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bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 321

Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Original Message   Jan 12, 2013 2:53 pm
I here the Ariens has auto steering, Honda none. Honda has no cast-iron auger drive, Ariens does. Ariens is cheaper than a Honda. Anyone with experience with the Ariens Hydro pro track 28. I here reverse is very slow and weak, I do not know it a Honda behaves the same way. I am getting up in age and do not want to fight it to turn. I know Huskavarna and Troy built units have trigger steering. I am not impressed with there quality. I also know Hondas Hybred units have steering. It is big and beautiful but just to much machine for me cost wise. Any help in the pro and cons of these unit will be healpful.
This message was modified Jan 30, 2016 by bus708
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Dr_Woof


Don't blow into the wind, and don't eat yellow snow. WOOF!

Location: Saskatchewan
Joined: Dec 13, 2010
Points: 253

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #1   Jan 12, 2013 10:35 pm
I checked out the Ariens site to see what about the steering but didnt see anything on it.  That would be the biggest advantage over the Honda I think, but it doesnt look like either has it.  Apart from that, the Ariens has some frills, like handwarmers, that dont really amount to much.  I'd still go with the Honda cause it's tried and proven quality.  It is hard to turn, but not too bad once you get the technique down.  I'd love to have one of the Honda hybrids, but, like you, they are way outa site on price.  Probably better to get a tractor with snowblower attachment for that kinda money.

bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 321

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #2   Jan 13, 2013 8:39 am
Dr_Woof wrote:
I checked out the Ariens site to see what about the steering but didnt see anything on it.  That would be the biggest advantage over the Honda I think, but it doesnt look like either has it.  Apart from that, the Ariens has some frills, like handwarmers, that dont really amount to much.  I'd still go with the Honda cause it's tried and proven quality.  It is hard to turn, but not too bad once you get the technique down.  I'd love to have one of the Honda hybrids, but, like you, they are way outa site on price.  Probably better to get a tractor with snowblower attachment for that kinda money.


The Ariens has a traction drive lockout . When locked both tracks turn the same as a posi in your car. When unlocked the differential drives one side. When I turn left the RT track drives the unit left and the left track freewheels. When I turn RT the The left drives and the Rt freewheels.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #3   Jan 13, 2013 3:43 pm
I have a Honda tracked snowblower.  I really like it and it works great at digging out EOD.  Throw snow pretty far too.   I would love to have some kind of user selectable differential to unlock one of the tracks.  Even if it only turn left Nascar style, I'm okay with that too.  I can get used to turning left all the time.  It sure beats turning a 4x4 truck with diff lockers on pavement.  :)

The new Honda 1336i hybrids are awesome with separate traction motors for each track.  Turn a little, turn a lot, all modulated by handlebar triggers.  The problem is that Honda doesn't intend to sell this to normal homeowners.  I cannot think of anyone who thinks that a $8000, 500 lb, 36" wide snowblower is exactly what they've been waiting for.    I'm sure dealers aren't going to order one of these to park in their showroom to entice would be buyer.  Honda engineering is great, hindered by clueless US marketing. 

Anyways, it looks like your only choice would be the Ariens pro track 28.  Or you can import a new Yamaha 28 from Canada.

There's only one person on this forum who has an Ariens tracked snowblower.  His username is Coldfingers.  You can try to contact him by IM.  Good luck.
This message was modified Jan 13, 2013 by aa335
Coldfingers


Joined: Nov 20, 2008
Points: 84

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #4   Jan 14, 2013 10:21 pm
Hello,

MY ariens isn't a hydro so I don't know how they steer. When I bought mine the regular ariens track drive had a L head tecumsah (sp)  no hand warmers and it did have the handle bar triggers to disengage one track to help it turn. I guess I have the HD model? OHV briggs, hand warmers, etc. Mine has the knob on the right side to lock both tracks for serious pushing but otherwise it works like a diff. and if you lift up on the handlebars when you are turning it turns pretty well. If you have the track locked in the up position you can turn it with one hand, if you have it locked on the ground it is harder. Hope that helps?

shpid


Location: Outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined: Nov 20, 2015
Points: 1

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #5   Nov 21, 2015 1:00 am
First time poster. Long story short, I've had both... the track drive Honda 828 with all the bells & whistles (hydrostatic & electric chute control, etc) which I sold after using for 20+ years. I currently own a 2014 Airens Hydro Pro 28 wheeled unit /not tracked. I chose the wheel-version on the new machine simply because I'm six-five & found that the handlebar height on the Honda was too short. I'll start with the Honda... wonderful machine, but it was not without it's faults. For starters, I bought it "used" off of a Honda-rep who never used it (but his wife did), as he was out of town a lot. I remember using it for the first time, not at all impressed with it's performance only to discover that both shear pins were ...well ..."sheared" which was no fault of Honda. Three years later, the hydro was starting to act up... I took it to the dealership only to discover that it required a new transmission which was $900 sitting in the box. The Service Manager said that it was because I used the wrong Hydrostatic fluid, which I did not as it was never low, & I never added any, despite the fact that the blower came with an unopened bottle of Honda Hydrostatic fluid. Long story short, I got it fixed. Now to it's performance... always started (no surprise there). Honda's like to be choked (when cold), and I found that it was better to use the recoil, as it never took more than two pulls (even when cold). The electric start (on board battery) however, when starting for the first time, would basically flood the machine. It turned out to be the "needle & seat" which I had replaced TWICE, but to no avail. Once warmed up however, the electric start performed flawlessly. As a matter of fact, if you failed to remember to turn the gas off it would eventually lock up to the point where you would have to pull the plug, pull the recoil to expel the gasoline and then replace the plug. About that, you had to remove the muffler (easy, two bolts) if you were to be given a fighting chance to get the plug back in without cross-threading it. Performance wise - wonderful! I liked the key start (again when warm), and it was quiet and smooth. Another nice thing - the rubber tracks (though I never needed to replace them) are still available... unlike Yamaha. I have a gravel drive way, and there is a step-control that either lets you bare down (if on pavement) or in the other position... lifts up the tunnel about an inch & a half... and allows you to pivot the machine using the handle bars. That is to say, if you lift the handle bars up slightly, the tunnel goes down, and visca-versa. Turning is accomplished by basically skidding the machine around while at the same time pressing sideways on the chute's joystick to move it the 180 degrees or whatever position is desired. Honda has the feature that (once both levers are engaged) allows one to release the auger-lever which stays held down allowing the operator a free hand to operate the chute control. Another thing I like about the Honda is the throttle control is a lever on the top console. Lastly, changing oil is messy. The drain plug is right on top of the tracks. I made a channel out of some tin that I could fit over the short drip rail beneath the drain plug, which worked quite well. Onto the Airens HydroPro 28... Size-wise it dwarfs the Honda. This is a good thing when you're tackling snowdrifts, but can be a bad thing when you're storing it in your garage, and space is at a premium. The 420 cc engine works out to be about 16 HP, so power isn't an issue. Fortunately it too comes with electric start, though the conventional-type, where you plug one end into an AC outlet and the other into the machine... press a button & voila! I have to say it's definitely louder than the Honda, but I wear hearing protection on all my power equipment, so this is not really an issue for me. The throttle-speed is on the side of the engine and not within easy reach like the Honda's. I would have to say the most pleasant surprise on the wheeled Airens is the steering, as it takes absolutely no effort at all. On that note, what is worth mentioning is the transmission release system between the two machines (should you ever need to move them without the bother of starting them). On the Honda - there is a release lever underneath the chassis that you access from the back - slide it to the "Release" position (to your right) and away you go. On the Airens, it is similar... again it is on the back of the machine, lower down and it is a lever that you pull out to release which allows you to effortlessly move it. Here's the difference which I consider HUGE - if you start the Honda, with the lever in the release position, no big deal. If you do the same on the Airens, you stand a good chance of damaging the transmission, which (reading the manual) doesn't appear to be covered under the factory warranty. Even though Honda has the faster reverse-speed, performance-wise the Airens gets the edge in my experience. The bigger engine which equals more power, coupled with its larger size to get the job done and easier steering does it for me! In Honda's defence however, there is a 25 year difference in technology, so I can't honestly say if an equivalent 2014 Honda wouldn't fare better against the Airens Pro, but then it would all boil down to value for the extra money. I can say however, that from my "Bang For Your Buck" perspective, I'm very happy with the Airens! Hope this helps.
solara


Location: Boston
Joined: Jun 16, 2004
Points: 252

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #6   Nov 25, 2015 5:12 pm
Welcome SHPID.Great first post.
This message was modified Nov 25, 2015 by solara


2004-2005 Ariens 11528LE
Jacobsen snow-burst
bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 321

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #7   Jan 30, 2016 7:54 pm
Great post. Give us an update.
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 622

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #8   Feb 3, 2016 9:46 pm
We just got over a foot of snow last night. I started with my Honda HS520 but the EOD was a bit too much. So I had to get my HS928WAS out to take care of EOD. It started without any issue and cleaned up the EOD. I have to agree, turning is not too easy especially trying to park inside the garage after the workout. But it is a great snow blower and I would not buy anything else.
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 751

Re: Ariens hydro pro track vrs Honda 28 in track blower
Reply #9   Feb 18, 2016 9:20 am
I also have a Honda 928TCD as well as an Ariens Pro 28 wheeled unit.

I use the Honda on a gravel driveway with ruts in Ontario cottage country. The Ariens on several driveways in the city. I am considering getting the track conversion kit for the Ariens mostly for the height control and partially for the extra "tank like" feel of tracks.

1. Both units work very well and are well made. I lean slightly to the Honda on the build quality but the difference is probably less than negligible.

2. The Honda is a bear to turn since you are sliding both tracks sideways. The Ariens is wheeled with an automatic slip mechanism that they call "auto-turn" it is not what I learned in shop class was called a differential although it is trying to do the same thing. It works well and I like it alot. From what little I've heard the tracked Ariens has the same mechanism and it helps with turning however you are still slewing the tracks around so its going to be harder than a wheeled unit with the same auto-turn mechanism.

3. Both are snow and slush cannons which chug through deep snow with lots of power. The Ariens does have a more powerful engine

4. With proper maintenance ( drain the gas at the end of the season is what I do, stabilizer is supposed to work) both start very reliably. I use the electric start occasionally on the Honda with its on board battery, pull  start works very well on both. I generally run the carburettor dry after shutting of the gas so it does take a minute or so for the gas to get back into the carburettor at start up.

5. The Honda's electric chute control is nice but I prefer manual since I can fix it myself with less cost. I have had to yet.

6. The one thing about the Honda is that it is harder to maintain on your own. Changing belts, which doesn't happen often, is practically a shop required exercise whereas the Ariens is much easier.
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