The Best Commercial Snow Blowers 2018-2019
Landscapers who clear snow, Municipalities, Schools, Gov’t Agencies, and Property Managers in heavy snowfall areas need snow blowers that will last much longer than the residential models you find at your local big box store. Most of these commercial owners use a snow blower more on one snowfall than a residential owner would for an entire year. Because of that most commercial snow blowers are built with heavy-duty compenents not found in residential snow blowers. One inch axles, cast iron skid shoes, huge engines and other components. This article is a list of the best walk-behind commercial snow blowers available in the U.S. market.
What is the best size? In my opinion, a 28-inch snow blower is the best choice most of the time. 28-inch snow blowers tend to be easier to use so your crews or smaller employees can use them for longer periods without tiring. The only reason I would suggest the 32-36 inch sizes is if your sidewalks are 32-36 inches or you are clearing large open areas such as empty parking lots.
Tracks or wheels? Tracked snow blowers have more traction than wheeled snow blowers but wheeled snow blowers are more maneuverable. Tracked snow blowers work really well if you have sidewalks that get snow from the snow plow trucks. They will push through that hard, heavy snow much better than wheeled units. 2 and 3-point track drive systems are usually slower to use because they use the same internal gearing as the wheeled units. The exception is the Ariens RapidTrack. The RapidTrack’s main drive wheel is the same size as a conventional wheeled unit’s so it will travel as fast. In addition, the rear portion of the RapidTrack is easily raised up so that the snow blower becomes as maneuverable as a wheeled unit. The RapidTrack is a giant leap forward for snow blower traction and usability. If you need to clear paths and trails the 2-point track systems like the Honda’s have less clearance under the snow blower than the 3-point and RapidTrack systems.
Is impeller size important? All the commercial models listed except Honda use a 14-inch impeller. A 14-inch impeller will throw all snow well, throw it long distances and even wet, sloppy snow rarely plugs the discharge chute. In my opinion, the Ariens, Toro and Cub Cadet snow blowers can clear snow twice as fast as the same width residential snow blower with a 12-inch impeller.
Skid Shoes: Ariens and Toro offer cast iron skid shoes. Cub Cadet offers their “cool blue” skids shoes. Cast iron and cool blue last many times longer than conventional steel skids shoes and don’t leave the brown rust marks on your concrete.
Engines? The bigger the engine, the faster and farther a commercial snow blower can move snow. If production is important to you the larger engines for a given size snow blower will help you meet those goals. FYI: Honda GX engines have a long and well-deserved reputation for reliability – but the competitors have all caught up.
Note: All snow blowers have 110-volt electric start except the Ariens/Toro Single stage and all Honda snow blowers.
Which are the 5 best commercial snow blowers? Let me know the ones you prefer in the comments below….
Ariens (1-Year Commercial Warranty)
Ariens is the only company to offer EFI (electronic fuel injection) on specific snow blowers. EFI is the future because it does not use a carburetor and in my experience starts first pull all the time. To start – all you do is turn the key and pull the starter rope (or push the starter button) – no fuel shutoffs, choke controls, etc. to deal with.
Ariens Professional 28, $2,199, 28” Clearing Width, Gear Drive Wheel, Ariens Polar Force by Briggs & Stratton 420cc
Ariens Professional 28 Hydro RapidTrak, $3099, 28” Clearing Width, High-Speed Track, Ariens Polar Force by Briggs & Stratton 420cc
Ariens Professional 28 Hydro EFI, $2,799, 28” Clearing Width, Gear Drive Wheel, Ariens AX EZ-Launch EFI E-Gov 420cc
Ariens Professional 32 Hydro RapidTrak, $3399, 32” Clearing Width, High-Speed Track, Ariens Polar Force by Briggs & Stratton 420cc
Ariens Professional 32, $2,499, 32” Clearing Width, Gear Drive Wheel, Ariens Polar Force by Briggs & Stratton 420cc
Ariens Professional 36 Hydro EFI, $3,499, 36” Clearing Width, Gear Drive Wheel, Ariens AX EZ-Launch EFI E-Gov 420cc
Ariens Commercial SS 21 in. $649, Ariens AX 208cc, Single-Stage Remote Chute, Recoil-Start Gas Snow Blower
Ariens Commercial SS 21 in. $599, Ariens AV, 208 cc Single-Stage Manual Chute Recoil-Start Gas Snow Blower
Toro (1-year Commercial Warranty)
Toro has had one single stage snow blower for years that is, in my opinion, the “standard” snow thrower that the snow plow guys throw in the back of their plow trucks. This year they are adding two new 2-stage snow blowers that are designed for Landscapers who clear snow, Municipalities, Schools, Gov’t Agencies, and Property Managers in heavy snowfall areas.
Toro Power Max HD 1428 OHXE $2199, 28 inch, Gear Drive Wheel – Optional 3-point Track, Toro 420cc (NEW-no website link yet)
Toro Power Max HD 1432 OHXE $2499, 32 inch, Gear Drive Wheel – Optional 3-point Track, Toro 420cc (NEW-no website link yet)
Toro Power Clear® 721 R-C (38751) $599, 21 inch, Single Stage Recoil Start Heavy Duty Paddles, Toro 212cc
Cub Cadet (5-year limited commercial warranty)
Note: While Cub Cadet offers a commercial warranty on all their snow blowers, they have three that are specifically aimed at the Pro user. These are high capacity snow blowers with 14-inch impellers and will throw snow farther than any other model they sell.
Cub Cadet 3X™ 30″ PRO H $2399. 30 inch, Three Stage Hydro Wheel, Cub Cadet 420cc
Cub Cadet 3X™ 34″ PRO $2299. 34 inch, Three Stage Gear Drive Wheel, Cub Cadet 420cc
Cub Cadet 3X™ 34″ PRO H $2599. 34 inch, Three Stage Hydro Wheel, Cub Cadet 420cc
Honda (36-month Commercial Warranty)
Honda HSS928AT / HSS928ATD $2709 – $2909, 28 inch, Hydro 2-wheel Track Version, Honda 270cc (D is 12 volt electric start)
Honda HSS928AW / HSS928AWD $2579 – $2789, 28 inch, Hydro Wheel Version, Honda 270cc (D is 12 volt electric start)
Honda HSS1332AT / HSS1332ATD $3189-$3389, 32 inch, Hydro 2-wheel Track, Honda 389cc (D is 12 volt electric start)
Honda HS1336iAS $7999, 36 inch, Hybrid 2-wheel Track, Honda 389cc
Simplicity Signature Pro (1-Year Commercial Warranty)
Simplicity P1524E $1799, 24 inch, Friction Drive Wheel, B&S 1450 Professional Series 306cc
Simplicity P1728E $2199, 28 inch, Friction Drive Wheel, B&S 1650 Professional Series 420cc
Simplicity P2132E $2499, 32 inch, Friction Drive Wheel, B&S 2100 Professional Series 420cc
Simplicity P2138E $2799, 38 inch, Friction Drive Wheel, B&S 2100 Professional Series 420cc
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