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Need Help Quick! (Down to Two)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by MJLsLawnCareNmo, Nov 11, 2007.


If you were going to use one of these models to make a living which would you buy?

  1. Ariens 1336DLE

  2. Cub Cadet 933SWE

  1. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    I've finally narrowed it down to two options. For those of you who don't already know I've been looking for a commercial grade snow blower for residential drives and walks. I want to place my order to the dealer Monday as it will take a week to ship the unit and orders are not shipped until Fridays. I'm stuck between two models:

    #1 Ariens 1336DLE Professional
    $2799.00 + tax
    13hp Tecumseh Snow King OHV
    12 volt electric start with battery
    36" clearing width
    23.5" housing height
    14" Impeller
    16" Auger

    #2 Cub Cadet 933SWE
    $1,890.00 + Tax
    13hp Tecumseh Snow King OHV
    110 volt electric start with extension cord
    33" clearing width
    22" housing height
    16" Impeller
    16" Auger
    Power Steering

    I'm stuck between these two models for two main reasons. The ariens unit appears to be a heavier duty unit, but doesn't have the power steering option. The cub cadet has the power steering option (press the trigger on the side you want to turn and the unit turns), but doesn't seem as heavy duty. I'd like to have a unit that is super heavy duty so I can get years of reliable productive use (not saying either model isnt capable of doing this). I also like he idea of having a unit that is easy to maneuver. Therefore I'm stuck between these two units!!!!

    Looking for any kind of feedback/opinions/suggestions from anybody who has used either of these units, knows someone who used these units, has used similar models, has used same manufacturer, etc. Which unit is better? Which unit would you buy? If you were going to use one of these models to make a living what model would you buy?

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Mike, how much sidewalks do you have to do? Is the majority of your work sidewalks?? As for us we find the single stage blowers work better in this region. For we get lots of that heavy "cannonball" snow, you know the stuff you push left to right leaving parts of snowmen in your tracks. The problem with two stage throwers is they tend to freeze up in the second stage and clog it up.

    Ok so here is my point, in the areas of lots of fluffy snow one of your bas boys posted obove would be the winner for sure. But here I would strongly recomend a single stoge Toro or similar machine.

    So what do you use in this region ?????

  3. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I agree with the above statement

    The single stage throwers seem to work better for me in a commercial setting.

    Reasons why.

    1- they are light.
    2- Handle many different snow types.
    3- Relatively in-expensive.

    For the type of money you are talking about throwing down I woulsee if you could just get an ATV.

    I just picked up a 2000 Yamaha Kodiak 400 for $500.00. It had a plow mount and a plow lift on it already. I bought a new A-frame and blade for it then mounted Earth way spreader to the back. Once my spreader deflectors get hear it will be the best sidewalk rig in town.

    Good luck

  4. yamaguy

    yamaguy Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I think if your set on one of these two machines the the Cub Cadet is a no brainer at $900 less. They have the same engine so the only difference is in the drive system. So what if the CC might wear out a year or two sooner (not saying that it will), for 1/3 less money up front you can buy a new one with the newer latest features that they are going to have 10 years from now. My old neighbor has an Ariens that is a tank, but I grew up with Cub Cadet and even though they are made by MTD now, they are still better quality than all the other MTD stuff.
  5. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    DAFF, I'm new to this industry. This is my first year offering this service in a addition to my lawn and landscaping company. From what I can gather is residential snow removal isn't a big trend here, so the hopefully payup payup payup for me!!!! This year I'm starting out doing resi's and next year I will go commercial as well. Also it will be just me and maybe 1 employee to "test the waters" so to say. A lot of what I see/hear is even with residentials a lot of guy still run plows. I just dont have time to get a 4wd pickup ready in time so I'm going with a snowblower.

    I do have one small single stager by snapper that I got for free. Spent hours on it but got it running at little cost. Just getting a larger 2 stage snow blower for drives and bigger stuff. Both models come with a scraper for the 2nd stage clogging issue so it shouldn't be too big of an issue. So hopefully between the two and some shovels/etc. I should have all the tools.

    Also, as far as sidewalks go, most residentials in my area have tons of sidewalk.

    Thanks for the reply! Also which out of the two would you go with???
  6. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Peterbilt, I agree a quad/four wheeler/atv would be pretty sweet to run for sidewalks but I just dont want to carry one of those around right now. Only have 2wd trucks so adding a trailer and a quad would just be a disaster.

    Like I said above, I do have a single stage too but I couldnt see myself using it on drives too. They just dont throw snow far enough and are not wide enough. For sidewalks for sure but not for drives unless it is a real light snowing.

    Thanks for the reply!
  7. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Yamaguy, you make a very good point. I do like that the ariens has an electric start that has a battery so it can be used anywhere. The Cub Cadet requires a 110v outlet to use the electric start. I agree saving almost $1k would be nice as I can put it toward other things. I'm just concerned the Cub Cadet just won't last or things will break all the time. Yes the turning feature is nice, but how reliable are they? More moving parts can mean more breakdowns and things to wear out. Now CC is a division of MTD that worries me. I've had other big equipment purchases bite me before so I just don't want to have that happen again so soon. It's also not a guarantee that the ariens will be all that bullet proof either even though the company is 75 years old now and the unit does seem heavier duty.

    Thanks for the reply!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2007
  8. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    I just don't know everybody :help:

    As much as I just want to know both of these units would be as reliable and productive as it looks on paper, there is just no guarantee. You just never know when you buy something anymore. Especially in this case. Both the units don't seem to be widely used or bought as most people buy smaller versions of them. Plus both of these models have new features and differences about them that are new to the '07 models. So it's not like I have much to go on. I've spent hours each day for about 2 weeks doing my research and have come to this point. All I have is a little bit of info on past experiences with the brands not the exact units. Both have had their issues and problems, but so does everything else. Some people have never had any problems with their blowers from either company.

    Here's what's going through my head. Do I go with the one that is a little cheaper in price and hope that the quality is there to make this a reliable productive unit that will provide a sufficient living? Or do I go with the one that is about $1k more but has a company with a 75 year history of making snow blowers and hope that this isn't the year that takes a Sh!t? One has the option of power steering which is nice to have but how long will it last? Is it an easy fix? More moving parts can be a greater chance for more things to go wrong. Simple can sometimes be the best way. Advances in technology can enable new things to be a success too. Both seem like a well built product, but looks can be deceiving. You can warranty a piece of equipment for life, but a piece of equipment that is always in the shop doesn't make any money.

    Just recently I've had two major purchases come back to bite me where the sun doesn't shine. (roughly $16k total) I work hard for money and expect my purchases to reflect that and help me continue to make a living. I've always done my research and have not been afraid to spend the money on what should be a quality product. I bought the top of the line, what should have been the perfect product for my needs, only to find out I should have just thrown $16k out the window. It's the kind of experience that makes you sick to your stomach.

    It's like nobody builds a quality product anymore. Even more so not many companies will stand behind their product and say "Hey you know what? We did built a product with a problem." There are a few companies that are truly a good company, but they are few and far between. You would think with what you have to spend on things today you could at least buy something that works and pays for itself. There's so much "hot air" and "snake oil" on the market today. Everybody is in such a rush to put something out there to try and make a buck. But once the almighty dollar is in their pocket that's it. It must be something the consumer did. It's not like the consumer is asking for something that will last forever, but at least get a reasonable life-span out of a product. I used to believe that you get what you pay for, which for the most part still stands true. But I do still buy things that are supposed to be the best money can buy and the product is cr@p! I buy very few things anymore that I end up saying "I'm glad I bought that". It's like I am always fixing things or modifying them to make them how they should be. What happened to engineering a product and testing it? It's like most manufacturers slap a bunch of parts together and let the buyers be the guinea pigs to see if it works.

    Well sorry I just felt the need to vent a little. I'm not looking for any kind of sympathy or whatever. For what it's worth maybe someone will find it entertaining or worthwhile to read. I still don't know which one to go with but I still plan on going in tomorrow and buying one or the other. I just hope I make a good choice. One way or another I'll tell it like it is and let you guys know what I figure out and how the product turns out. :salute:
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  9. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    just buy one. you seem like you have a hard time making decisions. How long do you need it operate? if its just a year then go with the CC. Personally I would buy the Ariens based on the hand warmers alone but I dont have the greatest blood circulation. Which one does your gut tell you buy? I know its not cheap with either one but at the same time your also not looking at the cost of a truck or house or shop. Also you mention that there isnt a huge resi market where you are. Why is that?? it could be that no one wants to pay for it so you would in return have a hard time recovering the cost of your investments making the CC a smarter choice especially since you will also have the expense of an employee with you. You will find that the way to make money in snow business is to get in and get out as fast as possible so you are already fighting an uphill battle since by the time you get the snow blower unloaded and running, i could be on my way to the next job already. IMO, I would look for a used 4x4 that already has a plow on it and run that.
  10. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Buy them both and tell us what one is better. Take one for the team here ;)
  11. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    will u be plowin also or just snowblowin?
  12. Wiseguyinc

    Wiseguyinc Member
    from MN
    Messages: 56


    You said you are just "testing the waters". Buy the cub cadet and save that 900 bucks. It will last long enough if you maintain it. Even if you get 5 years from it you will by that time have an established business and be able to invest in either another snow blower or a better one.Keep your overhead down as much as you can the first couple years.
  13. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    That's just it. I don't just buy things without doing the homework. For that matter I might as well just go into a dealer, close my eyes and point. It's not like I am buying this for fun. This is a purchase that is a tool to make a living. Also it's not like there is wealth of information out there on either one of these models, believe me I've checked. It's alway a smart thing to do to see what other peoples' experiences are with a product. That way you know what to expect and what to avoid. You might not think that $2-3k is a major purchase, but for someone who is just starting out in this business that is an immediate $2-3k hole in a business that hasn't made a dollar in snow removal yet, and thats just for a snow blower. By the time I add in insurance, advertising, cost to run the equipment and truck, and any additional tools I will need I'm well beyond the initial cost of the snow blower. So yeah I'm a little hesitant and am looking for any kind of info that will hopefully help make the best decision. Considering I've narrowed it down to two models out of how many brands and models out there I think I did pretty good. Maybe I'm reading into the first part of your thread too much. Maybe I took it the wrong way. But something about that statement rubbed me the wrong way.

    As for the rest of your reply which I thought was pretty good/useful. I have no idea how long I will need this particular unit to run. It could be mainly just be for this year or it may be for years to come. No doubt I will always have a need for it to do some aspect of snow removal (sidewalks, residentials, patios, etc) whether I'm running the unit or an employee. My gut tells me go with ariens as it seems like a better built unit and is backed by a company that has been building snow equipment for 75 years. Like I said before I have made purchases that were from a company that has been around for over 100 years and it was a complete waste. If I buy a snowblower and it turns out to be a mistake that's $18-19k in 2 years that have pretty much went out the window. That's more than some people make in a year let alone in a bad purchase. I'm not real sure why this isn't a bigger market here. Residential snow removal here is more comparable to kids with a snow shovel, shoveling driveways in their neighborhood. Michigan also has one of the worst economies in the country. I think were 3rd in the unemployment rate. People can hardly make house payments let alone pay for services for the outside of their homes. I agree running a plow would be quicker for the driveway, but at 33-36" wide it wont be too bad. Even if I get a plow I still have sidewalks to do so I will need a bigger snow blower. I already have a single stage. Thanks for the reply.
  14. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Haha, want to make a donation to help?payup :p
  15. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Unless something really drastically changes it will just be snow blowing. Plowing residential and commercial next year.
  16. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Thanks for the reply. $900 can go towards a lot of things. I just hope it's not repairs:realmad:
  17. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    No insult intended on the first part. I guess I dont put as much into every purchase like you do. Ill be honest, I havent been burnt yet by a big purchase. The only thing that I have bought so far that sucks is my agrifab 80# spreader. Its a peice of junk for fertilizing, should have bought the lesco one but i was trying to SAVE A BUCK. the very thing my GUT was AGAINST. I have found to go with the gut instinct, it wont guide you wrong, ive never had any other major equipment problems yet. So if your gut is to buy the ariens, then you know what to go with! I will admit the hand warmers are pretty cool and the the fact that you dont need to plug it into the wall to start it electrically is nice. Also look at the poll results, looks like you should buy the ariens!

    Just be careful, if there is no market for resi snow removal i would not get into it. Who knows, you may do great! its all about market research. Or you could buy a plow truck like i mentioned earlier, and sub yourself out plowing commercially, that way you have a nice "in" and will gain experiance without having to pay an employee. Good luck!
  18. yamaguy

    yamaguy Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    Man if I worried as much as you I would not of gone into business for myself! You have already made up your mind and we can tell that by the way you keep repeating yourself over and over. Just buy the Ariens alredy. I can only imagine how many months it will take you to make a choice when it comes time for you to buy a newer truck and plow! NO matter what you think it's just a snowblower not a space shuttle! Sorry fot the vent but come on!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007
  19. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Doug, no problem. :waving: Sorry if I read into that a little too much.

    I've seen those agrifab fertilizer spreaders and was never all that impressed with them. I know northern sells them and from my experience generally their stuff is just for occasional use only. Dollar for dollar you just can't beat Lesco spreaders. Don't know if you knew but John Deere just recently bought Lesco. As far as I've heard JD isn't supposed to change anything in regards to Lesco, but who knows.

    Yeah the condition of the residential market could be a good thing or a a bad thing. Sometimes having an open market can be a great opportunity, while other times there is a reason there isn't much of a market. I will have at least 1 plow truck set up come next year and will sub myself out if I don't have enough work on my own. Thanks and good luck to you too!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  20. MJLsLawnCareNmo

    MJLsLawnCareNmo Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    I appreciate your help in a my other thread, but it's comments like this that doesn't do anybody any good. You can go about your purchases your way. I'll go about mine my way. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007