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trac drive walk behind snow blower?


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#1 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2016 - 01:04 PM

Opinions on them?  are they really better than regular wheeled blowers? Going to look at a 2 stage 8hp Sears one that I found on CL that supposedly has a "bad motor" on it, I have a good Snow King sitting here collecting dust awaiting a worthy base to put it onto.....

Model number in listing started with "536" so I forgot who that would be that made them for Sears, it's the silver gray ones so I'm thinking early 1990s vintage.  

already have 2 walk behinds, don't need 3. if I get this one, once I get it going one of them will be going onto CL.


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#2 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2016 - 02:58 PM

Never had any experience with the track walk behind but it stand to reason that they would have more traction than a wheel type.  Look at the difference in the amount of gripping surface on the ground.  But along the same lines, a lot less weight per square inch of ground contact.  No way to add weight or chains either.  Be interesting to see a comparison.


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#3 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2016 - 04:22 PM

well it's home. split the difference between what it was advertised for and what I wanted to pay for it, machine's in pretty good shape, very clean, the guy got it expecting to transplant a Honduh engine onto it that he currently has on a what looked to be an early 70's Yard Man blower but would not work because "it needs an engine with 2 shafts"  Great. I have one of those here.

I got the original owners manual with it and a home computer-printed page from Parts Tree  (with hand written note that says "expensive" with an arrow to the Parts tree logo) and a couple of post it notes with key number, PN, and price for a short block and for a piston in std and each oversize, gasket set and a few other things. I have a newer OHV 11HP Tec  snow king with dual shafts, sitting here collecting dust that has been waiting  for a home. fresh carb rebuild and fuel lines that hasnt had a drop of gas thru it since I did the work on it.


Edited by dodge trucker, January 10, 2016 - 04:22 PM.


#4 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2016 - 05:12 PM

I have a husqvarna track drive and it is the best snowblower as far as traction I have ever seen! I have two very bad shoulder injuries and pushing a giant blower up an 800 foot driveway is just not feasible, also the power steering is great. It has not let me down in the two years I have owned it and can't seem to find enough snow to satisfy it!
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#5 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2016 - 05:39 PM

I'm wondering how it's gonna be against my Deere 828D, with locking diff?  That machine is night and day different in how it acts,  diff locked vs not,

 

looks like my transplant engine is not quite gonna be a bolt on....pto end of crank is different between them.  I was hoping both machines having an extended camshaft sticking thru the end, they would be. 

might have to yank the crank and send it to a machine shop to make it the same as the engine I took off.... at least the donor's crank is fatter, (and stepped?) and longer, so it can be cut down/made to work....


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#6 projectnut OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2016 - 09:41 AM

I think you'll find the tracked blower has at least twice the traction of the wheeled blower, especially on an uphill grade. This fall I purchased an Ariens 926056 Hydro Pro 28 Tracked blower. It replaces an older Ariens ST824 wheeled blower. The wheeled blower still works fine, but has been relocated to replace a 1974 Craftsman blower that has been retired.

The wheeled Ariens did a good job, but slipped a lot trying to get through heavily packed snow at the apron of the driveway. Even with the wheels locked the machine slipped and slid sideways on the incline. The new tracked blower is almost unstoppable. It chews through the same snow without any hesitation. There's no slipping or sliding. Just straight ahead clearing of the snow.

The upsides of the new blower are:

No slipping on incline
Easier Starting
More Powerful (14 HP vs. 8HP)
Longer discharge distance (65' vs. 40')
Wider clearing distance (28" vs,24")
Hydrostatic drive vs. belt drive
Easier chute rotation and elevation change
5 levels of intake auger elevation
Cuts through ice and frozen snow blocks with no trouble
Heated hand grips

The downsides are:
Much Heavier (331 lbs. vs. 195 lbs.)
Less chute rotation (200* vs. 220*)
Much harder to move when not under power

When under power the new machine runs like a dream. It's easy to maneuver and has plenty of traction. I have to be careful as to the discharge chute elevation and direction to avoid blowing ice and snow into the neighbors drive or onto their roof. It's very easy to operate and requires no pushing to get through the largest snow piles.

When not under power it's a beast to move. The hydrostatic transmission can be disengaged to pull the machine backwards. Even with the transmission disengaged it takes considerable effort to move it. It's far easier to start and move the machine under its own power than to try to move it manually.

Here's a link to a picture of the new Ariens:

http://www.snowblowe...ct_8621_225.jpg

Edited by projectnut, January 16, 2016 - 09:47 AM.

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#7 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2016 - 12:21 PM

how do you vary the auger intake Never seen a machine on which that could be changed? and why would you want that?  is that a real 14hp or just a "stickered" 14hp?



#8 projectnut OFFLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2016 - 04:40 PM

There's a hand lever that looks like a bicycle brake lever below the right side hand grip. It allows the operator to raise and lower the intake chute. There are 5 positions, the highest being for transport. When in the highest position the skid shoes are about 2" off the ground.

Here's a link to an online owners manual.
http://www.snowblowe...m_sn95kplus.pdf

There's a good picture of the chute positioning lever on page 8. There's a section on page 16 that details how to change the "track Angle". In this manual there are only 3 positions. However mine was built in 2013 and has 5 positions. I would guess the manufacturer limited the newer machines to 3 positions since the 2 intermediate positions aren't really practical. You pretty much need to shift the center of gravity all the way forward to get the traction necessary to clear tightly compacted or large snow drifts.

As for the horsepower rating the Ariens manual only gives the specifications of having a 25.6 cu in displacement, and 21 ft. lbs. of torque. I went to the Briggs & Stratton site to look up the HP. It's listed as 14 hp. After the fiasco and class action suits a few years ago about manufacturers over rating the HP on lawn and garden equipment I hope they are now using "Actual HP.

In any case it's much more powerful, and has much better traction than the ST824 model it replaces.
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