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There have been some interesting changes in the snow blower industry for the 2018-2019 season including a completely new brand entering the market. There are new snowblowers, revised snow blowers, and new places to buy snow blowers.
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So – What’s New?
The biggest change in the Snow Blower Market this year is Troy-Bilt is now at The Home Depot! I’m also noticing a lot more local dealers carrying Troy-Bilt.
My Opinion: Troy-Bilt makes a complete line of well-built residential snow blowers ranging from the most economical to the largest capacity residential machines, but with Lowes being the primary outlet for Troy-Bilt in the past Troy-Bilt has not been getting the recognition they deserve. Now that The Home Depot will be carrying Troy-Bilt you will be able to buy a much wider selection of Troy-Bilt snow throwers from a retail store you trust.
New Troy-Bilt Snow Blowers Exclusively at The Home Depot
The second biggest change is Toro has updated the Power Max HD line. The new models now feature all metal auger housings and discharge chutes. They have also added a 32-inch model and two true commercial models with large engines, extra strong handles, and a metal dash.
Two reasons why the changes
- You want all metal construction. They listened.
- New double jointed chute. The new chute gives them a little more reach than the previous design and now they can say they have the longest throw. (up to 60 feet on the commercial models)
- Larger engines on some models for commercial operators and parts of the country that get lots of heavy wet snow.
- Two new true commercial models with heavy-duty handles, metal dash and cast iron skid shoes.
You can see the new models here: Toro PowerMax HD at The Home Depot
Ariens continues to refine their snow blower lines and has added more EFI equipped engines in both Platinum residential and Professional lines.
Last year Ariens introduced the RapidTrak system and everyone quickly realized it was an industry game changer. You now have the speed and ease of use of a wheeled model and the extra traction of a track drive snow blower. This year RapidTrak is now available in a residential model.
As you most likely know Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD) purchased the Craftsman name this year – but not the products. What that means for snow blowers is Stanley, Black & Decker will be independently developing their own line of Craftsman snow “throwers”, parts, and repair network. Because of that, I will explain the three different Craftsman snow thrower lines available this year.
Craftsman At Sears
Craftsman at Sears is the name and products you know and love. Snow Blowers are sold through Sears.com and your local Sears store. All the parts, warranty repairs, and service are the same as before through SearsPartsDirect.com and Sears Repair Services. You can view all the Craftsman at Sears models here: Craftsman Snow Blowers
Craftsman At Sears Hometown Stores
Sears Hometown Stores is independently owned and the stores in your town are owned by local people. They are completely separate from Sears and Stanley, Black & Decker. Currently, they carry most Craftsman (at Sears) snow blowers and the residential series Husqvarna but the selection is generally what they have in stock. You can view snow blowers on the Sears Hometown Stores website but you have to go to your local HomeTown store to purchase them. They will offer you a purchase or lease option.
NEW BRAND! Craftsman At Lowes, ACE. Craftsman.com, etc.
To repeat what I said above, Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD) purchased the Craftsman name this year – but not the products. What that means for snow blowers is they will be independently developing their own line of Craftsman snow blower, parts, and repair network.
Update 09/12/2018: It appears SBD is buying a 20% share of MTD. That answers the question of a parts, repair and service network.
Craftsman.com currently states they have one number to call for all parts, service and warranty repairs.
WHO SHOULD I CALL FOR PARTS & REPAIR?
If you are in need of parts and/or repair for your CRAFTSMAN product, please call our customer service line, 888-331-4569.
WHERE CAN I GET MY TOOLS/EQUIPMENT REPAIRED?
For all repairs, call 888-331-4569 or email us at email@example.com and we’ll handle all your repair needs.
(Specifically for Snow Throwers:) WARRANTY SERVICE
With proof of sale, call this number to obtain the warranty coverage stated below: 1-888-331-4569.
5. Stanley Black & Decker To Acquire 20 Percent Stake In MTD Products
This change doesn’t affect snow blowers this fall but will significantly affect the market in the years to come. Stanley Black & Decker is purchasing a 20% stake in MTD Products Inc., the privately held manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. Under terms of the $234 million cash deal, Stanley Black & Decker has the option to acquire the remaining 80% of MTD beginning on July 1, 2021. Source: Stanley Black&Decker Press Release.
This partnership enhances Stanley Black & Decker and MTD’s existing commercial relationship, which currently includes the manufacture of select outdoor products under the Craftsman brand. MTD’s brands include Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, and Remington, among many others.
My Opinion: This will give SBD a significant foothold into the lawn & garden market and gives them an already-built parts and service network. If they decide to purchase MTD in 2021 that will make them a major competitor. I don’t have any numbers on snow blower units sold but for 2018 Husqvarna leads in the production of lawn and garden tractors in North America with 42 percent of total units produced. In the second position, with combined plant totals, is MTD with 29.5 percent. Third, also with combined plant totals, is Deere & Co. with 23 percent. Source: Estimated 2018 U.S. Lawn and Garden Tractor Production:
6. Snow Blowers At Amazon
Amazon continues to be a great place to buy a snow blower and their selection continues to grow. It has proven to be the best place to buy Husqvarna and Briggs & Straton. They have competitive prices and offer excellent, inexpensive service plans. They carry Husqvarna, Poulan Pro and Briggs & Stratton snow blowers in stock with free shipping and offer many more models through authorized sellers.
7. Cub Cadet
No significant changes that I am aware of. Last year they added metal chutes and a new dash to the entire line. All the residential models are available through The Home Depot and other retailers I trust. Snow blowers at The Home Depot
Husqvarna snow blowers have remained stagnant for a few years now but the ST224P remains the best selling – most highly rated 2-stage snow blower on Amazon.
It appears they will be pushing their Jonsered brand name into more retail stores. These snow blowers are combinations of Husqvarna/Poulan Pro painted red. No other significant changes that I am aware of.
8. Briggs & Stratton
No significant changes that I am aware of. The most popular models are available through Amazon Prime including the highly rated 1696610
9. Snow Blowers At The Home Depot
The Home Depot now has over 200 snow blowers and snow throwers available. See all the snow blowers here: Snow blowers at The Home Depot
American Made Ariens, Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Jonsered, Honda, Poulan Pro, Briggs & Stratton
Chinese built snow blowers like EGO, Wen, Champion, Yardmax, Worldlawn, DEK,/Snow Beast, Ryobi, Earthwise, Dirty Hand Tools, Aavix, Greenworks, Power Smart,
Cordless Electrics like Snapper, Snow Joe, EGO.
10. Snow Blowers At Lowes
Lowes currently has four new Craftsman snow throwers listed on their website. Based on the pictures it’s easy to see they are all made by MTD, and all designed for areas that get 40-50 inches of normal snow. They don’t have any listed for areas of the country that get heavy, wet snow, high altitudes or areas that get lots of snow.
American made by, Ariens, Troy-Bilt, Husqvarna, Troy-Bilt, Briggs & Stratton, Bolens, and CRAFTSMAN (Stanley, Black & Decker)
Chinese built snow blowers like Greenworks, Snow Joe, Kobalt, DEK/Snow Beast, Worldlawn, Champion Power Equipment
11. Snow Blowers At Menards
Menards currently has twenty-eight gas and electric snow throwers listed on Menards.com. Eight are listed as available in store.
American made by Briggs & Stratton/Brute, Jonsered (Husqvarna), MTD Products, Poulan Pro (Husqvarna), Remington (MTD)
Chinese built brands. Champion Power Equipment, Earthwise, Snow Joe
Just remember – Menards has a return policy for gas-powered equipment that is very restrictive compared to the other retailers. Be sure you understand it BEFORE you buy a gas powered snow blower from them. (It basically says that if you put gas in it – it’s not returnable. They will help you to find a repair center though)
Thanks For Reading This Far!
Yes, You need a new gas can! Now is a good time to remind you that with your new snow blower you should buy a new gas can and fresh fuel. Check out this article: Check out The Best Snow Shovel, Ice Scraper, and Gas Can To Compliment Your New Snow Blower
When you are done here please head over to movingsnow.com and I’ll be glad to help you find the best snow blower for you!
This article first appeared at TodaysMower.com
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