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  • ATV with snow plow?

    Does anyone have experience with a four or six wheeler ATV that works reasonably well with a snow plow? Primary use of the ATV would be hauling stuff around the property and snow plowing but would prefer something that would fit in the back of a pickup. Thanks!
    Louis Knapp

  • #2
    I have used a Honda Rancher manual shift for years in Valdez. With chains on the rear it pushes the crap out of the snow. 18" of heavy wet stuff will make it difficult but an ATV will push a ton of snow. I just upgraded to a Kubota mid-sized tractor with a plow. I clean 20' wide by 100 yards plus a 50' x 100' area for the fuel truck and the occasional fire truck. If either of those can't get into your driveway and you have too much heat or not enough, the insurance won't pay.

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    • #3
      Thanks, Dave. Very helpful information there. Anything that can handle Valdez snow shouldn't have any problem with Fairbanks snow. I hope to get a small tractor someday too, but might try an ATV to augment the snow blower until I get a few other expenses taken care of.
      Louis Knapp

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      • #4
        Many, many people down here have ATV's with plows for snow. I did it for years without chains. But with a sloped driveway,ice gripper chains really help. You will have no problem in Fairbanks with an ATV.

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        • #5
          I plow my 1/2 mile long private driveway with an ATV. By the end of winter, the berms are pretty awesome. When it’s cold and the snow is dry, plowing is easy. Be careful and get a good plow. The cheep stuff like KFI probably won’t last longer than one winter. I have a Glacier Pro plow on a Polaris that has lasted 6 years and still looks great, and the Warn plow on my Honda has gone through 2 winters with no issues. My driveway is unpaved and rocky, so they take a beating.

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          • #6
            I've been plowing with my 450 Grizzly for about 8 years now. If I let the snow get deep it can be a pain because the machine is so light. But it gets the job done. I won't lie and tell you I wouldn't rather be plowing with a truck because if you have a big parking area or long driveway it can end up taking quite awhile if you want to do a real good job. Make sure you check the nuts and bolts often on the plow mount because they will loosen and can break if not good and tight. Frozen ground won't give easily when it comes to plowing with an ATV, where a full sized plow on a pickup can pop it loose and you keep on going. You just have to take it fairly slow and easy if you don't want to tear up your machine.
            Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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            • #7
              As the others have noted, ATV's with plows are a useful tool. I have Polaris Sportsman 700 ATV with a 60" glacier plow. Use it on the 1/2 acre driveway(s) around the house. Great for getting to the places the plow truck can't get to. Have used it (not always consistently) for better part of 15 years. No problems.

              As noted, better to push dry than wet snow and chains help. I have chains for both front and rear; Front chains tend to catch and break, so I don't use them too often. Unless things are different now, the ATV winch is used to raise and lower the plow: I have an old steel cable that I use for plow purposes, change it to a blue amsteel for actual summer winch use. I throw 3 bags of sand in the back of the ATV and put a 60# dumbbell on the plow frame when plowing.

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              • #8
                We've got a Sportsman 570 Touring with the 60" plow. We have a lot of gravel driveway/parking area I keep clear. The machine does fine. I like to get and keep a 1-2" crust of hardpack/ice on top of the gravel and then slide the new snow off it. It works well, a little pea gravel on top of the base keeps our butts off the ground. I don't let it get very deep before removal. I push the snow into flat areas and can not push it much higher than the blade height...operator inexperience.

                I had a trail into my main dump area and thought I'd expand with other trails as needed. The snow got too deep pretty quick and I couldn't plow into the older deep crusty snow.

                The guy that helped me get set up advised against using chains; use the spinning tires as a safety to prevent damage to the driveline. It has worked fine as I've only gotten the ATV stuck once that I needed to pull it out with a pickup. Chains are on my "need to buy" list, but I don't think I'll use them for plowing.

                Be sure to get a blade wider than your tires. If not you will have a snow ridge your ties will be fighting.

                I have the blue winch rope and see some noticeable wear from running the plow; that 1' or so that's running in and out all the time. I need to keep an eye on my operation as I have run out too much rope when lowering the blade and ended up with a birds nest.

                Plowing sure beats doing it with a shovel!

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                • #9
                  I do not have an ATV with a plow, but have a compact tractor with a blower attachment. I do have neighbors that have blades on their ATV's for doing their places. Not sure about the chain issue, but early in the season push the snow back way further then you think you need to. Once the berms get built up, an ATV will not move them. The other thing that works for them is to plow with the snow fall! Do not let it get too deep, before moving it. Another thing is to hit it before vehicles or snow machines start packing it down!!!! ATV's do not seem to have enough weight to break that much up!
                  Compact tractors are nice though, since you can get a heated cab for them!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AK Bearcat View Post
                    I do not have an ATV with a plow, but have a compact tractor with a blower attachment. I do have neighbors that have blades on their ATV's for doing their places. Not sure about the chain issue, but early in the season push the snow back way further then you think you need to. Once the berms get built up, an ATV will not move them. The other thing that works for them is to plow with the snow fall! Do not let it get too deep, before moving it. Another thing is to hit it before vehicles or snow machines start packing it down!!!! ATV's do not seem to have enough weight to break that much up!
                    Compact tractors are nice though, since you can get a heated cab for them!!!!!
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                    Last year my wrists started bothering me. So I upgraded. Tractor loader combo with bucket, blade, ballast box and chains. I have a slope up to the road so chains are a necessity. It should be a interesting plowing year.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Daveinthebush View Post

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Last year my wrists started bothering me. So I upgraded. Tractor loader combo with bucket, blade, ballast box and chains. I have a slope up to the road so chains are a necessity. It should be a interesting plowing year.
                      I have been looking to do what you just did! Hopefully it works well and you can report back how the tractor worked!

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                      • #12
                        Extra emphasis on changing out your winch rope to prevent wear and tear on it. I pull my good synthetic rope and replace it with a short length of regular rope. If it breaks, I just tie a new knot onto the plow. <br/><br/>Also, this gives me a chance to clean my synthetic with soap and water. Grit and dirt will shorten its life as well.
                        -Tim

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hkrjohn View Post

                          I have been looking to do what you just did! Hopefully it works well and you can report back how the tractor worked!
                          Other factors are; three back operations, two wrists operations and one detached bicep tendon. The tractor can lift 750+/- pounds. So I either needed to purchase help or get married to a lady with a teenager or a couple of kids to help me. $23,000 for the tractor seemed cheaper and a lessor alternative.

                          One issue with the ATV is the area I was plowing. 100 yards x 25' with another 30'x10' area and 50'x60'. My ATV battery kept dying. So I made two short battery cables and ran them to the back rack and put a automotive battery there to assist. Another aid is I put a chain on the rear hitch and ran it up to the rack and bungeed it. I have one area that I push off a bank so having the chain already in position I could just get the truck and pull it out. Only happens 4-5 times a year but being prepared helps. I already have a chain on the tractor hitch too.

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                          • #14
                            Good idea on the chain! I get my ATV/UTVs stuck several times each winter plowing. Comes with the territory!

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