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2016 Troy-Bilt Storm 2860 with the new Airless Tires!
I am finally getting a few videos done and here is one on the new Troy-Bilt 2860 with the new airless tires. I actually posted it on YouTube 2 weeks ago but I forgot to write a post for it here on MovingSnow! Anyway,
I have not been discussing the basic snow blowers much for the last 2 years because there has not been any real change. Up to now they threw snow and most of the time got the job done. But this new snow blower changes the tempo and introduces some well-need features into the economy market.
This is the first real test of the new Troy-Bilt Storm 2860. This new snow blower replaces the old, tired 2820 economy models. It features the new airless tires, very simple long-lasting chute control, extended chute, hand warmers and no power steering. Of course it has electric start.
I’m not going to get into all the specifications. You can find them here: Storm™ 2860 Snow Thrower
What I like:
This is a good economy snow thrower and I was pleasantly surprised the first time I took it for spin around the driveway. These new airless tires make it very easy to use. This snow blower turns easily, is balanced well and “feels” a lot lighter than it is. Yes, it has good traction on the cement, on gravel and on my neighbor’s lawn. I don’t need or even want power steering with these new tires.
LET ME BE THE FIRST TO SAY: I really want a tire like this on the next new riding mower I buy! They might have to add a center rib so you don’t slide down a side slope but this is the future of L&G tires!
- Poly skid shoes are now standard on Troy-Bilt snow blowers. The skid shoes on this snow thrower are the longer, long wearing ones.
- The hanging chute has a crank for the side-to-side and a lever for the deflector. The crank is quick and the gears will last. The crank stays in place and is easier to use for more people than the old 4-way chute control.
- The engine has been updated so the controls are all in one place and easier to reach.
- A new low-tone muffler is noticeably quieter than your old snow blower. This new “Noiseguard” system does not sacrifice power for quiet.
- Heated Handgrips and they work well!
What I don’t like:
I really don’t have any negatives with this machine but it may not be the best choice for you.
I don’t like the fact that there will be a group of Internet trolls that will make you think twice about buying this snow blower for your average size suburban driveway. This Troy-Bilt snow blower is not a heavy-duty, high-capacity, blizzard crunching machine. But, it is a well designed, good snow blower for about 80% of the U.S. It will last years with a little maintenance. I have no problems suggesting it for Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Long Island and New Jersey.
My neighbor has an 20-year-old Yard Machines with a 9 HP Tecumseh. I let him use this snow thrower the last time it snowed. He has a one car 200 foot long asphalt driveway and a 40 X 40 pad in front of the garage. He also clears a smaller gravel driveway and the plow pile around three mailboxes. He loved it and said this is exactly the snow blower he has been looking for.
Before you buy one:
Be aware this snow blower will do the job for you but it won’t do it as fast as your son’s $1800 Ariens Platinum SHO. It won’t throw as far as the $3000 Honda. But for the $899 price it’s a really good value machine. It will handle 4-6 inch snows quickly. When you have 10-12 inches you will have to slow down to 1st or 2nd gear. It will take on that 24 inch drift through the middle of your driveway and clear it.
If you have used a snow blower before you know that how far the machine throws the snow is very dependent on the type of snow. This Troy-Bilt 2860 snow blower is pretty average for that. In other words it throws normal snow well, heavy wet snow ok, really light snow not as far and slush barely at all. Like 95% of the snow blowers on the market, if you step into a pile of snow and it splashes – this machine is not going to throw that slop and will most likely plug. If the snow is that wet you can always use it as a plow to push the slush off to the side.
Be aware it turns easy enough but it does not have power steering. If you have a bad back or you are small you may want to spend a little more and buy a snow blower with power steering.
This is a nice size snow blower for most driveways that is surprisingly easy to use with the new airless tires.
I consider this an excellent basic snow blower for most areas of the country that get 40-70 inches of snow a year. It will work well on 2-18 inches of snow and one or two car driveways up to 150 feet long. It can easily be adjusted for cement, black top, gravel driveways. With the long wearing poly skid shoes you can also use it on your stained concrete or nice patio. You can even adjust it for clearing a section of the lawn for your dogs.
Yes, this is a good value, well designed American made snow blower that will last you years on your residential property.
IN FACT: There is no need to even consider a Chinese made snow blower anymore. (A few Chinese made snow blowers – Dirty Hand Tools, DEK, Powersmart, Worldlawn, AAVIX, Amico, and Powerland)
Please watch the video below.
1acre lot, 300×30 drive
Looking at 2-3 ft of snow right now, powder over pack
We are 2 old and small women!
Hi Laurie, One of the best for you is the Ariens Deluxe 24. Cost about $950. It’s easy to handle and has plenty of power. I’d talk to your local Ariens dealer to see if he has a better choice for you.
GREEN TECH SERVICES LLC
1088 SE 9TH ST STE 100
BEND, OR 97702
Thank You for your review on the Troy-Bilt 2860. Just purchased one on sale for $750. An excellent value. Prior to this purchase I was looking for a low cost two-stage snow blower for another property. Thanks to your reviews and consumer reviews no consideration was given to the imported Powersmart and similar brands. I read in previous posts where Huskee was not recommended as it was considered a Chinese built machine. I found out that the current 24″ model 31AM63HE731 sold at Tractor Supply is actually very similar to the Troy-Bilt 2410 and the Craftsman 88173 24″ machines. On the plus side it has a light but on the down side it has the cheaper Snow Hog tires where as the Troy-Bilt and Craftsman have the better X-Trac tires and it also has the shorter chute. On sale for around $500 make it a good entry level bargin. The ID label on it states “Assembled in USA with U.S. and global components”. Most common replacement parts for the Huskee machine on MTD’s website match the Troy-Bilt 2410. Only used it once so far but it worked well. So Huskee snow blower production is currently in the USA.
Hi Gary, You are welcome, the 2860 is a great value machine.
On this site the facts are the Huskee is made by MTD. You can’t always believe what’s written on other sites though. A lot of confusion has always been that Huskee is a brand name of Tractor Supply but many people call a Husqvarna a Husky.
Sh, don’t tell everybody that those snow blowers are 90% the same. It’s a secret… That also includes the Craftsman 88172. Remington, Columbia, Yard Machines and whatever other company that wants to sell their own brand.
Nothing is made all in one place anymore. I really didn’t understand that until I drove Semi for a few years. One of the more baffling things I ran across was I picked up load of tiny switches that were sent to a warehouse in Texas. From there they were shipped to Mexico and installed in a circuit board made in Indonesia. From there they went factory in another country that put the boards into a console that was then shipped back to the U.S. and put in a frig built in Ohio. The compressor came from Argentina, the glass shelves from Michigan and so on.
Are you sure the Storm 2860 has the noiseguard engine? I find no mention of it in the product description on the Troy-Bilt’s website (and Northern Tool and Lowe’s websites) and on the Troy-Bilt website they clearly mention the noiseguard engine on the higher priced Storm 2890.
Thanks in advance.
HI Sam, I don’t know what noiseguard is. The Storm 2860 with airless tires sitting in my shed has the brand new engine with the sloped controls and a quieter muffler. It is not the old engine like what on the 2890 XP and it’s not the quiet muffler like on the Craftsman 88394.
You can watch this video to see for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUEL0vMsnNg
Hey Paul. I’m a young entrepreneur and I’m starting a snow removal business. I’ve looked at a lot of different brands and types of blowers and I’ve always been led to honda. I live in the hilly town of nelson bc, we usually get about 15 dumps of more than 10 cm. I’ll be doing around 10 driveway’s. Assuming I own this business for 4 to 6 years what brand and model would be best for my business,honda husqavarna ariens? Money is not a problem.thanks
Hi Kai, I don’t really discuss the commercial side of this business. There are too many factors that go into your decision. What you charge, who is the best dealer, how will you maintain your equipment just to name a few.
I will say. It’s very important to have good dealer support from a dealer close to you. When you are broke down you need the parts to get your equipment fixed immediately. If the dealer has to do the work can you get priority over the residential customers?
Ariens and Toro are the only brands who specifically have commercial snow blowers. Husqvarna does not and Honda does not. Honda’s are horribly expensive and you will have to increase what you get paid to compensate for your equipment costing twice as much as anyone elses’ The new Honda’s are not the same machine as the older models that gave them just a positive name.
Have enjoyed reading your columns and watching your videos. Unfortunately I seem to have attempted so much research for my first snow blower purchase that I have only become more confused and overwhelmed and I’m hoping you can help.
I live about 30 miles south of Albany NY in the foothills of the eastern Catskills in a rural and very tree lined area but we do get hit with some heavy winter weather at least once a year. The driveway is old asphalt (numerous cracks,some humps and bumps, and a few shallow “pothole” type patchesf) and about 200 feet long and about 12 feet wide and it has a curving slope. My wife and I can no longer shovel this thing-age and health do catch up lol!. I have been considering the Toro Snowmaster and Power Master machines as well as Cub Cadet 2X machines among others. My spending limit is topped at about $900. I need something that both my wife and I will be able to operate. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
Hi Tim, Based on your budget and the amount of snow you get the Troy-Bilt 2860 in this review is a good choice. It does not have power steering but does steer easily with the airless tires.
You can get it from Lowes. If you don’t have a Lowes or they are out Northern Tool also carries it. Northern Tool’s higher price includes delivery to your home.
FREE SHIPPING – Troy-Bilt 2-Stage Electric Start Snow Blower with Airless Tires – 26in., 243cc Engine, Model# 31AM56P3766
The equivalent Toro with power steering. Home Depot Link: Power Max 826 OXE 26 in. 2-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower. My Review Link. 2017 Toro Snow Blowers
The equivalent Toro without power steering. Home Depot Link: Power Max® 826 OE (37780)
I just bought a home up in CT and just went through my first storm last week. the driveway is about 125 ft and gravel. My buddy and my dad both have the troy built 2860. Im thinking of going that route as well but wanted to get your take on that vs the ariens deluxe 28. I looked at the husquarvna but I don’t feel like its built as well as those others.
Hi Otto, I have the 2860 here and I really like it. If you normally get 2-10 inch snows and the snow is “normal” it does a great job. Even without power steering, it is very easy to turn with the airless tires. The tires have plenty of traction. For my area of the country, it’s a perfect choice.
With the Ariens Deluxe 28 you don’t get the heated handgrips but you do get power steering. Poly skid shoes are optional if you don’t want to scratch pavers or a patio. The Deluxe 28 will handle heavy, wet snow without clogging and will throw that heavy-wet stuff 2-3 times farther than the 2860. If you need to get the snow far away from the driveway and/or you need to clear deeper snow left from the city plow it’s a great choice.
thanks. just got back from lowes and pulled the trigger on a 2860. ill play with it tomorrow but gonna catch some shut eye. appreciate the guidance.
I have a returned 2860. Engine starts fine but at idle, it surges about 1sec a bit. I took the carb apart and cleaned it but it looked brand new (and was tough to get back in with the float pivot in place). The modest surge/pulsing continues. It only happens at idle, it runs smoothly while blowing. Makes me think I may not be getting the full available power.
I’m also in Bend, OR and have a large flat driveway (100′ and wide at the garage end). We don’t normally get tons of snow in one day. Took me a while to clear and wondering if I should either try a single stage for speed or even an Ariens 30 EFI.
Hi Ben, An Ariens EFI sounds like the best choice for you. That unit has the Electronic Fuel Injection and an electronic governor so it won’t surge or at up like a conventional carb will.
Just so you know. Conventional carbs on snow blowers are very basic. The jet is fixed – meaning there is no idle, no fuel mixture adjustments or top-end adjustments. About the only way to adjust the fuel mixture is to move the choke lever. So, the surging at idle, or not being able to open the choke completely is very common. Many times it will vary from one day to the next.
Thanks Paul, I was able to solve the surging thanks to a woman’s youtube post recommending an idle valve on top of the carb that’s prone to clog. No mor surging ! Ironically, with our modest snowfall and temperatures, this blower doesn’t do well the pre-commute morning snow clearing. It does great with 4″+ of snow on a cold day, less so with 2″ of wet snow on a warmer one. Our driveway is long and wide and the 2860 seldom gets snow from the center to the edge.
As crazy as it sounds, the local Toro/Honda shop said either the Snowmaster (out of stock of course) or the higher powered blowers would work better for our snow. I’m sure that Ariens EFI would be great. I do wish they made a Rapid-Track with EFI. If those EFI engines are so good, why not use them across the line or at least on higher end units ? Their new Honda units were expensive indeed but also seemed super well balanced. Just one hand to pivot them up and down on their tracks.
Hi Ben, You must get heavy/wet snow. The SnowMaster, Toro Power Max HD and Ariens Deluxe/Platinum/Pro models are the best for that type of snow – they don’t clog. Yes, the Honda is expensive and it will clog much sooner than the other models I mentioned.
I think Ariens didn’t have enough EFI engines this year. The European market changed its emissions standards and only EFI engines would meet the new standards. That meant only Ariens, Husqvarna and Cub Cadet were able to sell snow blowers. That said, EFI is becoming the norm so I think/hope almost all snow blowers will have EFI soon. I’ll find out in late March what’s coming for this fall.
I have the 2860 but don’t like the tires at all.Can I replace these tires with ones that will allow me to put chains on them?
Hi Christopher, Yes, you can replace the tires and rims with any other set of MTD rims made in the last 15 years. I suggest checking with your local repair shop to see if you can get a pair off a “dead” snowblower they have laying around.
Bad thing about my air less tires on my troybitl is can’t go up my ramps to get in my truck slips all over the place? any suggestions.
Ho Paul. Put sheet metal screws a 1/4 inch long in the treads?