Need to Replace Snow Thrower

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[quote=Turk]TORO makes excellent Snow Launchers. Excellent quality; I've had mine 9 years, use it A LOT and it works like brand new. thumbsup Nothing throws the snow further than a Toro.
 

JTK

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Finz, I'm surprised your machine is only 5hp being a 26". I've never seen anything larger than 24" having a 5hp. Anyway.. to buy new and keep costs as low as possilbe, those Ariens Sno-Teks look nice, but probably sell out after the first major storm. I too have an older (15yrs) MTD 7hp/24". It's served me well, but showing it's age now. I might be inclined to look into something built by the Husqvarna group over a new MTD. Poulan, lots of sears machines, etc are made by the Husqvarna group.
 
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I would buy a Toro. I have a newer Ariens that I bought used on CL, and it seems pretty flimsy. Look at the welds on the Toro vs the Ariens. The Toro has a lot more welds and they are much longer in length holding the bucket to the frame. Within the first several years, corrosion/rust, etc will begin to eat away these joints. Overtime the bucket will separate or crack, leaving the unit worthless. This will probably happen long before the engine dies from normal use. The Toro does have more 'plastic,' but most of its guaranteed for life and will never rust. I plan on buying a Toro 1128OXE someday to replace the Ariens. I wanted a Honda HS928, but the handles are way too short. All engines are already or soon to be made in China unless you get a Honda. I think there may be 1 or 2 models of Briggs still made in the USA, but most are assembled in China.
 
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Originally Posted By: jeepman3071
If you want a new machine go with a Toro or Ariens from a dealer. All the ones at Home Depot are JUNK. Flimsy metal, weak gearboxes, horrible customer service. You will be glad you paid the extra money for the dealer machine. I know many people who wish they had.
Yes, the ones sold at Home Depot are high volume models which are generally lower priced. However, these are REAL Toro's or Arien's, just less features, smaller engines, etc. I wouldn't say they are JUNK, but generally have smaller engines, again less features etc. When you talk about gearboxes specifically, Ariens uses the cast iron gearbox on all units, even the ones sold at Home Depot.
 
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Too bad you're so far away from me, as I have a Toro 824 Powershift for sale right now. Any Toro from 2003 and older is what I'd recommend for your usage pattern, with the 824 XL and 824 Powershift at the top of that list. Powershifts come in even bigger sizes like 924, 1232 and 1332. They are tanks with geared transmissions and the ability to shift the weight distribution so the auger bucket stays on the ground better. The 824XL is just a fixed axle version of the Powershift and has a friction disk drive system. The reason I say Toro is the drummed auger blades. I've found it almost impossible to clog the intake of my 824 because of the drum. It meters the amount of snow that goes to the impeller and that stops any clogging issues. The tall discharge chute and 14" impeller really help, too. You will get a workout using them if the more maneuvering you have to do, though.
 
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shrug I'm even more confused now.... I did look at the Honda models....or should I say Lexus models. Way 2 pricey for me.
 
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Originally Posted By: BISCUT
shrug I'm even more confused now.... I did look at the Honda models....or should I say Lexus models. Way 2 pricey for me.
TORO! Dont look back...
 
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Originally Posted By: Ope_Freak
Originally Posted By: BISCUT
shrug I'm even more confused now.... I did look at the Honda models....or should I say Lexus models. Way 2 pricey for me.
TORO! Dont look back...
I agree with this guy, if I didn't buy my Honda, Toro was #2. Plastics have come a long ways and it wouldn't deter me at all. Lifetime warranty on the plastic from a company who's been around forever.
 
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Originally Posted By: Lubener
Nothing throws the snow further than a Toro.
except my honda hs928ta ontome before my current honda, i had an older husqvarna which had a tecumseh engine. whatever you get, look at getting a motor with an overhead valve (OHV) like a honda or higher end briggs engine, they have more power and run better compared to the old side valve engines. the thing i found over the years to be the biggest problem with 2-stage snowblowers is they use thin stamped steel for the frame which flexes and fatigues over time causing problems in the drive train and chute blower.
 
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Originally Posted By: 1 FMF
Originally Posted By: Lubener
Nothing throws the snow further than a Toro.
except my honda hs928ta ontome before my current honda, i had an older husqvarna which had a tecumseh engine. whatever you get, look at getting a motor with an overhead valve (OHV) like a honda or higher end briggs engine, they have more power and run better compared to the old side valve engines. the thing i found over the years to be the biggest problem with 2-stage snowblowers is they use thin stamped steel for the frame which flexes and fatigues over time causing problems in the drive train and chute blower.
Do you find the handles to be short on your Honda? Maybe the track series ones are taller???
 
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short as in low to the ground - no. i'm average height 5.10 and would say any higher would be inconvenient, my 928ta has the tracks so i am always pushing down on the handles to turn and maneuver.
 

Finz

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I called an Indy shop today and he recommended the Ariens Platinum... Wanted $1,700 for a 10 hp unit. That's is WAY out of my league. He mentioned that the Ariens Deluxe and Compact models were for box stores only... Didn't know that Reviewed another snow thrower review site and the guy was saying the Toro and box store Ariens were on par but leaned toward the Ariens because he didn't like today's Briggs engines. My neighbor loves his Craftsman... My other neighbor likes his Cub Was talking to a guy at Home Depot today as well... He liked the Ariens Deluxe 28. Of course, they didn't have any Toros left so what else was he going to say. That unit, however, has a 254cc engine which, according to him, translates to about 10 hp... He said roughly 1 hp per 25cc. I'll see if that is an accurate statement. If it is, coming from a 5 hp unit, that would be a huge difference Too many choices... I didn't want to make a big deal out of this but this is a fair amount of cash for me and I had no idea it would be so involved. Should buy a honda so my signature below remains consistent. whistle That's everone for some great input
 
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The Ariens models that Home Depot has seem much nicer than the MTD stuff at Lowes, WM, and TSC. Here's something worth checking out. That looks like a serious commercial unit.
 
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I have a 28" Ariens Deluxe. It has the B&S Model 150000 Snow Series engine (250cc). Good machine ... but I wish it was made a bit better and had another 10-20% more power. The posi-unlock (trigger) sticks sometimes and it can take a bit of wiggling the machine to get the posi to re-lock. The machine is the perfect size to do a handful of driveways. 5 driveways and sidewalks in one neighborhood takes me about 2-3 hours, depending on how much falls. Oh, and be sure to change the oil early in the engine's life: http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee149...zps40854167.jpg
 
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If I had to buy a new machine tomorrow I would probably get the Toro. I have a few pieces of Toro equipment and they are by far my favorite. Parts are easy to get and they seem to be well made. The Ariens machines are nice, but the nicer ones will cost you a ton more money. Some of the Ariens machines I have seen are cheaply built. My neighbor has a ST724 Ariens. It is a lower model machine, but it has plastic wheels. The wheels are so worn out that they sit crooked on the machine. It is fine otherwise but little things like that bother me. There seems to be a big difference between the entry level Ariens and the better made models. They even have the "Sno-Tek" line which is even cheaper. I personally use a 1978 Toro 826, but I tested out a newer Toro Powermax for a friend and I was pretty impressed with it. The newer Briggs engines may be made in China, but they are still very reliable, powerful, and easy to find parts for.
 
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If I had to buy a walk behind blower, my first choice would be a Simplicity. We have one at work, it is built like a tank, and has a cast iron auger gearbox that actually has a fill plug to add gear oil. They aren't cheap, but will last a long time. My second choice would probably an Ariens. The better Toro's are good, but the cheaper ones are rebadged MTD's
 
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Originally Posted By: Bandito440
The Ariens models that Home Depot has seem much nicer than the MTD stuff at Lowes, WM, and TSC. Here's something worth checking out. That looks like a serious commercial unit.
Originally Posted By: Finz
Thanks Bandito... That's close. - 2 towns away
I just looked that up. They're $2,500 brand new. I'd be buying it myself if I was closer.
 
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I have a 26 year old Simplicity with a 3-speed real-steel transmission (none of that rubber friction wheel garbage). Three years ago I had to replace all the fuel lines, clean the carb, and replace the tires. Last year the drive belt broke 1 snowfall before the spring thaw. That's all the work it has required in 26 years.
 
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