As I write this Boston has over 2 feet of snow on the ground and we had 7.5″ of wet heavy snow here in Chicago. When I arrived back from sunny Las Vegas I was greeted with the picture below.
They call this heart attack snow because of how heavy it is. I certainly was happy that I had the Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2690 XP Snow Thrower to test out. The 2690 has a 26″ clearing width and is a 2 stage unit. This means that snow is automatically fed into a fast spinning fan that shoots the snow far. Years ago almost every snow blower was powered by the now defunct Tecumseh Snow King engine. They were loud and didn't really start all that easily unless you had an electric start on them. The Troy-Bilt motor is made in house. It is a 208cc 4-cycle OHV engine that started every time on the first pull for us. This engine has really impressed us with its ease of starting, quietness and power. It also has an electric start feature, we rarely used this because it was so easy to pull start. One thing you need to make sure is that you use fresh gas in any gas powered equipment. Bad gas is the leading cause of engines not starting. Gas can go bad in as little as 30 days, so you need to use a product like Stabil to keep your fuel fresh.
This unit has a 4.5″ x 10″ track drive like a tank. The advantages of this are that you almost always have 10″ of track on the ground which gives you better traction. 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds propel the unit. The 2 speed reverse was to slow for us and most times we just pulled it back by hand. It has a power steering feature operated by 2 triggers. Pulling the trigger basically stops the corresponding track to allow the unit to turn. When you pull both triggers the unit stops and you can pull it backwards if you need to. Both handles have a grip heater that does a decent job of keeping your hands from freezing with gloves on. The chute is what one of our Youtube subscribers called fly by wire, meaning that you use a 4 way electronic joystick to control motors to aim the chute. Moving the chute is simple and easy, just use your thumb. If the system ever stops working there is a way to manually override the system.
With SelecTrac Drive you can shift the weight of the unit depending on the task, storage, normal use, gravel driveways and packed snow. The reversible skids are allow them to last longer. The unit had plenty of power and didn't hiccup once. I found it especially good at tearing through the frozen snow and ice that accumulates at the end of the driveway from the plow trucks. A lot times you use a snow blower at night when you get home from work. The 2690 has a integrated light and reflective tape on the sides to provide maximum visibility and don't forget it is quiet for it's size. For times when your auger gets jammed there is a clearing stick attached right to the unit. Troy-Bilt covers the Storm Tracker 2690 XP Snow Thrower with a very nice 3 year warranty. I have been using the Troy-Bilt brand for years and never had an issue. This blower is feature packed and is great for places with lots of snow. I would not recommend this blower for small tight areas due to the sheer size of this unit. Packed full of features it is made to move some serious snow. Anyone that gets a lot of snow and has a big area to clear, this is the snow blower for you. Check out Troy-Bilt