Saturday, January 1, 2022

Ariens First Use AAR

 YOWIE! This thing works like a champ!

I cleared our driveway, our neighbor's driveway, and the sidewalks around our cul-du-sac, in about 45 minutes. The battery-powered toy snowblower I had before would take me a good hour to do just our driveway, sidewalk, and the neighbor's sidewalk down to just the corner.



And I've now formulated my "Three Laws of Snowblowing".

#1 - Clear the vehicle(s) first. Otherwise you'll wind up having to plow what you scraped off the vehicles from your formerly clean driveway.

#2 - Do the driveway second, making sure you plow out into the street a bit so SLW can get her car in and out of the driveway easier.

#3 - Do the sidewalks last.

I had been plowing one path down the driveway, then turning and doing the sidewalks, only to have to replow some of the sidewalks after clearing the driveway, then replowing the driveway after I cleared the vehicles. It occurred to me today when redoing the sidewalks for the third time that there had to be a "better" way, so the The Laws came to be, with apologies to Dr. Asimov.

I might want to check the scraper blade and skid shoe heights again as I think I can lower them maybe 1/8th inch or so to get a bit more snow off the pavement.

Other than that, it started, ran, and operated flawlessly for the entire time.


BZ, Ariens!


22 comments:

  1. Good to hear. My 20 year old snow rake was put to use today on my two vehicles and some neighbors who borrowed it.

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    1. My son saw me use mine today for the first time, and immediately went to the Sid Savage website and bought one!

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  2. Advice: Change the oil and check the gearbox level after about 5 hours. Then factory intervals after that.

    When you put it away, run the tank empty (or empty it out some other way) then use coleman fuel to get the carb clean and run the bowl empty....It will make for a clean carb come next year (no varnish to clog the jets).

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  3. Thanks for the tips. "5 Hours" will probably be end-of-season, so I was planning on changing the oil then anyway.
    I use ethanol-free, pure gas from a local place, with a dose of Sta-Bil in it, and I was planning on running it dry before storage.

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  4. Looks great, drjim! You all be safe and God bless! :)

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  5. Y'all up there enjoy the snow! Glad that your new snow blower worked well. First time use always shows some tweaks that need to be made.

    In your previous article, I saw the picture of the snow on the table. That looked a lot like our one snow last February 15th. Also nice work on that THD Analyzer.

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    1. We had about 7~8", depending on where you measured it. Dry, powdery stuff that the skiers love. It's about -2* right now, and it squeaks when you walk on it, so it's really dry.

      I'm still waiting for the regulators to get here, but I went ahead and breadboarded an LM-317 (I had those) using my parts values, and it works fine.

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  6. IT'S ALIVVVVEEEE!!!

    So glad the Ariens is working for you. Nice to have gas in cold weather seeing as how cold weather tends to affect batteries and what are battery models powered by? Yeah.

    Snowblowing sounds a lot like mowing tall grass, you know, where you have to be careful you're not just piling grass on grass on grass and you clog the mower? Seems from what you say the same thing happens with the snow blower.

    How far does it toss the snow? Can you angle it so you never have to blow the same snow?

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    Replies
    1. Hence my "Three Laws", Beans. The thrown snow gets compacted some, so going over and re-throwing the snow makes it different, but this one has enough torque to just shrug it off. I had to go up a couple of steps in the forward speed to get enough snow into it to throw it properly.
      It easily threw the snow out to the middle of the street, so it has plenty of throw. I'm still getting used to it, so I'm not optimized to the machine yet!

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  7. A great maiden voyage.
    I refresh the anti-stick spray after every other use or so.

    We found that blowing snow into an area and then trying to blow it on a second pass was much more difficult. Maybe there's an Asimov Law about blowing compressed snow.

    Our experience was that the job is best done when the snow stops falling. That has meant occasional after dark use, and then I add the bike's rear blinkie to the back of my coat, and add a headlamp to my hat.


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    1. Yeah, I forgot to spray the inside before I got started, but this stuff was dry enough that it didn't really stick too badly.

      Agree 10% about waiting until it stops before plowing it. Since we generally don't have to be anywhere the next day, I just wait until the sun comes up to move the snow.

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  8. You are not a true snow blower until you get into a blower war with your neighbor... face off about thirty feet, chutes pointed at each and at "GO" see who can cover the other with snow first. Just what boys/men do, it is in our genes.

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  9. Nicely done! LOL, never thought about what Cederq is suggesting...

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    1. So far I'm pleased with it. The snow we got would have been about 75% of the limit of the electric one. This one turned around, looked at me me, and said something like "You woke me up to remove this piddly little amount of snow?"......

      We'll see how well she does when we get clobbered with 24+" of snow!

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  10. Glad that new blower is working out.

    We had our first winter freeze here last night - got down to +30F. Damsel and I are bundled up like Eskimos when we go out - LOL.

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    1. So far it's working fine. I'm still getting used to the controls and operation, and I may have to make a few adjustments to the skid shoes and scraper blade.

      Bands are OPEN today! 17 and 15 have lots of signals, and I saw a few on 12, too.

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  11. Wait until you get a heavy (in both senses of the word) wet slushy snow. That is when you will really appreciate the extra horsepower. You will have to learn to pace yourself though in order to not burn up the drive belt for the blower part.

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    1. We usually only get that type of snow late in the year, like March and April. It breaks trees and is very hard to remove. The electric blower I had before could barely handle 4~6" of the stuff. I think this one can handle anything I've seen since we moved here four years ago.

      And I'm quite familiar with pacing myself, and letting the tool do the work. Just as I'd never force an angle grinder or drill when using it, I'll treat the snowblower the same way.

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  12. Great Laws! And good to see the rig + blower's working out. Nice.

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    1. I think it would have worked a bit better with more snow, as I had to increase the forward speed two steps to keep the maw full!

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