Ariens Snowblower Question Regarding Their "Auto Turn" Feature ?

Hi Folks,
Need a new Snowblower for our house.
Way back in the old days, about 10 years ago, most all Ariens Snowblowers had a true Differential in the drive system. Worked like a charm. Made all turning of the unit a cinch, and effectively effortless.
They have had all types of goofy systems since then, for reasons it is impossible for me to understand. Can't believe what they have come up with is any cheaper than implementing a very simple differential (again), if cost is the the true reason. Nothing they have come out with is remotely as good as was the differential concept.
At my age now, really hard to man-handle the unit in turning it.
So, now, they apparently have this "Auto-Turn" gearing, per their catalog.
With this, is there power applied during the turn, or is what happens just that the power is removed during any turning, and the wheels just free spin on both sides ?
Anyone using it ? Any good ?
Pros and Cons, opinions, caveats, etc. ?
Any brand in your opinion "better" ?
Any with a true Differential ?
Regards, and thanks, Bob
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi Bob, Bob here...
FWIW I use a Toro Max which has triggers under the handles that must relieve power to a wheel when pulled which forces the machine to turn in the direction of the pull (left trigger, left turn, etc). This allows the machine to turn on a dime under power. Also, my first Toro blower lasted about 20 years. This new one is about 5-8 years old and holds up, works and always starts with ONE pull.
OTOH I've got an Ariens walk behind swivel wheel mower that I cant use because I cannot get the traction mechanism to work. Even took to the dealer and he couldn't get it either. So its scrap metal in my shed. YMMV
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'd take the Ariens off your hands if it was within 150 miles of Waterloo Ontario.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/4/14, 7:35 AM, Bob wrote:

I don't have one, but Ariens has a video here
http://www.ariens.com/en-us/more/Pages/promo-auto-turn.aspx
that shows and explains how it works. Basically it has a clutch that senses when user starts to push handles left or right, and then it locks one wheel, causing it to turn very tightly. Video shows user using one hand to make a turn. Looks good, hope it holds up in use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, January 4, 2014 8:16:02 AM UTC-5, Retired wrote:

That would seem to be a tradeoff. How fancy do you want it to be versus simpler and more reliable. IDK exactly what my 20 year old Sears has, but it has a 5 cent pin in one wheel. With the pin in the wheels are locked together for better traction, so one can't just spin with little traction on the other like you'd have with a differential. I've never taken the pin out. With no differential action, both wheels locked, I can easily direct it where I want it to go. I suppose if you use it a lot, or are running a service, then maybe it would be useful. But for me, two wheels locked togther, simple, works.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My Ariens SnoTek also has the pins for the wheels. When both wheels are locked it turns OK under power, but it's next to impossible to turn if it's not in gear. It's also bit hard to make really sharp turns, which I have to do a lot.
I typically keep one wheel free, but I have locked both wheels under heavy snow conditions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The professional units had a diff. The standard ones did not. I worked for an Ariens dealer way back when.

Remove power from the "inside" wheel.

I like the true diff, but "planetary steering" where you power one and stop the other is better than a locked drive. One thing I miss on the Yamaha Hydro track drive. It is NOT easy to turn.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 7:35:17 AM UTC-5, Bob wrote:

It is know good, it will not go straight. The front end moves back and forth too hard to handle. Not worth getting.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.