I should state immediately that since the machine was delivered in August and it is now only September, there has been no opportunity to blow snow.
The main reason for purchasing this particular model is that I need to clear snow from large areas of turf. Previous experience has shown that a wheeled snow blower, a snow plow, or a front end loader were not appropriate for the job. The wheeled blower
simply spun the tires in deep snow and both the plow and FEL (despite my best efforts) were prone to damage the grass. I also have a gravel parking area which has similar challenges. In addition to the tracks, this Ariens has a tilting ability which allows
the front end to be adjusted up or down (while running) to transition from one underlying surface to another.
I will comment on what I've seen so far.
I chose lift gate delivery knowing that I'd be by myself when the truck came. It took my front end loader rigged with lift straps to move the big box and pallet from the road to my barn. The blower was well packaged and suffered no damage during transport.
There was some minor assembly required, but anyone with minimum mechanical skills should have no problem. The instructions were simple and clear.
Build quality appears to be outstanding. Very impressive, in fact. The blower's engine started on the first pull. I ran the machine around on the grass and tested it as best I could. The engine powers up without hesitation and idles smoothly. The hydro
transmission is similar to what most riding mowers have with one lever controlling direction and ground speed. Discharge chute rotation and elevation controls are mechanical (as opposed to electric), but very fast and positive. The machine's headlight is wired
to be "always on". It is quite dim at idle, but goes to full brightness above that. My testing was in full daylight, so I don't know how much actual illumination it will provide.
I've repeated running the blower over several days and it has always started first pull. I haven't tried the electric starter. I also didn't try the grip heaters.
Soon I will replace the factory oil, remove all fuel and it will be ready for winter.