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epremack


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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royster


" It is the use of power tools that separates man from animals"

Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Joined: Feb 11, 2011
Points: 284

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #8   Mar 26, 2012 10:48 am
borat wrote:
I own a Husqvarna riding mower.  I also own a Craftsman riding mower.  Other than the paint and engines (Kawaski/Honda respectively), they're pretty much identical.   

If you do a bit of research, you'll find that a number of Husqvarna and Craftsman snow blower models built in North America come off the same assembly line.  Paint and doo-dads may differ, but that's about it. 
Park your machine beside a similar Craftsman and look them over.   Let us know how they compare. 

I've owned a couple of Craftsman snow blowers that held up fairly well for ten years with reasonable maintenance.  However, at the end of their lives, they began to develop weld cracking and metal fatigue.  In addition to that, they weren't particularly stellar performers.  The Simplicity that I replaced the Craftsman with is a much better machine all the way around and, the price I paid was close to the same.  

You might find this an interesting read:  http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tractor/msg031443392439.html

  


Thanks for your reply.  I agree that some  Craftsman snowblowers are nearly identical to some Husqvarna models , no argument  from me. Sears  contracts their purchase of snowblowers to different builders each year, and Husqvarna has been one of  their suppliers  for the last 5-6 years.  Here in Canada , the 2012  Craftsman snowblowers are supplied by Briggs and Stratton (who also manufacture Simplicity snowblowers and John Deere)      and the cheaper Craftsman models are built by MTD.

FrankMA


Location: Merrimack Valley/Northeastern Mass
Joined: Jul 1, 2010
Points: 587

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #9   Mar 26, 2012 11:35 am
epremack wrote:
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.


If tried and true reliability, performance and build quality are your top priorities, I would suggest you go with the Honda as it is an industrial quality machine with a proven track record. I'm not knocking the Husqvarna but it is difficult to find unbiased feedback on these machines, particularly the track drive models. The 928TA is more than capable of handling your requirements and will get the job done quickly and efficiently. I went from a Honda HS624WA wheel drive (owned it for 10 years) to a Honda HS928TA (2 years ago) and have a 130' sloped driveway in northeastern MA..

I would strongly suggest you compare both machines as objectively as possible before making a decision based solely on price, especially considering your stated requirements and the type of snow you typically encounter.

Toro Wheel Horse 522xi GT, Honda HS928TA, Honda HS621AS, Honda HS520A, Toro CCR3000 (work in progress), Honda HS624WA (sold 08/23/2010), Stihl BR550 Backpack Blower, Stihl MS250, McCulloch MS1635, Honda EM6500SX Generator
Snowmann


Joined: Dec 3, 2003
Points: 494

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #10   Apr 9, 2012 10:34 pm

Borat is correct. Husqvarna is the parent company and the brand of the snowblower in question, but the origin of manufacture is not the same as Husqvarna chainsaws and motorcycles. The facility that produces the Husqvarna snowblowers is the former AYP/EHP group (Amercian Yard Products/Electrolux Home Products). Many brands of snowblowers have been produced by this facility (now referrred to as HOP, Husqvarna Outdoor Products). To infer esteemed lineage from the chainsaws and motorcycles may be less accurate than drawing comparisons with refrigerators and wash machines from the preceding parent company (the current HOP snowblower base platform preceded the current parent company). Nearly all of the Husqvarna snowblower engines are LCT Sno-Kings per their website. I'm not implying the snowblowers are good or bad, just clarifying some of the assertions in the previous posts.

Another comparable option to the Honda and Husqvarna would be the Ariens model 926056. It's a 28" Hydro Pro Track Sno-Thro. This model includes a Briggs & Stratton commercial grade engine (Polar Force Pro, 21.0 ft-bs torque with a 2nd order high speed balance shaft) and an infinitely variable actively cooled hydrostatic drive (it's able to sustain higher axle torques and operate in higher ambient temperatures than a Honda). The integrated cooling system is comprised of 3 passive (2 on a wheel drive model) and 3 active elements to significantly reduce operating temperatures (heat is the ultimate demise of a hydrostatic drive). This transmission was jointly developed by Ariens and Hydro-Gear specifically for the Ariens Hydro Pro Sno-Thro and is synthetic oil equipped. This model also has the standard Ariens Pro Sno-Thro features: differential equipped, commercial grade skid shoes (1/2" thick) and boron steel scraper blade, water/contaminant resistant impeller bearing, sealed ball bearing axles, dual belt auger drive, cast iron auger gearcase with 5 year commercial warranty, 16" augers/14" high speed impeller, hand warmers, etc... Suggested promo selling price is $3099.

MTD has a track model or two as well. Not sure if the Yamaha is available in the US, but I believe it is in Canada.

I hope this helps.

This message was modified Apr 10, 2012 by Snowmann
royster


" It is the use of power tools that separates man from animals"

Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Joined: Feb 11, 2011
Points: 284

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #11   Apr 11, 2012 4:01 pm
Snowmann wrote:

Borat is correct.

 

Borat did not say that HUsqvarna  was the parent company    , I said that....................

Borat said that Husqvarna was a gussied up Craftsman.

This message was modified Apr 11, 2012 by royster


aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #12   Apr 11, 2012 7:58 pm
Snowmann wrote:

Another comparable option to the Honda and Husqvarna would be the Ariens model 926056. It's a 28" Hydro Pro Track Sno-Thro. This model includes a Briggs & Stratton commercial grade engine (Polar Force Pro, 21.0 ft-bs torque with a 2nd order high speed balance shaft) and an infinitely variable actively cooled hydrostatic drive (it's able to sustain higher axle torques and operate in higher ambient temperatures than a Honda). The integrated cooling system is comprised of 3 passive (2 on a wheel drive model) and 3 active elements to significantly reduce operating temperatures (heat is the ultimate demise of a hydrostatic drive). This transmission was jointly developed by Ariens and Hydro-Gear specifically for the Ariens Hydro Pro Sno-Thro and is synthetic oil equipped. This model also has the standard Ariens Pro Sno-Thro features: differential equipped, commercial grade skid shoes (1/2" thick) and boron steel scraper blade, water/contaminant resistant impeller bearing, sealed ball bearing axles, dual belt auger drive, cast iron auger gearcase with 5 year commercial warranty, 16" augers/14" high speed impeller, hand warmers, etc... Suggested promo selling price is $3099.


Where is the info for this mystical unicorn on Arien's website?  Anyways this model does sound interesting.  Is there a problem with Honda hydrostatic?  Claiming the Ariens to be able to operate in higher ambient temperature is as useful as having a Ariens lawnmower operate in freezing temperatures. 

So the new machine has two natural convection and forced convection cooling to be super cooled in freezing ambient temperature, so excess is good?  Or specmanship is the new marketing tool these days? How about individual hydrostatic motor for each side of the wheel to make turning easier?  The new Ariens machine is interesting for a domestic product, but it seems pale compared to Yamaha and Honda new hybrid machines.  Is the emperor really has new clothes or does an mid 80s Chevy Celebrity with a red Eurosport badge ready to take on a BMW 5 series?
This message was modified Apr 11, 2012 by aa335
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #13   Apr 13, 2012 7:37 pm
royster wrote:
 

Borat did not say that HUsqvarna  was the parent company    , I said that....................

Borat said that Husqvarna was a gussied up Craftsman.


Point of the matter is that Husqvarna bought AYP which had been making snow blowers under numerous brand names (including Craftsman) for decades.  Husqvarna didn't bring anything to the technology nor manufacturing table.   They bought a domestic manufacturer and slapped their brand on it.  Don't see how that could elevate the quality of the AYP manufacturing process. 

As Snowmann says, don't confuse Husqvarna snow blowers, riding mowers or lawn mowers with their line of other products such a chainsaws, trimmers, motorcycles etc.  They're not in the same class. 

By the way, the Husqvarna motorcycles aren't  Husqvarna either.  They're actually made in Italy by Cagiva and have very little if anything to do with the highly desirable Husky's of old.    
Snowmann


Joined: Dec 3, 2003
Points: 494

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #14   Aug 23, 2012 10:42 pm
aa335 wrote:
Where is the info for this mystical unicorn on Arien's website?  Anyways this model does sound interesting.  Is there a problem with Honda hydrostatic?  Claiming the Ariens to be able to operate in higher ambient temperature is as useful as having a Ariens lawnmower operate in freezing temperatures. 

So the new machine has two natural convection and forced convection cooling to be super cooled in freezing ambient temperature, so excess is good?  Or specmanship is the new marketing tool these days? How about individual hydrostatic motor for each side of the wheel to make turning easier?  The new Ariens machine is interesting for a domestic product, but it seems pale compared to Yamaha and Honda new hybrid machines.  Is the emperor really has new clothes or does an mid 80s Chevy Celebrity with a red Eurosport badge ready to take on a BMW 5 series?



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.

This message was modified Aug 24, 2012 by Snowmann
FrankMA


Location: Merrimack Valley/Northeastern Mass
Joined: Jul 1, 2010
Points: 587

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #15   Aug 24, 2012 8:15 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 have owned 2 Honda snowblowers (currently a HS928TA) and there is no service schedule for the hydrostatic oil. The Honda owner's manual simply instructs you to check the fluid to make sure it's full and how to add fluid if needed. I was somewhat surprised by this and went to 2 local Honda service centers and asked their service department about servicing the hydro unit. I was told there is no service schedule and that unless there is a problem, don't mess with it. I went 10 years (hard New England winters) with my old HS624WA and never had any issues, never even had to add any fluid for that matter. I still have the same unopened Honda Hydro Oil bottle that I bought after I got my HS624WA..

Toro Wheel Horse 522xi GT, Honda HS928TA, Honda HS621AS, Honda HS520A, Toro CCR3000 (work in progress), Honda HS624WA (sold 08/23/2010), Stihl BR550 Backpack Blower, Stihl MS250, McCulloch MS1635, Honda EM6500SX Generator
Snowmann


Joined: Dec 3, 2003
Points: 494

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #16   Aug 24, 2012 10:15 pm
FrankMA wrote:
I have owned 2 Honda snowblowers (currently a HS928TA) and there is no service schedule for the hydrostatic oil. The Honda owner's manual simply instructs you to check the fluid to make sure it's full and how to add fluid if needed. I was somewhat surprised by this and went to 2 local Honda service centers and asked their service department about servicing the hydro unit. I was told there is no service schedule and that unless there is a problem, don't mess with it. I went 10 years (hard New England winters) with my old HS624WA and never had any issues, never even had to add any fluid for that matter. I still have the same unopened Honda Hydro Oil bottle that I bought after I got my HS624WA..



http://m.powerequipment.honda.com/pdf/manuals/00X317677230.pdf

There are 2 sections that refer to it in this manual. There would be no reason to offer Honda branded hydrostatic oil if there were no service requirements. Honda hydrostatic oil is 5W-30 petrolium based motor oil (Husqvarna's is too). I would imagine it is possible, even likely in some areas, that you could go the life of the unit with original equipment oil. There are duty cycles however whereas this may not happen.

The Ariens unit is completely self contained with a diaphragm bladder expansion tank. The 0W-40 synthetic hydrostatic oil in the Ariens will not deteriorate with an extreme duty cycle or higher ambient temperature hence there are no service requirements. Note also the oil in the Ariens is not the low grade hydrocracked petrolium oil which is what 99% of the "synthetic" labeled oils are at your local auto parts retailer. These types of oils work as well as a true synthetic but not to the same degree of longevity. If you do change out or fill the oil in your Honda I would recommend the same.

This message was modified Aug 24, 2012 by Snowmann
FrankMA


Location: Merrimack Valley/Northeastern Mass
Joined: Jul 1, 2010
Points: 587

Re: Husqvarna Track Drive Snowblower--How Good?
Reply #17   Aug 25, 2012 2:30 pm
Snowmann wrote:
http://m.powerequipment.honda.com/pdf/manuals/00X317677230.pdf

There are 2 sections that refer to it in this manual. There would be no reason to offer Honda branded hydrostatic oil if there were no service requirements. Honda hydrostatic oil is 5W-30 petrolium based motor oil (Husqvarna's is too). I would imagine it is possible, even likely in some areas, that you could go the life of the unit with original equipment oil. There are duty cycles however whereas this may not happen.

The Ariens unit is completely self contained with a diaphragm bladder expansion tank. The 0W-40 synthetic hydrostatic oil in the Ariens will not deteriorate with an extreme duty cycle or higher ambient temperature hence there are no service requirements. Note also the oil in the Ariens is not the low grade hydrocracked petrolium oil which is what 99% of the "synthetic" labeled oils are at your local auto parts retailer. These types of oils work as well as a true synthetic but not to the same degree of longevity. If you do change out or fill the oil in your Honda I would recommend the same.

Snowmann: I always appreciate the knowledgable feedback you offer on this forum. That said....

I'm not sure how this explanation relates to your statement "This is why there is a service schedule for the hydrostatic oil in the Honda and not the Ariens." Honda, as do many manufacturers, typically offer there own house label brand as a means to generate extra $$$ but also to ensure that the correct viscosity and type of oil is used during maintenance or repairs. I repeat what I said in my previous post however, in that the Honda owner's manual simply instructs you to check the fluid to make sure it's full and how to add fluid if needed. Go to page 43 - 44 of the pdf link you provided and read it for yourself. There simply is no "service schedule" as you implied.

This message was modified Aug 25, 2012 by FrankMA


Toro Wheel Horse 522xi GT, Honda HS928TA, Honda HS621AS, Honda HS520A, Toro CCR3000 (work in progress), Honda HS624WA (sold 08/23/2010), Stihl BR550 Backpack Blower, Stihl MS250, McCulloch MS1635, Honda EM6500SX Generator
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