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Commercial snow blowers. Was Honda for 15 yrs. Try something new?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gardenpro, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. gardenpro

    gardenpro Junior Member
    from WA
    Messages: 14

    In need of a new snowblower for commercial properties.
    I was going to the 11hp 32", or 13hp, 32" Honda.

    But it's about $1k more expensive than seemingly similar Husqvarna.

    Are other brands worth looking at? What do you recommend?

  2. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Ariens,simplicity and toro all great brands

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    Can't beat a Honda !!!
  4. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597


    As long as purchase price isn't your basis for a decision, Honda is hard to beat.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    I'm a Honda guy from back in 86 when I bought my 250 r 3 wheeler, I've had different brands since and went back too Honda in 03 and still have it,
    Sure you pay for it but I can tell you every time I've turned that key she started and stayed running.
    I've replaced the battery once, cv shafts wheel bearings probably because it holds a plow and pushes a couple hundred inches a year.

    But in the end you get what you pay for
  6. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 138

    I just went through the same question this year and pulled the trigger on a Honda HS928 tire, not track. First storm of the year in my area was 5" of just heavy water, such, concrete type stuff. Three of my two stage Ariens and two old reliable Noma's plugged right up and those crews were Pine handling. The Honda was throwing the slush 35' in the air and working it like it was powder. I paid like $2760.00 plus tax and after using it would have paid $4000.00. Have run all the others but this Honda well never seen anything move slush like it. The hydro drive is fantastic as well as 3 year commercial warranty equals money well spent.
  7. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Glad you had such good luck with yours. I bought the tracked 928 2 years ago, the first year with it was OK, but its ground speed was WAAAAY to slow, I was used to the toro single stage I had before. Last winter however, my 928 was a total POS. I must have went through half a dozen shear pins on the front auger and even had to replace the gearbox towards the end of the season. I even had to call a buddy of mine one storm last year to come do my walks for me when it broke on me about midnight one night. Needless to say, after spending $2500.00 on it I was not impressed. I might add that I never hit newspapers with it, which my dealer warned me about when I bought it. What I think may have been one of the culprits was one account that had a bad patch of concrete in the sidewalk and I was getting little rocks in it when doing that account. It's now someone else's headache as I traded it for a Honda 721 about 2 weeks ago.
  8. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Sounds like you had the wrong machine for the job. The 928 and a toro single stage are 2 very different machines meant for 2 very different jobs. If you were breaking shear bolts that frequently, that would have had something to do with the gearbox as well. Maybe not newspapers, but maybe running too much down pressure and hitting the auger on the surface or something else. A 2 stage snowblower isn't meant to scrape down in the same way as a single stage does. It is meant for heavier snow falls and that is the beauty of tracks, you can control your down pressure without fighting with the machine. You can even do gravel and leave an inch or two if you choose to avoid sucking up stones.

    Sounds like you traded for a better machine now for your usage, or you had a lemon. The 928 is an incredible small snowblower that gives just about anyone you talk to little to no trouble. Even the shops that don't sell Honda rave about how well built they are compared to most of the others. I saw a 30 year old honda 2 stage at a shop getting a new belt last week when I picked up a Toro single stage.
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    Hondas are overpriced... i don't know any companies in NJ around us that use them. of course most use cheap junk too these days.

    We have all simplicities, from middle of the line to mostly their commercial models that are $2000-2600, can't go wrong with them when your guys are using them "and abusing them at times".
  10. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    They aren't cheap thats for sure. Overpriced however, is buying the cheap junk like many others do (homeowner and commercial user alike) every other year when you can have one machine that lasts you for 15+. If you are spending $2000-2600, whats a Honda in your area for a comparable model, $500 more? Presumably your Simplicities don't have tracks, or hydro drive? Not everyone needs a Honda, but I think the value is there if you can make use of their features.
  11. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    I have a Honda 928 track. Used her all last year when my MTD broke the auger bearing & wouldn't hold the belts. Honda always started even -15 degrees. Slow & difficult to steer but saved my a** last year! Just repaired the MTD 8/26. New auger shaft bearing, new belts, greased & new carb. Everything worked as it was supposed to. First snow last week was rather slushy....15 minutes & the belt was off again?!? Think I'm gonna sell the MTD. Also the damn thing wouldn't start below 30 degrees?!?
  12. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Well I think a combination of my ignorance of snow blowers and my salesman's failure to listen to my needs led me to an incorrect (and costly) purchase. My goal over the last 2 years has been to grow my snow removal service. Since I am a one man operation, I have to figure out how to do more in the same amount of time. I went from a F250 with a 8'straight blade to a F550 with a 10.5' v-blade. Of course the truck was now to big to do residential or to plow some of my commercial sidewalks. Where I used to be able to pull the 250 up onto the walk and plow it, now I couldn't. The snow blower I had was the smallest gas single stage toro had, don't remember the model, but it was great and very quick for the 2-6" storms that we usually see here. So I went in and wanted to go up to a bigger machine thinking it would cover more ground, so I would finish quicker. Also wanted something for that occasional 8-10"+ storm. I read online (perfect example of you can't believe everything on line) that tracked units would go up and down steps. Great I have one commercial account (strip mall) with a sidewalk around one end. Of course only way to get to it is down a flight of steps. Otherwise, you have to unload blower and do front walk, then load blower back on truck, drive around the block to get to the back side of the building, unload and do walk. Real PITA. So, the 928 was what I ended up with. It was incredibly slow, didn't clean down to bare ground and was not reliable as I was always breaking something and rendering the machine useless. And of course it was always at night when no one was open to get it fixed or get parts. Hopefully, my new single stage will get me back where I need to be. Sorry this was so long winded. Hope I didn't put you to sleep.
  13. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Did you replace the pulley? I had a MTD type a couple years ago that kept eating belts until I replaced the drive pulley along with the belt.
  14. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    No worries. Sounds like you are back on the right track for what you need. I've climbed steps before with a 928, but they weren't as steep as some.
  15. aloe

    aloe Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 285

    No I didn't replace any pulleys. This hS the 2 auger drive belts. Tm morning I'll open it up and see what the deal is. Worst case.....go kart motor
  16. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Check for a wobble or warp in the pulley, thats what happened to mine.
  17. UniqueTouch

    UniqueTouch Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    If you got 15 years out of it there's your answer my man
  18. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    One thing, heated grips lots of heat.