I used my 46" snowthrower first when I saw my wife shoveling the driveway as I was about to leave to hit golf balls in the Addison dome. I was PO'd that she attempted that since she doesn't know how to handle the real packy snow like we had yesterday. Fortunately when I came back from the dome she decided to use the tractor instead of the shovel. The first 4" was the wet-packy stuff so at points we had to use the blower as plow. Finished it off with the thrower to remove the last 1" or so that was dry and easy to blow off. The big difference I notice with the X485 AWS over my old 425 AWS is the extra 5 HP which makes a noticeable difference in blowing snow. The auger didn't get bogged down unless I went too fast on some 12"-16" piles on the edge of the driveway. The bigger tires combined with chains also provide better traction. So much better that I have to be careful not to turn too sharply or the front tires will plow. I also have a 54" blade like you do but I have never used it for show since I never bought the angling attachment.
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