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BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 02:15 PM
okay, I finally have to break down and buy a snowblower for my 100' long single lane big crushed stone driveway...we're her in New England so the snow can get PRETTY DEAP...plus we're on the lake so wind can be pretty nasty coming straight down the driveway...

my father-in-law was plowing for us, but now his plow is broke and tough to rely on him...also had a local guy plowing for us, but with our tight driveway and new lawn, never a pretty site in the spring...

I've noticed a couple guys seem to have new narrow chutes that seem to really throw the snow far, preventing that BLOW-BACK affect in your face...

going to go and check out Home Depot tonight http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc%2fsearchResults.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@0383740296.1135710734@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccjaddgijklfgfcgelceffdfgidgio.0&MID=9876

looks like they carry either Yard Machine or Toro...

EricB
12-27-2005, 03:22 PM
Bouy;
100' long, large crushed rock? You'll need one of the auger type units with adjustable skids to avoid grabbing the rocks. Keep away from windows!
Toro makes some great units. Maybe slightly more expensive, but definately backed by a superior warranty and dealer network (kinda why you bought Mastercraft also).
An 8 h.p. unit will probably be adequate.
We used to have a crushed rock driveway also. I used an auger type until we had it paved. We then changed to a paddle type (Toro Snow Commander) and I now clean the drive down to the asphalt in about 2/3 the time it took me with the auger style. Think about doing yourself a favor and pave the drive.

ericB

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 04:07 PM
Bouy;
100' long, large crushed rock? You'll need one of the auger type units with adjustable skids to avoid grabbing the rocks. Keep away from windows!
Toro makes some great units. Maybe slightly more expensive, but definately backed by a superior warranty and dealer network (kinda why you bought Mastercraft also).
An 8 h.p. unit will probably be adequate.
We used to have a crushed rock driveway also. I used an auger type until we had it paved. We then changed to a paddle type (Toro Snow Commander) and I now clean the drive down to the asphalt in about 2/3 the time it took me with the auger style. Think about doing yourself a favor and pave the drive.

ericB
you certainly get the same amount of snow in MN that we get here in New Hampshire!!!

i agree on paving the driveway, just need to build a garage first (didn't want to get my new drive torn up)...my driveway is actually 200' LONG, plus 60' of walkway to the house...

what's the thickest snow you've gotten away with using the paddle???does it work for ice???

been looking for a used one, but no luck...everyone has told me NEW, NEW, NEW!!!

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 04:09 PM
Bouy;
100' long, large crushed rock?

driveway 200' long
most of driveway is golfball/larger crushed granite, but well packed...

EricB
12-27-2005, 05:41 PM
Our drive is almost 300', single lane until about 100 ft from the garage. About a 3% grade uphill. Then it widens out gradually to 50~60 ft. I calculated the area but I don't remember. I'll look this evening. At any rate, it's alot of drive.
As I said, we have a Toro Snow Commander (2 stroke, 7hp.). I can clean the drive (and 100 ft of sidewalks) in about 45 min. Snow depth has really not been an issue. I think the most we got in a single storm in the past several years was about 10". it handled it quite well.
It does have a tougher time with the packed snow from plows at the end of the drive, but it really is not an issue. By the way, the Snow Commander is a "paddle' style, and really is not a "self-propeled" unit. The paddles help pull it forward.
Have you thought of getting a cheap plow/truck combo?

ski36short
12-27-2005, 05:53 PM
Don't buy one from Home Depot. Buy it from some place with a service department even if it's marginally more. If something ever goes wrong, you'll be thankful for it.

lakes Rick
12-27-2005, 06:14 PM
Don't buy one from Home Depot. Buy it from some place with a service department even if it's marginally more. If something ever goes wrong, you'll be thankful for it.

And it stops supporting the Falcons.......

gosioux
12-27-2005, 06:24 PM
I use a 13 hp John Deere. It is a great unit. My advice is to make sure the blower you buy has an adjustable chute with a lever at the handle bars. It is nice to be able to adjust the angle of the snow easily while moving. Some (I believe the Toro) have to be adjusted on the chute with a wing nut. Electric start is also a great feature.

May also want to consider an ATV with a plow. I also use an ATV to move the snow. It is much more fun to be riding around moving the snow than walking behind. Last year I only used my snow blower once.

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 06:30 PM
As I said, we have a Toro Snow Commander (2 stroke, 7hp.). I can clean the drive (and 100 ft of sidewalks) in about 45 min.
By the way, the Snow Commander is a "paddle' style, and really is not a "self-propeled" unit. The paddles help pull it forward.
Have you thought of getting a cheap plow/truck combo?
to be honest, my wife really wants to be able to run the snowblower on days that her school is cancelled...plus we have a barn a mile up the road, so would be nice to drive the snowblower in the back of the pickup truck and take it to the barn if we need too (that will never be paved)...

thought about the plow hookup, currently have a '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee that would be perfect, but prices were coming in at $2k+...our current lawn/septic field and water problems in our basement aren't conducive to plowing...

would the paddles work on gravel, on the Snow Commander???

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 06:38 PM
I use a 13 hp John Deere. It is a great unit. My advice is to make sure the blower you buy has an adjustable chute with a lever at the handle bars. It is nice to be able to adjust the angle of the snow easily while moving. Some (I believe the Toro) have to be adjusted on the chute with a wing nut. Electric start is also a great feature.

May also want to consider an ATV with a plow. I also use an ATV to move the snow. It is much more fun to be riding around moving the snow than walking behind. Last year I only used my snow blower once.
wow 13hp, that is powerful and $$$$...

yah, as you can see by these pictures, this was last March...not sure the total snowcount for the year, but is so much more than Ohio!!!this picture is all the snow from shoveling, NOT FUN!!!changing that tune this year...

agree that Home Depot isn't the best option, been shopping locally at places too...just tough to add up comparisons...each one has the same engine (Ariens, Toro, Yard Machine, Kioti, Husqvarna, ...)

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 06:44 PM
May also want to consider an ATV with a plow. I also use an ATV to move the snow. It is much more fun to be riding around moving the snow than walking behind. Last year I only used my snow blower once.
have a couple buddies that swear by their ATV's, but can't quite swallow the $6k+ price on the ATV then the plow on top of that...would be so nice...

bigmac
12-27-2005, 06:45 PM
I use a 13 hp John Deere. It is a great unit. My advice is to make sure the blower you buy has an adjustable chute with a lever at the handle bars. It is nice to be able to adjust the angle of the snow easily while moving. Some (I believe the Toro) have to be adjusted on the chute with a wing nut. Electric start is also a great feature.

May also want to consider an ATV with a plow. I also use an ATV to move the snow. It is much more fun to be riding around moving the snow than walking behind. Last year I only used my snow blower once.

I'd get the cheapest snowblower you can find in the width you want and probably 5.5-8HP. Sears, Home Depot, Fleet Farm, Menards, Target all sell variations of machines made by MTD (http://www.mtdproducts.com/home.jsp) . Yard Man/Yard Machine (http://www.yardmachines.com/servlet/BrandProduct?ID=74&CAT=14http://) is one of them. They all use standard dirt-simple Tecumseh engines, simple transmissions, easy to fix, parts readily available online and the most complicated repair on them is about a 15 minute job. They all have a 2 year warranty, and I count 6 authorized repair places within 20 miles of you. Personally, I'd be want to not to overthink such a simple machine, especially since it's going to be used for about 4 months of the year, and I would definitely not want to spend a lot of money.

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 06:45 PM
And it stops supporting the Falcons.......i don't get this one, kinda SLOW...

Workin' 4 Toys
12-27-2005, 06:57 PM
The absolute best snowblower I have ever owned is my current one. Honda HS622.
The only benefit of a Honda upgrade over this model is a much easier to reach control panel. Mine is further to reach to put forward and reverse, but the price was right. Starts first pull everytime, and is so easy to pull my wife offers to use it. Very little effort all around.

BuoyChaser
12-27-2005, 10:28 PM
The absolute best snowblower I have ever owned is my current one. Honda HS622.
The only benefit of a Honda upgrade over this model is a much easier to reach control panel. Mine is further to reach to put forward and reverse, but the price was right. Starts first pull everytime, and is so easy to pull my wife offers to use it. Very little effort all around.ouc, on the $1,849.00 price tag...

http://www.honda.ca/PowerEng/Snowblowers/HS622/HS622TC.htm

JDK
12-27-2005, 10:39 PM
If there's ever a chance you will use this blower somewhere other than a driveway, like on your deck or your roof (don't laugh....it happens) get one on tracks as opposed to wheels.
I've got a Deere on tracks and it's saved me a TON of work on my deck.

milkmania
12-27-2005, 10:50 PM
i don't get this one, kinda SLOW...

If I'm not mistaking.....Home Depot's owner is Atlanta based....

seems like he's made some kind of aquarium also...something like the world's largest or something like that:rolleyes:

gosioux
12-28-2005, 12:53 AM
BuoyChaser,

That's a lot of snow to move. I feel for you man, that's gotta suck! I had to move snow like that one year (1997 - 1998) without any tools other than my shovel. We had record snow in ND and man was it horrible. I believe we had around 130 inches of snow that year. I vowed that I will never go without a snowblower or ATV again. Just make sure you don't get a snowblower that is too small. I started with a 5.5 hp yardman. It was fine if the snow was soft, but as soon as it was wet, yikes. I mean it couldn't throw the snow more than a foot. As long as you can afford it, you'll never regret the extra power.

Kevin 89MC
12-28-2005, 09:42 AM
FWIW, I have an old Ariens with 5 hp Techumseh, 2 stage. It runs perfect. 6" of wet/heavy snow can max out my machine, but it will throw 12" of light stuff great (don't get that very much though). I would guess electric start is standard on most blowers nowadays, but if not, I would make sure it had it. I can't imagine ever trying to pull start mine.
Good luck,
Kevin

Workin' 4 Toys
12-28-2005, 10:06 AM
like on your deck or your roof (don't laugh....it happens) get one on tracks as opposed to wheels.
My Honda is a track drive, and I do this everytime. My deck is 640sq feet, almost as big as the patio, so I wouldn't dare shovel it. The track drive walks right on the ramps and/or steps. I used to have to lift the old tire drive. No more.....:D

Workin' 4 Toys
12-28-2005, 10:15 AM
ouc, on the $1,849.00 price tag...

http://www.honda.ca/PowerEng/Snowblowers/HS622/HS622TC.htm
Yes, but mine replaced the John Deere tractor with plow set up, (I needed the floor space in the shed) And I am not sorry one bit. Snow blowing used to be a miserable task, now it's no big deal. With the tracks, it will maul through 12" of light fluffy stuff or heavy wet. No problem.

bigmac
12-28-2005, 10:35 AM
Yes, but mine replaced the John Deere tractor with plow set up, (I needed the floor space in the shed) And I am not sorry one bit. Snow blowing used to be a miserable task, now it's no big deal. With the tracks, it will maul through 12" of light fluffy stuff or heavy wet. No problem.

I put a snowblower on my John Deere. It cost less than an equivalent walk-behind and I can avoid having to winterize the tractor or summerize a snowblower. The only pain is the fall / spring switchover mower deck <=> snowblower, but JD makes that pretty easy - about a 10 minute job.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-28-2005, 10:42 AM
I put a snowblower on my John Deere. It cost less than an equivalent walk-behind and I can avoid having to winterize the tractor or summerize a snowblower. The only pain is the fall / spring switchover mower deck <=> snowblower, but JD makes that pretty easy - about a 10 minute job.
I'm looking for a good reason to get a new Arctic Cat 650 to put a plow on(again with the floor space), theres No mower deck, but the Honda walk behind does just fine. And gets me the exercise (my wife says I need:o )
Of course I would like the fully hydraulic Diesel Deere my buddy has with the deck and blower, but I can't justify the $30K AND loose more floor space. (Did I mention I think I better move!)
This new machinery these days sure can make one lazy.....;) I am still not sure why she won't let me move the hammock in the living room once winter comes around...:confused:

jake
12-28-2005, 10:59 AM
would the paddles work on gravel, on the Snow Commander???

I have a Toro with the paddles, 6 hp version which is a little smaller than the Commander. I live in Minnesota and it moves a ton of snow without an issue and cleans right down to the pavement.

I wouldn't recommend it for gravel though. The whole paddle concept is more based on pavement. You're going to want something with adjustable skids....as already mentioned....to avoid throwing rocks.

bigmac
12-28-2005, 11:06 AM
I have a Toro with the paddles, 6 hp version which is a little smaller than the Commander. I live in Minnesota and it moves a ton of snow without an issue and cleans right down to the pavement.

I wouldn't recommend it for gravel though. The whole paddle concept is more based on pavement. You're going to want something with adjustable skids....as already mentioned....to avoid throwing rocks.

I have a little Sears 2-cycle one-stage with the rubber lined blades. It does get the removed snow down closer to pavement, but it does scuff the cedar deck.

BuoyChaser
12-28-2005, 02:59 PM
so many different options out there for SNOW THROWERS...went to Home Depot last night, have about $500 worth of gift cards there (add up fast)...

Home Depot carries:
Ariens 7524 for $760 (nice because all steel)
http://www.ariens.com/snow_products/compact_sno_thros/7524_e/

Toro 826LE for $1000 (large impeller, plus plastic shoot/impeller cover)
http://www.toro.com/home/snowthrowers/gastwostage_powermax/826LE.html

liking the track rather than wheels idea...especially since we'll be going with a bluestone deck at some point...

finding for my gravel drive need the following:
1. 9HP+ - Cut through New England's ice snow
2. Serrated Auger - Crushed stone driveway
3. Electric Start - Storing outside in the cold, plug into outlet
4. Adjustable Scraper - Raise 3/4" above stones
5. Two Stage - Auger, Impeller & Wheel Propelled
6. Belt Drive vs Chain Drive - Storing outside so told chain drive is better
7. Sheer Pin - Believe every model has these, but should be easily replaced

this is kinda cool review site http://www.abbysguide.com/snow-blower/reviews/

going to check out some local dealers to get their input too...

School Skier
12-28-2005, 06:50 PM
I use an 8 hp. Ariens blower at work to remove the snow at my building! Great handling and no mechanical problems.

BuoyChaser
12-28-2005, 11:56 PM
too many different options out there...my dad has an old MTD machine from the 70s that is still going, never having to do any maintenance to it after inheriting it from my grandfather!!!

lakes Rick
12-29-2005, 12:15 AM
If I'm not mistaking.....Home Depot's owner is Atlanta based....

seems like he's made some kind of aquarium also...something like the world's largest or something like that:rolleyes:

One of the big wheel's of Home Depot OWNS the falcons. Can't remember his name. I believe he is the one with the LARGEST DIVORCE settlement in the history of Georgia family law.. I guess you shouldnt be boinking 18year old cashiers at work!!!!!!!

Cloaked
12-29-2005, 05:31 AM
http://www.v8snowblowers.com/id15.html


.

BuoyChaser
12-29-2005, 08:15 AM
http://www.v8snowblowers.com/id15.html
don't think the wife would ever let a $29,990 snowblower slide through the cracks (even if it is Canadian funds)...

check out these options, now their thinking:
Custom colour choices available upon request.
Custom multi port sequential fuel injection system.
Remote start (only available with fuel injected option.)
Liquid cooled stainless steel marine headers.
On board marine stereo (i-pod interface) and speakers.
12 volt vehicle external battery posts for vehicle boost.

BuoyChaser
12-29-2005, 09:44 AM
still scratching my head...

Workin' 4 Toys
12-29-2005, 09:50 AM
still scratching my head...
HONDA, HONDA, HONDA, HONDA.....

BuoyChaser
12-29-2005, 11:19 AM
the Honda's certainly are nice http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/snotra.asp but the track models start at $2k...so does the 6.5hp starts at $2k...i'm leaning at the EL CHEAPO YARD MACHINE right now!!!Toro looks nice but too much FOO-FOO that could go wrong down the road...

bigmac
12-29-2005, 11:29 AM
the Honda's certainly are nice http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/snotra.asp but the track models start at $2k...so does the 6.5hp starts at $2k...i'm leaning at the EL CHEAPO YARD MACHINE right now!!!Toro looks nice but too much FOO-FOO that could go wrong down the road...

$2000 buys a lot of commercial driveway plowing, including the tip necessary to get it done at the top of the list.

Yard Machine is fine - it's made by MTD, who also makes Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Bolens labels, and does a lot of private label stuff, including Sears Craftsman snowblowers and tractors. It uses the same Tecumseh engines you're going to find on about 80% of the snowblowers out there.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-29-2005, 11:49 AM
the Honda's certainly are nice http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/snotra.asp but the track models start at $2k...so does the 6.5hp starts at $2k...i'm leaning at the EL CHEAPO YARD MACHINE right now!!!Toro looks nice but too much FOO-FOO that could go wrong down the road...
I don't remember exactly what I paid, but my model wasn't that much. I was at the local tool shop yesterday and they had a huge Honda track drive with a tag of I "think" $2019. It had tilt and the huge control panel, and optional tents and lights, and I think electric start. A monster compared to mine. I think it was a 12 horse, I'd have to go back and check. I Almost took a pic for you, but figured it wasn't your slice of cheese anyway. let me see if i can find it.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-29-2005, 11:58 AM
the Honda's certainly are nice http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/snotra.asp but the track models start at $2k...so does the 6.5hp starts at $2k...i'm leaning at the EL CHEAPO YARD MACHINE right now!!!Toro looks nice but too much FOO-FOO that could go wrong down the road...
Just got a quote for a Brand new 928 track drive, for 1900.00. I called the store I was at yesterday. yes, 9HP with 28" width.
This is MUCH more machine than you need, but don't be fooled by the MSRP listed on the websites.....
Look into the 622 track its much more reasonable... You won't be sorry once you get past the "well worth the money" pricetag....

BuoyChaser
12-30-2005, 08:15 PM
Just got a quote for a Brand new 928 track drive, for 1900.00. I called the store I was at yesterday. yes, 9HP with 28" width.
This is MUCH more machine than you need, but don't be fooled by the MSRP listed on the websites.....
Look into the 622 track its much more reasonable... You won't be sorry once you get past the "well worth the money" pricetag....
not a bad price, think I'm going to lean towards my local Kubota tractor dealer who carries Simplicity & Toro...decided on the Toro Two Stage / Power Max 826LE (retails for $1150, but getting it for $900, $100 less than Home Depot)...

http://www.toro.com/home/snowthrowers/gastwostage_powermax/826LE.html

anybody else sitting on your laptop, surfin' TeamTalk while their wife is watching a DVD from NetFlix like "March of the Penguins???just curious, my wife wants to know??? :)

Leroy
12-30-2005, 09:19 PM
Sounds smart Buoychaser! Toro, great, local tractor dealer, great!


Surfing while middle son watches Ms Congeniality.

BuoyChaser
12-30-2005, 09:31 PM
Surfing while middle son watches Ms Congeniality.what else is there to do when the pond is frozen?!? :headbang:

Workin' 4 Toys
12-31-2005, 12:29 AM
anybody else sitting on your laptop, surfin' TeamTalk while their wife is watching a DVD from NetFlix like "March of the Penguins???just curious, my wife wants to know??? :)

Nope, just got in from a friends retirement party...... No TV here....Not sure I even want to know what March of the penguins is...

6ballsisall
12-31-2005, 08:13 AM
I got stuck watching March of the Penguins over Christmas. It was an interesting documentary but man was it long and BORING!

SteveO
12-31-2005, 09:10 AM
I have a snowblower recomendation. MOVE SOUTH. Sorry I could not resist.

WTRSK1R
12-31-2005, 09:10 AM
What ever you buy, if it does not come with some sort of protection for the operator consider buying an aftermarket kit. I have a 25+ year old Toro that works great for my 100 foot driveway. It is a 8HP 26 inch 2 stage auger type snow blower. 4-5 years ago I spent $50 on an after market kit that provides protection on 3 sides with clear plastic near the top to see through. Even though the snow blower does a nice job of directing where the snow flys, on windy days this protection is worth its weight in GOLD. I used to put on snow pants and really bundle up when I went out to clear the drive way, I do not need to do that anymore since I am so well protected when operating the snow blower.

bigmac
12-31-2005, 09:58 AM
What ever you buy, if it does not come with some sort of protection for the operator consider buying an aftermarket kit. I have a 25+ year old Toro that works great for my 100 foot driveway. It is a 8HP 26 inch 2 stage auger type snow blower. 4-5 years ago I spent $50 on an after market kit that provides protection on 3 sides with clear plastic near the top to see through. Even though the snow blower does a nice job of directing where the snow flys, on windy days this protection is worth its weight in GOLD. I used to put on snow pants and really bundle up when I went out to clear the drive way, I do not need to do that anymore since I am so well protected when operating the snow blower.

Heh..depending on what the wind is doing, snowblowing can be one constant ice-cream-headache. One solution to that is a remote capability to angling the chute downward when you turn into the wind, but even that doesn't work that well. I suppose I could buy a cab for my John Deere, but yike$$!. I just put on snowmobiling gear, including a full-face helmet. For a walk-behind, one of those plastic tents could end up being a great investment.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-31-2005, 10:49 AM
I have a snowblower recomendation. MOVE SOUTH. Sorry I could not resist.
Yeah, so when there is a 1/4" of snow on the ground the WORLD around you closes up......:uglyhamme