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JCinPolandME


Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Points: 3

A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Original Message   Nov 24, 2005 9:27 am
A OPE lover's dream, an early start to the snowblowing season!!  We're in the infancy of our second storm of the week, and this one could be blow-able!!  Unfortunately I have spent the last three weeks doing countless hours of research on which blower to buy (including many hours on this wonderful site) and have yet to pull the trigger on a purchase.  So I'll have to borrow my dad's Deere 828D if in fact we got the 3-6" expected here in SoWest Maine.

So my situation:

  • new homeowner, 150' long gravel driveway with large turnaround area
  • busy town road frontage where I'm sure they'll leave me a lovely EOD mess
  • would like to spend under 1200, just a target not a rule

I started out really looking only at Ariens and Toro, and read many articles here that made it clear that they are both quality machines.  Another thing I read here started to get me looking elsewhere, the OHV engine.  You have to spend at least 1300 for an Ariens 1128LE to get OHV and even more for the Toro 1128 OXE, and at that point everyone says spend the extra 200 and go for the PRO Ariens 926DLE.  So all of the sudden my price ceiling has been raised to 1500 for the PRO, and I know a few hundred doesn't sound like a lot to some, but it does to us. 

So I found a great price on a Toro 828LXE ($1200 in NH, no tax!) and the best price I could find on an Ariens 926DLE was $1470 tax incl.  The same dealer has the 926LE for $1050 tax incl.  I was pretty close to pulling the trigger on the Toro, after hearing the chute control and steering control were excellent.  Then I picked up my reel mower from the sharpener who services OPE and he said he's not a big fan of Toro, go Ariens but get the PRO.  I know it's just one (professional) opinion, but others on this board gave me the impression the LXE is a more consumer grade offering than the Ariens DLE.  But I am a consumer afterall, not a Pro, argggggggggggg!  You are probably starting to sense my personality traits that make decisions like this so painful (especially for my dear wife!)

So long story short, and the reason I am actually posting, is that I have also found a great deal on the two Husqvarna OHV models in my price range.  But I've yet to find a lot of info on this board or others about the quality of the Husky's.  I did talk to one dealer in So Portland (Yerxa's) who highly recommended the Husky XP series.  They are a Toro dealer as well, and says the Husky's are more rugged (linkage instead of cables, heavier gage steel, etc) and they're OHV!  Seems to me the Husky 927SBE-XP compares very favorably in features to the Ariens 926DLE (OHV, "power steering", etc.) but is $1100 vs. $1500.  I am sure I will hear the it is no Ariens, and I guess I'm willing to accept something slightly less, but is it simply reputation?  I think the Husky is made by AYP, so is it essentially a Poulan?  If so, I can see why it is considered less quality.

So if someone could help me out here, I might actually be able to blow snow this winter!  Any opinions/experiences with the Husky would be best, as well as any other options in the 8-10hp, 26-30", preferably OHV class that I may be missing.

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fishwater


Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Points: 9

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #4   Nov 24, 2005 12:24 pm
I live in NH & got the Toro 828 LXE, I think it will be a nice machine for my use. Gravel drive, 80 feet long, 18 feet wide with a 45 foot area at the bottom for parking.
JCinPolandME


Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Points: 3

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #5   Nov 24, 2005 12:29 pm
fishwater-

The dealer I mentioned that had a sweet price on the 828LXE is Philbrick Sales in N Hampton NH.  Their price is nearly $100 cheaper than any Toro dealer here in So ME, so with the $60 in no tax, its a no-brainer for me to take the drive down 95 to NH.  Is that where you got yours?  Any thoughts on them as a dealer/servicer?

I was a bit sketical of Philbrick because they sell on eBay, but I've talked to other granite staters who say they're a reputable outfit.  Most likely I would use local dealers for service, so it might not matter.

AZinOH


Those who accept self-deception will perish by it.
Shakespeare said "to thine own self be true".


Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Points: 189

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #6   Nov 24, 2005 12:46 pm
JCinPolandME wrote:
"I just wonder about the choice to not pay for the OHV....."

The engine is a definite consideration, but most certainly not the most important one.  Consider the whole package.  What's likely to break first? Probably not the engine unless you abused it or left some bad fuel in the tank.  The Tecumseh L-heads have been around a long time, parts and support are widely available  to keep them running. That counts for a lot.

AZ

Snowblower...Toro Power Max 726te 2004

Lawn tractor...AYP w/ 14.5 Briggs-42in 2000

Garandman


Location: South Boston, MA
Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Points: 341

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #7   Nov 24, 2005 12:57 pm
The new 926DLE is just about perfect. If you don't get it you'll hate whatever else you bought and curse yourself for cheaping out. You folks do have Real Winters, but of course if you buy it there will be no snow.....

Many dealers had or have 0 percent financing, so that's one path to investigate.

There are some fairly good deals on used machines on eBay and I'd keep looking there if you are on a budget.  I bought a 10yo Ariens ST824 with a replacement engine for $212.75 last Spring in NH. There's plenty of junk but not as much interest in the used machines $6-800.
fishwater


Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Points: 9

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #8   Nov 25, 2005 6:17 am
JC, I shopped Philbricks but purchased mine at Shaws Ridge Equipment instead. Phillbricks is supposed to be a good outfit but I have done business with Shaws for a while & felt they would service me better than anyone else if there was ever a problem.
Loudpedal


Husqvarna 8527SBE

Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Points: 17

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #9   Nov 25, 2005 11:06 am
JCinPolandME wrote:
  Any opinions/experiences with the Husky would be best, as well as any other options in the 8-10hp, 26-30", preferably OHV class that I may be missing.


I purchased a Husqvarna 8527SBE recently and used it for the first time last night.   What a great machine, sweet color, all the features I need, mid sized, and comparitively reasonably priced.    It's a great blower, lots of power and well built.  It's got a 27" swath and the 8.5hp Tecumseh L-head.   I got it right from a local Husky dealer, and paid less than the same model which is the Sears Craftsman version. 

After using a 2nd hand 30 year old blower (don't know the manufactuer), for the past couple of seasons also with a 5hp L head, I saw no reason to justify the extra expense of going to OHV.   Apparently, the manufacturers are going to OHV engines primarially because of tightening of emissions standards for OPE.  I personally like the sound of the L head, it has a nice mechanical personality to it.   From a reliability perspective, my dealer swears by the Tec L head.   Looking around at the blowers my dealer has in for service, there is not one Husky.  

Good luck with your purchase and let it snow. 

 

sabesh


"There's too much blood in my alcohol system"

Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Joined: Nov 8, 2005
Points: 22

Re: A White Thanksgiving - WOOO HOOOO!
Reply #10   Nov 25, 2005 11:51 am
Some initial thoughts after using my new Toro 1028 LXE a couple of times:

I upped the skids too much the first time I used it and it didn't blow all that well (clearance at 1 inch). I've now lowered it to 1cm and it picks up snow very well. Snowfall was only about 3 inches so I could not get the optimum performance out of this machine (only problem was throwing against the strong wind. Range was about 8 feet only). But the positives are overwhelming:

Since I have a sloping driveway, I'm so glad that I got the power-steer version as I have to turn multiple times and go up the slope at the EOD. The trigger-released turns were well executed with no "whiplash" effect. Also, it really helps to have the easy chute control mechanism as I can easily adjust it after I make turns and pile the snow exactly where I want it. (No fumbling with two separate chute controls, hence the job gets done faster).

Hope this helps you towards making a decision. Cheers, Sabesh.

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