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Snowblowers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Toddppm, Oct 15, 2000.

  1. Toddppm

    Toddppm Member
    Messages: 35

    OK did my search first , but this hasn't come up much. I'll need a snowblower just for walkways and wondering what you guys like? Saw a couple good comments on the Honda 621. My friend has a Toro blower 2 stroke like this and i could have thrown that thing in the river last year! Is the honda all that more powerful in 6" deep snow? I don't want a big 2 stage blower if i can help it, if this honda can do pretty well i'd just as soon get it, something i can pick up and put back in the truck no problem without ramps.Seems reasonable too at alamia.com, i think around $700.Haven't seen any at local dealers yet.
     
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Well, i have a couple of single stage toros, they are light and easy to pull out of a truck. I have used one my self, not my crew in 8" of wet heavy snow at my house. It did it, but it was very unproductive. Only you got to look at it this way, why did i take the single stage instead of the big mother machine, i could pick it up myself.

    I have a lift gate, on one of the crew cab 550s, that my shovelers use, those guys get all the two stage blowers, because of the lift gate. The truck with out the lift gate, they get the small blowers, however they also get the 16' inclosed trailer with a ride on snowblower. However they don't get the trailer till after it has stopped snowing, and road conditions improve.

    Geoff
     
  3. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I got a 2 stage Sears Craftsman 5 HP 22". It's a 1986 model, I know it's old. I can lift it myself, but it is heavy, and I'd rather use ramps. No matter how deep the snow is, or how wet, it throws snow far.
    Figure it this way, you can get an 8 HP 24"+, that you NEED ramps to load, or a smaller 5 HP 2 stage, a little narrower, and a lot lighter. Not as light as the 2 stroke models, but it is worth the added weight.

    If you use a 2 stage 8 HP, 24", you typically go down a sidewalk, and then come back down the walk clearing another 1/2 width or thereabouts. Most walks are about 36" wide. If you go down it clearing a path, on your way back, you naturally open it the full 36" width.

    If you use a 5 HP 22", you do the same thing, and can still open it the full 36" width.

    I wouldn't get any smaller than a 5 HP 2 stage blower. I have an Ariens 8 HP 24", but I keep it as a back up. WIth that machine you NEED ramps. It's REALLY heavy compared to the 5 HP 22". Keep in mind I do mostly walks along the curb, that get covered by what the road plows toss up. I don't think the small single stage blowers can handle the wet, often frozen snow the road plows toss up. Doing the walk up to someone's door from the driveway, yes, they can. But consider that you may have to turn down work, if all you have is a single stage blower.
    I myself have gotten calls after heavier snowfalls from businesses that want their curbside walks cleared. These are the type of places that the store owners do the walks themselves. That is, until we get 14" they don't feel like shoveling the morning after. With a 2 stage, you can go there and clear the walks in a matter of minutes. With a single stage, it will take MUCH longer, or you may have to pass on the job all together.

    Like Geoff said, he has the single stage, and 2 stage blowers. If I had to buy one to start out, I'd get a 2 stage, and get a single stage later on, but that's me.
    That way I'd know I have a good blower that can handle anything. Keep in mind todays blowers are larger than the older ones. By that I mean you may find 5 HP models that are 24" wide, and much taller than the older models.
    You may just want to get a good used blower from a homeowner. Often all those machines need is a new carb, from sitting so much with fuel in them.

    ~Chuck
     
  4. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    The blower you can lift up at the shop all of a sudden gets a lot heavier after the snow sticks to it and hours of fatigue set in. A pair of 2x12's 10' long are great if you're going solo and have a heavier machine. Just put some hooks or angle plates in the ends that go towards the tail gate.
     
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    We have used the 621 in 10-12" of heavy wet stuff, and it got the job done. In fact we use it all the time between cars at condos, after they have swept the cars, sometimes 2' plus. It moves no problem. Starts easy and reliable. I tossed 2 strokes two years ago and have never looked back. They no longer make the 621, its a new model, but basically same machine. New model is like ES 521 or something similar. Honda only makes one single stage, so stop buy and ask your dealer, he should know, or go to honda's web site.
    Dino
     
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

  7. Toddppm

    Toddppm Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks for the replies, now i'm really confused! You brought up some good points about plowed over walks and not being able to do them. I usually won't be alone, but i like the idea of the light one because of steps leading up to other walkways that i wouldn't want to carry a big blower up. I'll be doing residentials, but if i get a commercial call, i want to be able to do it. So for now it's a tossup? Well maybe i'll get the big one first.........but, maybe........?????
     
  8. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Go, for the big one man.

    Geoff
     
  9. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Every thing that a small blower can do a big one can do but not the other way around,so I'm with Geoff go for the big one.
     
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Trust me the honda will be fine, no snowblower will move packed snow. We have personally blown 12-14" of heavy wet plowed snow off sidewalks that are along streets. It handled it fine. In fact our motto is the honda will pump a basement if you really need it to.
    Also in light snow fall it is 10x faster than a two stage.
    And the rubber tipped auager wont damage the walks.
    Dino
     
  11. EPP200

    EPP200 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Toddppm,

    If you are interested in the Honda, if you have a Home Depot by you I saw 3 different Honda models there. Don't remember which models they were though.

    ED
     
  12. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Does anybody have any feedback on the MTD blowers. I was looking at the 5hp 2 stage basic machine at Home Depot. They wanted $539.00 for the unit. Doesn't seem like such a bad deal if it's a reliable unit
     
  13. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I saw an interesting blower at Sears yesterday,single stage with a regular four stroke horizontal briggs on it.Looked interesting might give one a try for the $239.
     
  14. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Why waste time on a Crapsman, if u need a part I doubt the local Sears store will have it, even if u are lucky enough to have a sears service center locally thats open more than 4 hours a day they rarely stock the correct part since sears changes suppliers and models annually so its a 1-800 call and hope the min wage drone sends you the correct part 2 weeks later.
     
  15. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    For two reasons

    I have 10 blowers and they all are crap not one is designed to do anything more than some guys drive 3 times a year,not Toro,John Deere,not even troybuilt which has been the best blower for the money.

    Second every single stage out there is run buy some suped up weed wacker motor, this seemed like an inovative idea.The standard 4 stroke means I can get parts at any place I want and don't have to wait period. I order a set of repair part immediatly for every blower I buy anyway,then there really is no wait.I already own a Craftsman and it has been the least of my problems.
     
  16. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Craftsman, hmmmmm. Well, mine is a 1986 model, and all I've had to replace since it was new is belts. I made a new wear bar, since I wore one almost down to the housing. I welded new shoes onto the old ones, that I nearly wore through. It still starts on the first pull after 14 years. I guess I take care of it.

    I worked at a local high school. They had 2 1970's Craftsman 8 HP models. During the 5 years I ran them and maintained them, all I replaced is the belts. I replaced shear pins a few times. I replaced the drive chain from the gear box to the axle. I replaced tire chains that were worn out. I even replaced a carb on one of them. Not one of these repairs involved a trip to Sears. The belts you can get anywhere, along with any Tecumseh or Briggs engine part. Tires are Goodyear, available anywhere. Bearings and bushing are basically "universal". There was 13 schools in the district, and between them all, they had 16+ Craftsman 8 HP blowers. Believe me, they saw abuse and use. Schools have more sidewalks than most accounts. The high school was a 12 acre site, with one long walk all the way around the perimeter, and a couple of dozen in between. Those Craftsman blowers never let me down.

    I have an 8 HP Ariens. Now that is a piece of junk. The most expensive piece of junk we ever bought. It has the same 8 HP Tecumseh engine that most 8 HP blowers have. The engine is the only good part of that machine. Wheel locks? What for? It's easier to turn a blower with Posi and chains on it than to waste time locking and unlocking wheels. Oh, and it's got a friction disc to drive it. Instead of a Peerless gear box like the old Craftsman's have. Nothing like a dry rotted rubber coated disc to stop the machine from moving.

    Off the soap box now... ;)

    ~Chuck
     
  17. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Go Crapsman!
     
  18. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I agree with you diggerman about 2 stroke single stage blowers except the Honda. It uses a four stroke engine with 6 hp, or 5 hp with the new model. I have personally used this model with drifts and banks 2' deep and it moved the snow no problem. I would stay away from the mtd 2 stroke model.
    Dino
     
  19. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    The MTD (Made To Disintegrate) 2 stroke blower is marketed with a bunch of different paint schemes, MTD, Yard machines, Cub Cabet, White, and probably others. The one thing they have in common is that they are all JUNK! I bought a used White last year, cheap and available, primarily for backup. Should have thought of it as primarily to be backed over! I'd kill to be abel to buy another Snapper 2 stroke, the one we have is slowly wearing out and there is no replacement available for it. Dino, how heavy is that little Honda you like so much? The alst thing I want is to have to use ramps to unload a sidewalk blower.
     
  20. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Alan,

    Thanks for your input. You just helped me make up my mind to pass on the MTD. All my other tools & equipment is to of the line, guess this should be to. This is my first season and I'm trying to get it all together now. In my area we don't get any snow till mid or late Nov. (if we are lucky). Will most likely go with a Toro or Craftsman.

    Mark