Thanks for the reply and sharing your experiences. I am aware of BCS and Grillo brand machines. I love them, just not sure about how effective they are because I've never used one. It's intriguing as they can mount countless attachments. I could switch between a plow and either a one-stage or two-stage blower. I need something that physically very heavy that tracks straight with little effort. The Yamaha should be superior to the Honda, but I'm not sure if the BCS would be?
I'm also a member of the Yamaha forum and for those interested here is the link below. I'll see if I can find the dealers name and phone number.http://yamaha-snowblower-fan-club.10963.n7.nabble.com/
About the Grillo and BCS two wheel tractors keep in mind that the 2 wheel tractor when used with the snow casters will be set up with the handlebars reversed and the engine facing you while it is operating using the snow caster, lawn mower and sweeper for example.
Now the issue becomes tires and tire size for traction as they use agricultural tires
which is a 23 degree bar tread/R2 as standard equipment.
Some models/brands have provisions for wheel weights and the tires can be loaded with windshield washer fluid for ballast to prevent the tubeless tires from rusting out from a liquid calcium chloride ballast.
Just as an FYI to you the single stage units are light and the gentleman that I mentioned previously with the home made engine cover uses a single stage unit. What to prevent it from riding up was to put bars on the on the snow caster housing to mount round weights on it to keep the snow caster from riding up on piles of packed snow.
Many owners use snow and ice chains on their BCS and Grillo 2 wheel tractors also as a traction
aid so keep that in mind.
The Berta folks in Italy make the snow casters for the BCS and Grillo 2 wheel tractors and they are very well built snow casters designed to be used in the alps. Two stage units are very heavy and also direct drive gear driven attachments with NO V BELTS.
The single stage units sold for BCS and Grillo are also built by Berta and other brands made in Europe (Rolba is just one) for their market and could be imported by Joel at earth tools
The Berta Web site is not working now for some reason but it is accessable to look at attachments.
You can visit the earth tools web site and find lots of videos and plenty of information from Joel who is the business owner about BCS and Grillo 2 wheel tractors.
There are plenty of BCS videos on youtube showing the machines operating with almost every attachment they use.
Its a case of how much work you have for a machine like this and how many attachments you would need like a lawn mower or flail mower(much safer) a sulky to ride when mowing, a powered cart for hauling or a towed cart with a seat for hauling material.
There are a lot of small acreage side hill farmers in Europe that use these machines for haying and other tasks like snow removal and they use many attachments like sickle bars and hay tedders and hay accumulators to move hay to a lower elevation on a side hill to bale it with mini balers used on thier 2 wheel tractors.
You can also visit the http://www.tbn.com
web site and scroll down to the 2 wheel tractor home page and have a huge amount of good information to read and then decide what you want to do.
Joel at earth tools is always happy to talk to anyone that would like more information and he ships the machines to your door with four or five hours of run time on the machines he sells as he always makes sure that they are running properly before he ships them or when a buyer comes to his place to pick them up.
About Yamaha, they left the US and Canadian snow blower market years ago because of the slow sales due to less costly machines being made. Many of the old machines are still being used by their owners or sold for parts to other owners of the original machines.
The gasoline engines and snow blowers were made in South Korea in the beginning and rebranded by Yamaha and now they are being built by Yamaha in Japan and shipped east by the short container load to both Canada and Europe.
They decided to re-enter the Canadian market with a wheeled unit a few years ago and it they sold very well and many dealers like the one on Newfoundland I know of could not keep them on the showroom floor.
The original models had track drive and many folks are still finding replacement tracks for them in Northern Europe in Finland or Sweden.
The units are heavy only made with a two stage snow caster and built that way to prevent them from riding up on snow pack.
They gained all thier experience about snow casters from their use on Hokkaido Island in the northern prefectures and the western prefectures on the Sea of Japan that are subject to heavy wet snow falls.
Ontario has a huge Yamaha Power equipment Dealer Network and you can locate the one nearest you across the border with their dealer search engine.
Here are two of them to start with anyway
Tillbury Yamaha 1-888-870-6151
Tillbury, Ontario, Canada
5 Star Yamaha
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 1877-953-5597
Its more of a case of where you want to cross the border to purchase one.
I hope I have not bored you to snoring