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jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 524

Snow Commander update
Original Message   Feb 5, 2013 9:21 am
Well finally got things sorted out on the Toro SC.
Discovered a few other things that needed attention.
Both handles were bent down. From the point just above the
mounting bolts.  Where the steel goes from a round shape to a flat shape.
Had to removed them, cut a slice in the tube, bend them straight and weld the slice closed.
That raised the end of the handle about 6". A much more comfortable height.
It wouldn't stay running under a load.  Found the float was out of adjustment.

As far as how it performs.  It will never win any throwing distance awards.
Throws about half the distance of my Toro Power Clear 210R.
But when it comes to shear power, the thing is a beast.
That 7hp engine has got some power.
It has snowed here the last nine days in a row.
So there are all kinds of snow condition to test it in.
New snow, deep old snow and everything in between.
Yesterday I was cutting thru typical type EOD piles.  About 4 days old and 18 - 20" deep.
Dense and packed snow (but not hard and frozen), chunks of ice.
The blower cut right thru it. Had to work it from the top down sometimes.
But the engine hardly strained at all.  In some places was able to simply cut a 24"
path right thru the pile. I was impressed.  It will even shove out that wet dense stuff without lugging to the point of stalling the engine.
The tilting feature design that allows you to set how aggressively the blower pulls itself forward, works welll
On certain surfaces when your cleaning right down to the pavement.  It will really pull you along behind it
at a fast walk.  But you can release the handle a little and slow it down.
Having the extra 4" of clearing really makes a noticeable difference in total clearing time.
The SC is quite a bit heavier than most SS blowers.  Weighting in about 125 lbs.  So you can't whip it around
quite as easily.  But because the rear wheels are about 3" wide and 6 or 7" in diameter.  It rolls much easier than
than most blower do.  Especially in loose and bumpy snow.  It also has the extra pair of wheels up front so you really
don't have to tilt the blower up when moving backwards.
The powered chute setup that I put on it work like a charm and saves so much time.
Not having to stop and redirect the chute.  Although because I removed the stops and the chute will spin 360 degrees.
I have a couple of times spun the chute to far and found myself looking down inside the chute.  Hoping nothing comes
out right at that moment.  Now my big decision.  Do I keep the SC and sell my 210R or keep the 210R and sell the SC.
Don't really need both.
Replies: 5 - 14 of 14Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #5   Feb 6, 2013 5:26 pm
I'd sell the SC and keep a decent SS machine for most work and have a large dual stage for the occasional event when an SS is overwhelmed.  I really enjoy using my Tecumseh powered machines.  They get it done, are dirt cheap to buy and throw an impressive distance when on the pipe.  The fun factor is important to me.
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 617

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #6   Feb 6, 2013 6:51 pm
I like SS snowblower but on a concrete surface, the rubber paddles do wear out very fast on that surface.  So buy a nice SS and make sure the rubber paddles (scapper bar) are cheap and readily available. 
jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 524

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #7   Feb 6, 2013 7:51 pm
aa335 wrote:
One of the things I appreciate about the 2 stage is cutting through a 2 foot tall EOD and throwing far well into the lawn without having to retoss that thick mess again.  I wonder if the SC can do that.

The SC won't do that.
Which can be an issue in certain situations.
 I took out both the SC and the 210R today.
Ran them side by side though some snow about 7 or 8" deep that's been sitting for about
3 of 4 days. The area I was blowing had a slight incline to it and was about 20' long.
Normally I would have gotten out the 2 stage to blow what I was blowing.
No question that the 210R will throw about twice as far as the SC.
Both blowers have the 141cc R-tek.  But the SC has a different piston and cylinder wall cut outs.
The 210R would clear it's path faster than the SC.
But the SC is clearing a path 20% wider than the 210R
The SC would pull itself up the incline a little better than the 210R.
But that difference could vary according to what type on snow you were dealing with.
From what I heard it sounded like the 210R was handling the load a little better that the SC.
But again the SC is cutting a wider path.
I my opinion the SC is so close to being an awesome machine.  There is just something that is a little off
in the design.  Don't know if it's the third paddle?  Or the extra steel that forms a 6" or so sheet metal hub around
the auger shaft.  Or the size of the auger pulley. Somethings just not quite right.
It needs about 6 to 8' more throwing distance.

Photo of the sheet metal hub.  Not sure that was a good idea.  It may be for strength, but I'm not sure that it's good for
other reasons.  Just seems like it's in the way.  Although most of the old Toro 2 stages have huge auger hubs.
Never quite understood the concept there either.
If I had to make a decision right now.  I would probably keep the 210R and sell the SC.
But, SCs are not easy to come by especially for $70.00.  Were as there are many good 5hp Toro models to choose from
on the used market.  I really do like the extra cutting width.  To clear an 8' wide driveway is out of the garage and back, twice.


aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #8   Feb 6, 2013 8:49 pm
I think the sheet metal hub is there to limit the amount of snow that gets pulled in.   If that was hollow, there would be snow swirling around with not enough velocity to make out of the chute but all it does is drag down the engine. The 3rd rubber auger is there to allow it to take smaller bites of snow.

If you're not in a hurry to get rid of the SC, keep it around and play with the pulley ratios to see if you can dial it in to your liking.  I'm not sure how much those pulleys and belts costs, but it might be fun to experiment.  The SC is a unique machine.  I venture to say that the SC will never throw further than 210R. 

If you get tired of the SC, you can pull that engine and put it on the 210R.  $70 isn't bad for that Rtek engine. 
jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 524

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #9   Feb 6, 2013 11:08 pm
The question that came to my mind the first time I saw the auger was.
Why did they design it differently than all the other Power curve augers.
Why create the sheet metal hub / cover for the shaft?
None of the other Toro SS blowers I've seen have anything like that.
And they all seem to work pretty well and throw further.
Just trying to figure out why the SC throws snow so poorly.
When using it in say 2 or 3" of snow it will only throw around 4 to 5'.

This message was modified Feb 7, 2013 by jrtrebor
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #10   Feb 7, 2013 10:20 am
Some of the older Toro 2 stage models actually have a drum auger.  As far as SS, I've only seen this similar design on the SC.  I think the principle is the same on both, to limit the amount of snow gathered and create a positive displacement pump action.  I guess there's a trade off to this design.  It takes more horsepower or torque to turn the rotor, hence slower rotation speed which translates to reduce throwing distance.  The gain is that it will push slush and heavy snow up the chute better.

On some of the older Toro CCR2000 and the Honda HS621, the rotor makes a complete seal with the rubber paddles.  There is no opening for the snow to swirl in between the shaft.  The older S-200 with straight paddles also have hub around the shaft too.  These models are excellent at slush.  Again there's a trade off.  My newer Toro 421 SS has the open paddle design, the Honda HS621 has the closed padle design.  The Toro 421 always seems more efficient at throwing snow and has greater distance, its rotor/paddle assembly is 1/3 of the mass of the Honda.  However, the HS621 will keep pumping out slush up the chute, even up to the point that the engine almost stalls out.  The Toro, on the other hand, will stop pushing slush up at some point and I have to ease back and let the engine RPM pick up and build up rotor speed.  So this is the differences that I noticed, which is a fair assessment since both the Toro and Honda have essentially the same engine and power/torque characteristics.

Getting back to the SC.  I don't know how torquy the R-tek is at lower RPMs and how flat the torque curve is, but expecting that engine to power 125 lbs snowblower with heavy rotor/auger assembly that is 24" wide may be too much.  I do feel that this SS deserve a healthy 250cc 4 stroke for low RPM torque characteristics rather than high RPM HP of the Rtek. Opinions will vary, but when it comes to moving snow, I prefer an engine with lots of torque that wont' sag when it sees a heavy load.  2 stroke engine can have explosive power at screaming high RPMs, but once out of powerband, torque seems to drop off pretty quickly.  This may be the case with the SC, where the pulley ratio was determined to keep the engine in its powerband while sacrificing rotor speed and throwing distance.

I do like the SC concept of being a super single stage that has confidence tackling EOD piles, and that's what Toro is pushing to sell.  However, it seems like engine choices, heavy weight, and high price may not be in the SC favor.  The selling price of the SC was high and enroaching on the terrority of small 2 stage units, but the SC doesn't outdistance or handle more volume in a performance standpoint.   The only thing it has over a 2 stage is the maneuverability.  I've already discussed how a smaller 21" SS is superior in throwing distance and maneuverability.  So without an outstanding strong point for the SC, $1000 for a wide single stage is a difficult sell.  In addition, those rubber paddles are expensive and replacing them is time consuming, hence operating and maintenance costs are higher.

It is good that Toro decides to cut its losses and discontinued the model.  However, this design could have been baked to completion, but that would only mean higher costs and complexity.  At that point, I would just throw in the towel and sell someone a small 24 inch 2 stage with a 250cc 4 stroke engine at $900.

 
Loblolly77


Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Points: 30

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #11   Feb 7, 2013 10:23 am
Hi;

          

OK, shut up because we are not getting anything but rain 

My future idea: Install a piston and cylinder from the boost port snow commander on my 221QR chassis, and adjust carb jettng if needed. 

Really I'm perfectly satisfied with the 221QR as it is!

We only have about 3 weeks left for any chance of snow, so I'm not holding my breath for snow, this will be the third year now without any real snow.

aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #12   Feb 7, 2013 10:50 am
MN_Runner wrote:
I like SS snowblower but on a concrete surface, the rubber paddles do wear out very fast on that surface.  So buy a nice SS and make sure the rubber paddles (scapper bar) are cheap and readily available. 

My paddles are holding up just fine.  I typically replace mine every 4 years.  At this rate of snow, it will probably be 8 years until I need to replace any paddles.

One way to keep the paddle wear to a minimum is keep moving at a constant speed and not let the paddles beat the snow down to the bare pavement.  The sun will melt that thin layer of snow within a day.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #13   Feb 7, 2013 10:53 am
Loblolly77 wrote:
Hi;

          

OK, shut up because we are not getting anything but rain 

My future idea: Install a piston and cylinder from the boost port snow commander on my 221QR chassis, and adjust carb jettng if needed. 

Really I'm perfectly satisfied with the 221QR as it is!

We only have about 3 weeks left for any chance of snow, so I'm not holding my breath for snow, this will be the third year now without any real snow.


Of course your 221QR is perfect.  It doesn't have to see any snow this year to perform badly.  :)
superbuick


Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Points: 134

Re: Snow Commander update
Reply #14   Feb 8, 2013 1:58 pm
I was pretty unimpressed with the Snow Commander when I had one.  Plenty of power but the throwing distance, as mentioned, was terrible.  Less maneuverable than the 221/421 and only a couple of inches wider.  I'd keep the 210R over the SC any day of the week.
Replies: 5 - 14 of 14Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
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