Snowblower Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

First time property owner in SE Michigan (40in snow/yr) and will need to clear ~2,500 square feet of flat/no incline concrete driveway this winter (and hopefully for decades to come). The actually dimensions, in feet, are 200*10 with a 20*25 extended area in front of the garage.

I’m aware of different brands and commercial vs. “Lowe’s” models, as well as potentially important specs to compare across brands like cc, lb/minute, clearing width. Am looking for something that, as much as possible, “just works”, and as such, am overwhelmed by not knowing what I’m most likely to be annoyed about if I buy the “wrong model”. Happy to pay for truly nice to have features while not being suckered in by gimmicks (3 stage, “no shear pins”, etc.) or buying more than I need for a “basic” workhorse of a machine. I do a few things on the car and am happy to learn to do my own maintenance on this as well - so long as it’s reliable when one of those big 14” snows comes.

I haven’t specified a budget but am HOPING it’s a little less than the 3.1k Honda model I found that seems ideal for the job (HSS928AWD), but not if it means a noticeably less reliable machine. When choosing a model, should I optimize for clearing width (for some reason I’m assuming less than 28 will get annoying)? Engine size? Some Honda/Yamaha-specific “magic”?

Can definitely get Ariens, Honda, and Toro in my area based on dealer sites. Maybe Simplicity, but I’m less confident in dealers available. Am just not clear on what I’d get out of paying AT LEAST 400USD more for a Honda and what the improvement for day-day-use would be. And I’d be thrilled to learn that I’m overestimating my requirements.

Thanks already if you even just read through this!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

I assume you are looking for a new machine vs a used one.
It's obvious you have been doing some reading and research on machines, which is great.

Honda, Ariens and Toro are generally well made and well regarded machines. Hopefully you can get hands on each brand at a dealer and check them out for features, ergonomics and quality of build.

I think a 28" - 30" machine would be ideal for your 200' driveway. Honda make great machines and if one fits in your budget you really can't go wrong. However Ariens or Toro have models that will also be more than up to the task. With proper care and maintenance most brands of snow blower will give you many years of reliable service.

I have a 250' U shaped flat driveway and we get on average 130" of snow annually. I have a 2018 Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO that has performed flawlessly and will handle 24" snow falls with ease. The Auto Turn steering works great and is effortless (I prefer a wheeled machine over tracks unless you have a steep grade).

IMHO the Deluxe 28 SHO is one of the best value for your dollar machines on the market these days.

Good luck with your search.

Snow Automotive tire Tree Vehicle Wheel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ziggy65 - Wow, THANK YOU! Very glad to have asked here and truly appreciate the detailed response and recommendation. Yes, I’m looking for new, as I’d rather learn from maintenance than figuring out how to repair in a hurry (too many other projects going on).

Not sure how I missed that Deluxe model, but the specs look close enough to the Pro 28 SHO for my use to not justify the pricier one. Especially if it works nicely for someone with over 3x the annual snowfall.

It’d be super nice to have the saved cash for the steady stream of house projects we’ve got, and I was leaning Ariens anyway. At about half the price of the Honda, this looks a clear winner I can feel good about the price of. Time to check with some dealers.
 

·
Premium Member
1979 (or so) Toro 724 (38050) and 2018 Ariens Platinum 24
Joined
·
1,575 Posts
50" really isn't much . . . how much do you typically get in your max snowfall? It also depends on your time expectations, but with smaller falls, you could likely run a 24 a lot faster than something bigger, spend less, consume less space, and be done in similar time, plus it would be easier to handle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
50" really isn't much . . . how much do you typically get in your max snowfall? It also depends on your time expectations, but with smaller falls, you could likely run a 24 a lot faster than something bigger, spend less, consume less space, and be done in similar time, plus it would be easier to handle.
It’s really sporadic and varies by year unfortunately. There have apparently been years around 80-110 inches in a year, and one or two storms over 20 inches isn’t unheard of. Then some years get barely any snow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,906 Posts
Hello!

First time property owner in SE Michigan (40in snow/yr) and will need to clear ~2,500 square feet of flat/no incline concrete driveway this winter (and hopefully for decades to come). The actually dimensions, in feet, are 200*10 with a 20*25 extended area in front of the garage.

I’m aware of different brands and commercial vs. “Lowe’s” models, as well as potentially important specs to compare across brands like cc, lb/minute, clearing width. Am looking for something that, as much as possible, “just works”, and as such, am overwhelmed by not knowing what I’m most likely to be annoyed about if I buy the “wrong model”. Happy to pay for truly nice to have features while not being suckered in by gimmicks (3 stage, “no shear pins”, etc.) or buying more than I need for a “basic” workhorse of a machine. I do a few things on the car and am happy to learn to do my own maintenance on this as well - so long as it’s reliable when one of those big 14” snows comes.

I haven’t specified a budget but am HOPING it’s a little less than the 3.1k Honda model I found that seems ideal for the job (HSS928AWD), but not if it means a noticeably less reliable machine. When choosing a model, should I optimize for clearing width (for some reason I’m assuming less than 28 will get annoying)? Engine size? Some Honda/Yamaha-specific “magic”?

Can definitely get Ariens, Honda, and Toro in my area based on dealer sites. Maybe Simplicity, but I’m less confident in dealers available. Am just not clear on what I’d get out of paying AT LEAST 400USD more for a Honda and what the improvement for day-day-use would be. And I’d be thrilled to learn that I’m overestimating my requirements.

Thanks already if you even just read through this!
====================================================================================================================================================================================

Since your new at this your welcome to read my posts on what you need to look for in a snow blower.

As it is getting late in the season-YES, IT IS GETTING LATE, you need to start shopping, buying
or ordering a snow blower.

Do not pay real attention to the recommended models for square footage of driveway they are a simple guide for a novice.

At a minimum you should look at a 10 HP machine to have the available reserve torque and impeller speed at high idle because you deal with heavy salt laden snow like I do.

I grew up with TORO and still have my 2 cycle Toro snow pups an S620 and CCR3000. I was given my brothers OEM 1995 Garden Way Inc. Troy-Bilt snow blower after failing to buy a Toro from home despot due to thier price switching and thier SHI**box attitude with me, I will never shop at home despot again after not receiving a response from thier corporate office due to my experience.

Buy the machine through a toro dealer and you will be able to get faster service if it is needed for a warranty repair.
The consumer warranty for thier snow removal machines is 3 years if I remember it correctly.

You can buy bells and whistles but you need to look at how much time you will spend clearing snow OR CAN SPEND clearing snow; or ask your neighbors how much time they spend clearing small and big dumps of the white mold.

If you can afford a 12 horsepower machine invest in it as it will have plenty of power in reserve with more available torque and it will take less time to clear small dumps of the white mold and destroy the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER and feed the little moat monsters with its remains.
The more you invest in a machine in its purchase the less it will cost you to own over a 10-15 year period. You need to frame your purchase of a snow clearing mule in this way to save your sanity and eliminate frustration as the more horsepower you have the less difficult clearing the white mold crap will be.

If you can afford to buy the am-fm earmuff radio from gemplers all the better as you will be able to listen to music while clearing the white crap.

The machine will already have a headlight to use and perhaps hand warmers if offered as standard equipment but having a snow cab and snow chains is an added option that will pay you dividends in reducing fatigue and increased traction and you will smell less like a lawn mower exhaust when you are done clearing snow.

TO make things easier you should plan on making your first pass to the road and kill off the END OF DRIVEWAY MONSTER first by casting all of the snow in the direction of traffic to avoid having the county/town/city plow bandits push the snow back in your driveway which they will do especially when pushing back old snowpack to get ready for a storm.

If you have a warm garage /shop to store the snow mule it great, if it has hot and cold running water in a laundry sink wonderful as you can rinse out the salt and melt the ice and snow in the impeller drum and let it drain out the holes in the bottom of the impeller drum. A kerosene fired salamander /torpedo heater works wonders and it also works well to warm up a snow thrower and snow blower as well aas melting off the snow and ice before it gets stored in the garage until its needed again.

I use Fluid Film spray to slick up the chute and spout of my 2-stage snow blower and the paddles of the S-620 and spout and paddles of the CCR3000 snow pups.

I want you to succeed in your purchase. This investment needs to seen like purchasing an appliance, like a washer and dryer, refrigerator or chest freezer. You are going to own it for a decade or more and you depend on it to work.
"You" have to think about this as an investment that you will be able to use 10-15 years down the road as the larger the horsepower of a machine and its greater weight will give you better adhesion and will cost you less to own and use as it has greater horsepower and torque to use if needed
 

Attachments

1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top