Use Your ATV Year-Round by Converting It to a Snow Plow with ATV Accessories
ATVs are great for hitting the trails and having fun. But did you know they can also be practical to use while also saving you money? Instead of spending money on a snow plow this winter, consider converting your ATV into an ATV snow plow.
With ATV accessories like snow equipment, you can turn your all-terrain vehicle into a snow plow to make the most of it all year-round.
ATV plows are an easy and efficient way to plow snow from your driveway and property. Get maximum use out of your ATV during every season by converting it to a snow plow with the right ATV parts and accessories.
How Does an ATV Snow Plow Work?
To use your ATV as a snow plow, you must first attach a snow plow blade to the front of your ATV. You can use a metal or a composite blade.
When plowing snow on your ATV, you can raise or lower the blade manually, hydraulically, or by using an ATV winch. When lowered, the wide blade will push snow as you drive your ATV.
Use a Suitable Mounting Frame
You need to securely attach the ATV plow blade to the ATV using a mounting frame that is suitable for your specific ATV model.
This mounting frame should be durable enough to withstand and absorb the impact of plowing without getting damaged or causing damage to the ATV. And it should also be reasonably easy to attach and detach since you won’t want the plow and frame on your ATV after winter.
Some ATVs even come with mounting points in the front of the frame to attach ATV accessories, like snow plow blades. If your ATV has these mounting points, look for a plow blade designed specifically for use with these mounting points.
Otherwise, consider getting a plow with a universal mounting assembly that clamps directly to the ATV frame or attaches to the rear hitch mount.
The mounting frame also holds the blade tilting mechanism. This allows you to rotate and adjust the plow blade to suit different conditions.
A fully-manual system is common. With this system, you pull a lever to free the blade. And then you can rotate the blade by hand to a desired angle.
For a more advanced option, some plows use hydraulics to lift and tilt the blade. This is more convenient, but it also costs more and weighs more than the manual tilting mechanism.
Like tilting mechanisms, there are both manual and automatic lifting mechanisms for the blade. Fully-manual systems require you to get off your ATV to lift the blade. Whereas automatic systems can use hydraulics, known as direct-lift systems that are controlled from the driver’s seat with the push of a button.
Other automatic systems use the ATV’s front-mounted electric winch to lift the blade up and down.
If your ATV doesn’t have a winch, and you don’t plan on getting one, then consider a system that uses a mechanical lever to lift the blade.
What to Know Before You Purchase an ATV Snow Plow
Consider how you plan to use your ATV snow plow before buying one so you can get the right one for the job.
Types of Jobs
The type of plowing you plan to do will determine the type of plow blade you get. For narrow areas, like sidewalks, you’ll need a small enough (e.g. four-foot) plow blade that will clean the entire area without going over the edge of the sidewalk.
For short driveways, wider UTV blades work. And for more rugged terrain, you’ll want to consider a V-plow to cut through ice and break trail.
ATV vs. UTV
The type of plowing you plan to do will also influence your vehicle choice and your utility ATV accessories. For smaller jobs, an ATV will do just fine. But if you remove snow professionally, and you plan to spend hours outside clearing driveways, you’ll likely want to use a UTV with a heated cab.
Also, the bigger the vehicle, the larger the plow blade you can use, allowing you to clear larger areas of snow in less time.
Straight or V Blades
Straight blades tend to be cheaper and lighter, making these a popular option. However, V-plows can handle tougher snow conditions by slicing through snow and ice with their arrowhead shape. You can also use the V-plow in a scoop configuration to easily stack snow.
Consider the pros and cons of metal and composite plow blades when deciding on the best option for your ATV snow plow.
Steel blades risk rusting over time, but they tend to be more rigid and durable than composite blades.
Composite blades may not be as durable as metal, but they will never rust and their slick surfaces allow snow and slush to slide over the blade easily.
When shopping for ATV snow plows, consider the undercarriage and how much clearance it will give you in the summer. Ideally, you won’t have to remove it to fully enjoy your ATV all summer long on the trails.
Ease of Use
As mentioned earlier, the manual, winch, and direct-lift systems vary concerning ease of use.
If you only plow your home and a neighbour’s, the manual or winch systems will be sufficient. But if you remove snow professionally, especially as part of a company or municipal team, you’ll be better off with the ease of a hydraulic direct-lift system.
Since you won’t have to get off your vehicle to adjust the blade, you can save time and reduce your risk of slipping on ice. But even with the convenient hydraulic system, you’ll have to consider ease of use with the type of controller it comes with.
Tips To Get the Most Out of Your ATV Snow Plow
Follow these six safety and care tips:
- Make sure your ATV has enough power to plow.
- Safety first—do all maintenance and testing before plowing your property.
- Adjust depth of plow per job and check angles.
- Be cautious of deep, heavy snow, and what’s underneath.
- When plowing, follow the natural curves and terrain of the surface.
- Perform a final clean up on your ATV before storing.
ATVs are versatile for both recreational and practical uses year-round. With a plow blade, you can get the most out of your ATV workhorse this winter and easily clear out heaps of snow.