The Home Depot Store Manager David Kane had a $2,500 snow blower (called the Snow Beast) returned — usually not a big deal, but the manufacturer told him it was worthless.
“They told me to field destroy it,” he said, “That means I could not sell it.”
But his store crew of Andy Massaro and Keith Davis in tool rental, and Pro Desk Supervisor Dan Blanchette, had better ideas.
“They said they could diagnose and fix it,” said Kane.
The guys discovered the engine worked fine; just the mechanics weren’t so hot.
“With a few major parts, they got it working,” said Kane.
The Snow Beast, made by Ariens, has a huge, 420cc Ariens Polar Force engine made by Briggs and Stratton. It has an electric key start and on-board battery to start right up in cold weather. The augers used to chew up snow are extra large at 16 inches. The Beast has a 23.5-inch clearing height which allows it to throw snow up to 50-feet. The Beast even has hand warmers and automatic traction control.
This Beast is professional enough to take on Alaskan winters, but Kane preferred to help a local group.
“Home Depot has a great relationship with the schools, so I called Todd Poore first,” he said.
Poore, director of PUSD facilities, happily accepted the donation, which led to the four Home Depot guys standing in the PUSD parking lot on Aug. 6 in their orange aprons bantering with a half a dozen school district maintenance guys, including Poore; Marshall Martin, HVAC technician; Dale Barnes, electrician; and Bob Buckner, Jack Koon, Mike Fain and Jeff Stancil, maintenance crew as they donated the Snow Beast to the school.
“Now we won’t need shovels,” said Stancil, whom the guys affectionately call “Yard Boy.”
On snow days, watch for the PUSD crew to clear parking lots and sidewalks with the Beast — it’ll be easy to remember who donated it — the Beast is as orange as the Home Depot aprons.