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Snow blower

Post in 'The Gear' started by chazcarr, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    The best of balance of power (if you have the room) is having both a single stage and a 2 stage snowblower. I love using my SS blower on lighter snowfalls of less than 12" - it's light, agile and moves alot of snow. This past storm was not suited to the SS machine (24+ inches) so out came my 2 stage 9HP Honda track drive. Set your forward speed comensurate with the engine, augers & impellers ability to process the type of snow and enjoy the ride.

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  2. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Is that a 928 with tracks? I got one . None better . Sure cost a lot but unstoppable. And mine starts soooo easy ( knock wood) best pull start engine I ever owned

    Cheers
    mikefrommaine likes this.
  3. Mine came with the electric start,not sure why anyone would think that is necessary. I hear the canadian versions are available with heated hand grips. That would have been nice.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I owned a single-stage blower for a while, and found it about as useful as the fondue pot we received as a wedding gift. I'd always think, "that would be fun to use sometime," but it never was.

    My "balance of power" is having 24" and 64" 2-stage blowers, a front-end loader, a 12 hp Little Wonder leaf blower, a handheld leaf blower, and a shovel. In light powdery stuff, use the two leaf blowers to clear the drive and walks. In heavier stuff, use the 24" 2-stage blower and shovel to clear the walks, and 64" blower to clear the drive. Front-end loader gets used for cleaning around cars in the drive, and for plowing any snow under 6". It's a crappy job... might as well have some fun equipment for doing it!

    Single-stage blowers satisfy the needs of someone who doesn't want to spend money on a proper 2-stage blower, but if you have a 2-stage blower, there's little reason left to own a single stage. They just take up space you could use for something more useful... like a fondue pot!
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I have a 2 stage 9 HP husky from 15 years ago, its not superpremium so I end up doing occasion repairs so it has held up. I can blow anything that is less than the height of the intake and have in the past. If its wet snow thats another story but it is for most snowblowers. A very important thing to consider is storing it in between uses and during the summer. With ethanol gas, its a doorstop unless you use treated fuel and most would recomend you drain it and run the gas out every summer. Of course you dont know when the last snowfall of the year will be so its real easy to let ti sit full all summer and then when you need it, it may not run. If you go big box make sure you buy spare clutch, drive belts and shear pins as when they go you dont want to wait around for four or five days to get new ones shipped. Al three are wear components, its not if they wear out, its when and usually they go to heck right during the 30 inch storm.
  6. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    Ottawa, Canada
    I got heated grips on my Husqavarna and it's nice having warm hands while using it.

    In hindsight tho, I sorta wish I had bought a bigger tractor and put a blower on it. My Husky tractor is 1 model too small for a blower (at least that's what they say, whether it's true or not is kinda moot now as I have the tractor and I have the blower. Damm just gotta wait for my buddies' old lawn tractor to blow up and sell him mine so I can rationalize getting a new tractor WITH a blower ;)
    Wonder if he's notice if I put lemon juice in his engine oil???
  7. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    I have a 20" Toro single stage w/ 141cc 2 stroke and a 26" Craftsman 2 stage w/ 8 hp.

    The Toro has an amazing power to weight ratio and I prefer it on anything up to about 14" snow even if it's a bit wet and heavy and I have done 18"+ (I think I did 2' once) with it when that's all I had. Easily manuvered and removes snow right down to the blacktop. Great machine.

    The Craftsman is pretty stout and I used it to do most of the 30" snow we just got. Had drifts on driveway of 3', powered right through it. Chains on the wheels are a must IMO and don't forget the teflon spray on the impellor/chute etc.

    4' wall is not that high. I have a 3-4' wall right along my 120' driveway and the house close on the other side. Both machines throw snow over the wall and beyond if I need to.

    It's a tough call on what to buy. A machine that can handle truly big snowfall is not worth firing up for 4" of snow which is more typical for my area. I fell into the big machine and I'm glad I have it but I use the Toro more.
  8. colin.p

    colin.p Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Ottawa Canada
    I just bought a Toro PM 826 and used it for the 30cm (1 foot) snow we had. Works fine and an hour job was done in 15 minutes. I then proceeded to blow snow from areas I normally wouldn't use until spring. Lots of fun.

  9. My early 90's toro couldn't throw over the wall once I got within two passes of the wall. The chute was just too low and all the snow hit the wall and came back down. I would on occasion have to use my fel on the tractor to knock the banks down on the other side if they got too high as well.

    The Honda can go right up to it and throw it over no problem. It seems most of the newer blower have a better chute height and design. Some of the bigger 3 point hitch blowers even have tall chute options for loading trucks :)

    I thought about a blower for my tractor but I like to keep the box blade on it to scrape the driveway clean after we get 3" of slush/ice.
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, if money were not an issue, I would have that Honda. Actually thought about it, then figured out I was nuts. Then again, if money wasn't an issue, I would just hire somebody to shovel the driveway and walkway.
    chazcarr likes this.
  11. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Northwest Ohio
    sort of a pain to put on & take off tho
  12. If money weren't an issue we'd all have one of these

    http://powerequipment.honda.com/snowblowers/models/hs1336ias

    Hybrid with an electric and gas motor, digital control. Makes me want to bid on a condo contract just to have an excuse to buy it!
    Jack Fate likes this.
  13. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Northwest Ohio
    Man & I thought I paid a lot !!!
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I have a couple HOA's as clients and see what they pay for snow removal. Honestly, I am thinking about doing snow removal during the winter months after seeing those invoices.
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    The Kubota took care of 55 inches of snow in that picture...I've had it for 11 years , was two years old when I bought it and still has the original battery...Never a single problem... Amsoil synthetic from front to back...
  16. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    Jack Fate: Yes, I have the Honda HS928TA which is the track drive model. Unstoppable going through end of driveway deposits left behind by the town plow truck! Also very useful if you have inclines or stairs to climb - unbelievable traction.

    Joful: What SS machine did you own that performed so poorly? I currently own/use a Honda HS621AS (4 stroke) that works great if used as it was designed. I have also owned/used Toro CCR2000 & 3000 models (2 stroke) that also worked quite well. A properly working SS is very effective on most 12" or so snowstorms - at least in my experience here in New England. I particularly like the fact that they are lightweight, very agile, fun to use and perform well under a variety of snow conditions. The older I get, the more I appreciate lighterweight equipment that gets the job done.
  17. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a a Honda 928 and a B2789 (51") blower on the back of my Kubota BX tractor.

    The Honda blows snow probably 4x as far!!! As a snowblower its the best Ive ever used by a long shot. The tracks enable great grip (plus it can climb stairs to blow off the deck) and with the hydro static transmission you always have the right "gear" for conditions.

    The honda would have no isues blowing over a 4' wall. I have a 3..5'-4' retaining wall that I regularly have to throw the snow over.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    You guys with the tracked Hondas - how are they on snow with ice underneath? I was thinking they wouldn't be as good as wheels with chains?

    Was also wondering about manouverability in tight spaces - I can lift down on the handle & spin my little 22" right around in itself.

    I would love to have a Honda though.
  19. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    They are excellent on ice. Id say better than wheel + chain. They are a pretty heavy unit which helps.

    Maneuverability is their one drawback. At the end of a run, you do have to manhandle them around if you dont have the space to turn (very large turn circle)

    If wheels are your thing, honda does make a wheeled version too. And its considerably cheaper than the tracked. But you still get the great Honda design auger and chute. And of course that amazing Honda engine and build quality.

    Oh, and if I was doing it again, Id step up to the 1332 over the 928 for the wider auger section. When compaired to the full load 928 TCD like I have (electric start and electric chute) there is basically no price difference. You dont need the all the electrics anyways. The honda manual chute controls are VERY high quality brass worm screw construction.

    Although the electric chute sure is slick with its single joystick.;)
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Seen. I think they have the drive systems figured out finally but last I looked they did not use a solid shaft thru the auger flights. Two stub shafts from the gear box and two more baby shafts on the housing, leaving the flights hollow.

    Check it out - http://m.husqvarna.com/ddoc/HUSI/HUSI2012_NAen/HUSI2012_NAen_11524E_580803727.pdf

    I have fond memories of driving those orange snow blowers up the ramp into a customer's truck, and making it halfway up before the drive system gears let go. (This was when they switched from a cast gear to one made from sintered metal powder)

    The puddles of oil under each one on the showroom floor from the "jing jang" ;lol engines were a bit disturbing too. Couldn't discern where it was leaking from until we realized that oil was seeping through pores in the aluminum castings. Sure hope they got that one sorted out.

    IMO Husky is selling an entry level machine for premium pricing. They make a lot of good products, snowblowers aren't on that list.
  21. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    The track drive Honda's have 3 bucket positions so to answer your ice traction question, it depends on how the bucket is positioned. The neutral position is kind of a travel position or a travel over uneven ground position. Great for removing snow on grass or gravel surfaces as it keeps the scrapper bar just off the ground surface. This would provide the most traction as it has the least amount of drag to interfere with the forward motion of travel and allows the entire surface of the track to make contact with the ground.

    Position #2 raises the bucket so the scrapper bar digs down a bit onto the surface being cleaned. This creates some drag that would effect the traction as it lifts a bit of the weight off the track drive and transfers it to the scrapper bar. Position #3 raises the bucket even higher and places the scrapper bar at a higher angle transferring even more weight from the track drive to the scrapper bar. This position is great for getting under ice and compacted snow on your driveway.

    Track drives are easy to maneuver with snow under the tracks. Most folks go to the dealer and try to move them on dry pavement which is an absolute bear. I keep my track drive on a furniture dolly during the off season so I can move it around my garage (when needed) without having to start the engine. You can spin a track drive 360 degrees very easily with snow under the tracks.

    Keep an eye on CL come the springtime as you can usually find a good off season deal on winter OPE at that time. Most of my OPE is lightly used equipment that was purchased off of CL just after that equipment season has ended.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Also was wondering on the recommendation to avoid Cub Cadet. I thought that was a good old name.

    Right now in my looking the only thing I'm really looking past is Tecumseh engines.

    Although I'm not sure what would be worse - one of those (I've got one now that works like a top but they're out of business), or one with a Chinese motor.
  23. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    Cub used to be a good name .. (feel free to flame me :p) Now they are just yellow and black MTD's.

    Most everything except the Hondas comes with a Chinese engine. Even the Briggs "made in USA" model engines are mostly chinese, just assembled here from what I understand.Some have luck with these clones, but no way I'd look at them. Honda are just dead reliable.. always start. Thats what you want in an engine.
  24. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Had good luck with B&S over the years too.

    But I realize nothing beats a Honda - have two vehicles in the driveway & 3 motorbikes in the basement backing that up.

    There's a used tracked HS55 in the area I could go look at - it's a bit smallish but likely punches above its weight. Not sure what year but it's not new by any means - pics look good though. Also not sure $750 is a fair asking price - I just started looking at these things.
  25. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    CNY
    I have a 25 yr.old Ariens 8 hp and a 15 yr old Toro 10 hp, Either one of those would clear the banks on the sides. Since it's gravel you will need to set the skids as high as possible until the driveway freezes unless you really want to rake gravel in the spring.

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