Automatic traction control isn't universally beloved. The Ariens Platinum 30 comes with high-end features like built-in hand warmers and automatic traction control. Most owners say the latter makes it much easier to steer this massive blower, but one HomeDepot.com poster says when the skids get caught up in ice or very hard-packed snow, the traction control automatically pushes in the direction of least resistance. "This is very hard on the operator because you have to fight with the machine to keep it straight," he explains. "I wish it had a manual lockout or something to override this feature."
Overall, the Platinum 30 remains a favorite with owners for its easy handling and capable steering. "The Ariens is much easier to use/manipulate. It is more balanced and turns on a dime," says one female HomeDepot.com user who switched from a Husqvarna 24. The Platinum 30 also has a halogen headlight, and owners report that the remote chute control works very well: "I really like the way the discharge chute is firmly locked in position but is still very easy to swing left or right in a flash," says one on SnowBlowersDirect.com. However, several users complain that the assembly directions are vague and confusing.
It clears just about anything. There's no question that the Ariens Platinum 30 skillfully handles all types of snow , even in massive quantities. "When going down the driveway, it easily throws the snow over and clear of the cars," says a user on SnowBlowersDirect.com. "This machine eats snow!" says another, while a third notes that the Platinum 30 is "very powerful and gets through snow drifts very easily."
There are, however, mixed opinions on how well the Platinum 30 handles slush: "Snow no problem, but if you have ice mixed in or slush it won't throw it, and clogs or bogs down," says a HomeDepot.com poster who finds the blower "mostly acceptable." Others disagree, like a SnowBlowersDirect.com user who says, "We just had 15 to 17 inches of ice, wet snow, slush and it did an excellent job. My main reason for getting a unit of this size is to handle the 3-foot pile of snow and ice chunks after the plow goes by. This chopped it all up and spit it out in no time."
It's a beast: powerful and well designed. Although the Ariens Platinum 30 draws some criticism for its automatic traction control -- or more accurately, the lack of a mechanism for disabling it -- most owners say it's well designed. Perhaps most important, they agree that it can lob just about any kind of snow impressive distances, working very quickly and powerfully.
1. Snow Blowers Direct
Good More than 60 owners post reviews of the Ariens Platinum 30, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. They say it's capable of handling just about anything.
Review: Ariens Platinum ST30DLE (30") 342cc Two-Stage Snow Blower, Contributors to SnowBlowersDirect.com, As of September 2012
2. Snow Blowers Direct
Good Schrader, this online retailer's resident expert on snow blowers, selects the Ariens Platinum 30 as the best two-stage snow blower for "prosumer" users. He singles out the automatic traction control system as one of its best features.
Review: Ariens Platinum ST30DLE (30") 342cc Two-Stage Snow Blower, Kriss Schrader, As of September 2012
Good More than 50 owners give the Ariens Platinum 30 a score of 4.4 stars out of 5. Most love the traction control, but one points out that the feature can make it nearly impossible to keep the unit straight when encountering ice or extremely hard-packed snow.
Review: Ariens Platinum Series 30 in. Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2012