1. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 268

    OK did my search first , but this hasn't come up much. I'll need a snowblower just for walkways and wondering what you guys like? Saw a couple good comments on the Honda 621. My friend has a Toro blower 2 stroke like this and i could have thrown that thing in the river last year! Is the honda all that more powerful in 6" deep snow? I don't want a big 2 stage blower if i can help it, if this honda can do pretty well i'd just as soon get it, something i can pick up and put back in the truck no problem without ramps.Seems reasonable too at alamia.com, i think around $700.Haven't seen any at local dealers yet.
     
  2. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Well, i have a couple of single stage toros, they are light and easy to pull out of a truck. I have used one my self, not my crew in 8" of wet heavy snow at my house. It did it, but it was very unproductive. Only you got to look at it this way, why did i take the single stage instead of the big mother machine, i could pick it up myself.

    I have a lift gate, on one of the crew cab 550s, that my shovelers use, those guys get all the two stage blowers, because of the lift gate. The truck with out the lift gate, they get the small blowers, however they also get the 16' inclosed trailer with a ride on snowblower. However they don't get the trailer till after it has stopped snowing, and road conditions improve.

    Geoff
     
  3. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    I got a 2 stage Sears Craftsman 5 HP 22". It's a 1986 model, I know it's old. I can lift it myself, but it is heavy, and I'd rather use ramps. No matter how deep the snow is, or how wet, it throws snow far.
    Figure it this way, you can get an 8 HP 24"+, that you NEED ramps to load, or a smaller 5 HP 2 stage, a little narrower, and a lot lighter. Not as light as the 2 stroke models, but it is worth the added weight.

    If you use a 2 stage 8 HP, 24", you typically go down a sidewalk, and then come back down the walk clearing another 1/2 width or thereabouts. Most walks are about 36" wide. If you go down it clearing a path, on your way back, you naturally open it the full 36" width.

    If you use a 5 HP 22", you do the same thing, and can still open it the full 36" width.

    I wouldn't get any smaller than a 5 HP 2 stage blower. I have an Ariens 8 HP 24", but I keep it as a back up. WIth that machine you NEED ramps. It's REALLY heavy compared to the 5 HP 22". Keep in mind I do mostly walks along the curb, that get covered by what the road plows toss up. I don't think the small single stage blowers can handle the wet, often frozen snow the road plows toss up. Doing the walk up to someone's door from the driveway, yes, they can. But consider that you may have to turn down work, if all you have is a single stage blower.
    I myself have gotten calls after heavier snowfalls from businesses that want their curbside walks cleared. These are the type of places that the store owners do the walks themselves. That is, until we get 14" they don't feel like shoveling the morning after. With a 2 stage, you can go there and clear the walks in a matter of minutes. With a single stage, it will take MUCH longer, or you may have to pass on the job all together.

    Like Geoff said, he has the single stage, and 2 stage blowers. If I had to buy one to start out, I'd get a 2 stage, and get a single stage later on, but that's me.
    That way I'd know I have a good blower that can handle anything. Keep in mind todays blowers are larger than the older ones. By that I mean you may find 5 HP models that are 24" wide, and much taller than the older models.
    You may just want to get a good used blower from a homeowner. Often all those machines need is a new carb, from sitting so much with fuel in them.

    ~Chuck
     
  4. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    The blower you can lift up at the shop all of a sudden gets a lot heavier after the snow sticks to it and hours of fatigue set in. A pair of 2x12's 10' long are great if you're going solo and have a heavier machine. Just put some hooks or angle plates in the ends that go towards the tail gate.
     
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    We have used the 621 in 10-12" of heavy wet stuff, and it got the job done. In fact we use it all the time between cars at condos, after they have swept the cars, sometimes 2' plus. It moves no problem. Starts easy and reliable. I tossed 2 strokes two years ago and have never looked back. They no longer make the 621, its a new model, but basically same machine. New model is like ES 521 or something similar. Honda only makes one single stage, so stop buy and ask your dealer, he should know, or go to honda's web site.
    Dino
     
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

  7. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 268

    Thanks for the replies, now i'm really confused! You brought up some good points about plowed over walks and not being able to do them. I usually won't be alone, but i like the idea of the light one because of steps leading up to other walkways that i wouldn't want to carry a big blower up. I'll be doing residentials, but if i get a commercial call, i want to be able to do it. So for now it's a tossup? Well maybe i'll get the big one first.........but, maybe........?????
     
  8. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Go, for the big one man.

    Geoff
     
  9. diggerman

    diggerman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 702

    Every thing that a small blower can do a big one can do but not the other way around,so I'm with Geoff go for the big one.
     
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Trust me the honda will be fine, no snowblower will move packed snow. We have personally blown 12-14" of heavy wet plowed snow off sidewalks that are along streets. It handled it fine. In fact our motto is the honda will pump a basement if you really need it to.
    Also in light snow fall it is 10x faster than a two stage.
    And the rubber tipped auager wont damage the walks.
    Dino
     

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