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Are Ariens snow blowers crap?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Freddy_Kruger, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    I bought a new snow blower this winter an 11.5HP ariens 28" scoop. I thought it was a good brand name, anyway I'm working, near the end of my drive ways and the pull cord wont retract so I couldn't get it started. I got that and a couple minor things fixed (the light wasn't working, the chute wasnt twisting too good).

    So I wait week and the very first REAL storm (31cm) comes along. on the 3rd drive way it seemed under powered, the snow wasn't flying like it should, I didn't really know what to think.
    4th drive way I started smelling burning rubber and it was severely under powered and on the 5th the auger and other thing wouldn't move at all. The engine sounded fine this whole time it was a problem with the attachment belt I guess.

    I have 46 driveways and two other guys helping me, I had to go get my 7 year old Noma and put it back to work. The old thing chewed up the last 41 drive ways like usual.

    So I'm wondering if I this arien I bought is a piece of crap or what. I know how to works snow blowers btw, I've been doing this for years. When it's deep I only push at 1 or 2 speed etc but I do like taking full scoops. I've been taking full scoops with the Noma 10HP for 7 years.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    probably need a new auger belt. It is in the black cover on the front of the engine if you didn't already know. You have to adjust the tention on it to get it right. I had to do this with mine as it wasn't throwing snow for sh**. Once i did it, WOOHOO!! I have an 03 824. Havn't taken the thing out this year though as i have a plow and its quicker and safer to just use a shovel than to have to pull that thing out.
  3. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    I had that thought, that maybe something wasn't adjusted right. Not enough tension on the Idler pulley and thereby causing slippage and burning rubber. Damn! forgot to mention that to the dealer I brought it to.

    I actually bought it from home depot but brought it to my lawn care dealer for repair. (Much to my chagrin they sell the same machine, my bad) They mentioned that it might not be covered by warranty if everything is lined up right so hopefully they do more than just change the belt. They are professionals... they should check for proper tension...*crosses fingers.
  4. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Sounds like setup issues...

    I have two older Ariens machines and they work just fine in this heavy coastal New England snow we used to get.My 8 h.p could take 12" (That a girl) with 3/4 of a width and throw it clear of the driveway,no issues....
    Sounds like the guy at Home Depot doesnt know how to P.D.I them...
  5. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I have an ariens 5.5 hp two stage I bought two years ago that never threw snow, just pushed it far enough to make it out of the shoot, then fall next to the machine. Took it back to purchasing dealer twice, told me nothing was wrong, I was just puc=shing wrong kind of snow.:yow!: :yow!:

    I still need to find time to get a new belt adn adjust it myself. Hopefully it ain't a lemon!
  6. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I'm on my 3rd Ariens, and I think they are dependable. The older ones didn't throw snow (single stage) like the newer ones, but I have never had a major problem with any of them (knocking on wood). My new one is a 11.5hp/28" cut and it is a motha of a throwa! not to mention it has hand warmers :waving: I used it 3 times the year before last, 3 times last year, and not even once this year...lol Even in very wet, heavy snow it would throw from one side of a 3 car wide drive to the other side. Yes I snowblow my driveway... only when it's heavy/wet snow tho, and only one truck length from the garage out because back dragging only packs it unless you have a backdrag blade which I don't yet.
  7. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    That's the one I have, 11.5 HP, hand warmers, some kind of differential unlocker so you can make fast U-turns, quick shoot mover. But I smelled burning rubber on a heavy day, then it became under powered and finally the impeller and auger stopped spinning. The engine is fine so it must be the belts. I've been reading through the manual and they are always talking about the impeller freezing, not sure what thats about.
  8. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    One of my ole girls...

    This one started out as a 3.5hp with solid tires and chains...It is from the early 70's(Two Stage) and would throw the snow about ten feet. It now has a B.S Snowking 8.5 h.p on it and lets just say the snow clears the drive without much effort.....I decided to replace/update this machine and engine because it had the solid tires and I never have to worry about flats....I pulled this one out of a dumpster.....
    My other machine is stock, has a 8hp and does just fine(1971)...

    old ariens.jpg
  9. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Initial adjustments

    Freddy, mine required adjustments way before the 5 hour breakin they mention in the manual - more like 1 hour. My belt to the auger started to slip and wear also. All my cables and belts had gone way out of adjustment that first hour or two and I have readjusted them agian after about five hours use. (926 here). Now they seem to be holding...or they held through the foot we got at the beginning of December. Waiting patiently for more snow -to test it with.
  10. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    mine did too, I think I adjusted it after the first or second time I used it, and check/adjust it every fall when gettig it ready for the season... but you really should do that with any brand
  11. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    You guys adjusted the attachment belt?

    I've never been inside a snow blower before but I know what you mean about things need adjustment. Right out of the box my wheels would slowly turn without me even touching the handle. I let some slack in that cable.
  12. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    ROFL, what beautiful tank. Look at the teeth on that thing, they stick way out past the housing. Man would I be busting up some sheer pins the I work.

    It's Buck Toothed snow blower;)
  13. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Remind me of my dogs...

    LOL, Remind me of my kids.....
    I havent had many issues with shear pins....Then again I use grade 5.lol I can rebuild these things in my sleep so it isnt an issue...

    Pickett and Daisy.jpg
  14. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Youd like my old Sicard...

    My old Sicard had some impressive teeth also...

    from backup disc 896.jpg
  15. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    Years ago you knew that if it was good quality it would remain that way. Now it's a different world and Ariens like all other manufacturers take bids to see who can build it cheaper. In my opinion, and it's backed by real life experience, just about any snowblower is built by the same company, just under various specs.

    I bought 2 ariens paddle snow blowers, and found them to be heavy, and here in canada, once it's snows, it's quite often -25 or less celsius. Ariens froze up constantly, which means crap cause you can't use it. However, we also bought a Toro paddle blower and it too froze!!! So I bought 2 paddle blowers from made by Yard Machines which is really made by MTD. So far, no freezing problems, 1/2 the price of the Ariens, 2/3 the weight and all the power.... ??? In other words, name brand and expensive means sweet didley!!!

    Just try them out!!!
  16. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I have a small MTD 2 cycle (3.5 hp) blower....single stage of course.

    In general, it wont blow the snow like a big boy, but for its size its great. You wont be getting the heavy stuff to fly past the end of the chute, but for light stuff its good up to about 6". My problems with it are 2...

    1/ wet snow will cake between the wheel and housing (where the belt cover is)--this acts like a chock block, essentially making one wheel worthless.

    2/ its noisy as hell.... I mean, you dont want to be doing a customer at 3 am with it.

    3/ after really working it hard, it jsut seizes up till it cools down..not sure if its a vapor lock type issue, but after cooling down a short while, starts right back up and runs like a champ......course, this is trying to clear 12" + and where the town plow piles it at the drive entrance.

    As a side note,,,,we bought an 8 hp ariens a few years ago at work--from a local dealer. Worked like a million bux from day one and still does.

    Then, a guy I work with got the same exact model from home depot. He didn't make it thru the first storm ---couldn't back up---the linkage was screwed. Looks like a pin was missing. Then he had another "assembly" type issue that killed him for storm 2+3.

    The machines themselves are probably mostly Ok, but their parts aren't what they used to be as they have gotten flimsy-like all manufacturers ...and, I think the bigger issue is that if you get one from home cheapo, then you might as well dis-assemble it before use and check everything for setup, tightness and adjustment. Don't blame the machine for some lazy or sloppy assemblers work.
  17. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I got an MTD 8hp from walmart 3-4 years ago and I made all adjustments prior to using it. Since then i have never had to make another adjustment again. This thing is unstoppable. The light blew and i replaced it with a slightly brighter bulb but that's it. I use it once a year to keep things moving in it. I need to sell it cause i need the space but it's hard letting something good go. I see all the improvements made to these and they just look more and more cheap.
  18. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger Member
    Messages: 44

    Oh man, say it isn't so:dizzy: I always diss yard works and troy built or whatever they're called. But the freezing you're talking about I never had that problem with my NOMA (7 years old) and now that I think of it, Noma might be a no-name brand (love it though). While reading through the manual of the Ariens, they kept talking about freezing and I thought what are they talking about.

    It's good to know that I don't have to drop $1800 if I need a new snow blower though. Thanks for that post it gives me something to think about.

    IN lawn care EVERYONE stays stay as far away as possible to those brands, that's actually where I got the idea Ariens was high quality.

    My snow blower is fixed and my dealer will put it through warranty. $70. I'll guess I know how this machine holds up next storm.