The Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2690XP 31BM73R is part of the snow blower
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, snow blower
models like the Storm Tracker 2690XP 31BM73R are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
The clearing width, or swath, in inches.
Removal speed is how quickly models could remove snow without laboring; single-stage machines were pushed as quickly as possible before the machine labored.
Plow pile removal:
How fast the snow thrower can remove a simulated pile of snow left by a municipal plow at the end of a driveway.
About This Brand
Troy Bilt is the MTD-made brand sold in Lowes. Troy Bilt gas-powered snow blowers feature single- and two-stage four-cycle engines, a mix of electric and recoil starters, and snow clearing widths of 21 to 45 inches.
Features & Specs - Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2690XP 31BM73R
Engine size Engine Size is the engine displacement measured in cubic centimeters for gasoline powered engines. Most manufacturers not longer give a horsepower rating. Engine displacement is now the only universal way to compare relative engine size. Electric motors are stated in amps.
Electric start Most models offer a plug-in startng device that saves you the hassle of pull-starting the engine, but you need to be near an outlet.
Multiple speeds For two-stage models, most come with multiple forward speeds and two reverse speeds. The ability to vary ground speed according to snow conditions gets the job done faster. Some of the least expensive two-stage models have only one forward speed.
Single hand controls Most two-stage models have individual lever controls on each side of the handlebar, one engaging the wheel traction and the other for engaging the auger/impeller. This feature allows both control levers to be held down with one hand, leaving the other hand free to adjust the chute controls.
Single hand controls
Freewheel steering For two-stage models, this feature, which usually consists of triggers under each handlebar, disengages either or both the left and right drive wheels for easy, sharp turning.
Single lever chute adjustment Only on two-stage models, a single lever or "joystick" on the control panel allows for quick changes to the horizontal discharge direction (the alternative is a hand crank) and to the vertical discharge height (the alternative is leaving the operator position and manual adjustment) all with a single lever.
Single lever chute adjustment
Headlight This eases snow throwing at night or in low-light situations.
Heated handgrips Heated handgrips are a nicety, though they don't replace a good pair of gloves.
Warranty (yrs.) Manufacturer's stated warranty in years of coverage. In most cases it applies only to consumer use and not commercial use.
I expected harder turning, but needed to navigate our steep driveway. The individual wheel brakes help with handing. But it doesn't throw wet snow very far and clogs easily on it. In fact, wet messy snow may pile up in front of it and not even get to the auger. We haven't had a deep, dry snow in over a year. I am hoping (and anticipating) better performance on that. BTW all the speeds are a gimmick. Three forward would be plenty. The rest are too similar. It could use a faster reverse speed. Speed is done with an adjustable shieve pulley by pulling a cable. Even though it is controlled by a lever with notches, it is hard to change (takes a fair amount of force).