It's funny you started this thread; I was just looking at them. Never used one, but I share the same concerns too. 115lbs. is pretty heavy to lift out of the truck; especially at 5am and you've been working all night. The nice thing is that it's 24" wide and will clean a sidewalk in 2 passes. I'm just not sure if I'd want to kill my back lifting it in and out of my truck over saving a pass w/ the thing. Think I'd rather have the Honda single stage instead; those things go and go w/out problems.
HEY GUY'S I GET MY BLOWER IN&OUT OF MY TRUCK WITH A SET OF RAMPS. I BOUGHT A RAMP KIT ($29.00) AND BOUGHT 2 2X6 AND MADE THEM UP. THEY WORK GREAT. I HAVE A MTD POWER-PRO
W/ 8HP AND 26" CLEARING PATH. IT'S TOO HEAVY TO JUST PICK UP AND THROW AROUND.
HOPE THIS HELPS.
This year we may have a dedicated snow blower truck, in that case the ramps will work, however right now we have v boxes in all our trucks and the single stage fits nicely along side, but you have to lift in and out. So a larger wont work for at this time, If I free up a truck bed, then that is a viable alternative.
Ramps are a good idea, but it's one more thing to have and mess around w/ in the back of your truck. In a heavier snow, we've got to use the 2 stages, so we've got to have ramps unless we've got 2 guys to lift the thing out of the truck.
Here's my funny story about ramps & snowblowers. Back when I just had 1 truck & subbed myself out to a friend I pulled into a lot where he was with another one of the subs. The 2 of them were fighting in the back of the truck to get his monster blower out. While they were playing around I got my shovel out of my truck & in 3 minutes tops I shoveled the walk (maybe 600 sq. ft. - 4 " snow) They still didn't have the blower out so I walked over & had a good laugh at them while asking them why they were wasting so much time.
RB; I actually looked at the unit today. The sales guy told me that it could take on any 2 stage unit and could throw snow (dry) up to 40'. It was a nice unit, but way too heavy. Bought a 5 horse single stage instead that only weighs 70lbs.
I was able to demo one of these a week ago. Heavy (not what I thought at first glance) too many moving parts in the pivoting handle ass'y, handle made very thin and flimsy, this machine will not last a seasons worth of commercial work without extensive repairs IMO.