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Discussion Starter #1
Having a tough time deciding between the:

  • Ariens 30 Deluxe
  • Ariens 30 Platinum
  • Toro 1028OXE
I don't have a huge driveway but I am on the outside of a curve and get HAMMERED by the plow. It's not uncommon to get a 30+" berm at the end of my driveway. And being from southern WI it's rarely the light fluffy stuff. The catch here is that I am a pilot so sometimes I am on the road when we get pounded (Murphy's Law). This means that my wife (5' 105") wife needs to be able to maneuver the beast. She doesn't need to do a ton of turning. She will mostly be going down the drive and reversing back. Throwing distance is also important to me.

Here are my likes and dislikes:


  • Ariens 30 Deluxe - I like: crank chute and price.
  • Ariens 30 Platinum - I like: 342cc engine - Torn on the ATC and chute control
  • Toro 1028OXE - I like: Chute/deflector stick, how light and maneuverable it is, the power triggers, 305 cc in a 28" unit. I dislike: Some of the components feel flimsy. Especially the triggers and Powerstick.
I am leaning towards the Platinum but no one, even at the dealers, can really explain the ATC to me. When the drive isn't engaged and you pop open the diff do both wheels rotate freely? If not is it the inner or outer wheel? If the drive IS engaged will the ATC help or fight you if you are trying to do a 180 turn? I have read conflicting reports on this.


What do you guys think??
 

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Tough one to call, but for the sake of marital concerns, might consider taking the spouse along to look at them if she's going to be using it when you're not there.
 

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I am looking at the same situation. I have narrowed to the two Ariens models. Have read way too many reviews. Pretty much all are raves. Family thinks I am odd?
Have not heard any complaints on either system, but very few comments on how they actually work. Don't think you can go wrong with either. I think I am going to go with the Deluxe 28 and save $600 for another toy, instead of my usual over purchase.
 

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Get the best one you can afford on the Ariens side. I have used Toro and Ariens and Ariens hands down has been the winner. I would rather over buy now and not have to buy a second machine later. Example, I just bought an Ariens Pro 26 last year over the Platinum 24. I used Ariens' 0% financing so it was affordable over 12 months. best decision ever after CT's monstrous winter last year.
 

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The ATC is a Bi-Directional overrunning clutch (see pics below) manufactured by The Hilliard Corporation, here's link to a description and what a bi-directional clutch looks like - Bi-directional clutch - The Hilliard Corporation

The ATC makes turning very, very easy, my father-in-law was really impressed on how easy it was to turn such a heavy machine. It is quite impressive and is best if you experience it yourself (trying it out at a dealer), but I'll try to explain based on how I've experienced it when turning - as you turn the unit the outside wheel will "release" since it's turning faster (overrunning) than the inside wheel as you straighten out the turn the clutch will re-engage and continue to provide drive, the whole process is pretty seamless.

I have the Platinum 30 and it is a pretty heavy unit, you may want to have the wife try them out before making the investment. I think by far Ariens has one of the farthest throwing distances out there. If the wife is the primary user, the Toro may be the way to go with the power triggers, I agree with you that some of the components seem flimsy, which was one of the reasons I stayed away from those types of systems. You might also want to consider the Platinum 24 it's a little lighter and may be easier for the wife to maneuver. Ariens seems to match their engine sizes appropriately so I don't think you'll have any issues handling 30" of snow at the EOD.

Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting. You would think that the slower wheel (inside) would release allowing the machine to power it's way around the turn. I guess the main thing for me is not so much powering around but more an open diff so the machine can be turned around easily unpowered. If they had the 305cc on the 24 platinum I would go that route without a doubt. Heck I would do the 28 if it had the 305. I like the 342 in the 30 platinum. I am pretty much leaning towards the 30 Platinum.

Decisions decisions.
 
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