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Commercial Snow Blowers for Professionals

3/6/2020 6:00:00 AM

​The best commercial snow remov​a​​l options ​

Commercial snow blo​wers

A professional works all day and needs to have the most powerful snow blower and equ​​ipment that’s reliable, durable and versatile for multiple applications from driveways to narrow walkways.
Professional 28 snow blower
The biggest difference between the average homeowner snow blower and a professional’s is the volume of cleanup after each snowfall. A homeo​wner is ​​likely cleari​​ng their property, plus maybe a neighbor’s, spending about 30 minutes to one hour doing so.​

Commercial snow​​​ blower re​​​liability

To learn which brand makes the best and most reliable snow blower on the market, look at the construction material. Avoid those built with cheap plastic an​d opt for models constructed from steel. Better yet, research the quality and the steel thickness of the brands sold in snow blower dealerships. For example, all Ariens® professional snow blower models are built with non-recycled steel.

All snow blowers have handlebars, housings, chutes, etc., but the designs differ between b​​rands. For example, handlebar geometry. Turning under heavy loads applies stress to the handlebars, which is why Ariens updated the professional models to have stronger, welded handlebars with thicker steel – an upgrade from the tube designs on residential models.

Commercial snow blower pow​​​​er

The more power a snow blower has, the faster it throws high volumes of snow. Th​​e faster a snow blower throws, the quicker it can get to the next job.

Professional 36 Snow blower

Snow blower engine power was once measured in horsepower, but the new standard is to advertise a snow blower engine by its displacement in cubic centimeters, or CCs. An engine’s displacement is the distance its piston(s) travel through an engine cylinder (the stroke), multiplied by the diameter of the cylinder (the bore). The longer the stroke and the larger the bore, the greater the displacement.

The greater the displac​​ement, the greater the power of a snow blower engine.

All Ariens Professional snow blower models feature 420 CC engines, enough power to move up to 102 tons of snow per hour with the 36-inch model. To put it into perspective, most of the smaller residential Sno-Thro® models in the Ariens lineup have about half as muc​​​h displacement and they’re still tossing snow d​​ozens of feet away from where it landed. 

Commercial sn​​ow blower fea​​tures

What are features to look for in a professional snow blower? The most important are efficiency features that allow professionals to cover more jobsite​s in less time and with less money – finishing long days earlier and at a lower expense.

Hydrostatic​ Dr​ive

A hydrostatic or hydro snow​​ blower can speed up or slow down  without stopping and shifting.

Hydrostatic snow blowers allow the operator to change the drive speed of their snow blower by​ simply moving a lever forward or backward – while the unit is still moving. This is very different from friction-drive models that require stopping before shifting to another speed. 

EFI snow blo​wers

EFI snow blowers save fuel, start more easily, save time and are easie​r to maintain.

A few years ago, Ariens introduced the first ever EFI, or electronic fuel injected, snow blowers. EFI uses a computer that calculates an opti​mal fuel and air mixture that makes the engine start more easily – which is why EFI snow blowers usually start on the first pull. 

EFI engines are fuel sippers and run longer on the same amount of fuel compared to a carbureted / conventional snow blower engine. With fewer stops to r​​efuel, that’s time and money saved. 

EFI Snow Blower Engine

In carbureted (non-EFI) engines, fuel can oxidize and turn into a gel that could clog the fuel system. To prevent oxidation, we recommend adding a quality fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. If the fuel system becomes clo​​gged, your engine won’t start and you’ll be stuc​​k with repair bills.

EFI snow blowers don't require those preventative steps and aren't prone to fuel oxidation issues – once again, saving time and money. Click here to learn all the benefits of EFI snow blowers.


RapidT​​rak™

RapidTrak is an all-in-one system where users choose among maneuverability, extra traction or extra scraping ability – all in a single snow blower.

RapidTrak snow blower

The RapidTrak track snow blower is available on 28 inch and 32 inch Ariens Professional snow blowers, and is versatile to work on both flat and steep driveways. Use track mode for superior grip with the speed of a wheel unit, s​​hift towheel mode for maneuverability, and for hard-packed snow,dig-in mode pitches the auger housing downward for more effective scraping.

Commercial ​​single stage snow blowers

Not all jobs, especially those in tight metro areas, need large machines. Two stage sno​​w blowers can’t fit into every space, sometimes making a single stage the best option.

Professional 21 single stage snow blower

With the power, strength, reliability and durability of its larger counterparts, the Ariens Professional 21 is the best small snow blower for professionals clearing light to moderate snowfalls in smaller spaces because it was designed to match professional specifications.​​

Reinforced with all-steel construction, the Ariens Pro 21 withstands jostling around a truck or trailer bed and still performs to expectations at numerous jobsites​​. Thick, high-wear paddles scrape surfaces clean use after use with less frequent replacement.

snow blower being loaded into truck

Unique handlebar geometry allows a user to load and unload the Pro 21 onto and from a truck bed by themselves. Additionally, oil changes and engine maintenan​ce are quick and easy because of the unit’s accessible engine.

Commercial ​​power brus​hes

When clearing lighter and slushier snowfalls in areas with heavier pedestrian traffic like metro areas and college campuses, power brushes are sometimes p​​​referred because power brush discharge is typicallylow to the ground, lighter and more evenly dispersed. Additionally, their high-strength nylon bristles help ensure a clean sweep down to the surface.

Power Brush removing snow

The technology of an Ariens power brush is nearly identical to Ariens Sno-Thro models, mimicking their strength, power and reliability. Available in​​ 28 and 36 inch widths, both models feature adjustable brush heads that can be positioned straight forward or 20 degrees to the left or right.

Like with certain professional snow blower models, the Hydro Brush 36 model has a hydrostatic transmission and doesn’t need to​ be stopped to speed up or slow down.

Conclus​​i​​on

These are the ​​main points to consider when choosing a professional snow blower:

  1. ​Durabi​​li​t​​​​y ​​​and reliability

    Pick a s​​now blower brand that has a reputation​​ for building r​​​eliable products and a brand that builds snow blowers with quality material and a quality American workforce.​

  2. Pow​​​​​​er

  3. There’​​​​s no replacement for displacement, meaning engine size. Look for​ professional snow blowers equipped with an engine of at least 400 “C​Cs” - meaning cubic centimeters.

  4. S​​​i​​​ze

  5. Pic​​​k a snow blower clearing width that fits the properties you’re servicing. Biggest can be extremely efficient but it isn’t always the best option for clearing diverse areas like narrow walkways.

  6. Features ​​​​a​nd efficiency

  7. Working fast and with the least expense possible is paramount in the professional landscapi​​​ng business, and this is achieved through innovative features. An Ariens Professional RapidTrak EFI model is your best solution in snow blower efficiency this season.​

Vi​​sit your nearest Ariens snow blower dealer to learn more about commercial snow clearing equipment.

What are shear pins and why do I need them?

2/25/2020 6:00:00 AM

​A shear pin (also known as a shear bolt) is a weak bolt that connects your auger to the auger shaft. That connection allows the augers to rotate, collect snow and send snow into the impeller fan where the snow is thrown from the chute.

If a large object gets wedged between your augers and the housing, the pins break as designed to protect your auger gearcase from incurring damage. All two-stage snow blowers have at least one shear pin on each side of the auger gear case.

How do shear pins work?​

A shear pin is different from a regular bolt because it is designed to break, or "shear," which in this case is a good thing. Shear pins are made with a weak point that snaps if a jam occurs between the auger and the housing. 

Let's say a rock gets between the rotating auger and the housing. It stops the auger, but the auger shaft, which the auger is connected to by a shear bolt, wants to keep turning. If the jam by the rock is too severe and outmatches the force supplied by the gearcase to the rotating auger shaft, the shear bolt breaks, allowing the gearcase and the shaft to continue moving, undamaged.

Shear pins 


These jams that interrupt the auger rotation cause the shear pins to break, releasing the auger shaft from the auger. While this stops the auger from rotating, this also prevents damage to the snow blower gearcase.

What causes a shear pin to break?

Two-stage snow blowers may be able to handle a lot of snow but the augers can break if they ingest a foreign object. To help avoid breaking a shear pin, always remember to survey the area being cleared and remove objects that could get caught between the augers and the housing like:

  • Rocks
  • Large Gravel
  • Tree Branches
  • Packages
  • Lawn Decorations
  • Children Toys (Sprinklers, balls, jump ropes, etc.)
  • Dog Toys
  • Garbage
  • Curbs
  • Newspapers
  • Phonebooks

How to tell if your shear pins are broken

If it feels like your snow blower is pushing snow rather than processing it, or if you see snow building up outside either side of your auger housing, you likely broke a shear bolt.

When the shear bolt busts, the auger shaft continues to spin, but the auger itself isn't spinning. Without a spinning auger, snow isn't ingested or thrown. As un-ingested snow piles up in front of your snow blower, you face more resistance and slow your clearing speed.

If you suspect a shear bolt is broken, stop the engine, remove the key, disconnect the spark plug wire and wait for all moving parts to stop. When it's safe, visually inspect the augers. If you don't see the shear pin head or nut and you can manually spin the auger along the auger shaft, you broke a shear pin.

How to replace shear pins

Shear pins can be replaced quickly and are a lot cheaper to replace than the auger or gear case. We recommend keeping extra shear pins on hand because you never know when you'll need them.

Before replacing a shear bolt, stop the unit, remove the key and disconnect the spark plug wire from the engine. Move the unit to a warm, enclosed area and wipe the auger shaft clean for easier sight and access to the shear pin.

Typically, when a shear pin breaks, only half of it will fall out while the other half remains inside the auger shaft hole. To remove it, carefully rotate the auger to align the holes in the auger with the holes in the auger shaft. Then, use a tool, like a thin screwdriver, to push the rest of the pin out. In rare cases, you will need to gently tap the shear pin out of the hole with a fairly flat punch and hammer.

installing shear pinsOnce the broken shear pin is removed, keep the holes in the auger and the auger shaft aligned and insert the new shear pin. Secure it with the nut and tighten to the torque specification listed in your operator's manual. If your manual isn't handy, just finger tighten until the nut no longer spins freely. Just make sure you don't overtighten. Overtightening could stress the shear pin and result in premature failure.

Once the pin is properly installed, try rotating the auger by hand to confirm the pin is secure. If the auger doesn't rotate freely along the auger shaft, you're ready to restart and continue clearing.

Click here to watch an instructional video on how to change the shear pins on your snow blower.​

Use​ the right shear pins for your snowblower

Make sure to use the right size shear pin for your snow blower. Reference the service parts section of your owner's manual to identify the correct part number for your unit. You will need a shear pin that shears at the proper torque. If you use a pin that can handle more torque than your machine, you risk causing extensive damage to your snow blower.

Replacement shear pins and other snow blower parts can be found in our online parts store or at your local Ariens dealer.​​​

The Best New Lawn Mowers of 2020

2/12/2020 6:00:00 AM

Everything to consider when finding the best lawn mower to buy

Homeowners have a lot to consider when deciding on their next lawn mower purchase. They must consider things like the type of mower, included features, and where to buy it from. In our 2020 lawn mower buying guide, we break down the complexity. ​​

Zero turn vs lawn tractor

These lawn mowers have been used by homeowners for years. With increasing new housing starts, there's been a greater demand for residential lawn mowers, but a higher percentage of homeowners are choosing the zero turn mower over the lawn tractor.

The fundamental difference between the two is in the steering. Traditional lawn tractors have a steering wheel that functions the same way as in a vehicle.

Zero turn lawn mowers feature two steering levers that control the wheels. When one lever is pushed forward, the drive wheel on that side moves forward. When the other lever is pushed forward, the drive wheel on the other side moves forward. When both are pushed forward, both wheels drive forward. The same concept applies in reverse. The same movements used to drive a shopping cart can be applied to steering a zero turn lawn mower.


Advantages of a zero turn lawn mower

Zero turn mowers are easy to use

To use a zero turn mower, set the cutting height, start the engine and drive. On the latest designs, set the cutting height by effortlessly pushing forward on a foot-operated deck lift pedal and turn a dial, move a lever or insert a pin. Simply release the deck lift pedal and you're set. You'll likely keep your cutting height at one setting for most of the year, so you won't adjust this until the seasons change and you need to cut at a different grass height.

Starting the engine and turning on the blades is the same on a zero turn as most mowers. Sit down in the seat, pull a choke lever (if equipped) and turn the key. Once the engine starts, the blades can be engaged with a switch.

Learning how to drive a zero turn mower is easy. Simply push both steering levers forward to drive in a straight line. To turn a zero turn mower to the right, position the right lever slightly behind the left lever. To turn a zero turn mower to the left, pull the left lever slightly behind the right lever. As the distance between the two levers increases, your turn becomes sharper.

To increase speed, push both levers as far forward as possible. To slow down, gently pull the levers closer to your body. To stop a zero turn lawn mower, simply pull the levers closer to your body until the wheels stop. If the machine goes into reverse, you went too far. Push the levers slightly forward to find the "neutral position" and stop the wheels.

Zero turn mowers have better maneuverability

Zero turns have two steering levers because there's an independent motor controlling each wheel. One lever controls the wheel motor on one side and the other controls the wheel motor on the other side. This characteristic allows you to move just one wheel, making such a sharp turn that the mower has a zero-degree turning radius, hence the name "zero turn."

 ​​Lawn mower maneuverability

With a zero turning radius, a lawn mower can move around yard obstacles without backing up. This includes hugging anything as wide as the perimeter of a decorative berm to a one-year-old tree trunk with detailed precision. Additionally, this eliminates the need for unnecessary and extra maneuvering at the end of each cutting row. Simply cut a row, turn the mower 180 degrees, align the deck edge with uncut grass and keep mowing – all in one fluid, efficient motion.

Zero turn mowers save time

There are numerous reasons why a zero turn mower cuts grass faster than a lawn tractor. In fact, homeowners who switched from a lawn tractor to a zero turn mower boast they cut their lawns in half the time. That's not just because the motors that power a zero turn's wheels drive faster.

A zero turn's maneuverability holds more than one advantage in time savings. Whereas a lawn tractor requires extra turning and backing when mowing new rows or going around obstacles, a zero turn does not. By the end of your cutting, that's massive time savings.

Zero turn mowers can cut rows as small as 34 inches in smaller properties with close obstacles to rows as large as 60 inches. With the availability of wider clearing widths, you make fewer passes cutting large yards. Additionally, deep decks on some residential zero turn mowers promote air circulation that helps prevent grass clumping, bogged blades and uncut stragglers – reducing chances you'll need to spend more time double-cutting.

Zero turn mowers are comfortable

Comfortable lawn mowers are more than just a plush seat. By integrating ergonomics into a lawn mower's design, the operator is placed in the most comfortable spot with easy access to the controls.

For as important as ergonomic positioning is, one of the more important comfort features of a new zero turn mower is its seat. Depending on yard size, operators can spend several hours per week on their mower, so it's paramount that mowers are equipped with plush seats that have optimal airflow and plush armrests.

Zero turn mowers are stronger

Not all manufacturers build their equipment the same, but zero turns can be made from thicker steel and go through rigorous testing to prove they'll continue working for years to come. One-piece welded frames are stronger than those made up of multiple pieces and bolted together, allowing them to last longer. Some, and in fact most in the Ariens lineup also feature commercial-style fabricated decks. That's the same type used by professionals. The thicker steel and reinforced edges help prevent damage in case the deck hits an obstacle like a rock or yard ornament.

Lawn tractors are built cheaper and cheaper and have become a commodity product. Maximize your dollar by researching the construction quality of your next mower so your investment lasts season after season.

Accessories for zero turn lawn mowers

Zero turn mowers do much more than mow. Zero turns are available with just as many, if not more accessories and attachments than lawn tractors and have greater capabilities. Zero turn hitch kits allow users to pull trailers and haul as more than 100 pounds of debris and landscaping materials. Zero turns can also be equipped with bagger kits to collect grass clippings or leaves, mulch kits to mince grass clippings into lawn feed, headlights to maximize a full day when the sun sets early and much more.

New Lawn Mowers 2020

The 2020 Ariens zero turn lawn mower lineup changes the look of mowing. With new lawn mowers and upgrades to existing models, the Ariens family of zero turns offers power, strength, comfort and time savings. All of which help Ariens customers craft beautiful entertainment spaces out of their yards while adding more time to their day to spend with your family. The advantages and benefits of an Ariens zero turn mower will make mowing your new favorite chore.

2020 Ariens Zero Turn Mower Lineup

Ariens EDGE

This brand new zero turn lawn mower is one of the best values in zero turn lawn mowers. It's build quality, like any Ariens, is designed to last for generations. Built on a welded steel frame, this strong and durable mower comes with commercial-style cutting deck options and is the best looking, most stylish mower in its class. For comfort, it's outfitted with a plush seat that features breathable back to help prevent sweating and moisture from pooling on the seat. Available with 36, 42 and 52-inch deck sizes, the EDGE fits in any yard.

 Edge Lawn Mower

Even with numerous features, EDGE is an entry-level riding mower, meaning it's sold in the lowest price point category of zero turn mowers – giving every family access to the time-saving advantages and the prestige that comes with Ariens ownership.

 

Ariens IKON XD

This powerful zero turn lawn mower is built for most yards. With a plush, high-back seat with padded armrests, it's one of the most comfortable mowers for homeowners. Forward and back seat adjustments place operators of all statures in positions comfortable to their size. Additionally, the steering levers are adjustable. No matter how tall or short the operator, the controls are always at accessible positions.

 IKON XD Lawn Mower

The IKON XD also saves homeowners time with its maintenance-free Hydro-Gear EZT transaxles. The only things owners need to give their attention to are occasional tire pressure adjustments and engine oil changes. With a belt tension technology, the self-adjusting belt automatically adjusts for belt wear, meaning you won't need to touch it until it goes through its lifespan.

 

Ariens APEX

The Ariens APEX is just one step away from being a commercial lawn mower. Equipped with power for big yards, APEX also features comfort and ease of use. Adjustable seat and steering levers, an easy-to-use deck adjustment system and an extra-high, plush seat with padded armrests help keep operator fatigue to a minimum to mow the largest yards in comfort.

 APEX Lawn Mower

A commercial-style deck with thicker steel and a leading-edge around the deck front and trim sides, plus a professionally proven one-piece frame design make APEX a tough lawn mower for homeowners. Power supplied by Kohler and Kawasaki make cutting the most challenging grasses a time-saving breeze.

 

Where to Buy a Lawn Mower

You can buy a zero turn mower at national retail and home improvement stores like Lowe's or a local outdoor power equipment dealer. Though there are no differences among the models sold in either store, each has unique advantages.

Buying a lawn mower at Lowes

The argument can be made that lawn mowers at chain stores are less expensive, and while that's true in some cases, it's not a guarantee. If your budget is the deciding factor between purchasing from a home improvement store and a dealer, take the time to compare prices. One option these stores offer is that they sell zero turn lawn mowers online. Like any other online purchase, add the item to your cart, checkout and a truck delivers it to your driveway a few days later. An advantage to some, but remember that lawn mowers may require additional setup if they're still in the box when delivered.

Buying a lawn mower from a dealer

There are also advantages to buying from a lawn mower dealer. Dealerships are stocked with products, the equipment experts who sell them and the trained lawn mower mechanics who fix them. Dealers can help guide you to a choice based on your needs, provide financing for a new purchase and maintain your equipment.

Some national retail chain stores offer service and repair through a third party, but dealers are a one-stop-shop for genuine OEM parts and quality service. Additionally, they can administer lawn mower warranty claims. To some, the personal relationship with a dealer alone outweighs every other buying factor.

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