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#207177 - 09/02/10 05:26 PM Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet?
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Last year I used the backhoe to clear the drive, that was totally overkill, so this year I want to get a snowthrower.

As far as I can tell, there's only a few companies making yard power equipment, they slap different paint and brand names on MTD, Huskee, Yardman, CubCadet, TroyBuilt and so on, but there's very few makers.

So that said...the Cub Cadet Snow Throwers look OK...electric start, seems to be well constructed...

Does $1,000 get me a good product in the Snow Thrower market?

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#207196 - 09/02/10 09:59 PM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2726
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Does $1,000 get me a good product in the Snow Thrower market?


Barely. It sounds to me like you need a commercial-weight machine. Assuming that you will be running this machine for a lot of years. If you buy light you will buy twice, and that's a waste of hard-earned money IMO. And more importantly, when you need a snowblower, you need it NOW; it has to work on demand.

Troy-bilt is nothing more than a name now; it's MTD. Not terrible, but not heavy-duty.

I can't speak about Husqvarna 'blowers, except to note that there are consumer and commercial product lines for items like chain saws. FWIW my father loves his Husky commercial saw, bought from a commercial dealer.

I know nothing about Cub Cadet other than mixed reviews on their riding mowers.

A good source of information is a rental house that's been in business for a decade or more. What do they rent out? People beat the hell out of rental machines, so if a rental outfit sticks with specific brands and models it means they're well made and worth repairing/maintaining.

A friend of mine bought an Ariens snowblower years ago (about 13 HP I think) and loved it. I have been running an Ariens 9.25 HP for three winters now (or is it four?). I think I paid about $1400 CAD. It's been a good little workhorse. The electric start went a bit wonky last year; I think the starter worked its way loose and started grinding a bit of metal (rats!). However, the engine has a primer, and after a bit of experimenting I've found out how to start it at -28C with a couple of pulls, so I don't miss electric start at all. Overall, I can highly recommend the Tecumseh engines (with primer bulb). My only real bug is that my Ariens eats more shear pins (protecting the auger) than it should; but a lot less now that I gently tighten each pin before I start up; seems the vibration loosens them just enough that they deform and eventually fail. And there are a couple of exposed safety interlock switches that can ice up; but a precise squirt of methyl hydrate cures that.

Would I buy an Ariens again? Yeah, I think so, but I'd go for the next size up.

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#207202 - 09/02/10 11:01 PM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1065
Loc: Channeled Scablands
One word

Honda


Take it from people where a week's series of storms can drop
7 feet of snow. Where the Donner party got 25 feet of snow in
October. Honda is the way to go.

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#207207 - 09/03/10 12:13 AM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
pezhead Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 76
Loc: Minnesota
I've never had any regrets with my Troy-built. My budy and I both bought them at the same time and they're still going strong.

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#207211 - 09/03/10 12:25 AM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1382
When I lived up north, our gravel driveway was over 100' long by about 10' wide and snowfall could be measured in feet per day. We had a very reliable Sears Craftsman 2 stage, 12 hp snowblower with a Tecumseh engine and a clearing path of 33 inches. The transmission was a 2 speed (with reverse) and self propelled and reverse. It was also equipped with both electric and manual pull start systems. The cost on this blower at the time was just under $1000.00 on sale.

In 7 years, there were no reliability problems at all with the snowblower and it never failed to start. I ran synthetic oil in it and due to the severe cold (down to -40 F) I installed a small electric block heater which cost about $15.00 from the local Sears parts counter.

Not sure if Sears Craftsman power equipment is still quality or not, but is worth looking into. Whatever blower you decide on, ensure that it comes with tire chains...it makes a big difference.

As Doug pointed out, shear pins can be problematic, I eventually stopped using them and went to a nut and bolt setup that was a bit harder steel alloy then the shear pins, yet still soft enough to break when needed to protect the auger system.

I also found with the first couple snowfalls of the year, it was advantageous to lower the adjustment pads on the bottom of the blower so that it would leave a skim base of snow in the gravel driveway and prevent those unseen rocks from being propelled through the auger into the neighbor's expensive truck....ask me how I know.

After a few snowfalls, the pads were adjusted back down so the blower cleaned the new snow down to the now compact snow base. Now if you have a paved driveway, this may not apply.

_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#207220 - 09/03/10 02:34 AM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Does $1,000 get me a good product in the Snow Thrower market?


In my opinion, keep $400 in your pocket and buy a MTD 2 stage machine. They come with an electric start Tecumseh 4 cycle motor, multiple forward and two backward gears, and an extra large impeller which helps when you have very deep snow.

Don't go smaller than 5.5 HP, or buy a single stage. I live in the northern snow belt, and my current MTD (which is beat like a rented car) has lasted for years, most of which I had a gravel driveway. The motor is the heart of the machine....buy a good one. Everything else is easily repaired.

There's a cold wind blowing tonight...I might go out and splash a little paint on the rust spots this weekend. She'll be 13 in a few months.


Attachments
mtd_two_stage_snow_blowert.jpg


_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#207229 - 09/03/10 09:26 AM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Looking over the thousands of professional lawn care crews I have seen in the last 16 years, they all have one thing in common about their equipment:

It is powered by Honda, regardless of the "Name" on the machine itself. As such, all of my mowers, small gensets, power washers, and etc., all say Honda on the engine.


Of course, we have very little use for snow blowers here in Texas.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#207253 - 09/03/10 07:45 PM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: MartinFocazio]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2974
Loc: USA
I've had a Toro snowthrower for nine winters. Other than gas I might have put as much as $100 into it, with the only "repair" (rather than normal maintenance) item being the ignition switch. During that time, my next door neighbor went through three snowthrowers before buying a Toro.

If I were going to buy another one, it would definitely be a Toro. Honda makes a great engine, but I'm not as impressed by the rest of their snowthrowers.

Whatever brand you get, get one big enough for your needs. A little too big is better than a little too small.

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#207260 - 09/03/10 08:42 PM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Does $1,000 get me a good product in the Snow Thrower market?


In my opinion, keep $400 in your pocket and buy a MTD 2 stage machine. They come with an electric start Tecumseh 4 cycle motor, multiple forward and two backward gears, and an extra large impeller which helps when you have very deep snow.

Don't go smaller than 5.5 HP, or buy a single stage. I live in the northern snow belt, and my current MTD (which is beat like a rented car) has lasted for years, most of which I had a gravel driveway. The motor is the heart of the machine....buy a good one. Everything else is easily repaired.

There's a cold wind blowing tonight...I might go out and splash a little paint on the rust spots this weekend. She'll be 13 in a few months.


I got one similar to that one the start of this summer @ Sears for <400. It was a huge discount since it was now summer. Dual stage, craftsmen (rebadged im sure) brand.

From what I've heard you want 2 Stage.

I got mine to do between my house and the wood shed, and my large (OLD) deck. For 'real' plowing the ATV w/plow.

My grandparents have a large tracked honda that works really well for them and I think is 1500-2000.

I was at sears yesterday and they had one that had 4 tires on each side and looked 4' or 5' wide. It was by far the largest walk-behind blower I'd ever seen! I think it was nearly 3000 too.

Not too sure who has a walk behind for doing such large areas!!

Are you doing your entire driveway ? How long? How wide?

Why not get a plow-blade for your tractor? Those are $1k or less depending on size.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#207368 - 09/06/10 03:24 AM Re: Snow Throwers: Cub Cadet? [Re: Todd W]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: Todd W


Are you doing your entire driveway ? How long? How wide?

Why not get a plow-blade for your tractor? Those are $1k or less depending on size.


Driveway is L shaped, long part of the L is a taper, starts 18' goes to 24'wide X 200' long, short part of the L is 16' wide by 80' long.

It's paved.

also have 72' of brick walk way, and 45' of unpaved path to the hen house.

Now sit down. I don't own a tractor or ATV. I have a very long term borrowed (going on 3 years now) Ford 3400 with a massive scoop up front and backhoe. I found this thing to be WAY too big and hard to move around on the snow. Also, at this point, I need to work on it a LOT (it's REALLY OLD) to be ready for winter - the power steering pump needs replacing, for starters, and there's all that hose to be looked at. All in all, I have little appetite for repairing internal combustion equipment, although I will do it, I don't enjoy it. My enthusiasm wanes at about the "swap alternator" level of repair and I recently did a Clutch replacement on friend's Rav 4, and that was 8 hours of my life I'd rather have spent doing pretty much anything else. Small engine work is less horrid, but I still find rebuilding an engine for a log splitter or some such machine more of a chore than anything else.

Having used and worked on borrowed tractors, ranging from 1958 Farmall Cubs to more recent Kubota models, I've found them to be a maintenance headache that just makes me grumpy. Every 250 hours it seems that you're up to your elbows in grease and grunting while working your way down to some exotic 9/17"reverse thread slightly tapered outside torx bolt made of a soft metal like bismuth and it can only can be reached by a triple jointed gymnast in possession of a $95 special socket wrench that is only sold by impertinent elves in a distant machine shop that does not take phone or internet orders.

That's why I'm going with the snow blower this year. One, single cylinder 4 cycle engine. A few linkages to grease, and a low parts count. I like that

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