Christmas came early when Troy-Bilt offered us the opportunity to host a snow-thrower giveaway here, and receive a free snow thrower in exchange for a review of our freebie. Ramble On Rose was the lucky winner of the giveaway, and you can read her review of her machine here.
The Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP is one big, honkin' snow thrower! Somewhat larger than our old one (which was passed down to my oldest daughter and her husband, who REALLY needed one in their new home with their large horseshoe driveway,) both the Lawn Man and I have each had an opportunity to use it once so far this season.
To be frank I was a bit intimidated by the size and features of the snow thrower. Its operation appeared to be somewhat more complicated than our older snow thrower. But I took my time reading the manual and the quick-start guide, and it was actually much easier to operate than it looked. Features like power steering, one-hand operation, and the joystick chute control make handling this large machine a piece of cake even for me. Since my work is seasonal and I'm off in winter, I like to take care of the snow so the Lawn Man can just come home and relax after his long work day.
The first time out, I took my time with the Storm 3090 XP as I familiarized myself with its operation and features. Since I used the machine in the morning when the sun was blazing, I didn't need the headlights. I'm sure they'll come in handy in the future though. Although this machine is very heavy, the automated features like power steering and turning, and six-speed forward, two-speed reverse self-propelled motion make it surprisingly easy to handle. Although I tested it on a fairly light (3") snowfall, this machine is very powerful. With its wide augers and the powerful way it throws the snow out of the chute, I'm confident it will handle a much heavier, wetter snowfall with ease.
The feature I love most of all on this machine is the hand warmers! Even with thick, warm, waterproof gloves, my hands were almost always very cold, and even painfully so with the old snow thrower by the time the driveway and walks were cleared. Not so with our new snow thrower! Of course I still wore gloves, but the heated hand grips are a wonderful addition to this machine. Even after just one use, I can't imagine ever owning another snow thrower that doesn't have this feature.
The sidewalk in front of our house is old, and somewhat uneven. I had problems with the snow thrower 'jumping' when it hit an uneven spot in the walk. Referring back to the manual, the problem seems to be with the skid shoes, which fortunately are adjustable to accommodate uneven surfaces. It may take a bit of experimenting to get them in the right position so the snow thrower will operate smoothly over the sidewalk.
The Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP is a well-built, sturdy, large, powerful, yet easy-to-handle snow thrower, with lots of excellent easy-to-use, well-designed features, and one I would highly recommend for anyone looking for a snow thrower of this size.