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Anyone use a tracked snowblower?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by locallawncare.c, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    I'm wondering if anyone currently uses a tracked snow-blower? I am considering getting a Ariens Pro Track 28, I operate a snow-blowing business doing small suburban driveways in my town, I currently use a Toro 621qzr and a Toro 2 stroke powerclear and also have a Ariens compact 24 for the heavier stuff. The ariens does okay but is kinda not enough machine for when I really need it (heavy deep snow and lots of plow ridges), now don't get me wrong it gets through it all but with some difficulty, I find myself pushing and shoving and struggling with the machine in order to gain traction when blowing big heavy piles that the blower cannot cut through, basically the tires just spin on the ground and I have to wiggle the machine side to side or only cut small sections of the drift at a time. I also find that there is often overflow on each side of the intake, this is caused by the smaller impellers and augers on this compact 24 model. I have not had to use it this year but last year's Nemo storm really pushed the limits of this machine, and to be honest I'm surprised I didn't burn up a belt/shear a pin/blow the engine with the stuff I pushed it through.Just wondering if it is worth it to upgrade to a tracked model or just get a Ariens Platinum/Pro series. By the way I currently do 26 driveways solo and load the single stages by lifting them and have a ramp system for the ariens when I need it, thanks.
  2. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    I was thinking one like this. The specs on this beast seem more than impressive, hug impeller/auger combo, 420cc engine, etc.

  3. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    That's pretty slick. That's probally a good $2000 or more huh?
  4. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    About 2900 plus tax up here in Canada, there is an ariens pro model that doesn't have tracks but all of the same specs as this beast for like 2200 I think.
  5. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    If you're budgeting to spend $2k+ then do it right and get a Honda. The 1132 and the 928 are unstoppable. They're expensive but worth every penny.
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Agreed. I've never run one but a buddy of mine has a Honda, the thing is a beast.

    Not sure the model but its bulletproof. He's had it a few seasons without any problems.
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Just put chains on the tires. Every 2 stage I ever bought or used had chains on the tires. I can see spending more for a bigger engine and such, but save your money on the tracks. Plus I think they are slower as far as travel speed.
  8. Optimum Lawn

    Optimum Lawn Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    My video (as posted in your other thread)
    Love the tracks of the Pro 28. Lots of traction for diving into plow banks without struggling nor fighting with the machine for traction, oh and love the 420cc motor for tossing the snow...not sure what it would take to kill the motor..HP does rule.
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    Go with the wheel type blower. Transport speed to and from the truck will kill you with the track driven model. I have the 30in Platinum Series with wheels. When I'm done, I click it into neutral and can almost run with the blower. When I need to put it on the trailer, click it into gear and let it walk right up. Time is money and the tracks WILL slow you down.
  10. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Interesting information, travel speed is definitely a concern, I only do residential driveways so 99% of the time I'm parked right out front, but yes maneuvering in neutral would be almost impossible, my ariens 624 I can toss around almost like my toro 621. I am looking at the pro 28 without tracks, I like the bigger engine on the pro as well the the briggs vs. ariens engine, also the platinum only comes in 24 and 30, for me personally 28 is better, I do small drives. Thanks for all of the feedback everyone, the pro track 28 is around $2900 and the pro 28 is about $2200 i think, so quite a price jump. I just know that my compact 24 often spins the wheels when pushing into banks and such or some uphill drives, I have thought about chains but sure sure if they are for me, I have my scraper bar set low as to get a clean finish on the surface and also have the non-abrasive skid shoes, which wear a little bit but are fine cuz I know I won't scratch the driveways, so every so often I adjust the scraper bar and skids at the same time. To be honest I just like having the best possible equipment for my business, I bought the compact 24 used for like $400 bucks so spending $2900 on a machine seems like a big jump, however my business has expanded and I feel like if we get a huge wet dumping I might be sol, thanks again keep the info coming, much appreciated.
  11. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    For my money, Ariens tracked hydro-pro 28. Travel speed is low on my list of concerns. Power, traction, 50' snow throwing matter to me.

    I don't need a blower at the moment, but if I do, the 28 hydro is First on the list to check out. Pricey, but you often get what you pay for.
  12. Optimum Lawn

    Optimum Lawn Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    ^^^Why I got the pro track. When you get that heavy wet icy slushy mix, traction and power are key....which will negate any perceived "slow" travel speed. Besides, you have a nice compliment of machines well suited to varying snow conditions and therefore efficiencies. Sounds like your just missing that monster machine for when conditions get ugly but still need to move snow like a madman.
    Hydro Pro Track 28 would be the ultimate if you don't mind going the extra$$....otherwise just the Pro Track 28. Stuff it in High gear and go munch that snowThumbs Up
  13. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    I have a love hate relationship with my similar tracked Ariens Pro. Wife says to me why did we buy it when it just sits there, $2900 lost money she says. I said that when we need it, it is the only thing that will do the job. Yes it is ungodly slow. I am not a small guy so for me to throw it around is not an issue but my wife could never do the same. I hate it for it's slow travel speed. For power though it is amazing. When the wife finally came out to help us 3 weeks ago on 3' or more snowdrifts on a stairwell at a school, that is where the tracks really worked in our favour. It was able to climb the stairs with minimal effort from me and clear the snow at the same time. The snow was taller than my 5' wife at the bottom and 3' at the top, it earned it's keep that day and no more verbal assaults from the wife again anymore.
  14. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    For those of you who are saying that Ariens are superior, have you ever used a Honda? I've used both and I can't believe anyone would debate that they're in the same class.

    Honda's have a neutral switch so that's a non-issue. And at full travel speed you'll be whipping around much faster than you'll want to go.
  15. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Nobody disputes the Honda is probably a superior machine. But they are priced like it too. The Ariens is a good quality, and a little more reasonable.
    What would the Honda equivilant to the Hydro-Pro 28" Ariens cost? Pretty sure the H-P-28 is $3400 -ish. Maybe I am wrong about the Honda pricing?
  16. Optimum Lawn

    Optimum Lawn Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Honda pricing for this side of the bordertymusic
    To get the Engine displacement the Honda is gonna be over 4g and there is no replacement for displacement...Ariens wins.
    Now is it worth the extra over a Ariens...only the one holding the cash can decide.
    Personally I like North American made and Ariens/Gravely have been superior with customer service for me
    Love the choices we have so everyone go with what works for your business.Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  17. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Optimum Lawn your response is dead one, I have 3 machines all slightly different, well 2 basically the same, but yes I need that monster that will save me one day I really love my single stage toro but it has its limitations like everyone knows, the compact 24 has earned its keep but basically it is what it is (a somehwat capable small maneuverable 2 stage blower). I agree with Honda products, I love their engines and always buy the model of equipment with a honda even if it is extra, however I have no experience with Honda equipment, I'm sure they are top notch. I kinda prefer the speed selection vs hydro, though I have never used a hydro snow blower, I like just squeezing the handle and going, also letting go of the auger control with moving on the ariens is nice. My compact 24 basically goes into neutral as soon as you let off the drive engagement (no need to switch gears) it basically free wheels at that point as the friction disc is not engaged or so I think. I really like the idea of tracks, wondering how much slower they are than a comparable wheeled version say pro 28 vs. pro track 28? I assume there is some sort of reduction created via the track spinning and being overall longer than the circumference of the wheel it replaces, however the gear appears to be much smaller than a wheel so maybe its a close battle, I rarely ever use speed 6 on my ariens, usually there is too much overflow happening at that high of speed. I am also curious about the Honda tracks and hydro system, they have very different track setups (2 big tires on a track, I assume one is a drive tire and the other is just free wheeling?) I really appreciate the feedback from everyone.
  18. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    I originally bought a Simplicity 32" unit. It was light in the front and would ride up over the snow. Tried fixing it by weighting the front. Got fed up with it. The dealer bought it back. I now have two Hondas, 1132 and 928. Both were purchased in great used condition. They are the best. Not slow. The traction is great. We have a street sidewalk up an incline. After the town truck plowed and through slush all over the walk, the Honda had enough traction to handle the 20" of heavy snow while going uphill. It was slow going, but it did. I think they are definitely worth it. They have a dump valve to easily move them around. Also have a quick adjust 3 position height control. The highest setting is good for travel and gravel drives. The second position is the standard setting. The third position lifts the front of the tracks off the ground and adds about 90lbs of down pressure for scraping. I like them.
  19. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668


    I was wrong. According to my search, the hydro pro 32" Ariens is exactly the same MSRP as the 32" hydro Honda, both track machines. The ariens has a bigger cc engine, but I don't know if that means it has any more hp and twist than the smaller Honda.

    389cc Honda vs 420cc Ariens.

    So, given the costs are more or less the same, I would at the very least give the Honda a hard look before I bought. Chances are I would buy the Honda.
  20. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Not sure if that model is avaibale here, pricing is HSS1332TCD $4699
    HSS1332TC $4099 (has crank chute, no battery, etc)

    Ariens 926514 $3671 Hydro Pro Track 32

    Prcing is comparable, however to get the full featured Honda the price is much more, having a crank chute on such an expensive machine seems silly, these prices are from my local dealer, kind in mind I am in Canada.
    The hydro models are interesting, I appears like you can keep your hand on the drive engagement and control the forward and reverse speed all while blowing snow, on a video of the Honda you can see them going into reverse, wondering if the ariens uses the same sort of system? I think it would be worth the extra few hundred for a hydro model if I can quickly put it in reverse without stopping basically, would be great for up against houses/garages/nooks and crannies. I am interest in a 28 model pricing would be such

    Ariens Track Pro 28 $2956 so basically a $400 upgrade for hydro
    Ariens HydroTrack Pro 28 $3364

    Honda HSS928TC 28" $3299 so baasically $600 for a powered chute, battery, maybe some other
    Honda HSS928TCD 28" $3899 stuff I'm missing

    I think I am more confused then every, I have no doubt that Honda makes a good product however my ariens has served me well and I know they make a quality product. I will continue to look at videos in an attempt to gain more knowledge as to the real world usage of these machine, thanks again.

    Here is a couple videos

    Honda showing reverse features at about 2:30

    Honda just beasting it through some snow

    Ariens just beasting through some snow