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GreatCanadian


Joined: Mar 5, 2013
Points: 15

Ariens Automatic Traction Control
Original Message   Mar 25, 2013 8:21 am
ATC Traction Control Question
From my research I have learned that the Ariens Platinum and higher wheeled series use the Hilliard Auto-lok. From the Hilliard website I take the following:

The Hilliard Auto-Lok automatically switches from positive traction to an open differential and back without any levers or cables. On a side hill, the Auto-Lok transfers power to the wheel with the most traction, eliminating the need for the rider to shift their weight. The improved traction reduces tire spin, and in return, reduces turf damage...

Note what I have in bold italics. Doesn't this mean that if a wheel spins on my Platinum then the differential takes the power from that wheel and transfers it to the wheel with traction? If that's the case then that's going to turn my snowblower quickly, and I will continuously be fighting to keep it on a straight path. If I have a wheel slip I want the power to REMAIN on that wheel. I struggle to keep my blower on a straight path, and am beginning to believe this is the reason why. Any comments?

GC
Replies: 1 - 4 of 4View as Outline
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: Ariens Automatic Traction Control
Reply #1   Mar 25, 2013 10:00 am
I've never seen/used this system.

But open differentials (not this system) will basically follow the path of least resistance. Get one wheel on smooth ice, and other other on pavement, and the ice wheel will just spin all day, essentially zero torque is sent to the pavement wheel, and you'll stop dead. Maybe you could say that helps you go straight, but really it's just ensuring you don't move at all :)

To keep moving forward, on intermittently-slippery conditions, you need something more like this system. Get one wheel on smooth ice, and the other on pavement, and it sounds like it transfers power from the ice wheel, to the pavement wheel. The blower will now keep moving, with basically one-wheel-drive on the pavement wheel. So it will want to veer towards one side (towards the slipping wheel), but at least you're still moving forwards.

It sounds like you have to pick one, you can have a design that will be a bit better for going straight, or you can have one that actually keeps you moving.

Another option is to try and actually add more grip/traction. For instance, if you get icy patches in your driveway, put chains on. They should help with traction, even on ice, reducing the need for the differential to transfer power to just one wheel or the other. It also actually helps when you get *both* wheels on ice. Like the difference between just traction control on bald tires, and having good snow tires.

I have an open ("normal") differential on my Ariens, with chains on the tires. I haven't had trouble keeping it going straight. I find it easier to manage/steer than my MTD that had a solid, locked axle, and chains. It seemed like I was always making little corrections with the MTD, dragging the handles to the side, to keep it going where I wanted. With the differential, corrections are still needed, but they're a lot easier (I'm just re-aiming it, not trying to drag the tires sideways). A few times I've had one wheel start to spin, but it's been brief, and usually when driving into a snowbank or something. The chains have been enough.
GreatCanadian


Joined: Mar 5, 2013
Points: 15

Re: Ariens Automatic Traction Control
Reply #2   Mar 26, 2013 7:42 am
RedOctobyr, thanks for that response. What Ariens do you have?
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: Ariens Automatic Traction Control
Reply #3   Mar 26, 2013 11:23 am
I have an older (~1993) ST824. And just got a different machine, which also has the same style open differential. One wheel slips, and you stop moving. But it really hasn't been a problem for me yet, at least with the chains. And it sure is more convenient than a solid axle.
GreatCanadian


Joined: Mar 5, 2013
Points: 15

Re: Ariens Automatic Traction Control
Reply #4   Mar 27, 2013 11:46 am
Yeah I might just try chains - as well as composite shoes. Thanks for your input.

GC

Replies: 1 - 4 of 4View as Outline
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