Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Made in North America quality ..... pfffft.

After spending the last 30-odd years fighting with and cajoling old, second-hand, sometimes free, snowblowers into action, I decided to treat myself to a brand new machine this winter. With a simple set of requirements (not least of which was the missus would be able to use it without needing my efforts to get the bloody thing fired up) I started searching, finally deciding on an Ariens, “The King of Snowblowers”.

After checking one out at the local mega-store - made in the USA, good ergonomics, robust construction – I became the proud owner of my first ever new snowblower, an Ariens “Deluxe 28”.

Then it snowed.

Within a half hour it became obvious there was something wrong with the unit – banging and thumping are not normal sounds. Dragged it onto the trailer and into the dealer for a warranty repair. Ten days later I got it back (fortunately it didn’t snow during that time). The brand-new friction disc had delaminated and was duly replaced.

Then it snowed again.

This time the unit worked for about an hour before the drive cable broke, so tomorrow it’s back to the dealer for more warranty work. Both repairs are simple but if I fix it the company gets away with selling a crappy product, and I want them to feel my pain and aggravation.

I can hardly wait to see what will break the next time it snows.

So much for Made in North America quality.


  1. Happy New Year and may 2020 see the end to your quality issues, David! My personal experience is that it seems quite rare these days for items of any substance to be of a poor standard. Most organisations have good quality systems in place. I've been agreeably surprised at how good Chinese products are now. Let's hope that your blower was one of those rare "Monday" manufactured items and that your troubles are now over.

    1. I tend to agree with you about the quality of modern products, but perhaps that’s why we get so upset when we get a lemon - it’s no longer expected.

      All the best in 2020 to you and yours Geoff.

  2. Happy New Year!

    And I would agree about the lack of any sort of quality control in just about any product these days. The older stuff just seems to last longer no matter where it happens to be designed or manufactured. Maybe the bottom line trumps engineering...

  3. Sorry to hear about your troubles. It does suck when you get a product that does not live up to the standards we expect. Hope you get it worked out.

    1. So far, so good. A couple of trouble-free snow falls are now history.


Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.