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Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Distance vs power
Original Message   Feb 6, 2013 11:36 am
The issue discussed in the Snow Commander thread raise an interesting concern.

Trading distance for torque is a tough decision, and I think a lot of people pay too much attention to throwing distance. It depends almost entirely on the type of snow you get in your location and the layout of your property.

For example: Where I am we usually get light powdery snow in the middle of winter, but starting now we see wet and heavy snow for Feb. and March. Half of my driveway is single width and runs through a wooded area. 15' is more than enough distance and almost any blower will do that. I don't mind if it's piled up near the driveway or on the lawn, as long as it's off the driveway. I'd rather have a strong blower there so I don't have to nibble at it by taking less-than-full-width cuts. Conversely, the top 45' of my driveway is extremely wide, because I have a paved parking area to the side of the garage and a turnaround below it. It's about 40' wide at that point so you need distance!

So big roostertails don't impress me. What impresses me is a machine going full width into deep snow at a good rate of speed; one that's capable of moving large volumes quickly. Power! But if you don't get a lot of deep snow, it can be fun. (as long as it's not being blown by the wind back onto already cleared areas!)

Someone here once posted a video and their driveway was between two houses, the was no way to blow to the side. In that case, distance is very important because you have to toss it far out to the front and once you're past the houses, then you can reblow it to the side. Reblowing is not fun, it hits and packs. The further it goes the less that hits in a given area. IN that case, distance is more important, so trading power for speed is worthwhile. I'd like to see someone market a machine with a two speed impeller. High speed for the light snowfalls, but able to be geared down when you get dumped on hard with the wet heavy stuff. I doubt that will happen because of the extra cost, but it would be nice.

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
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MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 616

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #7   Feb 6, 2013 6:58 pm
I am done buying snowblowers.  My 3 car garage is full with two cars, 7 bicycles, two Honda snowblwers and one Honda lawnmower. No mas!
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #8   Feb 6, 2013 8:29 pm
MN_Runner wrote:
I am done buying snowblowers.  My 3 car garage is full with two cars, 7 bicycles, two Honda snowblwers and one Honda lawnmower. No mas!


Haha, me too. I have a 48" 21HP single stage, it's more than capable of anything I'll ever have to do.

Breaking News: They just posted the warning an hour ago -- up to 24" of heavy snow Friday and possible blizzard conditions on Saturday. Bring it on!

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 616

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #9   Feb 6, 2013 8:41 pm
I like running the 2-stage first then running the SS to clean the concrete.  My ice rink is about 150'x150' so I use 928 to clear it then 520 to smooth the surface. Even on an ice rink, SS has its limitations as I found out that SS does not throw the snow far enough so at some point we are dealing with the deep snow where 520 is seriously challenged.  Again if you have room and money, keep both as these come in handy.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #10   Feb 6, 2013 9:02 pm
MN_Runner wrote:
HS-520 is not that bad.  It is fairly good for 3-6" snow.  When the snow is wet/heavy and more than 6" then it is challenged.  I need to boratized it..

I had both the HS520 and HS621 at the same time a few years ago.  If the snow is 3 to 6 inches, I don't have preference on either machine.  9 to 12 inches of wet heavy snow, the HS621 is much more a brutal machine.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2391

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #11   Feb 6, 2013 9:10 pm
MN_Runner wrote:
I am done buying snowblowers.  My 3 car garage is full with two cars, 7 bicycles, two Honda snowblwers and one Honda lawnmower. No mas!

If you wanted to get more snowblowers because thats what you like, build a shed, put the bicycles and the lawnmower there during the winter.  Swap the snowblowers out to the shed during the non-snowing seasons.

Depending on how high the ceiling in your garage, you can get a pulley operated lift tray to store non used items off the ground.  I put in a 5x5 foot tray for my sister to store OPE.  The lawnmower goes up there during the winter, the snowblower goes up there during the grass growing seasons.
This message was modified Feb 6, 2013 by aa335
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 616

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #12   Feb 6, 2013 9:18 pm
aa335 wrote:
If you wanted to get more snowblowers because thats what you like, build a shed, put the bicycles and the lawnmower there during the winter.  Swap the snowblowers out to the shed during the non-snowing seasons.


Two snowblowers are more than good enough for one operator. I wish I can install the new 2012-2013 HS-928 muffler on my 2010 model.  My 928 is really loud compared to 724 I had for a week.
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #13   Feb 6, 2013 10:56 pm
From my experience, power equals distance and I'll take as much as  I can get of each.
longboat


Joined: Feb 11, 2009
Points: 98

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #14   Feb 7, 2013 9:20 am
I'm in a rural area, so I only have one good reason for throwing distance.  Some winters we can get a lot of snow.  Those winters are usually cool enough that the snow sticks around and doesn't melt until spring.  Once you start piling snow up on the edge of your driveway, pretty soon you have 4' - 5' snowbanks lining the driveway and it becomes more difficult to throw snow OVER that high snowbank.  Moreoverly, those high banks cause MORE snow to drift in onto your driveway, exacerbating your cleaning problems.

Now, with global climate change, this is becoming less of an issue.  Sure, we get greater snowfalls, but they usually melt within a few weeks.

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #15   Feb 7, 2013 9:41 am
I know what longboat is talking about.

Back in the unbelievale winter of '95-'96 we had so much snow that my street was shut down for almost a week.  Plows couldn't keep up with the snow.   I was using a decent, brand new Craftsman 10/29 at the time and it wasn't exactly stellar for throwing distance.  Nonetheless, it could throw at least 20 to 25 ft. distance with average snow.  My driveway at the narrowest is 18' across.  By mid March I only had nine feet of the 18 available.  The rest was consumed by snow banks.   Another month of that rate of snowfall, we would have been parking the vehicles down at the street.   The Simplicity I have now throws almost double what the Craftsman did.  However, I've yet to see anything close to the winter of '95-'96 since.
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: Distance vs power
Reply #16   Feb 8, 2013 9:40 pm
borat wrote:
From my experience, power equals distance and I'll take as much as  I can get of each.


Heh, we always want as much as we can get, the Tim Taylor in all of us :) I was referring to distance as a function of impeller tip speed (high RPMs) and power as being able to go into a deep pile without dying (torque). Sort of like comparing 2nd and 4th gears. In the last 7 years we've had 3 where we got 100" of snow, the average being 70. The first time we had that I ran into a problem with snow banks near the end of the year, I was unable to throw over the 7' or so banks from up close. I ended up blowing it sideways to an area where it wasn't so high and then reblowing it off to the side. Since that episode, I always start my piles a little further back so it won't happen again.

I try to keep poles out so I can tell where the edge of the driveway is ... ever since that time I plowed a tree stump (oops). I run the blower exactly on the line no matter how deep it gets there. After my neighbor drove into the ditch I make extra sure that all the reflectors down at that end of the driveway are always visible too.

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
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