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goofienewfie


Ariens 1130DLE

Joined: Oct 25, 2007
Points: 107

Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Original Message   Oct 25, 2007 11:12 am
Hello

First post, not first visit. Been reading post for about a week and now seem stuck on my final decision.

I live in Newfoundland, Canada. Hence the nickname :) We tend to get A LOT of snow here and the plows love to fill up my end of driveway (EOD) with a lot of slush, ice and snow. BIG chunks of it really. Also my driveway is a shared three car driveway with the neighbors. Which is one of the main reasons for needing a snowblower. Last year was my first time at my new house and we could not shovel on one side of the driveway. So towards the end of the season we had easily 10+ feet snow hill on our one side of the driveway, which made shoveling VERY difficult.  So I am hoping that all these new snowblower will have no problem putting the snow over my neighbors car and on to his front lawn, as well as going over a 10' hill of snow.  I also have another driveway that I have to clear as well, so this machine will get a lot of use.

I have been reading mostly about Toro, Ariens and a little on Honda. Not much research on the craftsman at all. I know I would love a Honda as everybody I know that has one raves about them. Not one bad thing about them. Unfortunately its out of my price range. So I have been using them as a comparison to the others.

Right now I am looking at the below models. The links are included and also my concerns on each machine.

Ariens 1130 DLE  $1869 + Tax

http://www.ariens.com/snow_products/deluxe_sno_thros/1130_dle/

I lot of people seem pro ariens here.  Is this bias or are they that good? Personally I seem to be leaning towards them myself. But I wonder if its the post here doing that to me. As I haven't heard much about them locally from people I talk to. All positive reviews are from online. I have heard good reviews about the toro locally tho. So I am stuck on the positive reviews on these machines. This year only one dealer locally sells them. It seems home depot dropped the line or at least here they did. Which makes me wonder why? to much troubles? Hrmmm..  Maybe toro and others gave them a exclusive deal, who knows.  but it does make me wonder.

The things that make me wonder about ariens are the chute controls.  Not are easy to use as the toro. But it is all steel, which seems to be a plus in my mind. The triggers do seem quite a bit stiffer then the toro, not to keen on that. Plus the springs that move the chutes make a lot of squeaking.  Need some grease maybe, but will these seize up in the future?

The automatic differential only controls one wheel, why? This doesn't seem to make since to me.  Are we suppose to go around in circles like a zamboni in a ice arena? Why not controls on both wheels?  Also the 10hp only comes with a manual trigger. I thought I seen somewhere that this tends to work better, even tho still one wheel.  Is the trigger better or automatic. For future problems, which would give less headache to fix?  Automatic seems like to could be the troublesome one for that, but maybe there is little problems. I don't know.

The blades on the discharge auger seem to be a little bigger then the toro. Which is a plus. But it doesn't have the powermax system. Is it better or worse off because of this. For more, see the toro concerns below.

Also when talking to the dealer, I seem recall he said the 11hp had cast iron gearcase. But maybe I confused this between the deluxe and pro.  Does this years 11hp deluxe have a cast iron gearcase?

Other then those few concerns, thats all I can think of on the ariens. Which is a good thing :)  But the few that are listed are enough to make me wonder about it.



Toro Power Max 1028LXE  $1849 + Tax

http://www.toro.com/intl/ca_en/home/snowthrowers/gastwostage_powermax/1028LE.html

The toro looks sweet, must say. I really like the joystick. Nothing to do with all the nintendo playing I suppose.. haha. But really, the joystick works the best of the ariens and toro. At least from my experience with showroom testing. But my concern is like others.  PLASTIC? It gets very cold here and I can just see me in a hurry or tugging to hard and snap. Now what? No chute control and how long for it to be fixed. Plus I have a car, and would have to arrange transport of it. No, dealers here do not pickup or drop off without a charge. 

The unlocking wheel triggers seem nice. I like the fact that I can turn on the dime, either left or right.  I think the triggers are more plastic tho, not sure, memory vague on that one..

Powermax system. I believe this is talking about the extra side mouth on the discharge system. Sorry, not sure how to describe the technical side of it.  But the mouth inside the collection bucket is wider on one side.  It then goes up into the plastic system that directs it over to the discharge chute. I am probably going backwards as it was described to me as a place for snow to come back down the chute and into the bucket again, so that snow doesn't clog up the chute. Now I am sure this has been tested by toro thousands of times to make it a feature. But to me why is this necessary? Other snowblowers do not have it.  Maybe a patent, but would it be hard to defeat a patent on something that is supposedly marvelous? Also I seen a snowblower modification you can do to decrease the gap between the discharge blades and the casing. With this power max system creating such a gap on one side, does it effect the power of suction in the casing?  Suction? maybe not what I am trying to say. But like a seal going in a pump sort of. not as effective?   Also this power max system is plastic too. What if a rock flicks up there?  Are the benefits of this really that good?

on to the gearbox.  They say it so good it doesn't need sheerpins.  Well, why do that have them? Granted that are heavy duty sheerpins, I would describe them more like bolts actually. The ariens seems close in size on both the gearbox and pins, though the toro dealer tells me different. I know a common problem with snowblowers are the sheerpins and the gearbox. I was wondering if a comparison is done anywhere. I did read a little about it in snowblowers post. But was a little technical for me. Maybe I should read it again to see if I understand it more now after all this research.

All the negatives about plastic, but truly I could see it being beneficial in some ways. Being lighter and also more slick. I would think that if it is as hard as they say, then maybe it will last longer then steel. No rust after all. How much degrade in performance would I expect to see on steel, one it starts to rust or the paint wears?  But I did say I was using the honda as comparison and they are steel, so that rest my mind a little.

CRAFTSMANŽ/MD 13-hp Dual-stage Snowblower  $1999 + tax   $500 off until Nov 4th.

http://www.sears.ca/gp/product/B000I2T9UC/sr=1-1/qid=1193322074/ref=sr_1_1/105-2701412-0682067?ie=UTF8&searsBrand=core&mqnodeid=16346971



Yes the craftsman that I have linked seems overkill to me. But its around the same price as the others and if I can get more for the money I want to spend, why not? The thing about the craftsman is that I have hear nightmares about them and service. Maybe the reason to stop thinking about them right there. But the features for the price makes them a contender (sort of). Am I a sucker for punishment or what? lol.   Another thing about craftman is that I cannot got and see one locally, at least as far as I know. Haven't tried both sears stores, just one.  The last thing is the site lacks information on all there models, I would probably go with a smaller one with the same features, but I cannot seem to compare them as the site list the features in many ways. Like some are HP, others are CC. Some say weather hydrostatic, while other that I suspect are do not.  Thats probably enough to say forget them, but its still in my mind, why? hrmmm




That is most of my concerns on these machines.  The Craftsman has hydrostatic like the honda and its OHV. seems everybody likes both of them.  Are they worth getting if I have to compromise with a craftsman?

What are the major benefits with the below
OHV
Briggs and straton vs tecumseh.
Hydrostatic vs manual shift.

Last but not least.  who is better for parts pricing?  Maybe you can list some common things that need to be replaced most often on a snowblower. This way I can call around to get a idea on maintenance cost.

Wow, that was a mouthful. Sorry for the fairly long post, but this is my first time purchase of a snowblower and I really want to try my best to get it right. I have heard nightmare stories about snowblower purchases and since I am not that mechanical, I want to try my best to fall in this category. 


Big thanks in advance, for helping me with my big purchase of the year.  Many thanks.

Cheers
GoofieNewfie.



Cheers
Goofie Newfie
Replies: 4 - 13 of 28Next page of topicsPreviousNextNext page of topicsAllView as Outline
chrisexv6


Joined: Oct 24, 2007
Points: 5

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #4   Oct 25, 2007 3:54 pm
Is it just me, or did one of the previous models of Craftsman blowers have a joystick that looked/worked very similar to the Toro version?  I could swear I saw one like it, maybe last year or the year before.

Love my Ariens......was worried about the plastic joystick on the Toro as well, but nice to see they are all holding up.  I dont mind the 2 separate handles on the Ariens.......ANYTHING is an improvement from no remote chute angle adjustment, and the good old fashioned crank mechanism to turn it.

-Chris
goofienewfie


Ariens 1130DLE

Joined: Oct 25, 2007
Points: 107

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #5   Oct 26, 2007 6:26 pm
Right on Fred. Nice to hear that you been to many places in Newfoundland. The base in Argentia was supposely very advance in its hey day. I believe there is still 2 us army guards on the permises protecting the underground structure. Apparently it has a fairly large underground network for docking of subs, etc.. including a hill that was hallowed out for a hospital.

I believe I am pretty close to purchasing the ariens. I would like to here a few more comments tho.

It would be nice if this forum showed the entire thread structure when posting. I can only see my original opening post when I hit reply.  To the comment about the craftsman and the knockoff toro design. I truely have no idea, I haven't even seen this years model in person. I believe they are only available through catalog order here. Not %100 tho.

Cheers
GoofieNewfie
This message was modified Oct 26, 2007 by goofienewfie


Cheers
Goofie Newfie
jubol


Location: Dover, De
Joined: Oct 3, 2003
Points: 1558

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #6   Oct 27, 2007 7:32 am
Newfie,

I sent you a message on this site, please read and respond!!

                                         Fred

Husqvarna STE927(11.5HP) snowblower,  MTD Pro Series 18/42 Lawnmower, MTD 6.5 HP  Self Prop Lawn Mower,  Weedeater 1500 Blower, Web Gensis  2000 
cuseguy


06 Ariens 9526DLE Pro, and '91 White 522 Track-Drive snowblower, Toro SR4 Super Recycler mower (alum deck)

Location: Syracuse, NY
Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Points: 8

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #7   Oct 27, 2007 11:57 am
Yes a few Craftsman models have used the joystick knockoff. However it is the MTD design which is currently used on Troybilt and some other MTD brands. It consists of a single long-length cable going directly to the shoot collar. In other words, it will not hold up over time, but it works great in the box stores as long as it doesnt get wet and frozen. It's an insult to compare it to Toro's design. If you search the net, you will find many unhappy consumers who are already having issues with it 1-2 seasons in, and are looking to convert to the old style crankt-type shoot control already. IMHO stay away from it!
chrisexv6


Joined: Oct 24, 2007
Points: 5

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #8   Oct 29, 2007 12:34 pm
Yeah now that I found a pic of the Toro version, I can see the differences.  Also interesting is that the plastic on the Toro looks more heavy duty in the picture alone, I can only imagine looking at it in person.  I played with the Craftsman version over the weekend, and the whole setup didnt move very easily for being all plastic, and the chute would actually squeeze together when moving because of the fact that it took so much effort to get it sliding.

Oddly enough the Toro version looks similar to the Ariens setup, except the Ariens setup has 2 separate sticks.

I guess its the little things that set every brand apart........if I didnt know any better I would have just assumed the Craftsman version was just as good as the Toro version.

-Chris
goofienewfie


Ariens 1130DLE

Joined: Oct 25, 2007
Points: 107

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #9   Nov 1, 2007 10:42 am
The closer I seem to get to purchasing one, the further I seem to get. Does that make sense? nope.. lol

Well let me explain.  Today I almost bought the ariens. But I decided to give my ol man a call. Since he is after owning several machines.  He is usually away for work, so today was the first time I got to speak time him. He currently owns a 928 with track. Absolutely loves it and I knew this before even talking to him today.  Thing is I cannot afford that size of a machine from Honda. So I start telling him about the ariens and the features and comparing it to toro, etc..

When I get to the drive type. Disc o matic he stops and says nope.  He is not a fan of the disc. Says the snowblowers he has had with that has given him grief. Freezing up, etc..  Truthfully I am not mechanical and couldn't compare it to the honda.  But he explains the clutch system they have.  I sort of understand it. Plus telling me its 4 stroke which is better as well.

so he suggest instead of buying the 11hp ariens. Why not get a 6hp honda.  Stating that the hp is more of a macho thing they reality in most snow conditions.  Saying that the 6hp would do me 99.8% of the time.  I kinda like the idea of no belts. no fuss.

Another thing that puts me a little back on the ariens, is that tecumseh was sold last week.  What will the future hold for model support and parts supply.

My father also told me the tecumseh engine cannot hold a candle to honda.  Black smoke, freezing carbs, noisey...    The hondas are ohv and have a muffler system to quiet it more.

What do you guys think.  I usually tend to listen to my father, but he is not familar with the ariens. He understands the technology. after all he is a journeyman millwright red seal interprovincial. He knows gears. But doesn't know ariens.

What do you people think? 

The honda is a 6hp track with manual chute control sticks and electric start. about $200 more then the ariens. 

Cheers
Goofie Newfie
jubol


Location: Dover, De
Joined: Oct 3, 2003
Points: 1558

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #10   Nov 1, 2007 11:50 am
Newfie,

Honda is the Rolls Royce of snowblowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How ever on their site, smallest tracked blower is a HS724TA.

Its MSRP is $2149.00 in US dollars.

Maybe they are selling different blowers in Canada???

You can not go wrong with a Honda!!!

Read the Honda reviews on the site that I sent you.

                                                           Fred

This message was modified Nov 1, 2007 by jubol


Husqvarna STE927(11.5HP) snowblower,  MTD Pro Series 18/42 Lawnmower, MTD 6.5 HP  Self Prop Lawn Mower,  Weedeater 1500 Blower, Web Gensis  2000 
jubol


Location: Dover, De
Joined: Oct 3, 2003
Points: 1558

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #11   Nov 1, 2007 12:02 pm
Newfie,

Just checked Honda, Canada and the have a 6 HP Tracked blower!!

Electric start is $1999.00!

Hand start  is $1869.00!

Which are you looking at? Either is great, but I would go with the Electric start!!

Love to spend other folks money!!!

Sent you an email "viewtopic" !

                                                      Fred

This message was modified Nov 1, 2007 by jubol


Husqvarna STE927(11.5HP) snowblower,  MTD Pro Series 18/42 Lawnmower, MTD 6.5 HP  Self Prop Lawn Mower,  Weedeater 1500 Blower, Web Gensis  2000 
goofienewfie


Ariens 1130DLE

Joined: Oct 25, 2007
Points: 107

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #12   Nov 1, 2007 12:47 pm
Fred you been a great help.. Thanks for the e-mails.

Yes looking at the 6hp electric start. Only thing I don't like about it is the chute controls are levers that you have to grab to rotate and another to elevate.  The 7hp model is a 6.5hp and has chute controls. I haven't done a lot of comparison on these models as I was looking at the 9hp for comparison to the ariens.  My ol man is so confident in the honda and wants me to have nothing else, he offered to pay the difference between the ariens and the honda.. woohoo..

However, I just don't know if 6hp is going to be good enuff for the winters we get.  He seems to think so. I have read the the smaller hondas are comparable to some of the larger models in competition.

If you were in my shoes would you jump at the honda? or would it be the bigger ariens? 

Thanks

Cheers
Goofie Newfie
jubol


Location: Dover, De
Joined: Oct 3, 2003
Points: 1558

Re: Between three snowblower Models... Ariens, Toro and Craftsman
Reply #13   Nov 1, 2007 1:27 pm
Newfie,

If your dad would spring for the 9 HP Honda price difference, I'd say go for the Honda.

If not, go the Ariensor Toro, where you live you need at least 8 Hp+, the more the better!!

                                                 Fred

This message was modified Nov 1, 2007 by jubol


Husqvarna STE927(11.5HP) snowblower,  MTD Pro Series 18/42 Lawnmower, MTD 6.5 HP  Self Prop Lawn Mower,  Weedeater 1500 Blower, Web Gensis  2000 
Replies: 4 - 13 of 28Next page of topicsPreviousNextNext page of topicsAllView as Outline
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