Winter is already upon us in some parts of the country, and you may find yourself thinking about purchasing a new snow blower to make those mornings after a blizzard a little easier. With all of the options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which type of machine is best for you. At Ariens, we consider ourselves the King of Snow®, and we didn’t earn that distinction easily. We have more than 80 years of snow-clearing expertise under our belts and a team of representatives ready to help you make the big decision.
Ariens Snow Senior Product Manager Rob Wittl talked to us about what homeowners should know before heading to their local dealer.
“The first thing that you need to do when deciding which type of snow thrower to purchase is to think about the winter conditions in your area and determine how much snow you would typically be removing after each storm,” Wittl said. “If you’re finding yourself only removing a few inches at a time, then a single stage model would probably be best for you. If you live in an area that frequently receives snow storms with six-plus inches that need to be cleared at one time, then a two-stage will be best suited for you.”
The Ariens lineup of snow blowers includes a variety of two-stage Sno-Thro® units and the single-stage Path-Pro®. So what’s the real difference between a single-stage machine versus a two-stage machine?
“A two-stage snow blower has two operating parts that make up the unit — an auger and an impeller — so the snow is first impacted by the auger, which helps break it up, and its then taken up and out through the impeller. With a single-stage, you don’t have the auger — that first stage of impact — so it’s easy to see why a two-stage machine is really necessary for any significant amount of snowfall.”
While the single-stage Path-Pro might not be ideal for all situations, it can be the perfect machine for professional landscaping crews, facilities maintenance managers or residents who live in heavy urban environments. Its light weight and ease of maneuverability allow it to be easily loaded in and out of trailers by crew members, and the Path-Pro is the perfect size for those who only need to clear a sidewalk or short, single-stall driveway. In addition, the Path-Pro’s compact design helps it easily fit into tight storage spaces.
“We have just one series of single-stage snow blowers in our lineup, which is the Path-Pro, but we do have several different features that can be added or taken off, depending on the customer’s preference. We can have recoil, electric start or a chute control on those different models, so it just depends on what the consumer is looking for. They’re all the same size from an engine and housing standpoint.”
So, if you’re reading this and have decided that a single-stage snow blower is not enough machine for you, don’t fret. At Ariens, we have an entire lineup of two-stage Sno-Thros — they’re the backbone of our brand and the reason that we’re the King of Snow.
“When looking at the Ariens lineup of two-stage snow blowers, it’s important to again think about how much snowfall you receive, but you should also think about the type of snow that you typically have to clear. Is it lighter in substance, or thick and heavy? Our lineup provides a variety of housing sizes and engines, so keep in mind that the more snow you need to clear, the larger the housing you’ll need. Likewise, if you’re frequently clearing heavy snow, you’ll want a bigger engine with more power and displacement so that it can handle the job.”
Another thing to remember, however, is that the larger snow blowers in Ariens’ Sno-Thro lineup can be heavy and difficult to maneuver for some. To counteract that, Ariens introduced its Auto-Turn
“Sometimes, the biggest factor in picking your ideal snow thrower is the size of the person using the unit. A snow blower can be 200 to 300 pounds, so many times consumers will need the machine to help with the turns that they’ll be making at the end of their clearing paths. What’s nice about our Auto-Turn solution is that it’s durable in a sense that it’s not a separate trigger mechanism — it’s built within the wheel base itself. At the same time, it’s very simple and intuitive. You won’t really know that it’s working, but you would feel a major difference if it wasn’t there.”
As you move up the Ariens Sno-Thro lineup — from Compact, to Deluxe, to Platinum, to Professional — the features and engine offerings increase. Things like larger tires, hand warmers, quick-turn chutes and drift cutters are offered in select models.
At authorized Ariens dealers only, the super-high output (SHO) Sno-Thro models are also available in both the Deluxe and Platinum series.
“The super-high output models have larger engines and faster impeller/auger speeds that allow more snow to be thrown a farther distance. They’re essentially more efficient and allow you to clear a bigger area with more snow at a much faster pace. Plus, they can throw snow up to 50 feet, which we think is pretty cool.”
For particularly tricky snow removal situations, Ariens also offers track models in the Professional and Platinum lineups.
“Track models are going to be for homeowners or ‘prosumers’ who have a hillier terrain to clear. These people will need more traction on the pavement, and the track units allow you to have that. There’s also a feature built into the track units that allows you to raise the housing, which helps homeowners who clear snow on gravel surfaces to avoid sending rocks through their housing.”
Regardless of your snow removal challenge, Ariens has a solution. Be prepared for your area’s first snowfall.