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Joined: Feb 24, 2011
Points: 8

Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Original Message   Aug 26, 2011 11:19 am
I've been planning to buy a Honda snowblower this fall from my local dealer.  Had my eyes on the 928TA model which I've used in the past and have found quite good. 

He said he's going to start carrying Husqvarna too, noting that its 1830EXLT model has track drive, hydrostatic transmission, and an 18 lb-ft motor (Snow King), and is a lot cheaper than the Honda. 

He also noted that Honda has upgraded the motor for its 30-inch blower to its GX 390, but tells me this one is much harder to handle than the 928.

Anyone familiar with this Husky or the upgraded Honda? 

I need to be able to reliably blow out a steep, 100-foot drive.  Where I live, we measure our wet,  heavy snow ("Sierra Cement") by the foot, not the inch.
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Location: Minneapolis
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 35

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #21   Sep 2, 2012 9:26 am
Snowmann wrote:
Both Honda and Husqvarna are 5W-30 Petrolium oil. 0W-40 synthetic oil will run ~10 degrees cooler (versus 5W-30 dino oil), have an operational ceiling temperature about 50-75 degress higher, it will have more stable operational characteristics at a broader range of operating temperatures (shorter warm up stall time at very low temps), and will not pass through the seal interface as readily due to its homogenous nature (no lighter constituent oils). Again, get real synthetic for longevity, not hydrocracked synthetic. Mobil 1 0W-40 European Car Formula is available at the Wal-Mart around here which is the real deal. This is what I would run in any hydrostatic snowblower transmission. Even more important would be use of synthetic gear oil in the auger gear cases. The Ariens L3 stuff is top shelf. It's a proprietary synthetic 75W-140 GL5 MT1 with a special EP formulation. I'd use this in the Honda too for many of the same reasons. The mis-matched gear set in the Honda (worm on helical) is hard on oil due to point contact. The film strength of the L3 oil will protect much better against metal on metal contact/pitting. Again, the oils that Honda uses probably work fine in most cases, but you can do better if the machine sees a very high duty cycle. The better lubricants will extend the life of the machine under those circumstances.

BTW, ATF transmission fluid is not suitable for use with Hydrostatic transmissions similar to the ones being discussed. As such, do not use. The viscosity characteristics are not compatible.

Where did you find this out?  I just can't take your word and possibly wreak my machine by some guy on a forum I have no clue who or what he does and if his info is correct. Can you please give me more info on were and how you found this out?

Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #22   Sep 4, 2012 9:01 pm
Anyone know what the Ariens w/hydro are going for?
This message was modified Sep 4, 2012 by mikiewest

Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #23   Sep 16, 2012 12:14 am
Snowmann wrote:
This model (and others) are now on the Ariens website. Note there are wheel drive and track drive models.

Regarding your comment about temperature; even in a cold ambient environment hydrostatic transmissions can run very hot. They are well under 50% efficient (as low as 25-30% for certain models). The smaller hydrostatic transmissions can emit more the 1000W in heat. The small surface area of the pump housings have a hard time purging the heat. The Honda (928TAS in particular) has a loaded hydrostatic oil temperature of around 200 degrees F (in a +32F ambient temperature). That is approximately 25 degrees below the temperature at which petrolium oil starts to break down and deteriorate. Honda uses conventional petrolium oil for this application. The Ariens (equivalent Hydro Pro 28 Track) loaded hydrostatic oil temperature runs ~50F cooler and uses synthetic oil which will reliably operate in conditions over 50F higher than petrolium oil. This is why there is a service schedule for the hydrostatic oil in the Honda and not the Ariens. All said, the Ariens can take more drive load at higher ambient temperatures without risk to the longevity of the drive.

I recently checked Ariens website, these products actually exists.  :)  Although I prefer Ariens wheeled models, tracked models are an afterthought bolt on and not designed from the beginning.  I will make a point of checking these new models out in the next coming months.

I haven't had any issues with my Honda hydrostatic and my homeowner use has not stressed my snowblower to the point of self destruction.   It is nice to know that Ariens has gone the extra mile by making their new products robust for commercial use.
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