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Snow Blowers

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure where to put this but since a snow blower is essential equipment for me to enjoy skiing I'll put it here. Last year I bought a house with 100+ feet of front sidewalk. Unfortunately, whenever there is a dump at Bridger there usually is a dump at my house so I end up spending a good deal of time and energy shoveling snow before heading to the mountain. I don't want to leave the shoveling until later since my street has a bunch of elderly residence that walk by my place to get to the mail box. Ergo, I need to get a snow blower before ski season so I don't wear myself out shoveling snow on powder days. Any suggestions on brands and models will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 8

I use a tractor to clear my snow, but my father has a Toro Snow Commander that he swears by. He's had several brands through the years but seems to like this one the best in terms of ease of operation and reliability. Their are 2 different models in the snow commander series and his is the electric start version, which is good for him now that he's approaching his mid 60's. I think he paid about $550 for a floor model. As for doing the job, he clears about 250 feet of driveway plus his sidewalks without any trouble at all. Several of his neighbors have Honda Snowblowers which they like as well. The bottom line is there are several good choices. I know he narrowed it down to Honda and Toro and just bought the one he got the best price on. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 8
I plow with a quad myself because I have so much to do, so I can't recommend a blower either. I can suggest www.epinions.com for lots of reviews though.
post #4 of 8
I'm embarrassed to say that I have a - admittedly small - quiver of snow blowers; but, like choosing the ski de jour, I select my Toro or my Craftsman based on snow depth and weight. I own Toro's largest single stage snow blower and it works great as long as the snow isn't too deep or too wet. For deeper and/or wetter conditions I get out the bigger and more powerful Craftsman two-stage snow blower.

Regarding Toro and Honda snow blowers, I would have to agree with sportscoach13 about the overall quality and satisfaction of ownership - they're both good machines. But, it seems to me like Honda is pretty proud of their lawn mowers and snow blowers and this pride tends to show up at the cash register. :

I hope we all get to use our snow blowers a lot this year. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]


[ September 08, 2003, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Inspector Gadget ]
post #5 of 8
Check out www.lawnsite.com too. It's a landscaper's forum, but they talk about all sorts of equipment suitable for the average consumer.
post #6 of 8
When I was blowering snow, I was cleaning 500 + feet of driveways and a bunch of parking spaces. I used a Gravely riding tractor with a 40-inch front-mounted two stage blower. It would throw snow sixty feet. The only times it was a struggle were when the drifts were above the maximum height the blower could be raised and operated at the same time. I subsequently went to a blower mounted in place of a loader bucket on the front of a larger tractor. It employed hydraulics to turn the blower and allowed for taking down the eight-foot-tall banks the highway plows would build up. The loaderarm blower wouldn't throw snow nearly as far as the Gravely, largely because the Gravely had a second-stage drum that rotated so the chute laid toward the direction it was turned. The newer one had a fixed second-stage drum with a chute head that would swivel. If you can find an older 10-horse walk behind Gravely with a blower with the older rotating drum on the second stage, you'll have a blower that can clear snow like no other. The newer Gravely blowers can't perform near as well.
post #7 of 8
I have a 5 hp two stage John Deere. Generally, it does a pretty good job. We have about 100' of double wide driveway and a four car parking area. That's about the minimum machine you can get away with.

After 12 years, it has never seen a service call and still runs fine. Had I had the $$$$$ back then, I would have opted for a more powerful machine but it runs too well to justify the cost of a new one.

I would stay away from Sears. I have had too many pieces of their lawn equipment last a few years and then require major repairs. You will pay more for a Honda or Deere up front but they will last considerably longer. My current lawn tractors are a 1972 Deere and a 1994 Deere. The Sears (1990 only made it untill 1992, RIP : ... ).
post #8 of 8
Ok,heres something I can talk about.

What you want is
...at least an 8HP
...two stage machine
...120vac electric start
...at least one reverse speed
...discharge chute you can operate from the handles.

Forget repeat forget any electric or lower hp machines. The lower the hp the more passes you will need to take and the slower you will go. I live in the NE where the snow is wet and heavy, if we get a foot of this stuff, my 8hp Ariens will move it, but only in 1st or 2nd gear.

I like my Ariens, it seems to be bullet proof..

Consider the type of snow and depth you normally get and buy a machine with enough hp.
Check this out:

You can never have too much power...arrrr..arrr...arrr.
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