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They are both good machines and as long as you take care of them they will do you well.
I my self would get the Ariens though.
 

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While I can't comment on the two machines you are considering, I might be able to confuse the issue even more. :)

Consider getting a machine with what is called "Freewheel steering" by Toro and "Remote locking axle" by Ariens.
These systems allow you to disengage the power to one of the driven wheels to aid in turning the machine.
I have never personally used it, but I have a good friend that swears by it.
My old 2 stage does not have it and it can be a chore to muscle around. I didn't know there was a better way until he pointed it out to me.
I also didn't look to see if either or both the machines you are considering have this feature. That's something you should have the pleasure of checking out.:p

FWIW, You do seem to be looking at two of the brands that seem to be most recommended. Good choices.
One other thing to consider is the dealer service after the sale.
Might not be needed, but it could be important to you.
 

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I just bought a 726 to be delivered this Saturday, I have been poking around and found that a pin can be removed by the hub to make one wheel free wheel, I won't know until I fool with it this weekend how much of an issue the pin thing is. Will post on it after I get it!

Phil
 

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I just bought a 726 to be delivered this Saturday, I have been poking around and found that a pin can be removed by the hub to make one wheel free wheel, I won't know until I fool with it this weekend how much of an issue the pin thing is. Will post on it after I get it!

Phil
That's a pretty common thing and my old MTD/Dayton has it.
I tried it some and while having only one wheel driving does make it easier to turn, I much preferred to have the added traction of having both wheels driving. Depending on your size and physical condition, just muscling it around to turn it isn't all that much of a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just bought a 726 to be delivered this Saturday, I have been poking around and found that a pin can be removed by the hub to make one wheel free wheel, I won't know until I fool with it this weekend how much of an issue the pin thing is. Will post on it after I get it!

Phil
hi Phil please let me know how it goes. Can you tell me where did you purchase from? I was thinking about buying from HD when they have available around September. I heard if you unlock one of the wheels the steering would not feel like its going straight. You would have to use a little force to keep the maching going straight. Not sure if that's true or not.
 

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I heard if you unlock one of the wheels the steering would not feel like its going straight. You would have to use a little force to keep the machine going straight. Not sure if that's true or not.
It's true with my old MTD/Dayton.
It wasn't nearly as aggravating as the lack of traction was, though.
 

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I think the "power-steering" available on, for example, some MTD made machines is simply the best when it comes to turning. I too love/need the traction provided by driving both wheels/tracks, but in order to turn easily one side must free wheel. This feature on the larger Troy-Bilt machines is call "Touch-n-turn". Simply pull a small lever under the hand grip to free wheel that side while powering forward. I have had this system on my machine for 12 years now and it works great. In my opinion, far better than reaching down to unlock a wheel. The machine will really just power itself in the direction you choose.

Just sharing an opinion about a cool feature to think about if you are still looking.
 

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hi Phil please let me know how it goes. Can you tell me where did you purchase from? I was thinking about buying from HD when they have available around September. I heard if you unlock one of the wheels the steering would not feel like its going straight. You would have to use a little force to keep the maching going straight. Not sure if that's true or not.
Well it was delivered Saturday afternoon, they gave me a good run down on operation and care. I tipped the guy and decided to do a little fooling around, it is going to take some getting use to as it is a bit overwhelming.

Honest I may have over bought!

Now for my rant!

Anyway the wheel pin thing, if you pull one of the pins you have to push the wheel inward then reinsert the pin. On dry ground it is a nice feature but on the slick stuff "hang on" especially when you hit a dry spot. With the wheels engaged I decided to open up a narrow pathway, was a bit put off with the mess left behind. I ended up firing up my old auger drive machine to clean up! It looks like two machines will be my future, the old TB auger drive does a great job leaves nearly nothing behind but does not chuck the snow well enough for the recent onslaught. The TB will still be my main machine for light snow and clean up. Has me thinking I will enjoy the forward and reverse but would sorely miss the maneuverability of the auger drive, I can see now I will never sell the TB it is far more user friendly. I will report back after we get another good snow, who knows maybe a slightly used 726 will be for sale! As an add on the TB I have is a 21" "dual not single stage" auger drive about 15 years old, I don't think they are still being built. Frankly if it chucked snow farther it would be one **** of a machine to beat, light and very easy to muscle around. I live out on Eastern Long Island they is no BS in the fact we have been hammered 16"-18" a few time this year the TB did its job. The only real reason for the upgrade is I have two people on my block that I do their drives, one has a bad heart and one is a lady as old as I am. The auger drive is a pain going any distance on the lumpy road, one house is about 600ft one way the other is about 300 the other, by the time I do me and them I need a day to recoup!

Hope my rant did not bore to many and yes time will tell how well I like the big machine, I think a little more thought should have gone into the process!

Phil
 
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