on December 17, 2012
The reason for my ordering this blower was the failure of an old (20 year old) Craftsman rider/blower combo. It was 42 inches wide and a single stage blower. It worked great as long as I kept the rpm up and the belt was intact. The primary failure mode was bogging it down, clogging the chute and/or breaking one of the blower belts. In a word it was great in normal powdery snow and awful in heavy wet snow. It made me bleed and swear on a regular basis, as I needed to regularly unmount the blower from mower and replace/adjust belts. A 14 inch wet snow made me decide that enough was enough and it was time for a heavy duty new two stage blower. I have a new ZTR mower so a separate blower was desirable. I have a garage that is six cars wide and two cars deep and I have a 20 by 100 foot drive leading up to it. All total around 6,000 square feet of space needing to be cleared and a lot of area that requires throwing the snow a total of 75 feet in one or more passes.
First off Amazon freight delivery: This was the first time I had a large item delivered by Amazon. And when I say large, no kidding it is large and heavy. The crated blower is around 450 lbs. and includes a wooden crate inside a heavy cardboard cover. Amazon was awesome. Ordered Tuesday delivered Friday. A local trucking agency called in advance and scheduled a time window and then agreed to call me 30 min in advance. The two guys delivering the thing worked their butts off and delivered the crate/box right into my garage. I couldn't have asked for more.
Assembly was fairly modest but the manual, frankly, is pretty bad. I'm a mechanical engineer and very technically adept so I was able to figure it out. But it is a shame that Husq couldn't do a better job of describing what and where on this beautiful machine. A picture would tell a thousand words and they didn't use a single one. Also, there have been some revisions subsequent to the writing of the manual and while they are minor --they are glaring. Obviously, Husq doesn't validate their manuals using any sort of user study. Look at what needs to move and where the handles that move those things need to connect and you'll figure it out. It took me about an hour and a half to uncrate it and assemble the things removed for shipping. It is really heavy and difficult to get off the crate by yourself. Also, I found two loose parts and a disconnected hand heater wire while looking over the completed assembly. Be sure you give it the once over before taking it for a spin.
Startup, was easy. I used the electric starter for the first start but don't know if I ever will again. Believe it or not the pull starter is quite easy to use even for this beast of an engine. I've found that subsequent starts are always one or two pulls max. Even cold, it starts easily and great. I checked the oil and it was full of oil and all was good. The gas shutoff valve was "stuck" and it took a lot of torque to turn it on.... I was afraid I might break it, but in the end it opened and worked fine.
Ok, let's blow snow. I started the engine, turned off the choke and got ready to drive the thing out of my garage. The drive seemed jerky and intermittent. I drove it around and was quite confused by my inability to control the drive system well. It blew snow like a beast, but the drive system was flakey.
So back into the garage. I read the troubleshooting info and determined that it was likely that the belt (dirty word) for the hydrodrive was slipping and needed adjustment. Fortunately, the adjustment is a simple task of hooking the spring in the linkage on a different (tighter) hole in the drive activation rod. All external and in clear view, no tools required. It would be nice if there was some way to quantitatively adjust this linkage. But tightening it until it "works" is the only way it seems. Once tightened, all is good.
Back at the snow: This thing is unbelievable. It will eat up and blow anything snow or ice related. It will drive anywhere with the track drive. The only time the track drive slipped was when I dug the front edge of the blower into the dirt that was still soft under the snow. Even then it made progress in throwing dirt sod, etc.
I drove it repeatedly into really, really, wet, deep, heavy, compacted snow - in the rain. And it throws it without even slowing down. This wet stuff was on the side of my driveway previously compacted and 26 inches deep and being rained on and it cleared it to the grass with no issue. None. I ran it across the slush on my driveway and couldn't clog it up. It was able to throw anything I could drive it through without any clogging or bogging.
The drive system is not intuitive, and it takes some getting used to but it works quite nicely once you get your brain in sync with the controls. It is much easier to do a left hand j-hook turn than a right hand j-hook turn because the left hand drive control "latches" the blower drive so you can control the discharge chute with your right hand. This allows you to brake the left track and j-turn to the left easily while changing the chute direction simultaneously. The other way (right turn) requires you to stop or to turn the chute separately from turning. It turns on a dime and easily maneuvers wherever you need to go. Full speed forward is a good walking speed for clearing space in a hurry. The left hand j-hook turn is really quick too with the speed in full forward. Reverse is a bit slow for my taste. I suppose it is for safety reasons, but the reverse speed should be most of double what it is to make it more useable. I'm planning to dig into the controls system and see if I can make this happen.
The chute control works great and is easy enough to control on the fly. I wish it had a bit more total range than the 180 degrees left to right. Right rear and left rear are missing in the range.
All in all, a great machine. Hopefully, my last blower purchase, and I'm actually looking forward to the next snow storm.
Season's greetings from Minnesota. --Dan
and an update a year plus later.....after a winter and a half of more than average snow in Minnesota....
Still starts, runs great, uses no oil and handles snow like real animal. I never use the electric starter. Starts first pull in all weather.
Deals with wet snow better than any blower I've ever had. It is possible to clog it, but it is easily cleared and not a frequent problem even in the worst conditions.
Heated hand warmers are a dream come true.
Love the track drive, it does great on my icy steep driveway.
Steering. The steering controls get sticky and verging on un-usable with extended use and the user's manual doesn't correctly tell you how to fix this. They'll work fine if you're going slow or are stopped but require huge trigger pull force to disengage one side or the other when you want to stop a track to steer. I dug into the design like an engineer and discovered that there are hubs that are spring engaged and disengage one drive side or the other when you pull on the respective trigger lever. I would have thought they would have used the hydro drive to vary the steering but they don't. The tracks are relatively easy to remove, and once you see the hubs, it is obvious that they need to be well lubricated to allow for easy steering. The hubs engage and disengage with with drive torque on them. Without lube, the hubs stick and are difficult to pull apart. Simple solution. Poor documentation. Dealer didn't have a clue. This really should be a service bulletin item.
As far as faster reverse drive speed... I found that with a little adjustment and a little grinding with a die grinder I was almost able to double the reverse speed, making forward/back moves much more time efficient.
Snow chute direction.. It is awkward to push down on the end of the handle to change direction. It would have been better to pull and locate in a notch rather than push down. And in retrospect a powered chute would have been a nice feature on this expensive machine. It should also have an additional 30 degrees of travel at both ends of the range. This would help you when making right angle turns --to not throw snow where you've already been. I may tackle that as a fun little design improvement project.
The headlight is great, but it really should be mounted somehow higher up or have dual headlights so the throw chute doesn't interfere with forward lighting.
Finally, my only other complaint is that the main snow catching box is smaller than it probably should be for a blower with this HP. In deep snow it is fairly easy to drive the unit faster than the blower eats the snow causing it to spill out the side into the area you've already cleared and requiring an additional pass.. Either a faster auger or a better side catcher would improve efficiency. I may try to change the auger speed to a bit faster and or add side extensions to the lower part of the snow box to catch snow that tends to spill out the side when blowing quickly with
on November 9, 2012
After a few hours of reviewing various snowblower models and a visit to my local power tools machine dealer, I settled on the Husqvarna 1827EXLT. I purchased it through Amazon as it was the lowest cost I could find for this model and as a Prime member came delivered free to my door. Packaged tightly in it's own cardboard box with a wooden frame and delivered on wooden pallet. There was very little assembly and instructions were well written and diagramed. Only trouble I had was moving it from the wooden packaging and pallet. At nearly 350 pounds, this isn't very easy to move around while not running. So, after a month of this sitting in my garage waiting for winter to come, we just had our first snowfall of the year. 10" in total snow fall. I waited until the snow had stopped before firing this baby up for the first time. After a review of the operating instructions and a once over of the machine, I filled up the tank, inserted the key, turned on the switch, plugged it in and depressed the electric start button. 3 seconds later it started. I engaged the transmission, slowly adjusted the forward speed depressed the auger lever and away I went. I directed the shoot up and to the left. When it hit the snow it sent it flying into the air. I have a 350' long driveway with a 17 degree slope. Going downhill was a breeze. At the bottom, I squeezed the right hand trigger and the machine turned with very little effort on my part. I was concerned about going back up my driveway, but this unit with it's tracks handled it like it was on level ground. I will tell you, it sure beats shoveling. Very pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend Husqvarna to anyone.
Although we didn't get much snow last winter, what we did get was wet and had the consistency of concrete. This snow thrower plowed through it like it wasn't even there. Prior to owning this, I owned an Ariens, which is also a great machine. The problem with the Ariens is that it was extremely difficult to maneuver, as there was no steering control. When I reached the end of my driveway, I had to lift up on the handles and drag it around, despite the fact that it had the ability to use several forward speeds. It also had 2 reverse speeds, but trying to navigate it through deep snow was so difficult that I had to sell it. Even with the ability to use reverse, it was still a difficult task to rotate 180 degrees when I reached the end of my driveway. On the other hand, this Husqvarna, with its power steering and traction grip wheels, made it extremely easy to use. It's actually a pleasure to plow my driveway, as there is virtually no effort required to maneuver it to any position that you desire. Another feature that I like is that it throws the snow a vast distance away from you. It did so even when plowing through the wettest of snow. I can't find a single negative thing to say about this awesome machine. It does as advertised and very efficiently at that.
on December 16, 2013
I bought this snowblower in December 2012 and it is now December 2013 and it still has not been fixed after using it 3 times and having a defective engine blow up! My snowblower has been sitting at a Husqvarna dealer for many months. I have followed up on it several times to see when I will be getting it back and I am continually told that the engine is backordered. Then, a month ago I was told it was being expedited (as I watched several inches of snow accumulate in the now 2013 winter season) and I once again followed up today and was told that it was backordered and they were not sure why it had not been expedited - again! When I called Husqvarna customer service today, I spoke with Ashley and was told that since it was an engine, Husqvarna was not responsible for the problem. I was told I needed to contact the company that made the engine. Then I asked who the engine supplier was, and she told me she did not know, but that Husqvarna was not able to help me with this issue. I told her (based on necessity) I would need to return the item (if I ever get it back from the Husqvarna dealer) and she said once again, that Husqvarna was not the company I should contact to do so. The first person I spoke with said she had all of the information from the dealer that currently has my snowblower, but, Ashley, the second person I spoke with said she had none of that information. Long story short, Ashley called my dealer and discussed the situation with them. Then I was told that the engine was still on backorder and that Howard had promised it be expedited the first time. No explanation was given for why it wasn't nor why it was once again on a backorder status. Today I was told that Cliff was now supposed to be releasing the engine for shipment, but we will see if that happens. Again, this has been a year and I live in Minnesota! It is currently snow like crazy outside and I don't have a snowblower or a loaner snowblower to get my ¼ mile driveway blown out. Based on incompetent customer service, I would never buy another product from this company again. I plan to return the snowblower and buy some other brand. I am sure this will be a nightmare too! Don't buy from this company!
Update: It is now December 31st and the engine that they said would ship on December 20th, still has not shipped. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY SNOWBLOWER FROM HUSQVARNA. They have promised to handle things numerous times and have not come through once. I will have to take legal action in order to get this settled. Pretty sad, when all I did was purchase a snowblower through Amazon with a faulty engine and it is now over a year and it doesn't look like it will be handled without taking legal action. Unbelievable!
on January 10, 2014
I waited til we had a couple of storms before reviewing so I that I could put it through its paces. Wow what a difference this is over my 19 year old Ariens 7 hp snowblower. This thing just grins at the end of my driveway where the snowplows have piled up 2 feet of road snow and ice and then just shoots it over 40 feet! I love the tracks - they take a bit of getting used to over a wheeled blower because it CANNOT be manipulated be sheer human power - it only goes where you direct it with the hand controls but boy does it go anywhere. I can drive this beast down the hill to the back of my house to clear the back walkway and then drive it back UP the hill !! It shoots really far, has hand warmers (YES!) and a headlight. I do wish that the headlight didn't get blocked when you shoot snow to the right (they really should have put the lights in a better place) but I can now snow blow in the dark which is awesome. It starts right up the first time with no hesitation, even with the pull (although I love the plug in starter). I'm really happy with my purchase.
on March 19, 2013
It is the best snow thrower that I have. Operation takes a bit to get used to but once accomplished, it is a joy to use. The thrower is well designed with nothing left out. Handles with heating, power steering sometimes sticky on one side, thrower operation can be locked with wheel drive leaving one hand free to operate the other controls, plenty of torque to handle heavy snow, has LED lights for night operation, very easy to start even without the electric starter,. Wish it has a bigger gas tank and more movement to blow snow to the side. Excellent buy. Highly recommended. The ultimate snowblower for me.
on February 6, 2013
Like most purchasers of snow throwers around here, I feel like I just insured the entire northeast against any further snow. But that could change this weekend! I have a rather long teardrop-shaped driveway, relatively flat but lots of area, and I also need a way to clear out to the woodshed. I like the tracks because everything else seems to have problems with weights and chains for traction. Lastly, I am on a county road and even when my Suby can make it through a good snowfall, the plow berm at the end of the driveway is often too hig... and mushy. I need a beast to break through that.
While I wait to see what happens, I will describe the setup. First of all, I was delighted at the "Amazon experience". Easy to select, buy and it showed up in like 4 days! The shipping pallet was cracked,but it is a heavy machine so a few marks on the outside of the shipping container did not alarm me; I did check for obvious signs of "hull breach" and found nothing serious.
Upon uncrating, I was a bit surprised to find it was never screwed down to the pallet from the factory, so had shifted in its orientation. Still, nothing looked damaged. As for assembly, well, let's just say I am an engineer with good knowledge of things mechanical and it still took me 3 beers to get it together. The manual is, shall we say, rather spartan in its descriptions and pictures. Nothing was what it should be, but it was manageable. Don't attempt this without confidence in your ability to put the puzzle together.
Once I mustered the courage to start her, I added oil (shipped dry), did a basic RTFM (it's my first snow machine), set the choke, added some hi-test and pulled the recoil. Started on the first try and it was one of the easiest recoils I'd ever used. One day I may try the electric :)
Took some practice laps; turning takes some getting used to with the tracks, and it's a bit hard to judge it under no-load. Had Jennifer run it around a circle too and she could handle it. Biggest pain is the foot-treadle lock for the pitch control. It is very hard to get it to lock properly in its level and transport mode, but not hard to get it into its contour-follow mode. I will need to investigate further and see if that is due to the odd shipping attitude, but maybe it will work itself out.
I will update when we get some snow! See if it goes up or down a star!
Peace from Woodstock
on March 11, 2012
this thing is awesome... It even handles the wet heavy sonw that the snow plow leaves. Even handles my steep driveway... I love it.
on July 10, 2014
Bought this Jan/2012 to replace a 14 yr old White track drive snow blower when its Snow King engine finally failed. This unit also has a Snow King engine. I have a 500ft gravel drive and I have found that a track drive running at the transport height for most of that length is most effective, At the time of purchase this was the best deal for the few track drives available. Its bigger than the unit it replaced so I have to work a bit harder turning it especially since the steering system on one side failed in the second year and last year the other side stopped working. More about that below. I have lost fasteners from the chute height adjustment and the drift cutters but now know to check that they are snug before using the machine. Otherwise it has been very reliable through some serious storms that hit us in South central CT the past two winters.
Negatives: The manual is insufficient for guiding you through even simple maintenance. For instance the instruction for removing the track drive just says to remove the spring clip and slide the track off the shaft. No mention of the two bolts down below that connect this section to the frame, and the tension spring that has to be removed before you can get the track drive off the shaft. Since you might want to do this procedure to get access to drain the oil it is not a once in a lifetime event and should be depicted in the manual. The steering system is a common complaint for this machine. It works fine in summer but apparently seizes up in the cold which of course makes it useless for its purpose. However, I just discovered a youtube entitled "Does The Power Steering On Your Husqvarna Snow Blower Stick? Here is a quick fix" that recommends using dry lube on the steering mechanism and I will try that for next season.
on April 19, 2014
I did not buy my 1827EXLT from Amazon, however I read here all the reviews prior to the purchase from my local dealer, which I found mostly helpful. Definitely the best technically oriented review was by `Dan in Minnesota', which eventually inspired me to do some maintenance and adjustments on the blower.
In general, as most reviewers, I have been quite happy with the 1827EXLT, definitely an improvement compared to my old 29" 10HP MTD wheeled blower. With the harsh winter we had this year, I was having hard time with my wheeled blower in high and heavy snow, the wheels constantly slipping/spinning and I had to push and push and wiggle... With the 1827EXLT the job was much easier.
Similarly like most reviewers, I had some problems with the steering, especially to the right (rather sticky and erratic) and the reverse speed was very slow. I managed to improve the later on the shifter rod by adjusting it to the most extended position.
With the steering, I followed the advice of `Dan in Minnesota' and took a look at the clutch mechanism on both sides, right hand side first.
First of all, the clutch linkage was misadjusted so that the clutch slide did not disengage completely from the driven part. That was easily to fix/adjust on the respective clutch bowden cable turn buckle, pity that the Troubleshooting in manual doesn't mention that. It could be theoretically done without taking the track out and exposing the clutch mechanism, but you are best off if you can see the effect of your adjustment.
What struck me however, that the whole spline, clutch slide and wheel driver mechanism were completely dry, no traces of lubrication at all. As Dan mentioned, for this thing to work, it needs to be properly lubricated. Ideally, some grease should be used on the spline, but I did not want to disassemble the whole thing, so I just worked in some gear oil, on the spline and on the wheel driver.
If I understand it correctly, the axle is solid/stationary and the track sprocket wheel turns on the axle. Again, no lubrication whatsoever on the axle, which in a long run could wear both the sprocket and the axle. I greased the axle and installed the track back.
I did the same work on the left hand side steering mechanism, it was the same story, no lubrication at all.
Apart from that, for the overall blower performance, I would make pretty much the same comments as `Dan in Minnesota' did. For a premium product from Husquarna, I would expect better assembly quality control and I would wish that all the control rods and their joints (drive and fan wheel) and the steering mechanism levers and rods were better made. They are rather crude and I expect that with use they will wear and need adjustment, at least there are provisions made for that.
After using this Husquarna snow blower two times at the end of last winter and two times this winter, I have brought it back to dealer and exchanged it for a 28" wheeled Toro 1028OHXE HD snow blower. Not that anything went wrong with the Husquarna 1827EXLT, in contrary, it was working fine, lots of power and capacity but... I never had tracked snowblower before and I just couldn't get used to handling and operating it. Here are my main issues with this machine:
1) The handling and operating this snowblower is very complicated and cumbersome. You cannot move it by hand even a foot, you cannot turn it by hand, you have to have the engine running. Taking it into or out of garage or shed, you need the engine. If it runs out of gas or if it breaks down (never did) say 100 yards from garage you can't move it. You would have to winch it somehow on trailer or have dealer take care of it.
2) In spite of the "power steering", which doesn't work too great, it is a pain to turn it, back it off from a spot or even follow a curve and the reverse is VERY slow. Additionally, it just has too many levers and handles that are not exactly convenient to operate.
3) One thing that annoyed me a lot was that this snowblower has a tendency to drive up on to the snow, especially piled up snow, instead of chewing through it. No matter to what position you set the auger housing or if you let it float, the tracks just keep riding up instead of staying on the ground. You end up backing off many times and hitting the spot again, even thou the auger wouldn't have any problem to pick any layer of snow and throw it away.
4) My feel is that unless you have a very long driveway/area to clean and most of the snowblower movement is in straight lines, stay away from this tracked machine and get a wheeled one.