The Japanese industrial giant, as you may well be aware, makes a lot of things besides cars. It makes motorcycles, for starters, not to mention ATVs, marine engines, personal watercraft, jet airplanes, robots, and all manner of power equipment. Stuff like generators, lawnmowers and snowblowers.
This latest model is called the HS1336i, and it joins the Insight, CR-Z et al in Honda's hybrid line-up. It's powered by a combination of iGX390 four-stroke OHV engine and a pair of electric motors. The gasoline engine drives the auger and fan, and charges the battery that powers the electric motors driving the tracks. During deceleration, the engine acts as a generator and even the braking energy is recuperated to recharge the battery. How insightful.
Call it the hybridization of power equipment, then, and you can read more about it in the press release after the jump, and scope it out in the high-res image gallery for a closer look.
Revolutionary, Intelligent, Powerful Models Now Available
Honda Power Equipment introduced today its first all-new hybrid snowblower model for the U.S. market and two new snowblower series to join the company's powerful lineup.
All-new for 2011 is the Honda HS1336i hybrid model, along with the new Honda HS928 Series (replacing existing HS928 snowblowers) and Honda HS1332 Series (replacing the existing HS1132 snowblowers). Available nationwide through Honda Power Equipment dealers, these snowblower models integrate a number of Honda-exclusive innovations that offer increased value and improved performance to consumers.
Honda HS1336i Hybrid Snowblower
The hybrid configuration of the all-new Honda HS1336i snowblower combines a gasoline engine that simultaneously drives the model's auger/fan apparatus (clearing and throwing the snow) and charges the battery, with the electric motors (two in parallel) controlling the track drive forward propulsion. These motors also function as a generator during deceleration of the snowblower – serving to regenerate electrical energy.
Equipped with the Honda iGX390 four-stroke overhead valve (OHV) horizontal shaft engine, the HS1336i snowblower operation results in lower fuel consumption, lower emissions, lower noise and reduced vibration as compared to a conventional snowblower. In addition, the iGX390 incorporates an improved inner muffler construction and has the best ignition timing for its class. Because the iGX390 is equipped with an auto choke (a choke that automatically controls the flow of air to the carburetor), starting operation is simplified, regardless of the atmospheric or engine temperature.
The all-new Honda HS1336i boasts superior control/ease-of-use; powerful operation/snow throwing; reliable operation; and enhanced technology. A host of design features speak to these attributes.
- Turning on the spot. Two independent electric motors that control propulsion are positioned in parallel on the HS1336i. These two motors contribute to smooth turning of the snowblower when in operation. At low speeds, an operator can turn the HS1336i on the spot, and at high speeds, the snowblower can be turned smoothly on a curve.
- External lever. The choke shaft of the Honda HS1336i hybrid snowblower can be easily operated – even when the carburetor is frozen – with a single press of the external lever.
- Snow clearing mode. The Honda HS1336i hybrid snowblower is designed with a three-mode switching function that allows the operator to manage a variety of situations and conditions. The auto mode, power mode and manual mode options are available only on the new hybrid system (as compared to conventional models).
-Reset mechanism for vertical movement of the auger. The auger feeds the snow to the high-speed impeller where the impeller blows the snow out of the machine. In the event that this feed is disrupted, the design of the Honda HS1336i hybrid allows the operator to reset the vertical movement of the auger so that it can revert to its normal position.
-Rear cover. The rear cover is integrated with the tool box, allowing for an easy-access, wide opening through which the operator can pull out or put away any implement needed.
Ease of Function
- Rolling function. Regardless of the gradient of the snow surface, the auger housing of the Honda HS1336i can be adjusted to slant up to seven degrees either to the right or left – resulting in the blower throwing snow to create a level surface.
- Auger lift mechanism. When the operator of the Honda HS1336i hybrid snowblower puts the machine into reverse, the auger housing automatically moves up (to avoid getting caught in the snow). When the operator puts the snowblower back into forward gear, the auger housing automatically moves down (back into its previous operating position) and is ready to throw snow.
-Icing Guard. The Honda HS1336i hybrid snowblower is equipped with an icing guard that helps prevent the carburetor from freezing in cold temperatures. This is accomplished via an air guide that directs heat from the engine to warm the carburetor.
- Self-diagnostic monitoring. The Honda HS1336i is designed with an easy-to-read diagnostic monitor that alerts the operator when a system failure occurs. Through either flashing or steady lights, the operator is made aware of a number of different conditions: motor failure, control failure, engine function, charging abnormality, voltage drop or low oil level.
Rounding out the design of the all-new Honda HS1336i hybrid snowblower are a number of key elements that combine for technically advanced operation. These features include:
- Improved fan shaft shear bolt design
- 2" taller handlebars, while still using existing cables, wires and controls
- Standard work light (factory installed)
- Improved cold-weather performance to prevent carburetor/breather tube icing
- Reversible 2-position skid shoes
- Auto choke standard
- Rear cover integrated with tool box
- Taller fuel cap, for easier grip with gloves or mittens
- Infinitely variable electric drive
- Track drive – best traction available
- 36" clearing width, 23" clearing height
- Clears up to 83.0 tons/hour
- Pedal-adjustable auger height
- 24-Volt DC electric starter
- Control panel designed for ease of use
- Front cover integrating tough and stable design
Honda HS1332 and Honda HS928 Series Snowblowers
Two important introductions to the Honda snowblowers lineup are the HS928 Series (HS928WA, HS928WAS, HS928TA and HS928TAS replacing the existing HS928 models) and the all-new HS1332 Series (HS1332TA and HS1332TAS replacing the existing HS1132 models).
Powered by a newly designed, high-torque Honda GX270 OHV engine, the HS928 Series is intended for aggressive snow clearing in demanding environments and is available in both wheel-driven and dual-track, self-propelled models. Its newly enhanced design enables a 28-inch clearing width and a discharge distance of up to 49 feet. The new HS928 also offers a choice of manual or electric starting.
Honda's solution for increased capability in a walk-behind machine is the new HS1332, clearing a 32-inch swath with its new commercial grade GX390 Honda four-stroke engine. The newly designed track-driven HS1332 can move 65 tons per hour at a discharge distance of up to 56 feet. Like the HS928, the HS1332 is available in both easy-starting manual or electric starter-equipped models.
Both new product families have improved performance over the models they replace, are eco-conscious, and are tough performers in the most extreme of environments. The advanced designs of each snowblower series can be illustrated via a discussion across the following categories: ease of work; operability; toughness; and noise reduction/fuel economy.
Ease of Work
- Egg-shaped disk. When it comes to replacing the shear bolt on a snowblower, the design of the machine dictates the ease with which the part can be changed. On the all-new Honda HS1332 snowblower models, the design allows for a simple and easy shear bolt replacement. These Honda models are equipped with an egg-shaped disk that allows for almost effortless removal, alignment, and replacement of the shear bolt(s) when required.
- Impeller. The new Honda HS928 and HS1332 snowblowers incorporate an improved design which serves to maximize snow-throwing distance and improve durability (over models they replace). In the new models, the shape of the impeller is modified to allow for these enhancements.
- Impeller speed. In addition to snow-throwing distance being increased, operational noise also is reduced on the new HS928 and HS1332 snowblower models. These improvements are due, largely in part, to adjustments in ratio of both the engine-side pulley and impeller-side pulley.
- 2-ply rated tires. The new wheel-equipped Honda HS928 and HS1332 snowblower models have 2-ply rated (2 PR) tires with increased rigidity. This increased rigidity increases the overall stability of the body of the snowblowers.
- Electric two-stage shooter. An electric two-stage shooter (controlled by an easy-to-use operating lever) on the new Honda HS928 and HS1332 models allows for better control of the direction snow is thrown. With the two-stage shooter, the direction of snow can be adjusted more widely.
- Sensor operation. When the auger gets caught in debris, a sensor detects the problem and the snowblower engine automatically stops. In conjunction with the operation of the shear bolt guard, the snowblower's limit switch (inside the auger transmission) detects when the auger is locked.
- Icing guard. The Honda HS928 and HS1332 snowblowers are designed with an icing guard that prevents the carburetor from freezing in cold temperatures. This is accomplished via an air guide that directs heat from the engine to warm the carburetor.
- Long-life skid. The new Honda HS928 and HS1332 snowblowers include long-life skids – devices that help avoid damage and keep the snowblower in smooth control over cracks and other uneven surfaces – as part of the improved design. On the new Honda snowblower models, the skid has been redesigned – incorporating a modified material and shape to improve durability and wear. For example, the skid can be switched upside down when certain areas get worn and the position of the skid can be changed depending on the snow quality (heavy snow vs. light snow).
Noise Reduction/Fuel Economy
- Honda GX270 and GX390 commercial grade engines provide premium power for the Honda HS928 and HS1332 snowblowers, respectively – resulting in low noise, vibration, fuel consumption and emissions. More specifically, the low noise of the new HS928 and HS1332 snowblowers is attributed, in part, to the redesign of the inner construction of the muffler on the GX engines. Low vibration for the snowblowers is a result of the superior ignition timing for the GX270 and GX390 engines.
"Our new snowblower models reflect the Honda commitment to enhanced environmental performance and technological advancement," said Scott Conner, vice president, Honda Power Equipment. "Snow clearing is difficult work, particularly in extreme conditions. The new Honda snowblower models don't just make a tough job easier, but their advanced designs also are eco- and operator-friendly – putting innovative, green power into the hands of consumers."