the newer style directional snow tires is remarkably effective on his driveway. And I'm talking a ridiculously steep driveway. I snowblow up and down the slope, the weight of the machine only helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, seems like it might be possible to get away without chains. Hopefully the Arien's options I'm considering are like the Toro in that it won't get away from you in gear downhill. Like Toro's chute control and re-cycling feature although the Arien's have their own nice set of features. Even reading recent reviews on HD it appears autoturn still has some mixed reviews though...but sounds like the best idea...
 

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I'm still up in the air on the auto turn, They actually make a auto turn kit for the ariens I'm rebuilding but not so sure I want it due to the issues I've heard about. Going to see if I can fix the the wheel release mine has, If so I may just keep it as is but I still get curious how the auto turn will work on it.
 
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