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Husqvarna vs. Ariens tracked snow blowers

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by heat seeker, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    btuser, I hear you about the sod cutter! On my trial run up the hill, the scraper kept hitting the high spots in the lane, and it plowed some dirt and sod like you said. Even when I hit the lawn, it would occasionally grab some turf and peel it away. The tracks never slipped and the machine never slowed down. So now I have a few small divots in the lawn :p.

    I'm optimistic about the traction this winter. I almost forgot this - I also like to clear a path for the oil delivery guy, but it was a bear with my wheeled old Ariens since the snow drifts a lot in that area. I'm expecting the Honda to get 'er done this year. I need to come up with an easy way to turn 180º in a small area, or do a lot of backing up.

    Now, if we could get a load of snow with the temps in the 50's….. Okay, I guess not.

    I have a few shear pins that came with the machine, and I like the way the mount. Anyone know of a good online source of replacements? I like the Honda dealer, but he's 45 minutes away.

    donyboy73 has a good Youtube video about what happens when the augers rust to the shafts and the gearbox gets trashed. He needed heat and a large pipe wrench to free them up. And there's nothing in the Honda manual telling you to keep them freed up.

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  2. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    If I stick to my pattern it goes pretty smooth. Problems come when i start digging into areas of hard snow, not really knowing what's in the pile. I picked up 25 pins/nuts on Ebay for less than $10.

    I wouldn't recommend tracks to someone who doesn't need them, but I've got a lot of off road work that wouldn't serve me with a plow and was a lot more work with a wheeled machine. My driveway is 400' so it's mostly straight ahead, but the part next to the house is kinda of a chore with the tracks, not hard (Honda machines are light) but not smooth. I make a trip around the house to the oil tank, wood pile, and some trails for the little rat dogs so they do their business. If your deck has a section of straight stairs you can climb them with the track model.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I've never been on a Conquest, but they look mighty light for snowblower duty. I also have trouble believing they're 22 hp! Belt drive says light duty, though. Driveshaft, gearbox, chain drive, is all I know for PTO blowers.

    Put 2500 lb of diesel tractor behind a 700 lb blower... that driveway will get done, right quick. Save the walk-behind for walks and paths!
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've done the steep private road we live on with my LT180 in addition to the parking lot I call a driveway. I've even taken it a quarter mile down the road to do the Deli parking lot when it was owned by a friend.

    Two 42lb suitcase weights, chains, and yup, she's all belt drive. Sorry to hear the Conquest couldn't get it done for you HeatSeeker. Most of the track machines that I have used (even the cheap MTD/Craftsman models) have been absolute beasts in drifts and hard pack.
    heat seeker likes this.
  5. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Northwestern, about half hour from the NB border, in the Cobequid mountains. Or more like hills to Western folks.

    Would like to have tracks.

    The blower would only see use in tight spaces - around vehicles, doorways, etc - that you can't get to with a full size tractor. The main driveway itself is handled with one of those. So I'm not exactly in dire need. Plus a backyard rink if we do one this year. The small wheeled one I've got now is a real bear sometimes with the hilly spots, it gets stuck a lot.

    I'm getting to the point that any shovel work at all can put my back out at any time if I happen to move slightly the wrong way - and I just don't want to use a shovel if I don't have to, it sucks. Blowers were never on my horizon when I was younger - looking after two houses (ours & parents) in big snow just isn't fun anymore.
  6. festerw

    festerw Burning Hunk

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    My small machine the easiest way I've found to do a 180 is to put it in high gear and give it a push sideways.
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Sounds good, I'll try different methods. It looks pretty easy on YouTube, but some of my spots are pretty tight. I may just have to back out. This Honda has a pretty quick reverse, which I like.
  8. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Honda doesn't have an unlocking differential option? My Ariens has a lever that unlocks the diff and allows to spin on a dime since one wheel is still turning. It works the same way as a Tank.
  9. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Nice! I am from NB and have friends in Sackville. I know where you're talking about. A relative of mine used to live in Aulac.


    The smallest track one would likely suit your needs provided you're not trying to throw slush or very wet snow. The engine can still toss it relatively far though. A friend of mine has the 205cc engine on his. THe only big difference is in very wet snow.
  10. festerw

    festerw Burning Hunk

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    Possible they do now, mine is a mid 80's model.
    Swedishchef likes this.
  11. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    AFAIK the Honda track models still have a locked diff.
  12. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    My new Honda 1332 does not have a differential at all. It's a straight axle. Even on pavement, though, it's easy to turn as long as it's moving some. It should be much easier on snow/ice.
  13. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Well, I ended up finding a lightly used Toro 8/26, with a B&S engine.

    Does it ever fire the snow, way more performance than I was used to with my limited blower experience.

    Now I'm looking for some chains for it - once I get a set on I shouldn't be that far removed from how a Honda would have worked for me, at a LOT less money.

    Might try & add a bit of weight to the front too, still getting used to it. Also thought maybe me getting a blower might have made it not snow, but it seems to have done the opposite, so far. Darned white stuff...
  14. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on the new blower, it's nice to have something to throw the white stuff far.
    I retired my early '80s Toro a few weeks ago and got a 24" Sno Tek, by Ariens.
    The old blower would bog down in 6" of snow, but I push the Sno Tek into a 14" bank of thrown snow and it just eats it up and spits it out, without hesitation.
    I thought the same thing about not getting any more snow after buying a new blower, but I have a feeling we're going to get dumped on this year, we're long overdue.
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I bought a 64" blower with 20" diameter auger, driven by 25hp 3-cyl diesel in autumn 2011. We haven't had a decent snow storm since. Dang warranty expired, and it has only been run once (just to test) in a measly 5" storm.

    We had what seemed like yearly storms over 18" (a few close to 30") in the decade preceding the purchase.

    We've had lots of snow this fall, but no single storm over 6". I do those with the front end loader, which is faster than the blower in small storms.
  16. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    Good choice on the Honda.

    We have a 928 and it throws much further than even my tractor!! They are amazing throwers. Always start. Built very heavy, like a tank!

    Only thing id do different would be to get the wider 1132.

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