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Name Cole
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Location Minnesota
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Points 6
Number of Posts 6
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Date Joined Jan 17, 2005
Date Last Access Nov 30, 2005 2:46 pm
colecacola's last  
Snow blower tackles snow and creates friendships
#1   Nov 30, 2005 2:36 pm

I purchased an Ariens 11528LE last winter (after reading posts on this site). Unfortunately, after making the purchase, the snow subsided and I didn’t get a chance to appreciate its prowess.


The other day our community weathered through ½ inch of frozen rain, 1 inch of sleet, six inches of snow, and 25-45 mph winds (blizzard), leaving rock-hard drifts three to four feet high.


Since the storm severed countless power lines, the area did not have electricity. With one pull, the next morning, the Ariens started up, and to my amazement it pulled me through frozen drifts (I say ‘pulled’ because it was too slippery to walk, so it drug me). It hurled the snow fifty feet (or more, especially with the wind, which is needed, since we have a deep triple car-wide driveway, and live on a corner lot that’s surrounded with sidewalk).


This sounds odd, but six of my neighbors, who were also snow blowing, stopped to watch the 11528LE’s substantial snow stream and listen to the engine’s steady sound. I then took notice of their struggles (they mostly used single states and a few small two stages), and decided to tackle their EODs and sizeable sidewalk drifts.


Like greasy butter in July…


I never thought purchasing a snow blower would result in relationship building. We’re relatively new to the neighborhood, and had yet to meet many of the people who live around us, but during and after my fun in the neighbor’s yards, they thanked me by lining up to shake my hand. Today, we know the neighbors.


It’s a true testament to how having the right equipment can not only bring personal safety (I would have killed myself trying to shovel) and satisfaction, but it also regains the almost ancient practice of helping neighbors/creating a sense of community (in the era of pulling up to and immediately closing garage doors).

Re: MTD Snow Blowers
#2   Feb 2, 2005 3:15 pm

I apologize in advance for the long reply…only read if bored.

As a newer reader to this forum, I’d like to give a little lay audience perspective as to what is currently happening to this thread, as well as forum, and how it will turn off others (those who are not engrained in the conversations/lifestyle) from contributing or valuing opinions.

Why do people visit this forum? Who are they? What is/are their motive(s)?  What will lead them to conduct behind-the-scenes reading, contributing, or unsubscribing?

Here’s a typical scenario…a consumer decides they want/need a snow thrower. Unless they have an influential neighbor/family member who owns an expensive, but not well known, snow thrower, they’ll initially gravitate to the Wal-Mart/Sears throwers (greater exposure and better price point).

Then, thinking that $600 or so is a lot of money to spend, they’ll look at generic research sources (such as or they’ll read Consumer Reports) to verify their pending purchase. Later, after learning about a few alternative choices, they’ll go or and search for recommended snow throwers. They’ll often stumble upon threads such as this one. At that time they’ll hear about how they should spend more money than what they planned.

To justify spending more, they’ll look up more first-hand experiences on this forum. Rather than read every single thread, they’ll use the search engine to look for, say, Toro 8 hp or Simplicity. They’ll also see subjects such as “MTD Snow Blowers” and skim it over. They’ll want to learn why magazines recommend MTD (which to them, may or may not be made be the Craftsman model they saw at Sears) but subscribers who own and use snow blowers will often recommend Ariens/Toro/Honda/etc.

While skimming threads, they’ll come across people arguing over who said what, etc. This is normal behavior. People often act differently behind the keyboard than they would if face-to-face.

Back to the consumers…if bored, they’ll spend a little time to figure out why a person is pissed, and another is banned. But, frankly, it’s insignificant to those who just want valuable snow blower information.

As a result, strings such as this are valuable, even if controversial, but only if people first counter opinions/facts they do not agree with, and then later ignore the post/person, rather than get off the subject. Why throw gas on an isolated field fire that can’t harm? If it must, let it burn on its own, and people can decide whether or not to stop by and watch it. Soon, if unattended, it will burn itself out. However, some may sit around and gain some heat from it...their choice.

Another thought…just a guess, but if I were to read these threads and ultimately buy a Craftsman on clearance, I’d probably have not real need to visit the site (since my purchase would not be justified). The only time I’d ever visit this forum again is if the Craftsman ever broke down (to potentially gain information before attempting to fix or bringing it to a shop).  

PS: Snow thrower or snow blower? What's the correct terminology?

Re: Ariens and Home Depot
#3   Jan 27, 2005 10:59 pm

Thanks everyone for the great advice and welcomes! I look forward to learning and contributing.

To top it off, tonight I called Home Depot corporate headquarters, for the heck of it, to tell them about the situation, and without me asking for anything they volunteered to mail me an additional $100 gift certificate.

Now, I hope the reason why we’re hearing about Ariens’ factory quality control problems is because there are more owners to report problems…


Re: Ariens and Home Depot
#4   Jan 27, 2005 3:39 pm

Thanks for all the input. Here’s an update…

I took the forum’s advice and before going to back to Home Depot, I looked for a Toro 828LXE and Simplicity, but they too were nestled in home/business owner garages. 

I also had a productive talk with the local Ariens dealer who serviced the 11528 (the mechanic and the owner). They said the machine I bought from Home Depot is exactly the same as what they receive. Also, the repair they made was a factory defect, and said it will not affect the snow blower’s future performance.

I said I regretted not initially buying the snow blower from them (even if they were out-of-stock when I was ready to buy), and they replied that they are happy to see people buy Ariens, nonetheless, since they profit from service more than they do the initial sales (that’s why they receive a limited shipment compared to Home Depot).

Also talked about the 926DLE (thinking I may return the 11528 and buy the 926 from the local dealer next fall). The owner said the differential is a nice feature, and the cast-iron gear case may last a little longer, but the 11528 is a heck of a machine, especially with the extra HP and wider housing. (Frankly, when I did finally get to blow some snow on Monday, I thought it was easy to turn.)

Then, I went to Home Depot and asked for the manager, who had a Texas drawl and looked cold. I again explained my situation, and to make a long story short, he agreed the $25 gift card was not sufficient, and refunded me a decent portion, so I ended up paying less than $1100 (including free assembly and delivery for the 8525 and 11528). 

Bottom line: I have an Ariens that suits my needs, bought at a decent price that a dealer, who I now know fairly well, has gone through, and now I hope it snows.

Re: Ariens and Home Depot
#5   Jan 25, 2005 6:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Solid suggestions…

 Home Depot (HD), at least, did not charge delivery to remove the 8526 and drop off the 11528 (after much debate). 

 I did tell HD I'm returning the recently fixed 11528 and buying another one on clearance (best option), but as jubol mentioned, they are completely out of stock, and said they probably won’t be getting more in.

 The local dealer, also, is out of stock (too bad, even if they couldn't match the HD clearance price). And, call me crazy, but I still think Ariens can be a good long-term investment.

I’d rather not hand it back to HD and not buy another one until more are available, since Minnesota gets the most snow in February/March. Or, does HD, or dealers, often replenish their stock of snow blowers in January, so that I can take the risk of not having a back savior for a while?

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