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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I decided to start snow blowing residential properties this winter instead of plowing for another company. I have a few questions before I buy my first snow blower.

I saw an ariens 28 deluxe Model #ST28LE for $800. Are these the one with the real Briggs and Stratton motor or the Chinese clones? Is this good deal or is 800 too much? According to the post it has only been used 3 times. But the model is also discontinued. No headlight, no hand warmers, etc.

Also, from other reviews I have read ariens seem very reliable but I think the reviews are from homeowners doing their own driveway. Anyone use the ariens 28 deluxe for 40-50 houses at a time? Are they reliable for long long hours?

Is the 28 in small enough for 2 people to lift and put in a truck?

There is also the Ariens Professional ST32DLE for $2000. Is the extra power and 4 inches worth the extra cost? I live in Chicago area so we get a lot of snow.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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I take it that pro model is new???? me, myself and I would buy the 2000.00 one if it is brand new. two big guys could lift those machines into a truck. or 3 to 4 normal size people to do the lifting.
 

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What are your reasons for the $2000 one? More reliable? Real Briggs and Strat? They both seem to have the same amount of use.
 

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What are your reasons for the $2000 one? More reliable? Real Briggs and Strat? They both seem to have the same amount of use.
bigger engine larger frame for those CHICAGO BILIZARDS. I here so much about. looks like it has been taken care of better than the other one.
 

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If you are going to be doing this regularly I would get some ramps or a trailer. Lifting a blower up and down several times a day is going to get old quick. You might also want to invest in a single stage for the smaller snows. I think it will be a good idea to have at least 2 machines anyway if you are planning on having a lot of customers. If you have a second guy with you you can run both and get done twice as fast and if one breaks down on you you won't have a bunch of crabby customers wondering why their snow isn't cleared.
 

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I will have a shoveler with me. Would it be faster if he had a blower too? I thought it would be easier with a shovel to get snow away from the garage, doors, and cars.

Ramps do sound like a good idea. I will probably get one. Any recommendations for ramps? I have a Chevy s10 so it's not high off the ground.

The 32" blower has a polar force engine. Are these the Chinese ones? If it is, is it still reliable as the brigs and strat?
 

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I will have a shoveler with me. Would it be faster if he had a blower too? I thought it would be easier with a shovel to get snow away from the garage, doors, and cars.

Ramps do sound like a good idea. I will probably get one. Any recommendations for ramps? I have a Chevy s10 so it's not high off the ground.

The 32" blower has a polar force engine. Are these the Chinese ones? If it is, is it still reliable as the brigs and strat?
Is the shoveler going to just stand around watching you after it only takes him 10 minutes to do some shoveling? I'd get a beefy single stage to keep the shoveler busy, make things go more quickly, and have a backup to give you peace of mind.
 

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I have a Ariens Platinum 24, am a homeowner and do my own driveway. The Platinum 24 has hand warmers. I do one driveway and the hand warmers make a big difference in that my hands do not get cold. If you are going to do 40 to 50 houses, you might want to consider a machine with hand warmers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The shoveler will clean all the snow off the customers cars and salt if needed. But he'll probably still finish before I do. I'll pick up another blower then.

That wheel chair carrier is a great idea. I live close by Harbor freight.
I actually buy hand warmers that come in those small pouches you have to shake and put them in my gloves. They get really hot and stay hot all day.
Anyone have opinions on the polar force engine?
 

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Check craigslist before you go to Harbor Freight. I see those carriers, similar carriers and ramps all the time.
 

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The shoveler will clean all the snow off the customers cars and salt if needed. But he'll probably still finish before I do. I'll pick up another blower then.

That wheel chair carrier is a great idea. I live close by Harbor freight.
I actually buy hand warmers that come in those small pouches you have to shake and put them in my gloves. They get really hot and stay hot all day.
Anyone have opinions on the polar force engine?
A leaf blower comes in handy sometimes for cleaning off the cars and sometimes other things all depends on the snow. A nice shop floor broom helps cleaning the cars off, one with the soft bristles. I been using the same one for years, works nice with the long handle instead of the snow brushes you can buy. One made for sweeping a shop and with soft bristles. Also a nice LED light set is nice for the nights.

I don't personally know about the Polar force engine. I did a little searching and it could be that only those B&S engines sold to Ariens are called Polar Force but are identical to the Snow Kings. The model and serial number should confirm it is a true Briggs motor.

I found this, (a copy and paste) this was from Oct 28, 2010. I do see advertised Briggs Polar Force motors for sale now, but all the one listed as Polar Force have an emblem stating an Ariens exclusive. So I came to the conclusion that it might be a Snow King motor with an Ariens name...Polar Force?
Briggs & Stratton Snowblower Engines
Copy & paste,
Called Briggs customer support. They confirmed to me that the Ariens Briggs is a true Briggs engine and it is made in the USA. In regards to Polar Force....they have no involvement in that. Ariens labels that on their own. In regards to parts support, Briggs does not recognize the Polar Force name, so like with most things, you need the model number off the engine which Briggs does not allow Ariens to remove. I asked if the Snow Series is the same as Polar force...responded...yes, essentially the same. So there could be some differences, not sure. I guess one would need to get the exact model number off the showroom floor and then call them to compare to a Toro Snow Series.

After seeing the Ariens, my vote is for Ariens...seemed more solid. I did not like the Toro plastic...too much. I liked the simple Ariens chute rotation design very smooth operation. And the gear case was suspended with several supports, the Toro was not and only utilizing the supports on the housing ends. The Toro supports between the handlebars was plastic and the handles twisted when moved. The Ariens was more solid.
 

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From what i have read, Chicago averages 38 inches of snow per year. I would get 2 good single stages and have an older 2 stage back in a nice warm garage ready to go if ever needed.
 

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The 2013-2014 Chicago winter was recorded as the third snowiest winter with 68". Because of Lake Michigan, we get a lot of lake effect snow with blowing and drifting adding up to impressive amounts in certain areas and compass directions. In February of 2011, we had a 20" snowfall that stranded 100's of people on Lake Shore Drive and made national news. This is an area where you could have the furnace on in the morning and the air conditioner on in the afternoon.
 

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Check craigslist before you go to Harbor Freight. I see those carriers, similar carriers and ramps all the time.
Good call, and there are other styles out there. Some with an adjustable width platform.

To speed salting up, you may want to keep your eye out for a used broadcast spreader. Like the one that you use to spread grass seed or fertilizer on your lawn. You can cover larger areas, very quickly. I would look for one with rubber tires instead of the plastic ones. It won't slide over the ice that way.
 
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