Rated 2.5 out of 5Â by 2
Rated 4 out of 5Â by RAW Heavy Duty
My employer bought two of these power brushes this past year and I was able to use one the first day. We were working on a roofing project that included a full tear off of a built-up roofing system down to the concrete deck. Sweeping up the gravel was easy until it accumulated to a depth of about 4". I sheared a pin holding the wheel to the axle the first week and fixed it with a short length of hex key within minutes. The pin shear was the only issue we had over a 4 month job.
Well made product.
January 28, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5Â by Herman VERY poorly designed
In the store, it looks great. But once you start using it, you realize it's just not a good product.
1. Poor design. Ariens just slapped a brush on the front of a snowblower backend, so the balance is completely wrong. You need to be really fit to do pretty much any job, because you regularly want to turn the device around, and to do it without getting dirt/snow everywhere, you need to lift the front end up. And it is REALLY heavy to lift.
1a. Also because of this poor design, that it is really front heavy with a short wheelbase, the front needs support castor wheels way up front to support the brush, and there is nowhere to put them but as outriggers, so they are:
-constantly hitting/jamming on edges (which you can't see if you are doing snow)
-leave lines of packed down snow
-knock the edge of loose snow down
And because the castor wheels are cheap and jam against things [and get snow/dirt packed into them], they have to be regularly replaced because the castor part weakens and lose the bearings. You need to have spares hanging around.
1b. These castors wheels are used to control the height/contact patch of the brush. However, the adjustment mechanism is also the utterly cheapest thing they could do, a hand-tighted bolt into the side of a post that slides up and down. And it has to be fairly precisely positioned, otherwise the brush makes either too little or too much [which is worse of the gearbox] contact with the ground. But because the front end is rather heavy, to do this, you need two people, one to hold it at the right height, and the second to check the height and tighten the bolt. Then you use it for awhile [awhile being a couple of hours] and the tightening bolt vibrates loose because it has no kind of locking mechanism.
2. Cheapped out on the motor. The snowblower backend has a headlight. The motor barely lights it because Ariens didn't use the version with the high-output alternator [which they do with their snowblowers]. And it seems like they didn't even use the 'winter' version of the motor, because I was told by the dealer to disconnect crankcase ventilation tube from the carburetor after it was plugged by frozen moisture and almost destroyed the motor. This of course violates pollution regulations.
3. Shear bolts in the brush. If you stick with Ariens bolts, you might as well just buy all the stock the dealer has. You'll be replacing them often. Or spend 1/2 the cost of one bolt and buy two grade 5 3/8" bolts [with lock nuts, as they'll vibrate off], long enough so the bolt shaft goes all the way through [so there isn't any sideways torque put on the bolt threads]. They'll still shear if something actually wedges the brush somehow, but they won't break every couple of days.
4. The front gearbox for the brush has already broken after only 4 months use this winter. And the shop said they had seen others with this same problem, so I expect to have to regularly replace that [it's warranty repaired this time, but next year, it'll be expensive].
This is a product that the idea is good, but the execution is terrible. You will buy one of these based on the Ariens brand name [good snowblowers/lawn mowers], but you won't buy a second. You'll find another brand that makes a real powered brush, costs about the same, but doesn't kill you physically or financially.
March 27, 2013