My Review of the 2011 Troy-Bilt 24in 179cc Snow Blower Model 31AS62N2711. A more expensive alternative to the Craftsman 88172
It’s Not The Best Snow Blower. It’s The Best Snow Blower For YOU!
Troy-Bilt 24 inch 179cc
Update August 30, 2013: Last year was a tough year for some of the Snow Blower Retailers. By the sale prices Lowes is offering on this snow blower it looks like they have a bunch to get rid of. Either that or they are dumping them in favor of the Husqvarna’s they now carry. We’ll see….
Value: I rate “value” based on the quality of the snow blower, ease of use, the service record, parts availability, the ease of getting your unit repaired and the price.
This snowblower is similar at first look to the Craftsman 88172. The biggest difference are the Craftsman uses non-marring skid shoes and the Troy-Bilt uses the old steel skid shoes. Sears also has a better service network. (The Craftsman is cheaper) I’m not sure why Lowes feels they have to charge more.
Note: If you like this size but want more power and features look at The Craftsman 208cc, 24in, Model 88173 It has a larger motor and better discharge chute and I rate it as the best value 24 inch snow blower.
Before you buy a Troy-Bilt please find out from your local Lowes who will service the snow blower. Go to that repair shop and check them out. Find out how long they have been servicing Troy-Bilt and if you can get along with them. The standard warranty does not cover fuel related issues. Craftsman, Cub Cadet and Ariens all have larger servicing dealer networks. If the stocker at Lowes does not know the servicing dealer, you can check for one here Service Locator
This is a medium-duty two-stage snow blower and it will move snow better than most single-stage models on the market. This snow blower is not for everyone, but if you have a driveway about 16 by 60 foot, this will do the job. (1-2 cars wide, can park 2-4 cars behind each other)
Ease Of Use: Standard flimsy chute and operator controls are easy to use. No frills, they just work. No auger lock for one hand operation. Electric Start. The Troy-Bilt does not have power steering. The Troy-Bilt does not have pin lock axles so it may be hard to use for many people
Is This SnowBlower Right For You? Read on.
Customer Satisfaction: Good: The Troy-Bilt Model 31AS62N2711 has been around for a while now. Lowes.com has over 235 reviews and rates a solid 93% “recommend” rating. Most of the reviews are positive. Note: Most if not all of the negative reviews are complaints about parts availability and it not starting. Please use a fuel stabilizer!
This snow thrower is very popular. It continues to be a solid, dependable snow blower for 2011. It is still one of the best values for 2011. (The Craftsman 208cc, 24in, Model 88173 has a larger motor and better chute. The Craftsman wins won on service, parts availability and shipping cost.)
The Troy-Bilt Model 31AS62N2711 is designed for medium use and will clear snow quickly. This size snowblower is a great value and the simplicity of the snow thrower makes it a very reliable machine. This snowthrower has just the right amount of features to make it easy to use and last a long, long time.
With a street price around $599 it is NOT cheapest U.S. made 24 inch two-stage snowblower on the market.
Is this the right snowblower for you?
Most people will be able to use this snowblower. It is balanced well and easy to use. The controls are simple and basic. It does not have power steering like some of the more expensive Troy-Bilt models and may be hard to turn for smaller people.
If this snow blower seems too big, too hard to turn, if you have a bad back, weigh less than 130 lbs, or are shorter than 5.5 check out the Craftsman 88691 with EZ-Steer. Craftsman 26″ 208cc Dual-Stage Snowblower w/ EZ Steer 15 in x 5 in X-Trac is easier to turn and has more features. Lowes does not have a snow blower with power steering in the 24 to 26 inch size. (As of 08/27/2011)
This snowblower will go through a door 26 inches or larger. The 24 inch width and the skid shoes need 26 inches or more. If you regularly use the garage side door or go out the back to clean a spot off the patio this model will easily fit through your doors.
Do you have to put the snow in precise locations? My neighbor has a spot where he has to blow the snow into a 4 foot wide area. This model does not have the 4 way chute control. On this model you can adjust the swing of the chute from behind the unit, but to change how far it throws you have to manually have to move the deflector top. If you need to move the chute a lot or how far it throws look at the Craftsman 208cc, 24in, Model 88173 instead.
Do you have a beautiful drive or patio? The steel skid shoes will leave brown (rust) marks on your drive. If you have stained concrete or a nice patio buy the Craftsman 88172
This is a medium sized snow thrower with a well matched motor and all the basic features you need.
Here is a rundown of the features and benefits of this workhorse:
Does Not Have Single Handed Operation: This model does not have single handed operation
4 cycle, 179 cc Overhead Valve Motor: This Troy-Bilt motor is sized well for the 24 inch clearing width. It has plenty of power to bust through drifts and move most snows. The 4 cycle Overhead Valve (OHV) engine is quiet. The motor is equivalent to an old Techumseh 5 1/2 hp and is much more reliable and fuel efficient. (Because of the lawsuits last year none of the engine manufactures will rate their motors in horsepower anymore)
24 inch clearing width: The 24 inch width is wide enough to make short work of average driveways yet small enough to easily go in and out the side door on your garage. You can quickly clear most sidewalks in two passes.
21 inch intake height: The intake is high enough to tackle most normal drifts.
Electric Starter: Of course this Troy-Bilt snowthrower has push button electric start. Just plug the 110v power cord into any wall outlet and push the button.
12 inch serrated auger with 12 inch impeller: The 12 inch is large enough to handle most snowfalls (6 to 14 inch snowfalls) You may have to drop down a gear when throwing heavy wet snow. The serrated auger effectively chews up the snow before throwing it into the impeller.
6 forward, 2 reverse speeds: Plenty of speed choices so you can get your snow blowing done quickly and efficiently.
2 quart fuel capacity: 2 quarts of fuel is the right size tank for this snowblower.
Remote Crank Chute: The 190 degree chute rotation lets you put the snow in just the right place. You have to stop and reposition the deflector by hand. Simple and it works.
13 inch X 4 inch Tires: The X-Trac Tires provide adequate traction for this size snow thrower.
Warranty: 2 year manufactures defects warranty with up to a 4 year optional extended warranty
NOTE: If you have the snow thrower delivered it will be delivered in a box. If you pick it up at the store they will assume your vehicle is large enough and will keep it in the shipping box.
Assembly is simple: Cut the end out of the box and drag the snow thrower out onto the floor. Find the manual and read the assembly directions. It will only take you about five minutes to position the handles, adjust the skid shoes and attach the chute.
After you use your new snowthrower for a while, come back and tell us how well you like your snowblower. (scroll down for the comment section)