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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My ~15 year old Ariens 624 is not up to our new 4600 square foot driveway, which is a long, flat "U" shape. Do folks think the John Deere could handle running a Berco 48" (or 44") Northeast Snowblower?

Holding the snowblower dead man grip is tough for me due to wrist issues so I 'd like to use the lawn tractor instead.

Am I playing Russian Roulette with the John Deere transmission, frame, engine (or all of the above)?

I need the John Deere to last another seven years and would like the snowblower to last at least as long. I imagine the Berco would outlast the John Deere, but I am not sure.

As an aside, I have been using a tow hitch on the John Deere to haul a 4'x8' utility trailer, which is pretty well balanced so I can move it easily by hand and never load it that heavy. My lot is flat just like my driveway.

Thanks for the insight.
 

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Snow blower really won't put much strain on the Transmission your 155 should have a K46AC Unless it's a LA155 which has a T40J . I would recommend going with the 44inch The 48inch are more suited for Garden tractors Just do to the weight of the Blower & the weight of the Tractor (y)
 

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DGS 6500 - North Dakota
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One other consideration between the 2 Berco's is the 48" is about another 100 lbs heavier. Plus it takes more HP to run. I bought a 48" for my Craftsman with 26 HP. It is over kill. In this case, adding another 100 lbs of weight to the blower, adds stress to the frame when you lift the blower. In reality, the 48" won't get the job done any faster. A 44" is more than enough.

But the Berco will blow! In my opinion, it'll out throw any other belt driven blower out there. If your Berco has a mule drive for your Ariens, I wouldn't hesitate going Berco.
 

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I have a Berco North East 44 on a Craftsman 24 hp Lawn tractor. I worried a little about the frame when I first got it but I used it for about 10 years until I upgraded to a Deere X7 series and it was still performing great. And as said above, it throws just about as far as my shaft drive Deere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am in the process of possibly ordering the Bercomac, but it wouldn't be available until January. The dealer (very small engine repair shop & power equipment dealer) is 40 minutes from my metrowest boston house and hasn't necessarily sold me on buying it with the feedback he has provided. He said the lawn tractor's front wheels can get stuck if you ride over the end of the driveway lip as there isn't enough traction to back up. The dealer also stated that someone tried to run this Bercomac on their 118 and it ruined the transmission so their lawn tractor was essentially junked as it is not financially prudent to put a new transmission into one of these models. The dealer isn't trying to up-sell me, but rather provide feedback to my questions.

Any credence to the dealer's feedback?

I wish I had the money to buy a better John Deere tractor :(

Thank you for the input.
 

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Sure, all those things are possible with the Berco, and probably any other front blower attachment. I have gotten stuck over a lip, I never trashed my transmission, in fact the tractor is still fine today. That said, if you are buying the Berco new it is a considerable investment, best to make sure it is going on a tractor that will hold up for the many years that Berco will last.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just to close the loop. I appreciate the feedback. I didn't have good vibes about the dealer network and the berco manufacturing support. It also felt like a $4K++ purchase given I was investing both in the Berco and throwing in the value of my lawn tractor. The remote dealer that I contacted went out of his way to show me another John Deere that torched its transmission using a Berco. In the end I didn't want to risk ruining a lawn mowing machine compared to the cost of a professional grade purpose-built snowblower.

Instead I went with the biggest engine Ariens makes (400+ cc), which is a considerable step-up from my current 6hp setup. I'd rather the engine grunt focus on churning through snow, than pushing a machine, an attachment, and me (plus any weights needed for traction).

If I had a tractor up to the task, I would have maybe gone with the Berco, but I don't think my JD is. It would be nice, however, if Berco could step up their distribution network and support line. When I called Berco (at the suggestion of their dealer), the Berco person treated my inquiry as a nuisance rather than a potential customer. That interaction sort of sealed the deal. Particularly when my 15 year old hardly serviced Ariens snowblower had provided great years of service, which in the end justified some customer loyalty.
 

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I can't argue with any of that. I have a Deere X7 with blower, a Craftsman YT with a Berco, and an Ariens SHO walk behind. All good machines! Good luck with the new Ariens.
 
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