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Underwhere
12-06-2009, 04:48 AM
I need some input on snow removal for my driveway.

I have a driveway that is of fairly large size. It's not long but it's very wide.

I can fit almost 3 cars wide and 8 cars long.
There's also a side parking spot which can also fit 3 cars and is about 1.5-2 ars long. It's tee shaped.

My plow guy charges $40 per visit and he can visit up to 3 times per storm which obviously gets very expensive.

Half the driveway (top half) does not get any sun and the snow plow pushes all the snow up to this area as it's most convenient to him. Unfortunately this builds up, blocks 1 garage and pretty much never melts. I have to take an axe and chop into the snowbanks and carry the chunks to the end of the driveway to melt. I usually do this until May of every year.

Recently I've been shoveling the freshly plowed snow into the back of my truck and reversing into snowbanks and emptying it. It works but it takes a ton of work.


Anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the snow? I'm looking into plows for my truck but what I've been reading is that my truck is too small for a plow. 1999 V6 Dodge Dakota. I think it'll probably cost me just over 1 grand to get a very used setup.

I'm looking into perhaps an ATV with a plow on it but I don't know anything about ATV's. Looks to be pretty expensive.

Snow blowers: Never had one but I'm not sure if it'll be effective with a driveway that seems pretty wide. I'm thinking the snow will just be blown onto an area of the driveway that I'll have to get to later. Sort of like taking a dump and walking backwards.

Manual shoveling: For me to manually shovel the driveway takes a good few hours. To do it right (shovel the snow down to the end of the driveway) it takes 2-3 hours with light snow and 4+ in heavy snow. Obviously I don't want to do this.
Ideas?

Coyote33
12-06-2009, 05:22 AM
First of all, I wouldn't pay a guy to plow snow in front of my garage, as that defeats the purpose.

I say borrow a snowblower next storm. Get a strong one, and start in the middle, and throw the snow to both sides from middle out. You will likely be just fine.

terraformer
12-06-2009, 05:27 AM
No, snowblowers are the answer here. If it is not a long driveway and just wide, you really cant move around a plow well enough to not do what your guy is already doing. Plows are good for long stretches.

So take a snowblower and start up the middle and blow one way or the other. Alternatively, if the driveway is that wide, go horizontal in the driveway blowing in front of you. Once they get going, they throw snow 20-30+ ft easy. The key is to get a large powerful engine. You cant get a cheap snow thrower.

CooperS7777
12-06-2009, 05:29 AM
Use your hands, snow blowers, shovels and plow trucks are for lazy people - it will only save you a few hours in the morning on the bad days anyway!

Seriously though - don't buy an ATV to plow with. When Im not on an oil rig I work part time at a powersports shop here in NH - we have so many people who cant comprehend why their 500lb ATV cant push back a 2000+lb snow bank come February.

If you had an ATV allready and wanted a plow setup, that would be different. There super convenient for cleaning off dustings or even if you just stay on top of it during a big storm. Certainly not worth buying strictly for plowing though.

A good snowblower is defiantly the way to go here.

joehaus
12-06-2009, 05:33 AM
Ahh so your driveway is a chode, well that makes things interesting. I would get a decent snow blower. With each pass you move more snow even if the snow you are moving was thrown there from a subsequent pass. This may take a bit longer but with a good blower it's no big deal.

Mustad
12-06-2009, 05:33 AM
First of all, I wouldn't pay a guy to plow snow in front of my garage, as that defeats the purpose.

I say borrow a snowblower next storm. Get a strong one, and start in the middle, and throw the snow to both sides from middle out. You will likely be just fine.

Yep, either give the plow guy other options where to put the snow or try out a snow blower. The technique Coyotte mentioned on starting in the middle and working outwards should work ok. The last one or two strips on the edges might be like 1.5X or 2X the snow, but the blower is doing all the work anyway.

cja1987
12-06-2009, 05:41 AM
My plow guy charges $40 per visit and he can visit up to 3 times per storm which obviously gets very expensive.


Anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the snow? I'm looking into plows for my truck but what I've been reading is that my truck is too small for a plow. 1999 V6 Dodge Dakota. I think it'll probably cost me just over 1 grand to get a very used setup.

I'm looking into perhaps an ATV with a plow on it but I don't know anything about ATV's. Looks to be pretty expensive.



Your truck is NOT too small for a plow by any stretch. Little Jeep Cherokees can plow. Anybody who tries to convince you its too small is blowing smoke you know where.

The only real question is does the Dakota have 4X4? If not forget the plow.

If your gonna get a plow I would recommend the Blizzard 680 or 720 or a Fisher 6'9" SD or 7'6" SD. Stay away from the plastic "homesteader" type plows, they are overpriced for their lacking durability. If you want more details on plows, PM me and I will bore you with them.

If your gonna go the plow route, honestly I would not recommend used. You may find a used plow assembly that is the right size but the odds of finding it with the truck-side mount and wiring specific to your dakota are small. Then you need the proper tools to install it (no easy task even if your mechanically inclined) or pay some dealer to install your used plow. BTW, the dealer will then gauge you for another huge sum of money in addition to what you already paid because he's pissed that you are asking him to install an old POS that he did not sell to you. You would be better off going with a new plow as you will probably end up near the same cost when all is said and done. A "very used" plow will have reliability issues and cause you more frustration than its worth. Good luck getting a used POS back up during a storm, dealers will be swamped and unlesss you know what your doing forget it. Portsmouth Ford in Portsmouth, NH used to have great deals on Blizzard Plows new and installed, have not bought a plow in over 5 years so I have no idea where prices are now.

I'm not trying to get you to spend more money and no I'm not a plow salesman but I have seen plenty of people burned big time $$$$$ in the long run with used plows. Same argument for used cars applies here 100 fold, you dont know who had it before you and when people beat the piss out of plows, they really beat the piss out of plows. Just head to a big parking lot and watch some of the less professional guys do it next storm.

All that rambling out of the way, I'm not convinced you need a plow either. Unless you really want one in which case I would strongly urge you to do it right. A snowblower will work fine, just head up to NH and get a good powerful one tax free for $800-$1200 or so, maybe even less than that for a good one. Just don't cheap out on one and it will throw snow quite a distance as stated above.

Underwhere
12-06-2009, 05:58 AM
I forgot to mention that the top half of my driveway is enclosed by a big wall and my house.

So I don't think blowing snow side to side will not work. I need that area clear.

The black lines are where snow cannot be put piled up (walls or walkways)
The top of the driveway cannot have snow piled up there because it does not melt (sometimes until June). The weight of the snowbanks actually destroy the driveway

http://i48.tinypic.com/30ms8zs.jpg


This is why the snow plow just puts the snow all the way to the back of the driveway up against the wall. The only option is to leave it there or push it towards the street as both sides are blocked.

Another_David
12-06-2009, 07:08 AM
Sounds like you need a bobcat but that's probably not financially practical. I wonder if there's a way you can melt the snow and send it to a local storm drain? Is there any decline towards the street or an area that could store the snow? If so you could pile it on a construction trash cute and send it on its way--but you'd need a fairly steep slope.

goofycj7
12-06-2009, 07:40 AM
I have a 2001 toyota tacoma with a Curtis snowplow on it. Bought it used on EBay for 1,400 three years ago. It came off a tacoma and came with the mounts and wiring for my truck. I installed it myself, before it got cold out.

http://www.curtisindustries.net/snowplow_information/

Curtis is based in Worcester MA so you are buying from a local company. The snow-pro home-pro is the one for light duty pickups.

Worked great the past two winters, going on #3.

Learned where to park my truck and how to move the snow around the 1st year. THe first year I did not push the snow back or backdrag the snow and ended up with snow piled in front of one garage door until April.

The only additions to my truck are Timbrens for the front to level off the truck with the plow on the front.

goofycj7
12-06-2009, 07:59 AM
7626

THis snows the bottom half of my driveway, plowed with the Curtis snow pro.

If you have a friend with a snowplow try getting advise on how to plow your particular driveway.

Jayvs
12-06-2009, 08:33 AM
Have your plow guy back drag between the house and the wall then turn around and push the snow out.

edin508
12-06-2009, 08:41 AM
Snow blower time, big one. Aim the discharge shoot in whatever direction you want and go to town. You can blow it over the wall at the end of your driveway.

BlkHawk73
12-06-2009, 08:43 AM
You can get a plow for the Dakota. We install plows at work and have done some. It's just a smaller, lighter duty plow than what would be on a stronger truck. Most don't but, some ballast in the bed helps. However, because of your layout, I'd say a snow blower would be a better choice for keeping the area cleaned up. Get a GOOD one and you'll be all set. My driveway is 1 1/2 cars wide and has a "L" near the garage big enough for 2 or 3 vehicles and OAL is prob 500'. Snowblower gets it done really well and puts the snow blowing out where it would take a looooong winter to have it be an issue.

Palladin
12-06-2009, 08:48 AM
drop $1k of a GOOD 8hp+ snowblower

edin508
12-06-2009, 08:54 AM
drop $1k of a GOOD 8hp+ snowblower
I think he may need one a little bigger due to the size of the driveway. And may I suggest an Ariens snowblower, I have had such good luck with mine and it shoots the snow a good distance away. http://www.ariens.com/products_snow/s_deluxe_group/s_deluxe_30/pages/default.aspx

garandman
12-06-2009, 09:04 AM
No, snowblowers are the answer here. If it is not a long driveway and just wide, you really cant move around a plow well enough to not do what your guy is already doing. Plows are good for long stretches.

So take a snowblower and start up the middle and blow one way or the other. Alternatively, if the driveway is that wide, go horizontal in the driveway blowing in front of you. Once they get going, they throw snow 20-30+ ft easy. The key is to get a large powerful engine. You cant get a cheap snow thrower.Good advice. As mentioned you are going to need something with plenty of power (I'd guess 10hp or more) so it's going to cost you as well, but you are rid of the plow bills. There are some guys on CL in MA and NH who have garage businesses rebuilding snow throwers and some of them offer very good value. Caveat: many of the machines sold on CL are much older than the owner recalls: you can find out from the model and serial #.

There are some newish machines on CL as well for decent prices. With the economy you can still probably get a good deal on a new one.

The older Ariens Professional models are very rugged: find one with a blown motor, replace it, and you have a hell of a machine for not too much $$. Hondas are good but expensive since most of them have hydrostatic transmissions. Toro has some good machines and they have an online product selector (http://www.toro.com/home/cgi-bin/selcsnow.cgi). Most of the other brands you see at big box stores look good on paper.[wink] Simplicity (http://www.simplicitymfg.com/products/snowthrowers/) also makes good machines.

The best website I've found for snow throwers is OPE [Outdoor Power Equipment] on the net (http://www.opeonthenet.com/phpBB2/index.php). I rebuilt a 1970 Ariens and repowered it with a new OHV motor (bought mail order for less than $300: Tecumseh is out of business) and it made a huge performance difference.
http://dervish.smugmug.com/photos/461434522_QHdXs-L.jpg

They were super helpful: Ariens even assigns an engineer (Snowmann) to monitor the site. I was able to get a factory service manual off eBay, and most Ariens parts are backwards and forwards compatible. Overhaulin' thread (http://www.opeonthenet.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=81).
http://dervish.smugmug.com/photos/584504730_RUm94-L.jpg

Finally, I find a snow scoop to be a simple, cheap, effective, easy and often overlooked way to move snow. A few hardware stores stock them, but they can all order them from Suncast (http://suncast.com/snowtools/specialtyshovels.aspx). Amazing how much snow you can move with one.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P8nuOClwL._SS500_.jpg

CRSIII
12-06-2009, 10:13 AM
Hook up your garden hose to a hot h2o tap and melt it!

JRyan
12-06-2009, 10:18 AM
drop $1k of a GOOD 8hp+ snowblower

this. Stay away from the re-branded MTD (what I have) IME there is a lot of repair work.

C-pher
12-06-2009, 10:22 AM
I have a 11 hp Poulan, and I have a driveway that will do two cars wide and about four deep.

I can blow snow from the far side into the middle of my yard. Start in the back by the wall, blow the snow forward...and when you get past the wall, start blowing it toward the side.

My Poulan can go through the 4 foot frozen snow that piles up at the end of my driveway from the town plows with out even bogging down.

If you get a good powerful engine, it will throw it 40 or so feet.

Greg
12-06-2009, 10:28 AM
I'm sure you have a bunch of AR's,sell one of them and buy a snowblower.[thinking]

Fixxah
12-06-2009, 10:53 AM
One of my driveways is as long as a football field and splits to go to a barn with a big area for parking in front of the house. I have been charging $40 for 15 years. I do get a re-whack fee though.

If you were in a different neighborhood that is a $20 job. Blame Bush.

appraiser
12-06-2009, 10:54 AM
this is what happens when houses are built with no thought of, or totally ignoring snow removal.

First of all your plow guy is doing you up the.... oh never mind.

I'd plow driveways all day for 40 bucks every time I dropped the blade and all I had to do was push, no dragging back, no pushing out into the street and then having to find a place to stack it where the DPW guys are not going to have to cops come give me a ticket.

IMHO you'd be better off finding a new plow guy, one who can come back after the storm with a bobcat and clean the place right.

Short of that I'd go find a good snowblower, a bag of shear pins, and some good winter gear. My driveway is ten cars long and 2.5 cars wide, and I can clean it better with my 5 HP 15 year old snow blower than I can with my plow. It just takes longer.

Heavy wet snow is your enemy. I'd rather have 3 feet of powder than 1 inch of wet rain soaked snow.

yanici
12-06-2009, 10:56 AM
drop $1k of a GOOD 8hp+ snowblower

You said it, Joe! Looking at your driveway diagram, it looks like a blower will easily do the job. Like Joe said, don't go cheap. Buy at least an 8 hp. or maybe a little more. And, not a bargain one that you'll regret. I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a 1993 model Deere. Back then they were built like tanks. Keep it serviced, change the belts every few years, etc. and you'll have reliability. It's kinda therapeutic blowing snow too.

center442
12-06-2009, 11:07 AM
Have your plow guy back drag between the house and the wall then turn around and push the snow out.

This. If your plow guy can't/won't backblade (takes time), then go with the next option.


Snow blower time, big one. Aim the discharge shoot in whatever direction you want and go to town. You can blow it over the wall at the end of your driveway.

A strong 2-stage blower, at least 8HP (more is better), with electric start. Start right at the garage door, blowing down the length of the driveway or over the wall. If the snow is light to moderate weight, you'll be sending it an easy 20' or more down the drive. Once the area in front of the garage doors is clear, work the rest of the driveway lengthwise blowing to the sides.

Option 3 is to pray that global warming is real. [wink]

Tim94gt
12-06-2009, 11:07 AM
Have your plow guy back drag between the house and the wall then turn around and push the snow out.

+1, tell him to back blade that area and plow it properly, or try a new plow guy.

red87930
12-06-2009, 11:14 AM
I have a 11 hp Poulan, and I have a driveway that will do two cars wide and about four deep.

I can blow snow from the far side into the middle of my yard. Start in the back by the wall, blow the snow forward...and when you get past the wall, start blowing it toward the side.

My Poulan can go through the 4 foot frozen snow that piles up at the end of my driveway from the town plows with out even bogging down.

If you get a good powerful engine, it will throw it 40 or so feet.

+1 this is exactly the snow blowing pattern I was going to suggest. You will also find that the you will choose which side to blow to varies with the wind. Must large snowblowers will have enough sack to clear the driveway with most of the snow. Be sure to adjust width of path based on depth and weight of the snow. I think you are far better to take a nrrower slice and keep the snow flying than end up with a pile on the side of the drive. Even in the worse case you will be done hours before shoveling.
I resisted getting a snowblower untill last year. Picked up an older Ariens at at Church rummage sale ($75) brought it to the Ariens dealer had thenm change all the belts, adjust all the linkages, replace the coils because it was running very badly and a few other things for a few hundred and cleared my driveway like the breeze all last winter. Huge time saver.

Rob Boudrie
12-06-2009, 11:17 AM
Back then they were built like tanks

There seems to be a lot of that going around. I have a 10HP Troy Built, bought back when Troy Built was something other than just a name and before the MTD buyout (at the time, Home Depot was selling a no-name blower - Noma). The current Troy Builts are a lot less that what I paid - some due to the price pressure a big place can bring to the market, but some is probably because places like Home Depot and Lowes can have products built to a price point (lots of plastic on the new ones).

If you're driveway is on a hill you may find that chains on the snowblower help.

arlow
12-06-2009, 11:25 AM
Your plow guy sucks. 40.00 every time he drops the blade is highway robbery. I plow too and charge 40 up to 6" and 60 if it is over 6" no matter how much the storm drops. He should be backdragging and then pushing out torwards the street. IF he cannot push it across the street he can push it off the side on the green areas in your diagram. Find a new plow guy who is not a crook.

dwarven1
12-06-2009, 11:27 AM
I say borrow a snowblower next storm. Get a strong one, and start in the middle, and throw the snow to both sides from middle out. You will likely be just fine.


Short of that I'd go find a good snowblower, a bag of shear pins, and some good winter gear. My driveway is ten cars long and 2.5 cars wide, and I can clean it better with my 5 HP 15 year old snow blower than I can with my plow. It just takes longer.

Heavy wet snow is your enemy. I'd rather have 3 feet of powder than 1 inch of wet rain soaked snow.

BIG snowblower - 10+ HP at least. I'd avoid Simplicity - I have one and it bogs down in slush like no one's business. [frown] Powder it handles fine, but not slush... and we get plenty of that up here.

You might want to PM member Howie and see if he still sells snowblowers. Or Jwilson also works at an appliance store (in NH) and might sell them - try either one of those guys.

Tim94gt
12-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Your plow guy sucks. 40.00 every time he drops the blade is highway robbery. I plow too and charge 40 up to 6" and 60 if it is over 6" no matter how much the storm drops. He should be backdragging and then pushing out torwards the street. IF he cannot push it across the street he can push it off the side on the green areas in your diagram. Find a new plow guy who is not a crook.

One of my friends does the same thing, overcharges and sucks at plowing. I charge $40 per storm under 6", $60 for 6"-12", and $80 for 12" and up.

Coyote33
12-06-2009, 12:04 PM
Nice restore job, Garandman. A whole new, more powerful engine sure beats a rebuild or tuneup for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. I think my father has that same one.

I got a Husqvarna 6 years ago. Same motor and everything as the Ariens, but I liked the support for the chute better (tubular, instead of bent sheet), so went with that. The only thing is I wish I got the differential for the gears.

garandman
12-06-2009, 12:14 PM
//
Heavy wet snow is your enemy. I'd rather have 3 feet of powder than 1 inch of wet rain soaked snow.So true. I've lived on the coast for the last 20 years and while we often get rain in lieu of snow, a lot of the snow we get is closer to wet concrete than snow. Then the DPW puts down salt so the snow thrower compresses into sludge instead of throwing it.

If your 5hp gets tired, B&S makes a snow 7.5 that bolts into the same footprint and shaft location as the Tecumseh H50.


Nice restore job, Garandman. A whole new, more powerful engine sure beats a rebuild or tuneup for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. I think my father has that same one.

I got a Husqvarna 6 years ago. Same motor and everything as the Ariens, but I liked the support for the chute better (tubular, instead of bent sheet), so went with that. The only thing is I wish I got the differential for the gears.And it was kind of fun! Gave the 1970 to my brother and rebuilt an 8hp Ariens as well since the bigger wheels go over curbs better.
http://dervish.smugmug.com/photos/584504746_x6GzJ-M.jpg

Underwhere
12-06-2009, 12:21 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I have to sort through this.

MikeRizz
12-06-2009, 12:53 PM
Another vote for a good snowblower, self propelled and at least 28" cut path. I also agree your plow guy is ripping you off and should not charge you multiple times for the same storm!

JimB
12-06-2009, 12:54 PM
i have a 11 hp with track drive, as mentioned the wall iws no problem
the blower will put it over, and if you start in the middle on the rest
you won't have any problem.

they do cost a bit, but they do last awhile.

JimB

Executive
12-06-2009, 01:19 PM
Simplicity makes the best snowblower by far.
Overbuilt, overengineered and will last as long as mother nature keeps the snow falling. Buy a minimum of a 9hp model. 100% worth the investment of probably around $1800. It sounds like a lot of money but it will still be running when you have replaced your $900 Home Depot model three times.

Just remember, whatever you buy, maintain it properly. Keep the engine in tune, oil changed, chute clean, and all zerks greased. One other tip, at the beginning of each snow season, spray the insides liberally with silicone or teflon spray. This makes the snow slide out easier and helps with the clumping.


Chris

Underwhere
12-06-2009, 01:21 PM
i have a 11 hp with track drive, as mentioned the wall iws no problem
the blower will put it over, and if you start in the middle on the rest
you won't have any problem.

they do cost a bit, but they do last awhile.

JimB

Throwing it over the wall isn't a great idea. My neighbor's driveway is on the other side.

economist
12-06-2009, 01:25 PM
Another snow blower vote here. You just redirect the output as needed, and don't worry about blowing snow onto space you haven't cleared yet. That works fine. It may not make sense for your case, but I have a PTO driven blower (http://www.kubota.com/f/products/attachmentView.aspx?modelId=22&attachmentTypeId=5&attachmentCatId=89) that mounts on the front of my little 25HP Kubota tractor (http://www.kubota.com/f/products/bx24.cfm). I highly recommend it.

Rob Boudrie
12-06-2009, 01:25 PM
Keep the engine in tune, oil changed, chute clean, and all zerks greased.
Don't just grease the zerks. Remove the sheer bolts, make sure the blades spin freely on the shaft, re-grease the zerks, spin the shaft a couple of times, and put the sheet bolts back. If they are starting to bend a little bit, replace them. It's also a good idea to keep the spare sheer bolts and tools to replace them where you can get them quickly without dragging your soggy self in through the house to start rummaging in the basement for the correct size wrench.

Turn off the gas and leave the blower running until it sputters out when you put it away at the end of the season. Drain the tank unless you used fuel stabilizer.

Once the blower has cooled down, remove the spark plug, put in a few squirts of motor oil and slowly turn the engine over while holding your thumb over the spark plug hole.

Be sure to test fire the snowblower a few weeks before the snow season starts ... if you wait until the first snow to find out it's not starting up, you're going to have a long wait for the repair.

center442
12-06-2009, 01:54 PM
The only thing better than having a good snowblower is having someone (son/daughter) around the house to run it for you.

http://webpages.charter.net/center44/P2270007%20%5B640x480%5D.JPG

Here's my son a few years ago doing the back driveway with the Troy. I'm not totally heartless...I bought the model with the electrically heated handgrips for him to use. Oh, and the halogen floodlight in case he doesn't get to it until after dark. I do provide moral support and encouragement. [wink]

tele_mark
12-06-2009, 02:02 PM
The only thing better than having a good snowblower is having someone (son/daughter) around the house to run it for you.

http://webpages.charter.net/center44/P2270007%20%5B640x480%5D.JPG

Here's my son a few years ago doing the back driveway with the Troy. I'm not totally heartless...I bought the model with the electrically heated handgrips for him to use. Oh, and the halogen floodlight in case he doesn't get to it until after dark. I do provide moral support and encouragement. [wink]

Geese, there's like 3 inches there, he could've shoveled that and saved the environment. [laugh]

massgun
12-06-2009, 02:26 PM
Let me add my vote for a powerful snow thrower, at least 10 horse. I had a Toro 8 horse for about 20 years when it finally broke a part that was just not worth fixing (to me anyway). I checked around and decided to get another Toro. This time I got a 10 horse because my driveway has a good slope to it and I figured a couple extra horsepower would help it chug up the driveway better when we had a deep, wet nor'easter.

I have had this one for 4 years or so and I love it. It maneuvers easily and has plenty of power. The thing I love most about these Toros is the fact that they don't have shear pins! They are built tough enough such that, if something bogs down the auger or impeller or you eat a rock or a rug (I did that with the first Toro), the motor simply dies. You extract the object and fire it up again and continue throwing snow!

dwarven1
12-06-2009, 02:26 PM
Simplicity makes the best snowblower by far.
Overbuilt, overengineered and will last as long as mother nature keeps the snow falling. Buy a minimum of a 9hp model. 100% worth the investment of probably around $1800. It sounds like a lot of money but it will still be running when you have replaced your $900 Home Depot model three times.

Just remember, whatever you buy, maintain it properly. Keep the engine in tune, oil changed, chute clean, and all zerks greased. One other tip, at the beginning of each snow season, spray the insides liberally with silicone or teflon spray. This makes the snow slide out easier and helps with the clumping.
Bought the 7HP 22" model some 14+ years ago, and I stand by comments about it sucking on slush. It worked fine for my old driveway (smaller, and sloped) but has an issue with tossing snow 30 feet against the wind on my current driveway unless the snow is pretty dry.

And I wish I had the remote chute control that John Deere came out with in recent years - to change the angle requires me loosening a nut and retightening it after I moved the chute.

As for silicone spray... as near as I can tell, it's just another urban legend. Doesn't make any difference at all. Same for Pam - tried both.

It works OK... but I've seen better performance.

drgrant
12-06-2009, 02:27 PM
Snow blowers: Never had one but I'm not sure if it'll be effective with a driveway that seems pretty wide. I'm thinking the snow will just be blown onto an area of the driveway that I'll have to get to later. Sort of like taking a dump and walking backwards.


Good snowblowers can throw the snow a very long distance.

Get an Ariens and go 10+ HP. You won't regret it.


-Mike

garandman
12-06-2009, 02:33 PM
//I'm looking into plows for my truck but what I've been reading is that my truck is too small for a plow. 1999 V6 Dodge Dakota. I think it'll probably cost me just over 1 grand to get a very used setup. //This sounds like an opportunity:

"Honey, a new truck is going to save us a lot of money!"

Coyote33
12-06-2009, 02:37 PM
...As for silicone spray... as near as I can tell, it's just another urban legend. Doesn't make any difference at all. Same for Pam - tried both.

It works OK... but I've seen better performance.

Pam? Who is she, and what does she do?

Added for ryan81986: (-:

ryan81986
12-06-2009, 02:39 PM
Pam? Who is she, and what does she do?

http://www.memedepot.com/uploads/0/207_not_sure_if_serious.jpg

securityboy
12-06-2009, 02:40 PM
You need to find a new plow guy, plain and simple. Current guy:
1. charges too much
2. doesn't know how to plow

I'd suggest looking for a new plow guy, if not get a snow blower or my own plow/bobcat...

center442
12-06-2009, 02:51 PM
Geese, there's like 3 inches there, he could've shoveled that and saved the environment. [laugh]

[laugh] Very true. The snowblower was brand new and he was eager to try it out, so I said to go for it. Adding to our 'carbon footprint' was just an added bonus! [rofl]

ArmedMainer
12-06-2009, 04:10 PM
I have a 11 hp Poulan, and I have a driveway that will do two cars wide and about four deep.

I can blow snow from the far side into the middle of my yard. Start in the back by the wall, blow the snow forward...and when you get past the wall, start blowing it toward the side.

My Poulan can go through the 4 foot frozen snow that piles up at the end of my driveway from the town plows with out even bogging down.

If you get a good powerful engine, it will throw it 40 or so feet.Bought from Howie here on NES ??? I've got the same one and love it. It'll throw the snow far enough to solve the OP's snow removal problems easily. I sometimes do the driveway and paths 2-3 times a storm just in case the snow turns to rain so I don't have to deal with slush. Even a 11hp blower will sometimes clog up because of slush.
I agree with other who have posted the OP is getting jammed hard by his plow guy. Get rid of him ASAP and buy yourself a decent snowblower.[cheers]

JoeyD
12-06-2009, 04:31 PM
I think $40 to plow the driveway is a good price, I don't like where they are pushing the snow though. The top half should be back dragged and all the snow pushed into the section on the right. This all depends on where cars are parked when the guy shows up to plow though.
For those who think that it's a $20 dollar driveway buy a plow and all the insurance you need for plowing and get it done. I have been doing snow removal for 18 years and it's expensive to operate, unless your a part time guy with no insurance.
Buy a snow blower if you have the time to do it. I have a 12hp that works great on driveways like that. Get the heated grips and the power chute.

cekim
12-06-2009, 04:35 PM
No, snowblowers are the answer here. If it is not a long driveway and just wide, you really cant move around a plow well enough to not do what your guy is already doing. Plows are good for long stretches.

So take a snowblower and start up the middle and blow one way or the other. Alternatively, if the driveway is that wide, go horizontal in the driveway blowing in front of you. Once they get going, they throw snow 20-30+ ft easy. The key is to get a large powerful engine. You cant get a cheap snow thrower.
Basically what he said with the added though that sometimes you just have to blow the same snow twice...

I have a similar issue - parts of my DW are wide enough, that there is simply no way I can blow the snow in any direction that makes sense without just having it land on another part of the DW...

I get out early and make sure I don't let it pile up too high...

appraiser
12-06-2009, 04:59 PM
I think $40 to plow the driveway is a good price

Joey it isn't 40 to plow the driveway, it is 40 every time he drops the blade, so if he hits it twice in a 4 inch storm, it's 80 bucks.

Every plow guy I know has a set amount from 0 to X inches, an additional charge for X to Y, and one more for Y to Z.

Anything above Z ( think blizzard over 48 hours duration ) will be charged by actual travel and plow time.

ArmedMainer
12-06-2009, 05:03 PM
I have a driveway that is of fairly large size. It's not long but it's very wide.

I can fit almost 3 cars wide and 8 cars long.
There's also a side parking spot which can also fit 3 cars and is about 1.5-2 ars long. It's tee shaped.

My plow guy charges $40 per visit and he can visit up to 3 times per storm which obviously gets very expensive.


I think $40 to plow the driveway is a good price, I don't like where they are pushing the snow though. The top half should be back dragged and all the snow pushed into the section on the right. This all depends on where cars are parked when the guy shows up to plow though.
For those who think that it's a $20 dollar driveway buy a plow and all the insurance you need for plowing and get it done. I have been doing snow removal for 18 years and it's expensive to operate, unless your a part time guy with no insurance.
Buy a snow blower if you have the time to do it. I have a 12hp that works great on driveways like that. Get the heated grips and the power chute.Because the plow guy is doing a quick hack job it isn't worth the $40 a visit he's charging IMHO. I don't begrudge any plowman a profit but at his price he's pricing himself right out of a job. There's plenty of honest and insured plowmen out there that could easily beat the $40-$120 a storm price and they would probably put the snow in it's proper place. [cheers]

[cerberus]
12-06-2009, 06:13 PM
I have to agree with everyone here about the snow blower, it is the best snow removal aside from something with a bucket. We have a large Ariens (~15hp) lawn mower with a 40" snow blower and it is the greatest. Plus it is a multi tasker so you can use your investment all year long instead of just when it snows. Ours is hydrostic but it is a hand lever, a friend has a John Deer that has the foot pedal and is a lot nicer.

vellnueve
12-06-2009, 06:16 PM
http://wylfwt.com/home/files/images/funny-pictures-cat-with-invisible-snow-shovel.jpg

ryan81986
12-06-2009, 06:18 PM
http://wylfwt.com/home/files/images/funny-pictures-cat-with-invisible-snow-shovel.jpg


[rofl][laugh2][rofl][laugh2]

CRSIII
12-06-2009, 06:19 PM
I thought that was Bobby Orr!

Jamie
12-06-2009, 07:25 PM
One thing about snowblowers......wind. Make sure you have decent cold weather gear, because sometimes you'll end up eating a faceful of the crap your blowing around. Don't bother asking me how I know.[wink]

[cerberus]
12-06-2009, 07:26 PM
One thing about snowblowers......wind. Make sure you have decent cold weather gear, because sometimes you'll end up eating a faceful of the crap your blowing around. Don't bother asking me how I know.[wink]

Sounds like you are in the market for one of these my friend.

http://www.grit.com/uploadedImages/GRT/blogs/Fixin_Fence/FrntrSB2176.jpg

ArmedMainer
12-06-2009, 07:29 PM
;1208052']Sounds like you are in the market for one of these my friend.

http://www.grit.com/uploadedImages/GRT/blogs/Fixin_Fence/FrntrSB2176.jpgSweet set up !! Wonder how much something like that would set you back ?

[cerberus]
12-06-2009, 07:35 PM
Sweet set up !! Wonder how much something like that would set you back ?

Cost of snow blower: Arm

Cost of tractor: Arm + leg

Sowing off to the neighbors with the baddest snow blower on the block: Priceless

Coyote33
12-06-2009, 07:41 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_F6XIO2XMgMY/SRizUqzYFPI/AAAAAAAAADk/ep7qRkZ5fs0/s320/bobcat.JPG

http://www.railpictures.net/images/d1/1/7/4/4174.1234073206.jpg

40,000 Thousand pound Snowblower extreme snow blowing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exBrz5aQ9Hg)

more:
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/plow2.html

Billy2
12-06-2009, 07:42 PM
Use this as an excuse to buy a quad and a plow! I got one last year and it moves snow ok. But I have a blast on it year round!

cbrburns
12-06-2009, 07:56 PM
;1208052']Sounds like you are in the market for one of these my friend.

http://www.grit.com/uploadedImages/GRT/blogs/Fixin_Fence/FrntrSB2176.jpg

I love how the add shows the tractor removing 5" of snow, 15" I can understand, but that, C'mon now.

dwarven1
12-06-2009, 08:47 PM
I have to admit that Coyote33 is right about one thing - this snowblower is the best I've ever used.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a29/canthsrider/Alaska/DSCF0076-1.jpg

Let me put that in perspective for you...

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a29/canthsrider/Alaska/DSCF0078-1.jpg

Arioch
12-06-2009, 08:49 PM
Find a plow contractor with a back plow.

Realtor MA
12-06-2009, 09:07 PM
Assuming money is not an obstacle you should heat the driveway.

Underwhere
12-06-2009, 09:16 PM
Find a plow contractor with a back plow.

good idea


Assuming money is not an obstacle you should heat the driveway.

I asked Obama to make it not snow on my driveway. Money is no object for him.

billmelater
12-07-2009, 12:37 AM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd164/billmelater1/funnyjetcar-1.jpg
Thanks to sexychikxxxxx

Kalahari
12-07-2009, 01:05 AM
Snowblower. We have a Honda HS724WA. I have the fortune to use it every time it snows. I can clear the worst snowstorms in an hour or less - the thing eats up slush easily if you're worried about that. Our driveway is a little more than two cars wide and probably ~80 feet long.

We have found that its usually best to do a little shoveling of what's left over (especially if there's any water or slush) or the driveway will get a little icy. But this added step only takes another 10 minutes.

Coyote33
12-07-2009, 02:19 AM
Cool, Dwarven1, did you used to operate that? Or was it just a photo opportunity?

Speedway
12-07-2009, 03:47 PM
A good quality snow blower.

You may find that the wider the snow blower, the faster the auger belt wears out.

I have a 33" snowblower that seems to go through an auger belt every couple (2-3)seasons. The belt is like 15.00.

I think its a 12.5 hp. It will chuck the snow over practically any retaining wall. Every time I use the snow blower, it chucks the wet snow so high that it sticks to the tree it hits like 12 feet up. It is funny to look at the snow clumps that are plastered that high up.

Bob P
12-07-2009, 04:01 PM
No, snowblowers are the answer here. If it is not a long driveway and just wide, you really cant move around a plow well enough to not do what your guy is already doing. Plows are good for long stretches.

So take a snowblower and start up the middle and blow one way or the other. Alternatively, if the driveway is that wide, go horizontal in the driveway blowing in front of you. Once they get going, they throw snow 20-30+ ft easy. The key is to get a large powerful engine. You cant get a cheap snow thrower.

+1! Get a 10 horse or better and you'll be fine.

Doc Holiday
12-07-2009, 04:11 PM
Well since you live too far away for me to offer to plow your driveway, and for cheaper than what you currently pay, which what you currently pay, by all accounts is pretty standard from all the plow guys I know. I personally charge by the storm forcast 12hrs before, and size of the drive way, 3"-6" $25-$40, 6"-12"- $35-$50, 12"-18" $45-60, and 18"+ $50-$75. It includes as many passes as it takes to clear, but I try to wait till the storm is over or in a big one, go out half way thru then do a clean up when it is over. Because I deal with a few elderly home owners I also shovel and/or snowblow some walkways and/or paths to the back doors, so they have exits incase of fire. I will also salt or sand if they have the material, or pay me what it costs.

But then again, I really don't do it as an income provider as I do spare cash for hobbies.

But since we are all spending you money, I thought I would thro this one in as a possible solution to your delema, hell I am even considering it too.

Here is the home owners monster machine. 45" cutting path, and 13hp +.

YUMMY!!!!!
http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv262/Moparman70/BigBitch.jpg


http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=139972-270-31AH9777766&lpage=none

red87930
12-07-2009, 04:26 PM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd164/billmelater1/funnyjetcar-1.jpg
Thanks to sexychikxxxxx

This is hell on the garage doors. A winters worth of clearing the driveway almost guarentees the doors need paint in the spring.

garandman
12-07-2009, 04:37 PM
//

Here is the home owners monster machine. 45" cutting path, and 13hp +.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=139972-270-31AH9777766&lpage=none

Troy Built and the other MTD-built machines don't have a great reputation. The Simplicity (owned by Briggs & Stratton) Signature Pro and Ariens Professional machines are absolute beasts, with cast-iron auger housings, big housings, big rakes, and big impellers. Ariens also has a ProTrack series as well. And the 11.5hp Honda, also tracked, clears 20x32". Honda claims it will clear 71.7 tons of snow per hour: that's 2,390 lbs/minute, 40 lbs/second. That's why I love gasoline....

On a more mundane matter, where do you buy a good snow shovel? I have an old aluminum one I guard with my life. Last year I got one of those curved handle ones and it worked well: until the plastic shovel broke! So a curved handle shovel with aluminum blade would be my ideal.

Chris
12-07-2009, 05:00 PM
Ariens 10 hp Professional model here. 6 blade impeller, cast iron gear box, Tecumseh Snow King engine, 7 forward and 2 reverse 'gears' (can explain this further if anyone cares). I can only remember once that it failed to start on one pull. It has the electric start provision, but I've never bothered to use it.

Our driveway near the garage is at least 4 cars wide and the paved section is a good 100 yards or so long. It narrows to about 12' wide about 50' from the garage. I then have a shared 1/4 mile dirt drive that I have to cut the banks back from time to time.

I have a lot of pine trees that line the driveway and I routinely aim the discharge up and into them. Clearing 7' isn't hard at all. Only thing that sucks is if you need to toss snow a long way and the wind is coming from that direction, you will get some back at you. Every year I say I'm gonna get an operator shield, and every year I just zip the jacket collar up and duck when I do that part. (^_^)

Machine has only once failed to do the job, and that one time it needed a bearing replaced on rear of the auger. Still not sure why that bearing failed, and it has shown no sign of any issues since. Not bad for it's 10th season. The machine I grew up with in NH was 8hp. It was just sold to it's 4th owner (still in the family) and still throws snow like it was new. That one is over 30 years old now (probably close to 40).

Ariens belts are fairly simple to change, regular care is a couple hours in the summer. The drive disk lasts a LONG time and is easy to adjust on the large machines. The newer tires work really well (ran chains on the old tires, not needed with these)

I also clear paths around the yard, clear out the clothesline area, etc etc. So darn easy it's actually fun.

Underwhere
12-07-2009, 05:15 PM
Angst.

I came across this deal for a plow. Snow bear personal plow. 2 years old.
$500 and comes with everything I need because the owner has the same truck as me.

Damn. A good snow thrower would actually cost more than that. Damn. What to do.


http://i49.tinypic.com/i2ot9k.jpg

ArmedMainer
12-07-2009, 05:55 PM
Angst.

I came across this deal for a plow. Snow bear personal plow. 2 years old.
$500 and comes with everything I need because the owner has the same truck as me.

Damn. A good snow thrower would actually cost more than that. Damn. What to do.


http://i49.tinypic.com/i2ot9k.jpgSnag it before someone else does.

arlow
12-07-2009, 06:06 PM
Angst.

I came across this deal for a plow. Snow bear personal plow. 2 years old.
$500 and comes with everything I need because the owner has the same truck as me.

Damn. A good snow thrower would actually cost more than that. Damn. What to do.




Jump on it!!!

appraiser
12-07-2009, 06:15 PM
500 bucks.... problem is that there is no power angle feature, and you have no idea how important that is when doing driveways.

I also have concerns with the amount of weight hanging off the front of that truck, especially where it seems to be rather long.

It's hard to go wrong for 500 bucks, but you are going to be hopping in and out of the truck constantly to angle the plow blade.

The other issue I see is the blade is not very tall, and the more you have to push, the bigger the pile in front of the blade gets. It wouldn't take much snow over the length of your driveway before you had snow over the top of the blade

P.S. Chrysler Corporation transmissions are notoriously weak when it comes to plowing IF you do not come to a full stop before changing gears. Don't be in a hurry to go from Drive to Reverse, or Reverse to Drive. Slam it between gears more than a couple of times and you'll be FUBAR'd

Doc Holiday
12-07-2009, 06:35 PM
Angst.

I came across this deal for a plow. Snow bear personal plow. 2 years old.
$500 and comes with everything I need because the owner has the same truck as me.

Damn. A good snow thrower would actually cost more than that. Damn. What to do.


http://i49.tinypic.com/i2ot9k.jpg



I would say, if you are only going to do your own driveway, and don't have hopes of starting a plowing buisness, or think you can take on any contracts than that may be a good option for you. Just make sure it comes with everything. Take the passes slow, the blade is not heavy enough to really push ice or heavy tire trails, and don't plan on to much back dragging, this blade won't go high enough. Take your time, learn how to maximize your truck pushing ability, and have fun. Oh, and do not drive around with it on your truck, most insurance companies frown on it, and may not cover any damage caused by it, should you get into an accident. I know several people who got screwed for having a plow blade on their truck and it was not snowing. Last, counter balance, put some sand or salt bags in your bed. To many idiots out their put a blade on their truck and nothing in the rear to off set the weight, and either sit an spin their tires off, or destroy their front ends and cant figure out why.

Just some friendly advice from someone who has been plowing for the better part of 20 years. Best of luck to you, and wish you well in your pursuit.

JimB
12-07-2009, 07:00 PM
about 5-6 years ago a friend of mine bought a John Deere with a mower deck,
snow blower, and cab. I don't think it was the same size as the one shown, but has a diesel engine.

He paid $22,000.

JimB

appraiser
12-07-2009, 07:06 PM
200 pounds of tube sand in the bed won't hurt either.

(speaking of which I need to go to Home Depot and get some.)

dwarven1
12-07-2009, 07:12 PM
Cool, Dwarven1, did you used to operate that? Or was it just a photo opportunity?

Just a photo op; I was having a little fun when I posted it. I was up in Skagway, AK and saw that on my way back to the ship, and just had to have a pic. Gotta admit, that's the biggest snowblower I've ever seen!

Here's a more realistically sized one for the OP. It's only got a 454 Chevy engine (http://www.rowand.net/Shop/MechanicalFunnyBone/V8SnowBlower/index.htm) and will only throw snow 50'.

http://www.rowand.net/Shop/MechanicalFunnyBone/V8SnowBlower/V8SnowBlower6.jpg

Underwhere
12-07-2009, 07:34 PM
500 bucks.... problem is that there is no power angle feature, and you have no idea how important that is when doing driveways.

I also have concerns with the amount of weight hanging off the front of that truck, especially where it seems to be rather long.

It's hard to go wrong for 500 bucks, but you are going to be hopping in and out of the truck constantly to angle the plow blade.

The other issue I see is the blade is not very tall, and the more you have to push, the bigger the pile in front of the blade gets. It wouldn't take much snow over the length of your driveway before you had snow over the top of the blade

P.S. Chrysler Corporation transmissions are notoriously weak when it comes to plowing IF you do not come to a full stop before changing gears. Don't be in a hurry to go from Drive to Reverse, or Reverse to Drive. Slam it between gears more than a couple of times and you'll be FUBAR'd

Yes. I've been reading about the no angling stuff. Relative to the price of a new fully hydraulic plow this thing is pennies.

As far as the transmission: Thanks for the tip. I just rebuilt it because it went to sh*t last year. I have a 3 year warranty but I'll be careful not to slam it in gear.


I would say, if you are only going to do your own driveway, and don't have hopes of starting a plowing buisness, or think you can take on any contracts than that may be a good option for you. Just make sure it comes with everything. Take the passes slow, the blade is not heavy enough to really push ice or heavy tire trails, and don't plan on to much back dragging, this blade won't go high enough. Take your time, learn how to maximize your truck pushing ability, and have fun. Oh, and do not drive around with it on your truck, most insurance companies frown on it, and may not cover any damage caused by it, should you get into an accident. I know several people who got screwed for having a plow blade on their truck and it was not snowing. Last, counter balance, put some sand or salt bags in your bed. To many idiots out their put a blade on their truck and nothing in the rear to off set the weight, and either sit an spin their tires off, or destroy their front ends and cant figure out why.

Just some friendly advice from someone who has been plowing for the better part of 20 years. Best of luck to you, and wish you well in your pursuit.

Thanks for all the tips.
It's just for my driveway and maybe a friend or neighbor's.
I definitely don't plan on starting a business. I work too much as it is.

edin508
12-07-2009, 08:49 PM
Get a snowblower. Try fitting the plow down the walkway[smile]
And the snowblower will put the snow over your wall, not piled up against it.

Rob Boudrie
12-07-2009, 09:14 PM
Troy Built and the other MTD-built machines don't have a great reputation.
Troy Built used to be high end stuff back when it was Garden Way corporation. MTD bought the name and started targeting price points rather than quality (I paid $1600 for a 10HP Garden Way Troy Built 10 HP that is built like a masonry restroom; you can buy a MTD/Troy Built 10HP with more doodads of the current generation for less than a $1K at Lowes).

Kalahari
12-07-2009, 09:54 PM
Get a snowblower. Try fitting the plow down the walkway[smile]

Good point. We use the snowblower for the walkways as well. We even make a little loop in the yard for the dogs to be able to run around in.

Yazz
12-07-2009, 11:12 PM
Good point. We use the snowblower for the walkways as well. We even make a little loop in the yard for the dogs to be able to run around in.

Plus you get another new toy![smile]

cbrburns
12-08-2009, 12:42 AM
Good point. We use the snowblower for the walkways as well. We even make a little loop in the yard for the dogs to be able to run around in.

A snowblower in TX? Anytime I've been in TX and it snows, the world ceases to rotate! No offense, but it is funny to watch the hysteria when the roads get slick.

Kalahari
12-08-2009, 12:51 AM
A snowblower in TX? Anytime I've been in TX and it snows, the world ceases to rotate! No offense, but it is funny to watch the hysteria when the roads get slick.

I'm home in Boston for the winters. I was snowblowing for 6 years or so back home and get to do it if there's any snow from December through late January.

cbrburns
12-08-2009, 01:18 AM
I'm home in Boston for the winters. I was snowblowing for 6 years or so back home and get to do it if there's any snow from December through late January.

Gotchya, you know what I'm sayin about snow in the south though right? Time stands still.

Kalahari
12-08-2009, 03:46 AM
Gotchya, you know what I'm sayin about snow in the south though right? Time stands still.

I haven't seen snow here yet, but the ice can make for some good laughs.

Baystatesuks
12-08-2009, 11:08 AM
Not sure if it has been suggested, but you could "heat" the part of your driveway that never gets sun. Sure, it could be very expensive to operate, but you wouldn't have to worry about that area and you wouldn't have to heat it continuously. You also wouldn't have to heat it that much - just about above 32 oC.

If you have a forced hot water heating system, you might be able to tap into that and run a coil through the pavement/concrete. My furnace had a separate circuit to heat pool water prior to the former owner filling in the in-ground pool with dirt. I think the driveway heating systems use some sort of anti-freeze to avoid the possibility of freezing when the fluid sits and is not being circulated.

This project ain't going to help you this year though.

CooperS7777
12-09-2009, 05:13 AM
If you ran forced hot water under it youd have to heat it all the time...if you stopped the water in the lines would freeze.

BigLickShooter
12-09-2009, 09:01 AM
If you ran forced hot water under it youd have to heat it all the time...if you stopped the water in the lines would freeze.

Only if the lines are full of water or mostly water. Lots of people down here have heated walkways (not sure why it never snows or hardly gets below freezing) that use an anitfreeze based fluid. Unless it gets to -20 oC or so, it will not freeze.

Just not sure how economical this would be given it would take a while to bring the surface up to temperature. Keeping it there would take less energy.

JRyan
12-09-2009, 09:04 AM
I have a 11 hp Poulan, and I have a driveway that will do two cars wide and about four deep.

I can blow snow from the far side into the middle of my yard. Start in the back by the wall, blow the snow forward...and when you get past the wall, start blowing it toward the side.

My Poulan can go through the 4 foot frozen snow that piles up at the end of my driveway from the town plows with out even bogging down.

If you get a good powerful engine, it will throw it 40 or so feet.

Good to know. My next might be a poulan or an ariens.

garandman
12-09-2009, 05:09 PM
Good to know. My next might be a poulan or an ariens.Poulan is owned by Huskqvarna, AFAIK the "Poulan Pro" and Huskqvarna machines are the same.

terraformer
12-09-2009, 05:18 PM
My B&S powered troy bilt handled the slop out there just a little while just fine. Threw the stuff 15 or so feet and this is heavy crap.

drgrant
12-09-2009, 05:23 PM
If you ran forced hot water under it youd have to heat it all the time...if you stopped the water in the lines would freeze.

Another way it would work to use some kind of liquid that could be heated but doesn't freeze, like engine coolant. You could just pump that through it instead....

It's stupid expensive any way you slice it, though. Even if I won the lottery I would not have a heated driveway. Nothing a tractor and a truckload of rock salt can't deal with.

-Mike

Realtor MA
12-09-2009, 05:28 PM
Another way it would work to use some kind of liquid that could be heated but doesn't freeze, like engine coolant. You could just pump that through it instead....

It's stupid expensive any way you slice it, though. Even if I won the lottery I would not have a heated driveway. Nothing a tractor and a truckload of rock salt can't deal with.

-Mike

There are only 2 methods I've ever seen. Plastic tubing filled with anti-freeze like solution connected to a boiler(usually a 2nd boiler not the primary boiler for the house) and electric mats. They both work, they both cost a lot to install and to maintain. It's a luxury that's hard to justify but if you've ever seen it in action you would want it.
Some people try to do it the 'cheap' way and only install the heating system in the area that the tires would make contact.

Rob Boudrie
12-09-2009, 05:39 PM
Do you mean they cost a lot to "maintain" or to "run"? It would seem there is little "maintenance" once the unit is in place. You can buy a decent amount of boiler heat for the cost of a plow run - it's probably more expensive to run the electric ones. The unremarkable looking house next to the BGRA entrance in Dorchester has their sidewalk completely torn up and the cooling pipes were in place waiting for the concrete pour when I walked by it at the last monthly match.

Realtor MA
12-09-2009, 05:58 PM
Do you mean they cost a lot to "maintain" or to "run"? It would seem there is little "maintenance" once the unit is in place. You can buy a decent amount of boiler heat for the cost of a plow run - it's probably more expensive to run the electric ones. The unremarkable looking house next to the BGRA entrance in Dorchester has their sidewalk completely torn up and the cooling pipes were in place waiting for the concrete pour when I walked by it at the last monthly match.


I meant they cost a lot to run/operate. I do believe you are correct in that the boiler type system cost less than the electric systems to operate.

garandman
12-09-2009, 06:13 PM
There are only 2 methods I've ever seen. Plastic tubing filled with anti-freeze like solution connected to a boiler(usually a 2nd boiler not the primary boiler for the house) and electric mats. They both work, they both cost a lot to install and to maintain. It's a luxury that's hard to justify but if you've ever seen it in action you would want it.
Some people try to do it the 'cheap' way and only install the heating system in the area that the tires would make contact.You are saying that folks have systems that can heat their driveways enough to melt a 25" Northeaster, with drifts and EOD (End-Of-Driveway) pile?

"Lets see, I've insulated my entire house to Rxx, sealed all the windows, etc. So now I'm going to use all that money I save to pump heat directly into the atmosphere through several inches of asphalt."

dixidawg
12-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Wouldn't the heating of the driveway lead to frost heaves and/or cracked asphalt?

CRSIII
12-09-2009, 06:31 PM
Heated driveways are not as complex as one might think.
Think crushed stone instead of pavement.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/heateddriveway
Couple this with an outdoor wood boiler that heats your home, and you have a winning combo.

Realtor MA
12-09-2009, 06:38 PM
Heated driveways are not as complex as one might think.
Think crushed stone instead of pavement.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/heateddriveway
Couple this with an outdoor wood boiler that heats your home, and you have a winning combo.

That's a great idea. Don't those boilers take huge pieces of wood?


You are saying that folks have systems that can heat their driveways enough to melt a 25" Northeaster, with drifts and EOD (End-Of-Driveway) pile?

"Lets see, I've insulated my entire house to Rxx, sealed all the windows, etc. So now I'm going to use all that money I save to pump heat directly into the atmosphere through several inches of asphalt."

The trick is to turn the system on prior to any accumulation.


Wouldn't the heating of the driveway lead to frost heaves and/or cracked asphalt?

Not that I know of. The driveway isn't getting hot. Just warm enough to melt the snow as it falls.

Andy in NH
12-16-2009, 11:45 AM
Video: Not for the average homeowner (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bf5_1260936514)




.

EddieCoyle
12-16-2009, 11:50 AM
Here's a more realistically sized one for the OP. It's only got a 454 Chevy engine (http://www.rowand.net/Shop/MechanicalFunnyBone/V8SnowBlower/index.htm) and will only throw snow 50'.

http://www.rowand.net/Shop/MechanicalFunnyBone/V8SnowBlower/V8SnowBlower6.jpg

We should send that picture to any government hostile to the US. It will keep them from ever trying to invade us. Just use the caption:

"Some American made this on his own, just for the hell of it. Do you want to screw with his country?"

cekim
12-16-2009, 12:16 PM
We should send that picture to any government hostile to the US. It will keep them from ever trying to invade us. Just use the caption:

"Some American made this on his own, just for the hell of it. Do you want to screw with his country?"
Conversely, they will know its time to invade when the chief environmental officer prosecutes him for carbon tax evasion and sundry emissions control equipment violations based on that posting on the internet... [thinking]

ArmedMainer
12-16-2009, 12:17 PM
Video: Not for the average homeowner (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bf5_1260936514)




.I used to work winters at the old Pease Air Base in NH doing snow removal and had the chance to operate a few of these. The snowblower in your video is actually an older model. One of my last years working there they got a brand new blower that was quite impressive. My first few years there I spent alot of time in the "Bank Busters" which believe it or not would put you to sleep because they progressed so slowly. They'd move alot of snow though. I'd still be working there had I not moved to MA. to get married.

scooter
12-16-2009, 12:33 PM
Tell the plow guy his money is in front of the garage he just plowed in under the snow.Maybe he will pull the snow away from the garage next time instead

jobowker
12-16-2009, 12:34 PM
Snow blower or heated driveway. After the initial purchase price, a heated driveway will typically cost less than $10 per snowstorm. When the flakes start falling, go flick the switch. The height of laziness, but it works.

icyclefar
12-16-2009, 12:39 PM
The other issue I see is the blade is not very tall, and the more you have to push, the bigger the pile in front of the blade gets. It wouldn't take much snow over the length of your driveway before you had snow over the top of the blade

Nor do those blades have a lot of lift height. You will not be able to stack the snow very high and as a result your snow banks will creep further and further into your driveway.

Buy a snow blower.

I have an 8HP Toro that runs great! It is pretty much only used for walkways and is pretty easy to move on and off a pick up truck by one man and a ramp. If your machine will never leave your yard then buy the biggest beast you can afford!

graftyman
12-16-2009, 02:09 PM
My .02.

Did you buy that plow?

If you did your going to realize that without the power angle you will have to work more then with. Not a big deal if you have the time. I'm not saying it's a bad idea. Ohh and if you have grass you really like be very careful with the blade. You will rip that grass right out.

I have a K2500 truck with a 7.5 foot fisher hydrolic speedcaster. My driveway is TINY compared to yours. Why do I have the plow, well it came with the truck. :) So I wind up plowing my driveway and a few neighbors. The truck with set up was 700 bucks. However, after exhaust work, rebuild of xfer case, rebuild of transmission, new alternator and now a new CV front axle I'm into this thing for about 4000. If I were to buy a plow for my driveway I would do a tiny plow like the Jeeps have. Easy to maneuver and still will move the stuff out your driveway. I'm lucky I can push the snow into the road for a second while I maneuver. The city guys that do my neighborhood love me after I jump started their truck and lent them my cables one day. Hell, i offered him to use my truck to finish the neighborhood.

I also have a snowblower. For walkways, to make pathes around the house. And last year I ran out of space to stack snow so I wound up having to blow it.

Your driveway is perfect for a blower, it won't be that big of a deal. Actually if you got the plow, let me know I have one of those self propelled by rubber flapper blowers that is perfect for walkways. I stuffed it in my shed 2 years ago. I'll give it to you. To be honest in most storms it works better then the 2 stage. I assume it will still run.

I bought a 2 stage MTD with a Tecumseh engine on it used off CL a few years ago. With minor maintence it has been fine. I had some bearings lock up last year and had to pull all the drive gears out. Actually freed them up with PB blaster. Stuffed some grease in and it works fine now.

As others, I LOVE those old Ariens. Nothing works better then them. Except as others have said in the slush. I used one for years and it would jam in the slush. Silicone is not the answer, nor is Pam. the problem is the slush is freezing to the sides of the chute. Spray it down liberally with WD-40 before hand and if it starts to stick again. I do this with my current ones and I have no problems with slush at all. The WD-40 doesn't just grease the way it stops the water from bonding(freezing) to the cold metal. I figured this out out of desperation one storm years ago.

So... what was your decision? plow or blower?

Coyote33
12-22-2009, 01:34 PM
So, we have a small storm under out belt. We all want to know how you cleared your driveway.

garandman
12-22-2009, 01:48 PM
///
As others, I LOVE those old Ariens. Nothing works better then them. Except as others have said in the slush. I used one for years and it would jam in the slush. Silicone is not the answer, nor is Pam. the problem is the slush is freezing to the sides of the chute. Spray it down liberally with WD-40 before hand and if it starts to stick again. I do this with my current ones and I have no problems with slush at all. The WD-40 doesn't just grease the way it stops the water from bonding(freezing) to the cold metal. I figured this out out of desperation one storm years ago.

So... what was your decision? plow or blower?There is a guy in Quebec who sells a kit to put rubber seals on the end of your impeller. Supposedly this seals up the small gap between the impeller and housing and blows slush much better. I bought one three years ago and may even install it someday!

Clarence's Small Engines. (http://smllengns.tripod.com/)

http://smllengns.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/kitpic2.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KemgMN7Qu6g

Underwhere
12-22-2009, 02:31 PM
So, we have a small storm under out belt. We all want to know how you cleared your driveway.

I was torn between 2 plows, the somewhat simplistic snow bear and the fully hydraulic custom setup.

I started looking at snowblowers on craigslist and came across a craftsman tractor.

Well. I snagged it
$400 Craftsman GT18 tractor
18 horsepower Briggs and Stratton L configuration twin cylinder motor.
6 speed
Mower deck so I can cut my grass
A blower on the back so I can drive over leaves and fill bags with them
And a 40" wide snow thrower (old and single stage but I'm ok with making multiple passes if I'm driving a tractor doing it)

I didn't make it before the last storm.
I spent 3 hours shoveling with my girlfriend piling snow into the bed of my pickup, driving around my house and dumping it in the woods. It probably would have taken me 4 hours do it myself.

We just shoveled the top half of the driveway that doesn't get any sun. The snow plow guy came later and cleared the rest. He ended up coming 2 times that storm = $80

I'm doing some maintenance on it (just got back from Napa with some parts) and hope to have it running before the next storm.
http://i50.tinypic.com/2icacmv.jpg
http://i46.tinypic.com/23t3tad.jpg
http://i45.tinypic.com/r77r7p.jpg
http://i47.tinypic.com/2csa1z7.jpg
http://i45.tinypic.com/e835so.jpg

tele_mark
12-22-2009, 02:35 PM
[rofl]

You look like Slim Pickens riding the bomb!

http://filmforno.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/normal_dr_strangelove01.jpg

Underwhere
12-22-2009, 11:43 PM
[rofl]

You look like Slim Pickens riding the bomb!

http://filmforno.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/normal_dr_strangelove01.jpg

I'm thinking of doing a Hemi Cuda paint scheme from the 70's.

One of my favorite cars.

I was going to do Green and dark purple.

http://reedbrothersdodge.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/hemi_cuda_green.jpg?w=440&h=196

eisenhow
12-23-2009, 07:16 AM
I'm thinking of doing a Hemi Cuda paint scheme from the 70's.

One of my favorite cars.

I was going to do Green and dark purple.

http://reedbrothersdodge.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/hemi_cuda_green.jpg?w=440&h=196

Are you going to try it first or are you going to take it apart and custimize it. [wink]
[rofl] [laugh2]

Underwhere
12-23-2009, 10:58 AM
Are you going to try it first or are you going to take it apart and custimize it. [wink]
[rofl] [laugh2]

I'm doing a little of both :)

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 12:57 PM
Snow Blower:
I should have bought one last year.
I should have bought one during the blizzard a few weeks ago
I should have bought one before today.
I probably should have not bought that revolver yesterday and put the money towards the snow blower.

So here is what I have to deal with.
I read some of the advice. Some people suggested 8hp. Some people suggested more.
Given the pictures here, what do you think is needed?

The truck is 11 feet long. Hard to tell from the pics but when parked right, I can fit a car on both sides of the truck.
I have to blow snow past the wall seen in the 2nd pic.

http://i52.tinypic.com/29gg674.jpg
http://i56.tinypic.com/117tr4h.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/30ms8zs.jpg

terraformer
01-12-2011, 01:01 PM
I probably should have not bought that revolver yesterday and put the money towards the snow blower.
...
So here is what I have to deal with.
...
Given the pictures here, what do you think is needed?

Either lots of ammo to melt away the snow or explosives... [grin]


ETA: Seriously though, HPs don't matter if cost is an issue. HPs just allow you to chew through it faster. As long as it's >24 inches wide (get the tallest one you can afford), then you have enough to throw that show. The more the HP, the more that you can get through in a given time.

tele_mark
01-12-2011, 01:01 PM
Hell, my 6HP Ariens would handle that fine. But, there's no substitute for cubic inches....

C-pher
01-12-2011, 01:04 PM
This

http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_2329.jpg

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 01:07 PM
Are there brands to stay away from?
Is there an AMT Backup equivalant in Snow Blower World?

terraformer
01-12-2011, 01:10 PM
Are there brands to stay away from?
Is there an AMT Backup equivalant in Snow Blower World?

They are all made by the same company practically (http://www.mtdproducts.com/corporate/). Even Ariens, Husqvarna and John Deere use parts from MTD. That said, there are no AMTs in the snow blower world (well, electric snow throwers I guess are the AMTs). More like sig v. glock v. H&K v. RIA v. S&W. All decent but some better than others.

Teej
01-12-2011, 01:15 PM
Stay away from anything with a plastic impeller. Every blower I've ever seen has a metal auger but some have a plastic impeller and are pretty much useless once the snow gets wet/heavy which is about 80% of what we usually get around here. Other than that what terra said.

JRyan
01-12-2011, 01:16 PM
Just find the ones with a decent motor, the least plastic etc.

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 01:16 PM
Ok good to know.



MTD snowblower. 10hp engine 28" path. , headlight. some minor rust and flaking paint but everything works as it should. runs great. $325


would this be an ok deal?
http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/for/2156334665.html

r1dermon
01-12-2011, 01:16 PM
this

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/grd/2155097147.html

there are loads of 6-8hp, slightly used blowers on the market. you can blow snow in all directions and 50ft+. it's the way to go.

MisterHappy
01-12-2011, 01:18 PM
And, don't skimp on fresh gas! Small engines are finnicky, especially before they warm up....which is when you need it to start.

r1dermon
01-12-2011, 01:23 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNLbAW6j7k

EC1
01-12-2011, 01:23 PM
If you have the room to store it, a tractor (my garden tractor with under carriage weighs ~2000lb) with a bucket and a mount on the bucket for a blade. A tad expensive but you can move very deep heavy snow without worrying if it will jam the snow blower and clear right up to a retaining wall using the bucket.

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 01:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNLbAW6j7k
Holy Sh*T
Doing some research

dwarven1
01-12-2011, 01:26 PM
Are there brands to stay away from?
Is there an AMT Backup equivalant in Snow Blower World?

If you get a Simplicity, get a BIG one. My 7HP Simplicity tends to choke on wet slush. Today, the snow is somewhere around a foot or more - RIGHT to the top of the intake - but in second gear it just chewed through it and didn't even slow down. Dry stuff it handles just fine.

atmay
01-12-2011, 01:30 PM
This

http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_2329.jpg

This gets my vote.

highlander
01-12-2011, 01:44 PM
Didn't go thru all the replies but in my experience 8 HP or better for the snow like this.
I bought an 11 HP Areins and the only problem I have had is that the shear pins seem to break often but I do keep half a dozen on hand just in case. If you've not figured it out I'm a firm believer in overkill. Oddly enough I was with a buddy who was looking a t snow blowers and for the Troy Built machines they had the engines listed in in cubic inches but not hp which I thought was a bit strange.

dixidawg
01-12-2011, 01:49 PM
If you get a Simplicity, get a BIG one. My 7HP Simplicity tends to choke on wet slush. Today, the snow is somewhere around a foot or more - RIGHT to the top of the intake - but in second gear it just chewed through it and didn't even slow down. Dry stuff it handles just fine.



This.

You can't have too much horsepower.

There will be times that you REALLY need it, like when we get 2 feet of HEAVY WET snow. It may only happen once in 25 years, but when you need all that HP, you really need it. Especially when the alternative is a shovel.

Then again you can always go with redundant systems:

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t215/dixidawg/ScottSnow2.jpg

The snowblower is a 10HP MTD There have been times I wish it was bigger.

Twigg
01-12-2011, 01:50 PM
Whatever you get, be sure it has an electric starter.

I've had a huge Ariens 13 hp beast, most times is one or two pulls but sometimes it balks at starting.

Serves me right for not taking it in for a tune up. [thinking]

JRyan
01-12-2011, 01:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exBrz5aQ9Hg

atmay
01-12-2011, 01:52 PM
Another thing to consider when it comes to snowblower engines:

Higher HP engines will generally last longer, since everything will be less taxing on the engine.


Buy quality, and only cry once!

drgrant
01-12-2011, 01:54 PM
Get an Ariens 8 or 10 hp. I've had an 8/24 Classic for like 5 years now and I love it. Minimal maintenance, electric start (although I rarely use it). Throws the snow very far. For something like that driveway I would get 10 HP. (based soley on the desire to not be stuck out there all day if its bad).

The Hondas are great machines too, if pricey.... if money was no object, I would buy a Honda.

-Mike

Rob Boudrie
01-12-2011, 02:00 PM
Do they still even have have snowblowers rated in HP?

There was a class action suit over bogus HP ratings, so the lawnmower assn set their own standard of "torque", even stated that the rating can be up to 15% off the measured rating and still conform to standard, arguing they are being truthful because the lawnmowers are labeled "as per SAE J1490" - sort of like a butcher labeling his meat "5 lbs as per butcher's association standard xyz" ... and then publishing xyz to state "within 15% of actual".

It is unlikely that many 10HP blowers are, in fact, 10HP due the various games played when measuring and rating systems. There were different models of lawn mower sold with different HP ratings for identical engines.

TY43215
01-12-2011, 02:11 PM
Assuming money is not an obstacle you should heat the driveway.

My thought exactly. Tear up the driveway, install Pex radiant tubing attached to an electric water heater and filled with antifreeze. When the snow starts. flip the switch and watch it melt. If you really want to piss off the neighbors, put some under the lawn and have green grass year round [rofl]

PaulD
01-12-2011, 02:26 PM
No, snowblowers are the answer here. If it is not a long driveway and just wide, you really cant move around a plow well enough to not do what your guy is already doing. Plows are good for long stretches.

So take a snowblower and start up the middle and blow one way or the other. Alternatively, if the driveway is that wide, go horizontal in the driveway blowing in front of you. Once they get going, they throw snow 20-30+ ft easy. The key is to get a large powerful engine. You cant get a cheap snow thrower.

I agree though engine size/power isn't the whole equation. Some snowblowers are just designed better and throw snow further. The solution here is a good, 2 stage snow blower like a Honda, Ariens or pro quality Simplicity.

I have a Toro and while it's decent, if I had to do it over I'd try to get a Honda.

PaulD
01-12-2011, 02:27 PM
Do they still even have have snowblowers rated in HP?

There was a class action suit over bogus HP ratings, so the lawnmower assn set their own standard of "torque", even stated that the rating can be up to 15% off the measured rating and still conform to standard, arguing they are being truthful because the lawnmowers are labeled "as per SAE J1490" - sort of like a butcher labeling his meat "5 lbs as per butcher's association standard xyz" ... and then publishing xyz to state "within 15% of actual".

It is unlikely that many 10HP blowers are, in fact, 10HP due the various games played when measuring and rating systems. There were different models of lawn mower sold with different HP ratings for identical engines.

Yeah but while they might not be truly 10hp, if you buy from a good manufacturer, the 10hp one is 25% more powerful than the 8hp.

terraformer
01-12-2011, 02:27 PM
Do they still even have have snowblowers rated in HP?

There was a class action suit over bogus HP ratings, so the lawnmower assn set their own standard of "torque", even stated that the rating can be up to 15% off the measured rating and still conform to standard, arguing they are being truthful because the lawnmowers are labeled "as per SAE J1490" - sort of like a butcher labeling his meat "5 lbs as per butcher's association standard xyz" ... and then publishing xyz to state "within 15% of actual".

It is unlikely that many 10HP blowers are, in fact, 10HP due the various games played when measuring and rating systems. There were different models of lawn mower sold with different HP ratings for identical engines.

I think you are referring to measurements that are not BHP at the output of the transmission. You can measure it at the engine output shaft, the wheels (cars, etc), the blades, etc. That's how you can have the same engine with different output ratings.

terraformer
01-12-2011, 02:29 PM
I agree though engine size/power isn't the whole equation. Some snowblowers are just designed better and throw snow further. The solution here is a good, 2 stage snow blower like a Honda, Ariens or pro quality Simplicity.

I have a Toro and while it's decent, if I had to do it over I'd try to get a Honda.

Right, but the end result is they all throw snow and his question is how to avoid the AMTs, not how does he find the Les Baer Custom 1911s.

PaulD
01-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Right, but the end result is they all throw snow and his question is how to avoid the AMTs, not how does he find the Les Baer Custom 1911s.

Fair enough. The answer then is don't buy a Yard Machines, MTD, Murray or whatever number of other brands they're marketed under. Those are the Highpoints of the snowblower world. And don't buy one of those nancy boy single stage things either.

Husqvarna is probably another good band to consider.

dixidawg
01-12-2011, 02:48 PM
Husqvarna is made by AYP, at least my husky lawn tractor was.

I bought the Yard Machines snowblower in the picture above about 6 years ago from a friend of mine. That friend had NO problems with it, and the only problem I have had was a broken shear bolt.

I have absolutely no complaints for the money. It is a 10HP tecumseh that ALWAYS starts on either the first or second time. It has electric start that I have never used. (There. I just jinxed myself really good....)


I wouldn't rule them out. I think they are a pretty good value for the $.

terraformer
01-12-2011, 03:02 PM
Husqvarna is made by AYP, at least my husky lawn tractor was.

I bought the Yard Machines snowblower in the picture above about 6 years ago from a friend of mine. That friend had NO problems with it, and the only problem I have had was a broken shear bolt.

I have absolutely no complaints for the money. It is a 10HP tecumseh that ALWAYS starts on either the first or second time. It has electric start that I have never used. (There. I just jinxed myself really good....)


I wouldn't rule them out. I think they are a pretty good value for the $.

Same here. Never use the electric start (despite having overhead power right over it), have a MTD made Troy Bilt and it is definitely good for the money. It's not a Honda, but it is dead similar to a deere and Ariens, just as good as sears, etc.

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 03:05 PM
I just realized my plow guy actually hit my truck this morning. He broke the bumper and my front turn signal.

terraformer
01-12-2011, 03:11 PM
I just realized my plow guy actually hit my truck this morning. He broke the bumper and my front turn signal.

Dump the plow guy. With a decent blower you can do a lot of driveway.

careful34
01-12-2011, 03:12 PM
What happened with the lawn tractor set up from last year?

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 03:23 PM
Dump the plow guy. With a decent blower you can do a lot of driveway.
at the gas station I saw a plow guy with a rear mounted plow. He said he could do my driveway...just not today.
I'll give him a call and see what he can do. That might have saved me the money on the snow blower. I just don't know what i'm going to do today. (other than drop my current plow guy and make him pay for the bumper)


What happened with the lawn tractor set up from last year?
The snow blower on that was lame. Apparently one of the first years they made them. The belts would constantly burn and break regardless of the type of snow you would try and work through it. The modern ones supposedly work much better. Oh well. It was fun to drive around for a while. I sold it for $50 less than i bought it for.

cekim
01-12-2011, 03:24 PM
Dump the plow guy. With a decent blower you can do a lot of driveway.
There aren't many problems that cannot be solved with the judicious use of explosives... [laugh]

dwarven1
01-12-2011, 03:48 PM
I just realized my plow guy actually hit my truck this morning. He broke the bumper and my front turn signal.

Dude... Considering all the problems you have been having with snow... have you considered moving to Florida?

highlander
01-12-2011, 04:37 PM
[QUOTE=Underwhere;1716312]I just realized my plow guy actually hit my truck this morning. He broke the bumper and my front turn signal.[/QUOTE
That's sucks,now the "How do I know it wasn't that way before I came" game.
Hope we don't see you on "the People's Court" or "America's Most Wanted" [laugh][laugh][laugh]

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 04:43 PM
http://i54.tinypic.com/zmcu8o.jpg
http://i56.tinypic.com/351a3hg.jpg

r1dermon
01-12-2011, 05:20 PM
i just bought one TODAY thanks in part to this thread, and the 18" of snow on my driveway. decided to call off the plow guy and pick up a blower. got it off craigslist. an 8hp snapper in real nice shape. just needs the carb cleaned up to smooth it out a bit, other than that, it was a smmmmokin deal for 250 bucks, 1.5 hours and my massive driveway is done (for now). guy i bought it from gets them in and repairs/sells them. straight shooter. if you want his # PM me. i couldn't be happier.

bostonasphalt2
01-12-2011, 05:50 PM
http://i54.tinypic.com/zmcu8o.jpg
http://i56.tinypic.com/351a3hg.jpg

my Dak is finally in better condition than yours lol

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 06:24 PM
Will a snowblower go up a slight grassy incline? I need to carve out a path to the chicken coop

IDPA Mike
01-12-2011, 07:08 PM
Will a snowblower go up a slight grassy incline? I need to carve out a path to the chicken coop

Should be no problem. If you can wait until next year I,ll seel mine for $100. Good one to see if you like it before spending alot on something that may not work for you.
It's a craftsman,9hp 28" . It runs good, but I need a larger one. It's 8 years old and has been stored inside year round. Some wear on the bottom.

Fixxah
01-12-2011, 07:35 PM
De,

Having been there, it's a bargain at $40 a whack. I do some half that size for double that.

Get a snoblower and you will spend 4 hours on it. I'd rather pay and watch through the window and sip coffee.

If you poke a bunch of holes in the mound, it will melt much faster with above freezing temps and a little breeze.

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 07:53 PM
Truck update:

The reason I saw the damage was that when I took the truck out I noticed the turn signal indicator was blinking fast. I looked and saw the damage to the bumper and plastic front valance.

I went to replace the bulb which I assumed had just broken due to the impact.
Well, I was right but it gets worse.

The bumper was pushed back about 2 inches on the drivers side. It was also pushed inwards so now my front fender sits farther out than my bumper.
The gap between the fender and bumper are drastically different on opposite sides of the truck.

The impact broke the bulb bases so the bulbs themselves and part of the base was actually rolling around inside of the turn signal housing.

Removing the turn signal itself was quite a task. There is a bunch of broken plastic behind the turn signal and headlight.

It looks like there needs to be some frame bending to get the bumper back on straight.

Fixxah: thanks for the input. If I don't have to snow blow I wouldn't...but this is just getting stupid. I'm hoping the rear mounted plow will be able to fix this.

Coyote33
01-12-2011, 08:11 PM
...Fixxah: thanks for the input. If I don't have to snow blow I wouldn't...but this is just getting stupid. I'm hoping the rear mounted plow will be able to fix this.

Yeah, 'cause it is always easier to plow in reverse while your head is turned backwards looking over a pickup bed. Not.

Good luck!

PaulD
01-12-2011, 08:25 PM
De, if you're interested, I saw two good snowblowers at a local hardware store. One was a 27", 8.5hp Poulan Pro for $899 and the other was a 27", 9.5hp Husqvarna $999. Both were the same basic snowblower and are obviously made by the same company. They were both very nice and those prices seem very good.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2770/4353876965_dac4b5db1f_z.jpg?zz=1

PM me if you want to know the place.

William Wallace
01-12-2011, 08:49 PM
Definitely 10+ HP. My old 8.5HP/26" Sears was having a fit today in the 14" or so. Had to take 12" or so passes.
It's been a good machine but its time to upgrade, most likely looking at the 30" Ariens machine next.

mass
01-12-2011, 09:02 PM
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y173/HaywoodLaCrosse/30ms8zs.jpg

RichM
01-12-2011, 09:11 PM
[laugh2]

Nice, Mass! Problems solved!

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 09:42 PM
Oh F*

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse.
I didn't expect my plow guy to come by again. He did and my girlfriend took my battered truck. It left the driveway wide open for him to just shove all the snow back and pack it in.

The highest is probably around 5 feet. It's about 5-6 feet deep. 3 cars wide.
I've lost 2 parking spaces and have 1 garage blocked.

Can a snow blower chew through that and throw it backwards towards the front of the driveway? Do they do well on snow banks? Icy ones?

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but when I used to get snow banks like this I would go out with an Axe every day after work and chop it for about 1-2 hours and manually move the chunks to the front of the driveway. I would do this every day until probably around
early to mid May.

The weight of the snow bank sunk the pavement and had to get the driveway repaved...else I would get a pond every time it rained.
http://i55.tinypic.com/2i5508.jpg

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 09:44 PM
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y173/HaywoodLaCrosse/30ms8zs.jpg

I will ask Obama if he can do that for me.

dixidawg
01-12-2011, 09:46 PM
Oh F*


http://i55.tinypic.com/2i5508.jpg


I think I see the problem. You live on Mars!

economist
01-12-2011, 09:55 PM
You just need to go buy a nice high-quality snow blower. Mine mounts on my 25HP Kubota. For a standard snowblower, I would go with Honda. All of your problems will go away. Chewing through snow with a nice machine makes it fun.

PaulD
01-12-2011, 09:58 PM
First, your plow guy sucks ass, but you knew that.

2nd, Yeah, a good snowblower should be able to handle that. And, more to the point, it'd prevent that situation in the first place.


Oh F*

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse.
I didn't expect my plow guy to come by again. He did and my girlfriend took my battered truck. It left the driveway wide open for him to just shove all the snow back and pack it in.

The highest is probably around 5 feet. It's about 5-6 feet deep. 3 cars wide.
I've lost 2 parking spaces and have 1 garage blocked.

Can a snow blower chew through that and throw it backwards towards the front of the driveway? Do they do well on snow banks? Icy ones?

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but when I used to get snow banks like this I would go out with an Axe every day after work and chop it for about 1-2 hours and manually move the chunks to the front of the driveway. I would do this every day until probably around
early to mid May.

The weight of the snow bank sunk the pavement and had to get the driveway repaved...else I would get a pond every time it rained.
http://i55.tinypic.com/2i5508.jpg

RichM
01-12-2011, 10:06 PM
... and send a nice Christmas card to the architect who designed that property layout!

So did you run out there and tell him that he crunched your SUV? (Even though it was gone when he returned... [grin]

GunGrey
01-12-2011, 10:13 PM
I dont know you well at all but, do you have any kids?


Right there you have free labor assuming they are of age to actually do labor and not dick around

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 10:15 PM
I dont know you well at all but, do you have any kids?
None I am aware of.

GunGrey
01-12-2011, 10:18 PM
None I am aware of.

good answer,


Hire the neigbor's kids they'll be happy about getting 20$ to do a drive way

C-pher
01-12-2011, 10:18 PM
Have you sent a PM to Howie here on the board? He runs a place and gave a group of us a GREAT deal on snowblowers.

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 10:24 PM
Hire the neigbor's kids they'll be happy about getting 20$ to do a drive way
That's an idea. But I don't their parents will let them. They've seen the stickers on my truck.


Have you sent a PM to Howie here on the board? He runs a place and gave a group of us a GREAT deal on snowblowers.

Yeah at the end of December. No response. I figured he was too busy or out of the business.

GunGrey
01-12-2011, 10:31 PM
That's an idea. But I don't their parents will let them. They've seen the stickers on my truck.

hire some mexicans, i suggest checking homedepot.Atleast you can call INS on them after they are done and save yourself some money

Coyote33
01-12-2011, 11:35 PM
Wait, your plow guy hits your truck and doesn't say anything? Then he comes back and plows snow INTO your driveway?

MULTIPLE FAIL!

Underwhere
01-12-2011, 11:36 PM
Here's the bumper pushed back enough to cause an opening in my wheel well.

I always got a kick of how the truck says V6 magnum.
Nothing about this truck is "Magnum" except for maybe the explosion that occurred when my girlfriend blew the motor.

http://i52.tinypic.com/2r2qb06.jpg

Coyote33
01-12-2011, 11:54 PM
I had a '78 Dodge Magnum. It had a 318 which maybe made about 130-140 HP on a good day. It rode like a dream though. I wish I still had it, but it rusted out and had electrical problems. I junked it, and then saw it out driving around again. I wanted it back so bad.

calsdad
01-13-2011, 12:02 AM
You just need to go buy a nice high-quality snow blower. Mine mounts on my 25HP Kubota. For a standard snowblower, I would go with Honda. All of your problems will go away. Chewing through snow with a nice machine makes it fun.

If the snowblower you have can't handle the job - you need a bigger one. Something like this should be able to throw the snow more than far enough:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyE3VPjGwTY

chris_1001
01-13-2011, 01:46 PM
Any thoughts on the

"Poulan Pro Snow Thrower, 600 Series, 24"?

StephenR
01-13-2011, 01:59 PM
If you can find one of these, then get it. It is only 24 inches wide but it will LAUNCH snow. The design of the auger and chute seems to be better than many other blowers. It will be hard to find and cost a decent amount but you will be extremely happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPWw4vxK5_0

chris_1001
01-13-2011, 02:02 PM
If you can find one of these, then get it. It is only 24 inches wide but it will LAUNCH snow. The design of the auger and chute seems to be better than many other blowers. It will be hard to find and cost a decent amount but you will be extremely happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPWw4vxK5_0

Wow, 2-stroke! Never knew they made one...

GM-GUY
01-13-2011, 02:22 PM
My Bercomac (for sale on this site - couldn't resist) mounted on a Husky 24HP lawntractor works awesome. I lived on an inside corner in Oakham and the plow trucks would put 4ft+ piles in front of my driveway regularly. That thing ripped right through them - I also was able to throw that snow about 40 feet away and 30 feet high arc. The only time it didn't was when we had HEAVY WET SNOW 12"+ - so wet you shovel and it drips water. It only put it 20 feet away and it looked like a stream of water out of the chute. Padula in Lunenburg and Klems in Spencer are dealers among others.

s4mt3k
01-13-2011, 02:46 PM
ATVs + required modifications will cost as much as a new truck to plow properly with... might as well buy a bobcat for 8k.

I'd just spend buy a GOOD snowblower and you'll be fine. They throw really far.

Garys
01-13-2011, 03:03 PM
From my research on line and talking to people who own them, it seems that the three best brands are Ariens, Simplicity, and Toro. I know a few people who've owned Ariens for years and years with no problems. I have as 15 year old small Toro Powercurve two stroke that still works fine, but it's too small for this much snow. For now I have access to two machines to borrow, but I really want to get one of my own. I'll probably wait until spring and see what's out there. I won't buy from Home Depot, Lowes, or any other big box store. I've been told by several people that even though they sell the same name brands, the quality of the components is inferior to the ones at power equipment dealers. That was from people who made the mistake of buying at the big box stores and then tried to get them serviced. Take if what it's worth, but for the extra money, I think I'll buy from a specialty store.

PaulD
01-13-2011, 03:03 PM
If you can find one of these, then get it. It is only 24 inches wide but it will LAUNCH snow. The design of the auger and chute seems to be better than many other blowers. It will be hard to find and cost a decent amount but you will be extremely happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPWw4vxK5_0

The 2 stroke is interesting. However, I have an older Toro 2-stage with an 8hp Tecumseh and I'm not impressed with it. It's a 24" which should be a decent size for my driveway but the thing just doesn't throw snow as well as other, similar sized ones I've seen.

Also, the latest Toros have a cool design on the chute controller but it's all plastic. The Husqvarna I saw last night had a similar controller but the chute was all steel.

PaulD
01-13-2011, 03:12 PM
From my research on line and talking to people who own them, it seems that the three best brands are Ariens, Simplicity, and Toro. I know a few people who've owned Ariens for years and years with no problems. I have as 15 year old small Toro Powercurve two stroke that still works fine, but it's too small for this much snow. For now I have access to two machines to borrow, but I really want to get one of my own. I'll probably wait until spring and see what's out there. I won't buy from Home Depot, Lowes, or any other big box store. I've been told by several people that even though they sell the same name brands, the quality of the components is inferior to the ones at power equipment dealers. That was from people who made the mistake of buying at the big box stores and then tried to get them serviced. Take if what it's worth, but for the extra money, I think I'll buy from a specialty store.

Simplicity does make really nice snowblowers. Heated grips!

http://www.simplicitymfg.com/products/snow-throwers/signature-pro-commercial-duty-dual-stage/

terraformer
01-13-2011, 03:17 PM
The 2 stroke is interesting. However, I have an older Toro 2-stage with an 8hp Tecumseh and I'm not impressed with it. It's a 24" which should be a decent size for my driveway but the thing just doesn't throw snow as well as other, similar sized ones I've seen.

Also, the latest Toros have a cool design on the chute controller but it's all plastic. The Husqvarna I saw last night had a similar controller but the chute was all steel.

Two strokes will handle powder well but I suspect they don't handle the wet mess we have up here too well. Once you hit wet, the thing bogs down and a two stroke will be at a significant disadvantage there.

StephenR
01-13-2011, 04:36 PM
The two stroke actually works quite well with slush and wet snow. That model I posted throws heavy snow. The older impeller design is why your old toro doesn't throw well.

StephenR
01-13-2011, 04:41 PM
And for your older blower not getting the slush and throwing it. Look up Clarence impeller kit.

GomerPile
01-13-2011, 05:07 PM
How about a kubota BX25 tractor? You can do snow and a whole lot more. They are having a 5 year 0% deal on new units. Its a once in a lifetime kind of purchase.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdVJvGZalxtec7ILtF_MJvbyjQ911Dm m_w57lxM_tcBgAseE7ZvA

economist
01-13-2011, 05:12 PM
How about a kubota BX25 tractor? You can do snow and a whole lot more. They are having a 5 year 0% deal on new units. Its a once in a lifetime kind of purchase.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdVJvGZalxtec7ILtF_MJvbyjQ911Dm m_w57lxM_tcBgAseE7ZvA

That's what I have, and the front mounted snow blower is excellent. It's a significantly more expensive way to go, however.

EC1
01-13-2011, 05:15 PM
How about a kubota BX25 tractor? You can do snow and a whole lot more. They are having a 5 year 0% deal on new units. Its a once in a lifetime kind of purchase.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdVJvGZalxtec7ILtF_MJvbyjQ911Dm m_w57lxM_tcBgAseE7ZvA

I have a similar sized Honda with a loader, but no backhoe. Works fine, even when you moving stuff other than snow.

PaulD
01-13-2011, 05:33 PM
That's what I have, and the front mounted snow blower is excellent. It's a significantly more expensive way to go, however.

And by significant, you mean at least an order of magnitude significant.

economist
01-13-2011, 05:35 PM
And by significant, you mean at least an order of magnitude significant.

Yeah, like $15-20K for tractor, front-end loader, backhoe, front end quick-mount, and snow blower (at least back a few years ago when I bought mine), compared to maybe a tenth of that for a really nice walk-behind snow blower.

GomerPile
01-13-2011, 05:45 PM
The real value in the bx is that its not just a snow machine. It's a very capable little tractor for trenching, digging, stump removal, logging, etc.

garandman
01-13-2011, 05:59 PM
Snow Blower:
I should have bought one last year.
I should have bought one during the blizzard a few weeks ago
I should have bought one before today.
I probably should have not bought that revolver yesterday and put the money towards the snow blower.

So here is what I have to deal with.
I read some of the advice. Some people suggested 8hp. Some people suggested more.
Given the pictures here, what do you think is needed?//I've owned a 5, 7, 8, and now 11.5hp machine. Short answer: the most hp possible. Scoop width is much less important for you.

LAst fall I bought an Ariens ST1124 DLE Pro. It has an 11.5hp OHV Tecumseh. That model was only made in 03-04. In the city I needed a narrow scoop. New they are close to $2,000. I paid $950.

It absolutely kicks ass. We got 14" of very heavy snow and it never bogs down and will even throw salty slush over a fence. I think the only machine that compares is the Honda 11hp model. Simplicity makes a Signature Pro but I've never seen one to talked to an owner.

I had an ST824 before that. Those are very popular/common and have been sold in slightly different configurations for many years. It's a lot more capable than the 7hp machine I had, but that extra displacement and torque on the machine I have now really makes a difference: I can handle in 3rd gear what I used to need 1st for.

Where you have to throw up out of a hole, I'd go for one of the larger displacement/hp machines. Up until around 2005 they used to be rated by HP. Then there was a lawsuit against the OPE industry over HP ratings (which were BS) and so now they've switched to either displacement or torque. The 1124 is 318cc.

So nowadays you look for either displacement and/or torque rating on what used to be 10-13hp machines. Some top choices:

Ariens Deluxe, Platinum, or Pro. (http://www.ariens.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Ariens%202011%20Sno%20Spec%20Sheet.pdf) Pros are only sold at dealers: most other models are also sold at HD, though they're likely sold out for the season.

Honda two stage (http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2SB&category=lgts)

Simplicity large-frame (http://www.simplicitymfg.com/products/snow-throwers/large-frame-dual-stage/) Simplicity is now owned by Briggs & Stratton.

Toro PowerMax (http://www.toro.com/home/snowthrowers/gastwostage/index.html)

I'd stay away from the current Poulan, Troy Built, and other MTD-manufactured machines. Their rakes and impellers are much smaller and lighter duty, and they are very much built to a price.

Now, for reality. You may have a hard time even finding a snow thrower in inventory. There's a guy on RI CL "accepting offers" or $2,000 for a 2010 Ariens.

Don't hesitate to bite the bullet on one of the higher end machines. If that's not an option financially, look for some of the big old Ariens Pro machines on CL: 1336 and the like. They are so big and heavy that many people can't use them so they stay on the market. Or look for one with a blown engine: replacing them with something new is pretty easy, 2-8 hours work.

The best outdoor power equipment forum I've found is opeonethenet.

Ariens 11526 DLE on Worcester CL - $900 is a very fair price. (http://worcester.craigslist.org/hsh/2158085952.html)
Ariens 1332 asking $1,200. (http://worcester.craigslist.org/grd/2154105475.html)
Older Ariens 1032 Pro - fairly priced at $700 (http://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/grd/2149863849.html)

economist
01-13-2011, 06:06 PM
The real value in the bx is that its not just a snow machine. It's a very capable little tractor for trenching, digging, stump removal, logging, etc.

Absolutely. It's a great machine to have and we use ours year-around for all sorts of things. I wouldn't buy it just to clear a short driveway, however.

garandman
01-13-2011, 10:44 PM
As to snow throwers, I should add this is the absolute worst time to buy. End of March = buyer's market.

PaulD
01-13-2011, 10:50 PM
As to snow throwers, I should add this is the absolute worst time to buy. End of March = buyer's market.

But that's a gamble. Much like with snow tires, they try to manage that channel so that there are none left by March.

William Wallace
01-13-2011, 11:14 PM
garandman... Good advice... what do you think of the smaller-engined Hondas with track drive. The HS724TA for instance, its only a 196cc machine? Seems a bit small.
The HS1132TA is 337cc and seems like an absolute BEAST, but its tons of money.

r1dermon
01-14-2011, 09:06 AM
engine size really means nothing when compared with quality. i had a ryobi 32cc weedwhacker for about 10 years. worked great, chewed through weeds, was fine for a residential consumer grade tool. the shaft quality was sub-par, and it finally broke. i went and bought a 23cc echo weedwhacker to replace it, and i spent about twice as much on it. it's at least 50-70% more powerful.

honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world. their motors are efficient, powerful, and will start on the first pull and generally wont be a chore on you. if i was going to buy a brand new snowblower, it'd be a honda. but like everything that says "honda", you pay a little more.

PaulD
01-14-2011, 11:25 AM
engine size really means nothing when compared with quality. i had a ryobi 32cc weedwhacker for about 10 years. worked great, chewed through weeds, was fine for a residential consumer grade tool. the shaft quality was sub-par, and it finally broke. i went and bought a 23cc echo weedwhacker to replace it, and i spent about twice as much on it. it's at least 50-70% more powerful.

honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world. their motors are efficient, powerful, and will start on the first pull and generally wont be a chore on you. if i was going to buy a brand new snowblower, it'd be a honda. but like everything that says "honda", you pay a little more.

The Echo is a 2-stroke. The Ryobi was probably a 4-stroke. For a given displacement, 2-strokes put out more power because they have a power stroke every other stroke, as opposed to every 4th stroke with a 4-stroke.

Also, I doubt Honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world, but they do make really nice snowblowers (probably the best).

atmay
01-14-2011, 11:40 AM
Also, I doubt Honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world, but they do make really nice snowblowers (probably the best).

This isn't the first time I've heard that they are, and it's not that hard to believe. They make cars, snowblowers, lawnmowers, generators, marine engines...I don't know that I can think of any other company that has so many gasoline-powered product lines.

r1dermon
01-14-2011, 11:41 AM
there were no 4-stroke mass market weedwhackers 10-12 years ago, the ryobi is a 2-stroke.

honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world.


As the world’s largest engine manufacturer, Honda offers more engine experience than anyone. Experience born on racetracks and roadways around the globe. Experience that keeps us on the cutting edge of engine performance technology.

http://engines.honda.com/why/

graftyman
01-14-2011, 11:53 AM
There are a few things that I have always found tried and true. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is what quality of a machine do you want and how long do you want it to last. Are you handy? Can you take apart a snowblower and fix it yourself?

My suggestions to people who say they want a quality machine that they don't have to worry about too much is this:

1. Stay away from HD, Lowes and Sears. Everything in there is subpar quality that is made for a price point not to work.
2. The name brands in those box stores are not the same machines as found in a real garden/equipment shop. Even if the engines look the same the parts in them are different, the construction of the metal is different.
3. Anything at those box stores is still made in china with a much higher tolerance for error.

Support your local company. If you don't know who that is just look them up.

There are different levels of the good stuff. Ariens, Simplicity, Toro (although alot of the toro stuff is made by MTD now). Honda makes great engines, but makes bad equipment. You give me a Honda Engine on an Ariens snowblower and I'd be a real happy guy. Go into your local shop and see what they have, they usually have good service and some have 0% financing. I prefer the pro grade stuff that actually has real metal.

you need some height. 24" high is what I have and I was able to eat the snowbanks. Wide is a preference depending on how much area you have to snow blow.

If you go used:

1. Don't buy anything with a Tecumseh engine. Although the Snowking is a great engine, they are out of business and parts are getting expensive.
2. Change the belts as soon as you get it
3. Clean the carb
4. Grease the transmission and bearing


Now, I sound all smart and stuff, you may ask what do I have? I have an 8 HP 24" MTD with a Tecumseh engine that I bought off craigslist 4 years ago for $250 bucks. Hypocrite, Yes. However, I've had the thing into a million pieces a million times. I've had seized bearing in the transmission, belts break, Carb's gummed up, sticking float valve etc. I'm waiting for it to die, so I can run down to my local shop and buy a brand new Ariens Pro series.

The biggest thing to remember is you MUST treat your gas. I use both Startron and Red Stabil in everything. However, for the lazy, Marine Stabil will do the trick. The Ethanol does bad things to the gas as it sits in vented containers and gas tanks.

PaulD
01-14-2011, 11:56 AM
This isn't the first time I've heard that they are, and it's not that hard to believe. They make cars, snowblowers, lawnmowers, generators, marine engines...I don't know that I can think of any other company that has so many gasoline-powered product lines.

Yamaha is pretty close and they actually do make cars. They occasionally produce whole cars as a subcontractor for Toyota and often design and produce engines for Toyota. The 1.8L Toyota engine used in the Lotus Elise is actually designed and produced by Yamaha.

Yamaha used to sell snowblowers in the US but stopped about 10 years ago. Not sure why but they looked very nice.

garandman
01-14-2011, 02:21 PM
garandman... Good advice... what do you think of the smaller-engined Hondas with track drive. The HS724TA for instance, its only a 196cc machine? Seems a bit small.

The HS1132TA is 337cc and seems like an absolute BEAST, but its tons of money.The Hondas have great reputations. Most if not all the 2-stage have hydrostatic transmissions with infinitely variable speed. Track drive machines are less work to handle in heavy snow than wheeled machines, and are better for gravel driveways, but can be difficult to move by hand. That model has the Honda GX200 engine (http://engines.honda.com/models/model-detail/gx200), which like the B&S 205cc engine has 9 ft lbs of torque. Most of the bigger machines have engines with 12-16 ft lbs of torque. Most folks with Honda snow throwers swear by them, despite the cost, which is up to 2X a comparable Ariens model.

There is an intermediate sized machine, the HS928SA (http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/modeldetail.aspx?page=modeldetail&section=P2SB&modelname=HS928WA&modelid=HS928WA)and TA (tracked). I'd guess that is the "bread and butter" around here.


There are a few things that I have always found tried and true. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is what quality of a machine do you want and how long do you want it to last. Are you handy? Can you take apart a snowblower and fix it yourself?

My suggestions to people who say they want a quality machine that they don't have to worry about too much is this:

1. Stay away from HD, Lowes and Sears. Everything in there is subpar quality that is made for a price point not to work.
2. The name brands in those box stores are not the same machines as found in a real garden/equipment shop. Even if the engines look the same the parts in them are different, the construction of the metal is different.//When it comes to the Ariens machines sold by Home Depot, they are exactly the same machines.

There is one difference. Home Depot does not sell the Professional series (http://www.ariens.com/products_snow/s_professional_group/Pages/default.aspx) (bigger engines, larger impeller, automotive-type differential, cast-iron auger housing, etc). Home Depot now sells the less expensive Sno-Tek, Compact, Deluxe, and Platinum lines. (http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Snow-Equipment/Ariens/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ71Zbljd/Ntk-All/Ntt-ariens/h_d2/Navigation?langId=-1&storeId=10051&Ntx=mode+matchpartialmax&catalogId=10053&Nu=P_PARENT_ID&omni=c_Snow%20Equipment)

When it comes to the MTD-manufactured machines now sold at Lowes and Sears under several different brand names, I agree totally. A Troy Bilt 28" has an MSRP of $899 and a 277cc engine, 12" rakes, and 12" impeller.

An Ariens $999 Deluxe 28 has a B&S 249cc engine, 14" augers and 14" impeller.

Coyote33
01-14-2011, 02:22 PM
...The biggest thing to remember is you MUST treat your gas. I use both Startron and Red Stabil in everything. However, for the lazy, Marine Stabil will do the trick. The Ethanol does bad things to the gas as it sits in vented containers and gas tanks.

I have a trick for that:

I fill the tank only half way, and do it more often. That way, the gas is always fresh. I even give it a little gas in the summer, and start it up and run it a while. That keeps the condensation problems away as well. I also do 3/4 a tank in my gas can. If it has been a little while, I dump the gas in the car, and refill the can with fresh. I am always making sure to have fresh gas in everything. This reminds me, I need to empty my boat tank into some 2 liter bottles for the bonfire in another month.

r1dermon
01-14-2011, 02:36 PM
i run my machines dry after the season. never a gas issue.

garandman
01-14-2011, 04:36 PM
I put Sta-Bil and Techron in the gas, now.

If you run it dry, don't forget to depress the screw on the bottom of the float bowl so that it will completely empty out. Otherwise you'll have a tiny bit in the float bowl, which can still cause problems. Some guys leave treated fuel in the machine year-round, with the idea that a full float bowl is less likely to cause problems. I'm a "run it dry" guy, myself.

If you are replacing a carb on a newer machine, the carb probably has a plastic screw seat and is non-adjustable due to emissions regulations. Those engines were produced for many years. So if you walk in to the dealer or order online based on the new model year, you'll get one of the new carbs. But if you say that same H80 or HMSK80 or whatever it is is from the 1990's, you get the adjustable, brass-seat carb. Although Tecumseh is out of business new carbs are available along with most other parts.

edin508
01-14-2011, 05:01 PM
Buy an Ariens from a local dealer, done!

My 8hp 8524 was throwing this stuff with no problem. For you, go for the 10hp taller version.
You will NEVER regret buying one of these snow blowers, period. Just don't get it from the Depot.
They have used the same basic machine for years, why change it if it works kinda thing. Very low maintenance and the parts are easy to get.
I worked in small eng. repair for some years, you just can't beat the Ariens.

BradM
01-14-2011, 05:24 PM
Looks like most of you are recommending something like this?
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=202222479

Coyote33
01-14-2011, 05:30 PM
Looks like most of you are recommending something like this?
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=202222479

I think it was almost universally suggest to NOT get one at Home Depot, because they are inferior to what you get at a shop.

BWhite
01-14-2011, 06:06 PM
My snowplow customers sometimes buy snowblowers . After a year or two they come back . Sooner if they keep breaking .

BradM
01-14-2011, 06:52 PM
I think it was almost universally suggest to NOT get one at Home Depot, because they are inferior to what you get at a shop.

Like Garandman said, and I read elsewhere, is an Ariens is an Ariens; but only dealers have the pro models

yanici
01-14-2011, 07:03 PM
I've got an old 1994 Deere that's built like a tank. I cracked a rock in half that was about 10" in diameter one time and it didn't even break a shear pin.

I'd love to have someone come in and plow so I could put the old beast to sleep but with the way I need to jockey cars around a plow contract just can't work.

terraformer
01-15-2011, 01:10 AM
...but only dealers have the pro models

This. The pro model Husvarnas are not sold in box stores but be forewarned, the homeowner models can still be found in the local shops.

Coyote33
01-15-2011, 01:59 AM
I think it was almost universally suggest to NOT get one at Home Depot, because they are inferior to what you get at a shop.


Like Garandman said, and I read elsewhere, is an Ariens is an Ariens; but only dealers have the pro models

This is what I was referring to; I think I saw several people say this same thing here and in another similar thread on NES, and I have heard it elsewhere also:


...My suggestions to people who say they want a quality machine that they don't have to worry about too much is this:

1. Stay away from HD, Lowes and Sears. Everything in there is subpar quality that is made for a price point not to work.
2. The name brands in those box stores are not the same machines as found in a real garden/equipment shop. Even if the engines look the same the parts in them are different, the construction of the metal is different.
3. Anything at those box stores is still made in china with a much higher tolerance for error.

Support your local company. If you don't know who that is just look them up....

drgrant
01-15-2011, 02:14 AM
Buy an Ariens from a local dealer, done!

My 8hp 8524 was throwing this stuff with no problem. For you, go for the 10hp taller version.
You will NEVER regret buying one of these snow blowers, period. Just don't get it from the Depot.
They have used the same basic machine for years, why change it if it works kinda thing. Very low maintenance and the parts are easy to get.
I worked in small eng. repair for some years, you just can't beat the Ariens.

This.

The other reason to buy local is that if, for some bizarre reason in the middle of the season you break down, if you bought it local the dealer (if he's not a POS) is going to give you repair priority over the troglodytes that bought their unit at the local Bloews or Home Despot. I'd rather enrich a local business on a once in 20 year purchase.

I've had an Ariens 824 Classic for like 5 years now. It has a minor problem going into reverse but forward is fine. I've beat the ever loving snot out of the thing too. I'll get the dealer that I bought it from to fix it come spring, assuming I don't crack it open and fix it myself. That machine is one of the best purchases I ever made, bar none. You can chinse out on a lawnmower, whatever... fine... if it breaks down the grass gets tall for a week or whatever, BFD. If the blower breaks down then there are issues. I would get trapped in my driveway if I didn't have a blower.

-Mike

edin508
01-15-2011, 09:32 AM
I've got an old 1994 Deere that's built like a tank. I cracked a rock in half that was about 10" in diameter one time and it didn't even break a shear pin.

I'd love to have someone come in and plow so I could put the old beast to sleep but with the way I need to jockey cars around a plow contract just can't work.

The shear pin didn't break because the auger is probably rusted to the shaft. Pull the shear pins, make sure the auger still spins free and then grease the shaft. A $1.00 shear pin is worth replacing in maintenance.

edin508
01-15-2011, 09:39 AM
This.

The other reason to buy local is that if, for some bizarre reason in the middle of the season you break down, if you bought it local the dealer (if he's not a POS) is going to give you repair priority over the troglodytes that bought their unit at the local Bloews or Home Despot. I'd rather enrich a local business on a once in 20 year purchase.

I've had an Ariens 824 Classic for like 5 years now. It has a minor problem going into reverse but forward is fine. I've beat the ever loving snot out of the thing too. I'll get the dealer that I bought it from to fix it come spring, assuming I don't crack it open and fix it myself. That machine is one of the best purchases I ever made, bar none. You can chinse out on a lawnmower, whatever... fine... if it breaks down the grass gets tall for a week or whatever, BFD. If the blower breaks down then there are issues. I would get trapped in my driveway if I didn't have a blower.

-Mike

Easy fix!
Flip the snow blower on it's auger so it's now standing up (auger opening against the ground). There are 4 bolts to remover the lower pan. Just lube the shaft that the drive disk rides on, done!
Keep in mind that the reverse on these isn't that powerful, more of an assist.

Rob Boudrie
01-15-2011, 10:21 AM
The shear pin didn't break because the auger is probably rusted to the shaft. Pull the shear pins, make sure the auger still spins free and then grease the shaft. A $1.00 shear pin is worth replacing in maintenance.
Part of the annual spring maintenance (along with changing the oil) is to remove the sheer pins, pump grease into the zerks on the shaft until is comes out the sheer pin hole; and replace the pins. If a pin has started to bend a bit it should be proactively replaced at this time. Drain the fuel and leave the blower to run until the fuel lines are empty. Come back later when the engine is cool, remove the spark plug, pour about an ounce of motor oil into the cylinder and turn the engine over slowly while holding a rag over the hole. Replace the spark plug, pour any leftover fuel into your car (unless you have summer use equipment that needs it) and enjoy the summer.

yanici
01-15-2011, 11:04 AM
The shear pin didn't break because the auger is probably rusted to the shaft. Pull the shear pins, make sure the auger still spins free and then grease the shaft. A $1.00 shear pin is worth replacing in maintenance.

Nope, your wrong here. It has been greased and maintained and is not rusted on. I've heard a story from a small engine service guy about a small dog getting caught up and stuck in the auger of one of these old Deere units. All that happened was that the engine stalled out but it ran just fine after the dog was pryed out.

ArmedMainer
01-15-2011, 02:16 PM
Just lube the shaft that the drive disk rides on, done!Do the blowers with belts also have the drive disks ? I had an old Gilson 10hp that I had to replace the drive disk on and I vowed never to do it again.

MisterHappy
01-15-2011, 02:26 PM
Nope, your wrong here. It has been greased and maintained and is not rusted on. I've heard a story from a small engine service guy about a small dog getting caught up and stuck in the auger of one of these old Deere units. All that happened was that the engine stalled out but it ran just fine after the dog was pryed out.

Thanks for the warning...I'll keep my Pommeranian in when I'm doing the driveway!

edin508
01-15-2011, 03:57 PM
Do the blowers with belts also have the drive disks ? I had an old Gilson 10hp that I had to replace the drive disk on and I vowed never to do it again.

The drive disk is for the wheels, most snow blowers use this. The belts are to drive the auger and second stage.

r1dermon
01-15-2011, 05:48 PM
sometimes you'll find a pro model in-store. at least from what i've been seeing lately.

some of husqvarna's lower end chain saws have always been available in various big-box stores. but everyone who knows chainsaws knows a couple things. it's pretty much universally accepted that for the best chainsaw, you've got 2 choices, 1 being stihl, the other being husqvarna. and the high end husky's are made in sweden. now sears carries the 455 rancher 20" for 399. this is like the entry level husky to the higher end stuff, MOOORE than adequite enough for the home owner.

i dont know how it works with snowblowers, but i've seen this with other powertools as well. im not saying you're going to start seeing scag's and exmarks at retailers, but i have found that some models do slip through the cracks.

another thing i'll add about home depot, as much as i hate the company, the echo stuff is awesome. you just can't go wrong with their powertools.

Hanwei
01-15-2011, 07:31 PM
What do you guys think of a 12 hp 33" Murray Signature Series that is about 9-10 years old and just serviced.
Asking $525

garandman
01-15-2011, 08:45 PM
This.

The other reason to buy local is that if, for some bizarre reason in the middle of the season you break down, if you bought it local the dealer (if he's not a POS) is going to give you repair priority over the troglodytes that bought their unit at the local Bloews or Home Despot. I'd rather enrich a local business on a once in 20 year purchase. //Wish that were true. My ST824 was purchased at Stills in Manchester NH. It needed a new friction disk and a spring, and they quoted me six weeks for the repair. And every part I wanted was out of stock and had to be ordered. I bought the parts online and did it myself.


I think it was almost universally suggest to NOT get one at Home Depot, because they are inferior to what you get at a shop.I get an error when I look at that link, but the Ariens machines that are sold at HD are exactly the same model, in every way, as those sold at a dealer. Some HD's do a poor job of setup, some don't, but the hardware is absolutely identical.

I don't condone buying them at HD. I don't condone or condemn Ariens decision to sell them there. All three Ariens I've purchased were purchased new from dealers. But any dealer who claims the hardware is different for the same model is a liar.

Many local dealers can give you a much better deal on the same machine, by setting up better, offering a year-end service for free, offering free pickup and delivery for service or repair, etc. But a lot of people buy them at HD with a 10% discount coupon to save $100 or so. And a few seasons ago HD sold their Ariens inventory in the Spring for 50% off: well under dealer cost. It's a free country.


Do the blowers with belts also have the drive disks ? I had an old Gilson 10hp that I had to replace the drive disk on and I vowed never to do it again.Most 2-stage machines except Honda use a disk drive. For those of you who haven't seen one, they look like this:
http://dervish.smugmug.com/photos/733089774_ehjV4-L.jpg

This is a single belt system used on the old Ariens machines and is probably quite similar to your Gilson: in fact many of them use the same disk. The belt drives the large pulley at top, which is attached to the aluminum disk. When you engage the handle, the friction disk is lowered onto it to drive the machine. When the disk is near the center, the machine is in low gear: when it's all the way out to the right, it's in "high" gear. Note that there are an infinite number of positions from the center out: the number of "speeds" your machine has is simply the number of notches in the gate. Reverse is obtained by shifting the disk to the left side of the drive disk.

To your point, the friction disk on those old machines is a BITCH to change. But on the newer models (early 90's or so) the shaft is only captured on one end and is a 15 minute job.

The picture above is a 1970 Ariens I restored. The old friction disk looked like this:
http://dervish.smugmug.com/photos/733089763_haT4a-L.jpg

Coyote33
01-15-2011, 09:57 PM
Anybody remember the old red "Snobird" snowblowers?

PaulD
01-15-2011, 10:06 PM
from to fix it come spring, assuming I don't crack it open and fix it myself. That machine is one of the best purchases I ever made, bar none. You can chinse out on a lawnmower, whatever... fine... if it breaks down the grass gets tall for a week or whatever, BFD.
-Mike

I largely agree with this advice. However, when I moved into my house, I bought a Troybilt, 33" walk behind mower. It was a double blade mower and had a Tecumseh engine. It had been returned because it wasn't running right. I got a very good deal on it and was able to adjust the carb to make it run as intended. However, the thing still sucked. When the grass got thick in the spring and fall, it just couldn't deal with it. I later replaced it with one of these:

http://www.simplicitymfg.com/pics/products/lawn-and-garden-products/pacer.png

The thing kicks ass and doesn't bog, period. Based on how good it's been, I'm seriously considering a Simplicity snowblower next year. My point is, yeah, you can let the grass go but if it goes too long, it's a big PITA.

My Toro snowblower has been reliable but it just doesn't throw the snow as well as I'd expect.

PaulD
01-15-2011, 10:07 PM
What do you guys think of a 12 hp 33" Murray Signature Series that is about 9-10 years old and just serviced.
Asking $525

I don't think I'd pay that much for it but I say that without looking at it.

ArmedMainer
01-15-2011, 10:13 PM
To your point, the friction disk on those old machines is a BITCH to change. But on the newer models (early 90's or so) the shaft is only captured on one end and is a 15 minute job.]Great to know. Thanks for the heads up.

Tooth
01-15-2011, 10:19 PM
My driveway is 150ft, and 40ft wide at the garage bays. Airens 1332Pro works fine (after some repairs). The thing cost a ton and was a pos the first two years. Constant problems first couple winters we did not have much snow and the thing would still have problems. Third year it was out of warranty and really crapped out. I called the company, and a good repair shop to find out from the shop that they had a couple lemon years with the model I had and since fixed the problem. The shop felt Aierens would not stand by the product, but they did. They paid to have the shop make the upgrades that had been made to the model (double belt, and rain sheild). The thing has been a beast since (should have been from day one). I have heard the simplicity is A+, and did not produce any lemon years like Airens did.

terraformer
01-15-2011, 11:40 PM
This is a single belt system used on the old Ariens machines and is probably quite similar to your Gilson: in fact many of them use the same disk. The belt drives the large pulley at top, which is attached to the aluminum disk. When you engage the handle, the friction disk is lowered onto it to drive the machine. When the disk is near the center, the machine is in low gear: when it's all the way out to the right, it's in "high" gear. Note that there are an infinite number of positions from the center out: the number of "speeds" your machine has is simply the number of notches in the gate. Reverse is obtained by shifting the disk to the left side of the drive disk.

To your point, the friction disk on those old machines is a BITCH to change. But on the newer models (early 90's or so) the shaft is only captured on one end and is a 15 minute job.

Well, that explains why the torque doesn't change with the speed... I know what I will be doing next time I need more torque, jamming it into "high gear" and using that speed as a substitute.

PaulD
01-16-2011, 09:27 AM
Well, that explains why the torque doesn't change with the speed... I know what I will be doing next time I need more torque, jamming it into "high gear" and using that speed as a substitute.

It doesn't work that way. The auger is still turning at a constant speed, or at least trying to. If you hit a snow bank at higher speed, that's just trying to jam more snow in the bucket with the auger turning at the same rate, so forcing it to do more work (w=m*d) which it may not be able to cope with.

At least with my Toro, faster is not better. In fact, with this last storm, the snow was deep enough on the first pass that even in 1st gear, the thing wouldn't throw as far due to the volume of snow going in.

terraformer
01-16-2011, 01:56 PM
It doesn't work that way. The auger is still turning at a constant speed, or at least trying to. If you hit a snow bank at higher speed, that's just trying to jam more snow in the bucket with the auger turning at the same rate, so forcing it to do more work (w=m*d) which it may not be able to cope with.

At least with my Toro, faster is not better. In fact, with this last storm, the snow was deep enough on the first pass that even in 1st gear, the thing wouldn't throw as far due to the volume of snow going in.

It would work in the situation where I am thinking. I have an issue on occasion when the wheels have power but won't turn. It is usually when the blower is stuck in hard pack. So the blower itself is just not moving at all. I would take wheel spin over a complete lack of forward progress.