This is an update on my Ariens Sno-thro following one season's use. I installed an hour meter on the blower prior to using it and kept track of snowfall amounts. The season got off to a very slow start, but by the time it was over we had slightly above average snowfall for the area; approximately 78" from 16 snow events of 2" or more. I have a 150 foot drive way and 3 car garage area to clear plus a short driveway at a rental property next door. The machine got about 15 hours of use. It started and ran flawlessly and threw the snow 50' as advertised. I was very pleased with its performance. When I "summerized" the machine the clutch/brake adjustment was still within specs. The chain tension needed to be re-adjusted.
Date Purchased: see previous post Price Paid: $1324 Recommend: Yes
Same as previous post
Same as previous post; drive chain idler pulley system does not seem particularly sturdy. Owner's manual not up-to-date for adjusting clutch/brake.
I purchased this snowblower prior to joining the forum so didn't have much of a knowledge base to use for determining what make and model to buy. I had never owned or even used a snowblower previously. I had just heard that Ariens was considered a reputable brand and also had a dealer about 3 miles from my home. His price compared favorably with that at Home Depot and there was no delivery charge. After the dealer dropped off the machine and I had a chance to read the manual I saw the piece about doing the initial run-in. When I called him to see if he had done it he basically said it wasn't worth the time doing and to use it and bring it in if it needed adjustment. I did the run-in on my own and in the process found what appeared to be an assembly goof involving the idler wheel for the drive chain. All the parts were there so I assembled it and adjusted the chain tension. No further problems so far.
I opted for the 11.5 HP because of the length of my drive and the need to do the rental property next door. Had I been familiar with this forum and read the various reviews and comments, I might have considered getting the 926DLE which would have been the same price. I also would not have ruled out a Toro or Simplicity based on what I have learned from the forum. So far the snowblower has met all my expectations and has run and performed flawlessly. It will throw the snow at least 50' as advertised. I have put just over 8 hours of blowing on it so far. Although the winter was off to a slow start here,today's local paper indicates that we are above average in terms of total snowfall for the season so far. We just haven't gotten a big dump.
Having the differential found in the Pro models would be nice, but I'm a spry 60 yo and haven't had any problem maneuvering the machine with both wheels locked. I plan on an update at the end of the season.
Date Purchased: 08/04 Price Paid: $1324 Recommend: Yes
quality of materials; performance
problem with initial set-up; differential would be nice
This message was modified Jan 27, 2005 by Jonathan