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Plowing with an atv

  1. #1

    Plowing with an atv

    I could have sworn we talked about quads on here...

    But I checked my threads and three pages of my posts and cant see anything.

    So sorry if this is redundant ... I feel like we talked about cforce.


    Anyway, Im considering buying a quad to plow my flat asphalt driveway that starts about 1.5 car widths and ends three car widths, maybe three or four car lengths.

    Also have a gravel area and some asphalt between the house and detached garage.... also maybe a path thru the backyard to the woods for my dog.

    Considering 335-650cc, prefer Suzuki, Polaris or Yamaha but am open.

    I probably would feel more comfortable with new, but thats just because I dont know much about quad reliability or upkeep, I feel like theyve got to be pretty simple but...


    But I would love to hear from people with experience.

    Also what equipment should I look for? It seems like some plow dont pivot? That seems less than ideal.

    How much can you plow, will it handle slushy snow, etc etc

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  2. #2
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    I can't steer you clear enough away from Polaris and further, would be spending your money on a snowblower or riding mower with a blower attachment.

    Plowing with an ATV is for people who don't know any better.

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  3. #3

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    I rode quads when I was a kid so it partly seems kinda fun and more useful in other ways than just a snowblower, but then I imagine trying to keep up with a severe storm with icey eyebrows and that gives me pause.

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    I can't steer you clear enough away from Polaris and further, would be spending your money on a snowblower or riding mower with a blower attachment.

    Plowing with an ATV is for people who don't know any better.

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    I'm plowing with a 2006 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO EFI with a 60" County plow. It will move snow, but because of the 'diff' design being ALWAYS locked, maneuvering in snow can be a PITA. Backing up in snow, you can turn full lock and go straight backwards... I'm almost always using the reverse override as well to get 4WD and more than 2hp to use. I've also got a 24" snowblower. The plow moves bulk quicker, the snowblower can tackle the same snow load and have it CLEAN faster... combine the two and I can rapidly deal with big snows.

    As far as Polaris vs others, I don't have any real input, last time I dealt with ATVs was the late 80s / early 90s so... did you know they don't have manual clutches now?!

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    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    I've been plowing my driveway for the last 10 years with a Yamaha Kidiak 400, with a Moose plow set up. My current driveway is 2,600' and just this morning, I plowed 10" of heavy, wet snow. Only downfall is you're out in the weather. It's much much faster to plow with an ATV, than it is to snow blow, or even a tractor with a bucket.

    Last year was the biggest storm I plowed with it, we had 30" in less than 14 hours. In that storm, I had to plow twice during the storm to keep up.
    The key for me and my half mile driveway, is the speed of the ATV, speed is what flings the snow off far enough into the woods

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    Senior Member Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    I've been plowing my driveway for the last 10 years with a Yamaha Kidiak 400, with a Moose plow set up. My current driveway is 2,600' and just this morning, I plowed 10" of heavy, wet snow. Only downfall is you're out in the weather. It's much much faster to plow with an ATV, than it is to snow blow, or even a tractor with a bucket.

    Last year was the biggest storm I plowed with it, we had 30" in less than 14 hours. In that storm, I had to plow twice during the storm to keep up.
    The key for me and my half mile driveway, is the speed of the ATV, speed is what flings the snow off far enough into the woods
    +1. I almost have the same scenario. Driveway and yard is dirt too.

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  7. #7

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    I've been plowing my driveway for the last 10 years with a Yamaha Kidiak 400, with a Moose plow set up. My current driveway is 2,600' and just this morning, I plowed 10" of heavy, wet snow. Only downfall is you're out in the weather. It's much much faster to plow with an ATV, than it is to snow blow, or even a tractor with a bucket.

    Last year was the biggest storm I plowed with it, we had 30" in less than 14 hours. In that storm, I had to plow twice during the storm to keep up.
    The key for me and my half mile driveway, is the speed of the ATV, speed is what flings the snow off far enough into the woods
    So your plow obviously pivots side to side?

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  8. #8
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    I could have sworn we talked about quads on here...

    But I checked my threads and three pages of my posts and can’t see anything.

    So sorry if this is redundant ... I feel like we talked about cforce.


    Anyway, I’m considering buying a quad to plow my flat asphalt driveway that starts about 1.5 car widths and ends three car widths, maybe three or four car lengths.

    Also have a gravel area and some asphalt between the house and detached garage.... also maybe a path thru the backyard to the woods for my dog.

    Considering 335-650cc, prefer Suzuki, Polaris or Yamaha but am open.

    I probably would feel more comfortable with new, but that’s just because I don’t know much about quad reliability or upkeep, I feel like they’ve got to be pretty simple but...


    But I would love to hear from people with experience.

    Also what equipment should I look for? It seems like some plow don’t pivot? That seems less than ideal.

    How much can you plow, will it handle slushy snow, etc etc

    the biggest concern plowing is not the area you are plowing, rather, the area you have to store snow, remember, while you can push quite a bit of snow depth, you can't pile it very high

    R7 gets away in his 2600ft drive cause the speed he goes gets it winged back, you won't be going that fast in a short drive

    don't discount Kymco, they are a solid work machine

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  9. #9
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    Plowing with an ATV is for people who don't know any better.
    I don't know any better and it works great for any storm under 12". If it's more than that, either do it a couple times during the storm, or use a snowblower.

    The benefit for me is getting a call from a friend with a 2wd car down at the road who can't get up the driveway (325' or so + hill), jumping on the quad and doing 3 30mph runs until a 14' wide clear driveway is available to them. Less than 5 minutes.

    The thing that takes the longest is the parking area. If you have open sides off the drive to push the snow, it's not terrible. I have a retaining wall and a garage on 3 sides of my parking area, so it's not as easy with the quad as a blower. Still doable, but not quick. Still quicker than a snowblower.

    That being said....

    For your driveway size, I wouldn't bother. Speed and long runs are where a quad + plow does well. Tight quarters isn't. Unless you want a "toy", then it makes more sense just to use a decent snowblower. Remember, you can only "move" the snow over 4' or so with a quad + plow. It'll stack up by the edges and you'll need to make smaller cuts.

    FYI, I run a Kawasaki Prairie 360 with a 50" plow. Does absolutely fine. Don't bother going a huge engine big money quad, HP doesn't help. Traction is the limiting factor. And don't buy new. Unless you like being the one to take the depreciation hit for no reason. After two storms, it's just another used machine. I got mine for less than a grand all in, including a new plow/winch to raise/lower it. Wouldn't of spent more either.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 11-16-18 at 08:53 PM.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    From a while ago, when my then dirt driveway was covered in ice, then snowed on.



    Yeah, 8800 views. No idea.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 11-16-18 at 09:03 PM.
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  11. #11

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Yeah that’s another concern, the detached garage is straight ahead and to the left is a farmers porch that is right against the driveway. I can store snow to the right toward the road, and on one side of a shed. So it wouldn’t be any quick passes

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  12. #12

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Stupid question... any cause for concern pushing snow on top of a leech field?

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  13. #13
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    That's finally a question where I'd recommend asking Randy.

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  14. #14
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Stupid question... any cause for concern pushing snow on top of a leech field?
    not a stupid question, stupid is the one who doesn't ask the question


    Should be ok, so long as

    1. surface is pitched so that when it melts, it runs away rather than soaks in right there

    2. there are no vents getting blocked

    However, it is not ideal

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  15. #15

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Yeah, it’s flat, so it would soak.

    If u consider a clock face I can push snow to 11, 2, 4, 5. If I could push onto the leech field, which I don’t feel comfortable doing being that it isn’t pitched, I could push 9, 8, 7. But no good speed passes.

    For the price of a used good condition quad with a plow I think I can buy a plow for the wrangler (which isn’t selling).

    Or fix the Ariens, but I think I’d like an option to the ariens.

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  16. #16
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    So your plow obviously pivots side to side?
    Yes, it’s a 5 point manual pivot. The winch raises it up and down.

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    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    That's finally a question where I'd recommend asking Randy.
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  18. #18
    Lifer
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Wow. From that video, plowing with an ATV looks somewhat inefficient. Stopping, and dismounting to manually adjust the plow angle, once the mechanism is covered in snow does not look fun at all. We have 2 Yamaha 450's (Kodiak, and Grizzly), and I have considered a plow for one of them, but our driveway is only about 80 feet long, double wide, and straight. I would not be able to attain the speeds in the clip. I have plowed many miles with a full size Chevy truck, and that was fun at first, but the fun wore off quickly. I think that I will stick with my small 7 HP Ariens. I bought it new in 2011, and it has always impressed me. It easily beats my 2 neighbors giant Craftsman and Toro blowers in terms of throwing distance, maneuverability, and reliability. Yesterday, it easily threw the 6" of heavy, wet snow over 20 feet. The one criticism I have is that 1st gear was not slow enough, so I used a Dremel to cut another notch in the shift lever location plate to add a "lower gear". It worked!
    I do have an older dirt biking friend that plows with his Honda Foreman. He once told me "It is not great, but at least it is riding!" I was hoping that would be enough...but I think not.

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  19. #19
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    I have 2 driveways about 100' each and 2 cars wide each, both would require lots of backblading. A snowblower works best for that application. You have unlimited snow storage locations. We've had snow depths well over the bucket height and I've always had a place to put the snow.

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  20. #20
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Yeah that’s another concern, the detached garage is straight ahead and to the left is a farmers porch that is right against the driveway. I can store snow to the right toward the road, and on one side of a shed. So it wouldn’t be any quick passes
    Tight quarters, and manual blade angle adjustment don't mix, I've looked at electric hydraulic plow systems for my UTV, big$$$

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  21. #21
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Even worse, my plow has been modded. Beefier mount on it than most trucks, 2" solid steel hinge pin for example... but in the course of modding it, they made it so I can only angle to the right, not the left. I need to fix that somehow. In the mean time, the guy who maintains my road didn't tell anyone his plow is busted so... ATV to the rescue.

    I want power steering on my next rig.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    My neighbor has a junk Honda 350 and a blade from a garden tractor and runs all over

    Raises it with a harbor freight cheap winch

    Successful in the deepest snow we have had in the last 10 years including the berm from the plow truck

    He is faster than my snow blower

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  23. #23

    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Yeah I could have sworn the Polaris Sportsman has a big lever on the right that at first I thought was for the plow but I guess it’s just 2wd/4wd? Not being able to move the plow while riding sucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    Tight quarters, and manual blade angle adjustment don't mix, I've looked at electric hydraulic plow systems for my UTV, big$$$

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  24. #24
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Yeah I could have sworn the Polaris Sportsman has a big lever on the right that at first I thought was for the plow but I guess it’s just 2wd/4wd? Not being able to move the plow while riding sucks.
    That's your gearshift, H,L,N,R,P. 2WD/4WD is a switch above the thumb throttle. Winch to raise and lower, and on most there is a pin lock on the plow arm to determine plow angle which requires getting off the machine to adjust.

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  25. #25
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing with an atv

    Wait, complaining about getting off the ATV to angle the blade?? LOL But somehow walking behind a snow blower, being exposed to the same elements is more attractive!

    For what it’s worth, when you figure out how to plow with an ATV, you’ll never adjust the angle. Mine is always angled to right at the max angle. Only thing I adjust is up and down, and that’s a thumb controlled switch.

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