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Snowblower Advice needed

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by gbaker, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. gbaker

    gbaker Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I am considering retiring my old blower and buying a Craftsman 11.5 HP, 30" two stage. It has a Briggs Intek Snow engine and levers on the handles that disconnect the wheels for steering. A considerably larger unit.
    Does anyone have any experience with the newer Sears units, or the Briggs Snow engines (my old blower has the Tecumseh Snow King and that is very reliable).
    Thanks up front for the help.
    Gene B.
  2. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    just make sure it doesnt have the crappy plastic chute, I have a 29" 9hp model, love it except the plastic chute that shattered in pieces first time it picked up something it didnt agree with
  3. GrtArtiste

    GrtArtiste Junior Member
    from NW Ohio
    Messages: 10

    An 11.5/30 2 stage strikes me as a lot of machine for your location (Princeton NJ?) Do you really get enough snow that a large machine is necessary? Or do you have a large area to clear? What were you using and why do you want a considerably larger unit? I agree that thin-cheap plastic chutes should be avoided. I haven't seen any Craftsmans lately. If the one you're looking at has a plastic chute, I'd almost bet it's a thin-cheap one.
    Have you looked at any other brands?

  4. gbaker

    gbaker Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I suspect it is a some overkill for the area, but I have a long wide ended drive that I have never been able to blow off easily with the old one.
    It could never blow all the way across. I acutally had to blow the same snow 3 times to get it all the way across because my house is against one side and end. I needed one with more distance. Plus I do a couple of neighbors.
    I have looked at several other, more commercial units. Toro, Deere and Ariens. This one seems to have more bang for the buck. That is why I asked the question is it reliable.
    I will look at the plastic chute thing, it may have a plastic chute, although my drive is paved.
  5. PPP

    PPP Member
    Messages: 94

    Gbaker, That is one AWSOME MACHINE!!! I just bought one and it works wonders. It does have the metal chute. There is an 11hp and an 11.5 hp Model (I bought the 11.5 hp model for the drift cutters alone). This is an awsome machine and offered much more for the price then other brands. I had an older 8hp Craftsman that finally blew the engine after 13 hard years of use. Others may say get a "better brand", but this is one GREAT machine. I even bought the extra warranty (covers as parts labor and any service fees) on it for 5 years for $150 and thats only 30 a year for 5 years. You can't even get your lawn mower tuned up for that price. I've had this on other equiptment and I can't see how they make any money on it. This machine is a BEAST and manuvers effortlessley. And I'm good for 5 years. You really can't find a better deal for the money. Although I don't know who makes it for them I've had luck with there (non commercial use) products in the past. And for the size if you have the room to manuver it go with it. It's not always ideal conditions when you are outside fighting to keep up with the snow fall. You want to get it cleared as fast as possible and get back in the house. The bigger it is the quicker you get it done. Oh yea and this thing throws snow a long distance. :rolleyes:
  6. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    people may say "get a better brand", but the fact of the matter is they all run the same engines and are made by pretty much the same people and sold under different names.

    the plastic chute isnt bad- as long as you put a piece of tin on the inside of the top of it so it doesnt shoot the snow straight up in the air and onto yourself :gunsfiring:
  7. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    for a homeowner the craftsman products are OK, but if you are going to use it to make money buy a commercial machine such as the Ariens. The warranty on the craftsman is great but I would rather have a machine that did not break down!
  8. bobingardner

    bobingardner Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    You should also consider the Ariens 926DLE or even the 926LE Pro. They both have a larger impeller and a higher less restrictive chute than the Craftsman so if distance is important they might be a better choice. The 926 DLE cost less than the 11528LE but doesn't have the remote axle lock so if manuverability is important the 926 LE Pro would be good choice since it has a differential drive with remote axle lock. It also comes with a heavier duty gear box and heated handle bars.
  9. gbaker

    gbaker Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I am getting some very good information here, especially the snow blower link (thanks fc-racer and all).

    Although the Sears unit is on sale a while longer for $1099 and I do like Craftsman power and hand tools, I will check the Airens out.

    This may take a while longer than I anticipated, but so far, we have zilch for snow in Princeton which is good.

    Thanks again for the replys.
  10. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    a board that has 18 whole topics on snowblowers, do you run that place?
  11. GripTruk

    GripTruk Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I think I have the 27" 8 horsepower but the same thing happened.
    I'd like a rubber edge on the scraper blade and it can be a little awkward to pull the handles down but overall it's a good machine.

    Actually, the same thing did not happen, actually, on mine the bolt holes in the plastic broke so the whole chute came off.

    I'd love to find a steel replacement chute that would be a direct fit.

  12. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    find out who made your blower, there are only a few companies that make them. then they are painted different for each company and some have different controls. you might find that there is a steel chute offered for it.
  13. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Murray makes that blower, Sears put me in touch with them direct and they were of no help