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Help me with which snowblower to buy...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RJC, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. I am going to buy a snowblower, and need some advice. I have never used one before so my knowledge is limited. This unit will be used for my own (large) driveway and a family member or two as well. I would like to buy a good sized one, possibly a 2 stage. I have seen units with track and tires but don't know which is better.
    Any help you can give is much appreciated. I thought I would buy early while there is a good selection.
    I have a local Sears store that sells a 11hp 30" unit for $1299. The salesman said he thinks it is built by Husqvarna but isn't sure.
    I really don't want to buy a junk machine that I will have to sell in a couple of years due to problems. I have found in the past that usually a little extra spent is worth it when it comes to equipment.

    Thanks Guys...
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I don't think Sears (or Craftsman) stuff is made by Husqvarna.It is made by MTD.They are OK,but not built as well as some of the other big brands.

    A Honda,Toro,or Bolens would be my choice.They are built much stronger than the cheaper MTD stuff,but be prepared to pay a premium for it.Other brands which are made by MTD are Crafstman,Mastercraft,Yardman,and Snoflite.

    The track models will go through just about anything,but are much harder to manuever,and costly to repair when they start siezing up.I'd get a large rubber tired model,and add a set of chains.
  3. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Toro and Snapper both put out great products. I currently run two toros and love them both and a great friend of mine is a snapper dealer and stands seriously by the Snapper line.

  4. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    As far as I am aware Sears does carry the Husqvarna brand of Chain Saws but nothing else. Either way it would have the Husqvarna name if it was not a Sears brand.

    The Sears brand I do believe is made by MTD, not all that bad of brand. But as far as snow blowers are concerned, Toro is by far the brand of choice. I would also check out Honda snow blowers as they also seem popular here. As you said you want something that will last a long time with little repairs.

    2 wheel models are usually cheaper and cost less to repair but the track models will force it's way into the snow. They are great for heavy deep snow. Also Frozen wet snow.
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I wasn't trying to knock the MTD made products,as they aren't that bad.They just don't last as long.We use them for the sidewalk crews,as they are dirt cheap for a small blower.$3-400.00 for an MTD,versus $1000.00 or so for a Toro or equivalent (Canadian prices).We just replace them every few years,and keep the old ones for parts.Then I don't feel so bad when one die's,and can afford to have a few spares.

    Whatever you get,preventative maintenance will be the key to a long service life.Especially on the trackdrive models.
  6. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    I never used one, but I hear the Ariens is a very good machine. I know a guy with one and he says its the best machine you can buy. I know nothing about snowblowers, just passing on what was told to me. Now that I think about it, I saw a nice looking Ariens machine advertised in the Snow Business magazine. Looked to be a heavy duty machine. Mike
  7. Chuck Smith

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

    You say a large driveway... I have no idea how much snow you get in a typical winter...

    Toro makes a great machine, 2 stage, about 12 or 13HP, that cuts a 30" path. The drawback is you will need a pickup and ramps to load it. Not sure if it is an option, but heated grips will be nice when you have a few driveways to do. I would make sure to get a light on whatever machine you get, and one that allows you to control the top (deflector) of the discharge chute from the operator's position while running the machine.

    I know John Deere 13HP machines have the light, the heated grips, and the chute top control. The Toro 13HP models have a spring loaded cutting edge on them, so you never have to adjust it, and it always scrapes well. They also have the light, and chute top control.

    Keep in mind, few if any 2 stage blowers use a gearbox anymore, they all use a friction drive disc. They still have variable ground speeds, just no gear box.

    Snapper, while i think they are good machines, I also thing they are overpriced. Ariens, I have experience with, but not with any models made in the past 10 years, I would hope quality has improved on them.

    With Toro you definitely get what you pay for.

    Here is a handy comparisson I did. Mostly Honda & Toro.


  8. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I use a 1961 Gravely model L with a ma210 26 inch 2 stage blower and it will throw snow all of 50 feet. The snow will not plug up the blower due to a 6 inch discharge chute.:D
  9. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Hopefully I will be adding a similar machine to my fleet this winter if this "joker"....this snowjoker.... finishing building it for me in time :D

  10. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Come to the BBQ this fall and it will be in the back of my truck for all to see and play with HEHE:drinkup: :drinkup:
  11. Manx

    Manx Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Here's a site that has free shipping on Toro's and Ariens
    And the sell Hondas also

    I've used them before, they have always been great on price and service

  12. JML

    JML PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 70

    We use snappers, i think they are like 10 or 11 hp, we have one thats a 13hp.. They work great.. They don't have anything real fancy on them, and its the same Tecumseh (sp) motor that pretty every one else has....
  13. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Don't rule out a Simplicity commercial unit. This one replaced a 10hp Ariens unit I had:


    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i have a sears with tracks
    the wheels on the tracks are plastic
    every year they have to be replaced
    due to cracking

    i have a couple 2stroke toros
    work pretty well and lite enough to lift into the bed of the truck

  15. penberth

    penberth Member
    Messages: 72

    My father has a Toro unit that is about 17 years old. He bought it new, it is a 2 stage, and does great. It would cut through the deep snow that Buffalo gets.

    My grandmother has an Ariens that she has had as far back as I can remember. I am guessing this this is probably 20-25 years old. It still works great, but she has someone plow it now since my grandfather passed away.

    I would recommend either brand from what I have seen.
  16. NNJSnow

    NNJSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    ARIENS!! Ariens in my opinion makes the best most dependable machine. I have a brand new one and a very old one and they run great still and get the job done! www.ariens.com
  17. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Ill back what gordyo said.....i have the same simplicity unit, and those things are built tough....and can take quite a beating.
  18. mrshep68

    mrshep68 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Snowblowers seem to be alot like plows that going with a brand that u can get parts for quickly seems to help. Majority of the snowblowers are powered by techumsa (sp) snowking engines, with toro having a few of their own engines. Hondita is the only brand that uses exclusively their own engines, and the price shows that. Briggs and Stratton has a few snowblower engines that are mainly seen on the craftsman (mtd) units. From a parts interchageablity it seems that the husquvarna ones are very similar to the mtd and white units.

    I work for a equipment rental company, we carry honda snowblowers and are a dealer for the husquvarna ones also. After and during storms our phones ring off the hook with people looking for parts for their broken unit. I will say that the honda snowblowers seem extremely more common to break shear pins for some reason.

    Personally i have had good luck with ariens units. But for commerical work part support is crucial.
  19. 4 Saisons

    4 Saisons Senior Member
    Messages: 260

  20. beherit316

    beherit316 Banned
    Messages: 78

    Home Depot stocks Ariens Sno Thrower's which they sell out fast.I bought mine 2 years ago, I bought the biggest powerful one they had.Ariens St1028, great machine.After 2 seasons it needs minimal repairs, at least I think it does.I'll find out in the end of September when it goes to the shop.
    It's very reliable though, only problem I don't like about it is the chute cable tends to freeze up then you can't adjust the throw unless you force it down by hand.

    Anyone got any suggestions as to prevent this from happening?I tried WD 40 and grease but it will still freeze, I wonder if their is any anti-freeze type lubricants out on the market?