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Old 10-31-10, 04:03 PM   #1
TMB
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OT - Snowblowers.

I need help, of the snowblower variety.

My wife is putting pressure on me to buy a snowblower this winter and I know nothing about them. I looked at them a number of years ago and never did buy one, which means that I have never had to try and figure out where to store the darn thing for the other 9 months of the year.

However, sometime this spring I tore a rotator cuff, and in spite of dedicated effort to get it behind me, I still get a lot of pain from the darn thing. Combine this with a La Nina winter and the long term forecast that says we are likely in for a 100 year snowfall - Mrs. TMB is telling me my preferred snow removal method - a shovel - is out.

So ...

First off, our snow here is generally pretty light. Not of the wet and heavy variety.

Are electrics any good at all? If so, any specific recommendations for makes or models??

In the gas powered camp - please tell me I dont have to go to the 36 high wheel monsters. Do the smaller ones with a 20 or 24 inch maw still do the job reasonably well?

I admit I covet my Father in Laws - but only because its the biggest SOB on the block - no wheels - it has tracks (!), and two headlights and a weather cab. Probably overkill for what I have to deal with, but still .....

So good people - I presume some of you have these infernal things, any directions??
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Old 10-31-10, 04:17 PM   #2
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Read this article:
http://www.snowblowersdirect.com/gui...nowthrower.php
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Old 10-31-10, 04:28 PM   #3
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I have an '8-horse' Troybilt, 22" cut with foreward and reverse and electric start. I bought it about 12 years ago and I only use it when my shovel gets overwhelmed.

You want electric start!!!

My '8-horse' has never bogged down. Light snow or heavy snow plow wet cement type snow is no match fo this little machine.

My input;
*Get gas powered electric start...plug it in, start it up, blow snow.
* Eight horse power should be enough to handle just about anything.
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Old 10-31-10, 05:04 PM   #4
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I can't speak highly enough of my MTD 5horse 24" wide two stage snow blower. No electric start, no headlight, hand crank to change blower direction...it's very basic but I've had it ten years and it just keeps going and going. I live in Alaska, but not in a serious snow belt. I've already had it out to do the driveway once...and I use it to cut a path to my steam bath about 75 feet from the house. It regularly has wood sticks get stuck in the second stage but even that has failed to cause any problem. If you regularly get snow deeper than a foot and a half at a time, you probably want something bigger, but if your snowfall is limited to about a foot or so at a time, a 24" 5 horse should do you well. Of course a more powerful machine will cut through the snow faster. Space and money considerations aside, a bigger, more powerful blower is a good thing....
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Old 10-31-10, 05:13 PM   #5
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I have a two stage Toro 26. Works great, all the gadgets but my wife and daughters won't use it. I was away last year and my wife went out to Walmart and bought an electric blower, don't know the make but dang that thing throws the snow. I actually preferred using it to mine. I doubt it will last more than a couple of years but at $180, who cares.
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Old 10-31-10, 05:22 PM   #6
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I live at 9000 feet in the Rockies.
A neighbor took his teenage daughter to California.
There the young lady saw a lawnmower and inquired as to what it was.
Then she said,
"Oh, its like a snowblower."
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Old 10-31-10, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMB View Post
I need help, of the snowblower variety.

My wife is putting pressure on me to buy a snowblower this winter and I know nothing about them. I looked at them a number of years ago and never did buy one, which means that I have never had to try and figure out where to store the darn thing for the other 9 months of the year.

However, sometime this spring I tore a rotator cuff, and in spite of dedicated effort to get it behind me, I still get a lot of pain from the darn thing. Combine this with a La Nina winter and the long term forecast that says we are likely in for a 100 year snowfall - Mrs. TMB is telling me my preferred snow removal method - a shovel - is out.

So ...

First off, our snow here is generally pretty light. Not of the wet and heavy variety.

Are electrics any good at all? If so, any specific recommendations for makes or models??

In the gas powered camp - please tell me I don’t have to go to the 36 “ high wheel monsters. Do the smaller ones with a 20 or 24” inch maw still do the job reasonably well?

I admit I covet my Father in Law’s - but only because it’s the biggest SOB on the block - no wheels - it has tracks (!), and two headlights and a weather cab. Probably overkill for what I have to deal with, but still .....

So good people - I presume some of you have these infernal things, any directions??
For what it's worth, a snow thrower is NOT what you want to use if you have any sort of injury like a torn rotator. Even the smallest gas powered ones are heavy, and you'll do a fair amount of heaving it around in any sort of significant snow.

Here in my part of upstate NY, we generally get 100-120 inches of snow per season, often in storms that will drop up to 3 feet at a pop of very wet, heavy, lake-effect snow. My 8HP thrower with 26" scoop is more than enough to handle it.

But again, if you're not in condition to move 80 to several pounds of machine around in inclement conditions, spend a few hundred bucks to get a seasonal contract for someone to plow your driveway for you.
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Old 10-31-10, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digibud View Post
I can't speak highly enough of my MTD 5horse 24" wide two stage snow blower. No electric start, no headlight, hand crank to change blower direction...it's very basic but I've had it ten years and it just keeps going and going. I live in Alaska, but not in a serious snow belt. I've already had it out to do the driveway once...and I use it to cut a path to my steam bath about 75 feet from the house. It regularly has wood sticks get stuck in the second stage but even that has failed to cause any problem. If you regularly get snow deeper than a foot lnd a half at a time, you probably want something bigger, but if your snowfall is limited to about a foot or so at a time, a 24" 5 horse should do you well. Of course a more powerful machine will cut through the snow faster. Space and money considerations aside, a bigger, more powerful blower is a good thing....
x2 This is exactly what I would have said about mine.

A 2 stage, dual stage is the only way to go. The little single stage 2 strokes are a pain, the electrics are weak at the best of times.

Good luck, Daren
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Old 10-31-10, 05:40 PM   #9
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I have a two stage Craftsman, 9 hp, 26", self-propelled, electric start, with a light. It lets me clear our double, 50' driveway in about 20 minutes. Best thing is, after the City plows the street and creates a 2 to 3 foot icy berm across the driveways, I can clear that in about another 20 minutes. THAT takes about an hour by hand, on a good day!

It clears down to about a 1/4 inch height, but at that height the sun can evaporate the rest.
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Old 10-31-10, 05:52 PM   #10
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I can't believe this thread went this far without the obvious reply. If your wife wants a snowblower, tell her to just go buy the one she wants to use.
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Old 10-31-10, 06:04 PM   #11
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before you buy it you need to move to my neighborhood to guarantee there will not be significant snowfall...

train safe-
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Old 10-31-10, 06:45 PM   #12
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I can't believe this thread went this far without the obvious reply. If your wife wants a snowblower, tell her to just go buy the one she wants to use.
Back up 5 posts from yours..
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Old 10-31-10, 07:05 PM   #13
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Ooo Ooo, get a red one.

Mine's a red one and it works really great!!

just sayin'


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Old 10-31-10, 09:12 PM   #14
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This is a timely thread as I'm hunting a snow blower, too. My two snow shovelers aren't around this winter. One is getting married and the other will be working and going to college. Guess I better buy a snow blower since I hate using that shovel. I'll be reading this one with lots of interest.

Next spring we can discuss riding lawn mowers
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Old 10-31-10, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHAS View Post
I live at 9000 feet in the Rockies.
A neighbor took his teenage daughter to California.
There the young lady saw a lawnmower and inquired as to what it was.
Then she said,
"Oh, its like a snowblower."
My bro lives off the peak to peak at 9K - He bought an old Oshkosh from the Corp of Eng. It has a 6 cly diesel on the back that just runs the blower. I think it's at least 3 or 4 screws high.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:06 PM   #16
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Hey, you're posting in the 50+ department so you're no longer a kid. I have an age-appropriate suggestion for you: MOVE TO PHOENIX.

No need for snowblowers. Or snow shovels. Or tire chains. Or windshield ice scrapers.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:06 PM   #17
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I think mulveyr had a point. If darling dear is worried about your torn shoulder, as you both should well be, then a snow blower is probably not a good thing. I have two torn rotator cuffs myself (both shoulders...). I'm good enough now (after a cortisone shot) that I can do snow blowing, but swinging the machine around and pushing it around when it gets stuck, can be a strain and great care does need to be taken. So snowblowing has a real risk. What you need is an ATV with a winch and plow. I'm dead serious here. THAT is the way to plow snow when you have a bad...anything.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:24 PM   #18
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We have much in common. Torn rotator cuff here also.

I have a small shrine built to my snowthrower in my garage. 30+ year old Toro 8 hp. If you are going to get one go for a gas 2 stage discharge. Electric start is also a good thing as most of them plug in to an extension cord(no battery to maintain) The thing may sit for a year but when the big one hits you will be praising the genius that thought of buying the thing.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
I have an '8-horse' Troybilt, 22" cut with foreward and reverse and electric start. I bought it about 12 years ago and I only use it when my shovel gets overwhelmed.

You want electric start!!!

My '8-horse' has never bogged down. Light snow or heavy snow plow wet cement type snow is no match fo this little machine.

My input;
*Get gas powered electric start...plug it in, start it up, blow snow.
* Eight horse power should be enough to handle just about anything.
This is fine advice, though 8 horse wight be a little overkill in some cases. It depends on how big your property is. I'd also suggest a four cycle engine to avoid tedious mixing of oil/gas. +1000 on electric start.

As to the rotator cuff... get it surgically repaired ASAP. It is well worth the trouble.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:31 PM   #20
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I second the heavy handling. My snow blower is self propelled, but only goes straight. I have to muscle it left/right to turn. May be those track drive models have steering? Mine is a 5HP , dual stage, 20 inch Sears model. Worked great till second stage belt stretched. Sears replacement belt was even bigger? Shame you don't live closer, I could give it to you. I no longer need, moved into a 55+ community which includes snow removal and grass cutting. And conversely more bike time.
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Old 11-01-10, 12:07 AM   #21
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I second the heavy handling. My snow blower is self propelled, but only goes straight. I have to muscle it left/right to turn. May be those track drive models have steering? Mine is a 5HP , dual stage, 20 inch Sears model. Worked great till second stage belt stretched. Sears replacement belt was even bigger? Shame you don't live closer, I could give it to you. I no longer need, moved into a 55+ community which includes snow removal and grass cutting. And conversely more bike time.

I have a 28" Honda track drive and a Toro 28" too. Nope, the Honda doesn't have steering and is harder to turn than the wheeled Toro which has a lever to unlock the wheels for horsing it around a bit easier. However, the Honda does throw snow further than the Toro, has better tractionm, and is better made.
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Old 11-01-10, 05:12 AM   #22
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Save your money... Hire a 40 year old (or two twenty somethings). Easy on the back - hard on the pocketbook.
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Old 11-01-10, 10:50 AM   #23
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This,
http://jalopnik.com/339171/the-v8+po...ns-frostys-ass
is what you want.
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Old 11-01-10, 10:54 AM   #24
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You might want to check snow removal services. Or a nice trailer for your father in law's monster. <G>
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Old 11-02-10, 06:55 PM   #25
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We get 185 inches of snow on average. Two years back to back we got over 300. Most of the time I use a snow scoophttp://www.silverbear.biz/ but when I'm in a hurry I use my trusty Husqvarna. In my neck of the woods there are only two brands that work. Husqvarna and Ariens. The nice thing about the scoop is you never have to lift the snow. You do need to plan in November where April's snow is going to go.
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