Which snowblower to buy?

I need to replace my old snowblower. Which ones are most dependable and will last? I live in the snowbelt area in Central NY where it isn't uncommon to wake up to a foot or two of snow so I figure I would like an 8 to 10 horse, dual stage. I was looking at the Troy bilt but now I see a lot of people question the quality as they are made by MTD. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Deere
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.whatsthebest-lawnmower.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl
Ignore the actual title of the NG -- just browse to the OPE section. No shortage of fanatics there with good info for you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (TomM in NY) wrote:

I'd buy one from the guy who would be servicing it in the future if it needs it.
For example, the local repair shop here is a Toro warranty repair center and dealer. I bought my leaf blower from him, since I want him to stay in business.
Snowblowers, especially gas ones, are likely to require professional service at some point in their life, it is worth thinking about.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Buy an Ariens. I've got an old one that just keeps on going. My Dad bought an MTD last year, and he regrets it. It's not nearly as well constructed as an Ariens.
My $.02
Tom (in NH)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
IMHO the best snowblower _ever_ built was the Bobcat. I bought mine in 1977 and it still runs like a top and out-throws anything under 10 HP. It has a 5HP B&S engine, and is built like the proverbial tank. It's design is truly unique, and I've never, ever seen another snow blower that either used the same system or quality of materials.
The Bobcat used a two-stage system that is a pure parallel one. That is, BOTH the main auger and the secondary paddle rotate in the same plane. The main auger is maybe 20" wide and is constructed of 1/4" thick galvanized steel... nothing thinner. The secondary paddle is best described as a double-ended shovel with the paddles about 4" X 4" X 1/4" galvanized steel welded to a 1/2" X 1-1/2" X 12"long arm that rotates on center. Unlike spiral secondary systems, the Bobcat's paddles will throw equally hard to the front, and either side of the blower, and it will throw slush pretty good too. The extra heavy auger/paddle setup will also smash and chunk up ice that might bend 1/8" augers... and throw that as well.
Bobcat was losing money on these blowers and sold their small equipment business years ago. The company who bought it tried to keep it going but cheapened many parts and the machines didn't hold up as well. I should note that these machine are as simple as it gets, and there's no fancy accessories or gadgets.
We have several local small equipment dealers around here who actually buy used bobcats, restore them, and sell them. They made a couple of different models, a 20" 5HP unit (mine) and a bigger 24" 8HP unit. Parts for these dinosaurs are becoming somewhat scarce, but some can be fabricated and others (like bearings, chain-drives, etc.) are fairly standard. My machine will be 30 years old in 3 years, and still has the original motor (never rebuilt), tires, and starts in 1-2 pulls (good maintenance). I've replaced auger bearings, chains, muffler, and shear pins... and if you can imagine this, it's almost fun to use something so old and primitive. But it's more fun when my neighbor gets plowed in and his 10 HP Sears monster can't dig through the mound and he asks me to help dig him out.
Wish somebody would actually take a look at this beast and incorporate at least the parallel auger/paddle system if not the heft of the parts.
Mike
On 27 Feb 2004 15:57:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (TomM in NY) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I live in W.N.Y. below Buffalo (Average 290 inches per winter) in the ski belt area. I have had a walk behind Gravely for the past 20 or so years and wouldn't trade it for any other. Have had others before this Gravely but none can compare it for throwing power. Had a 8 HP previous to this 12 HP. Had to send a man out to do the job and not a boy. As to maintenance, all I have done to it is change the oil every spring and grease as needed. You might want to check this out at a local dealer. Good luck. By the way , my driveway is approx. 350 Ft. in length by 12 Ft. in width.

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.