CAN YOUR ATV PLOW SNOW?
Plowing doesn't have to be a chore! Use your ATV or UTV to add some fun to winter.
Written by: Kate Huffman
It’s that time of year that seems to last forever. When all the fields and trails are frozen over and everyone is tired of trying to keep up with the bothersome frozen stuff that keeps falling from the sky.
Are you fed up with shoveling snow? Maybe you’re sick of waiting for plows to reach your street, or you find yourself wishing for a faster, easier way to get things done. Don’t let it get you down! Hop on your ATV and plow your winter blues away.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Power = Plowing Capacity
First, check the manufacturer’s specs for your model and verify that you’ve got enough power to operate a plow. Keep in mind that your ATV doesn’t weigh much, and it’s nowhere near as powerful as a truck or SUV. This does limit the conditions you can use your ATV to plow in. Light, dry, powdery snow shouldn’t be a problem if there are less than eight inches on the ground. But if there’s wet snow or ice, that depth will decrease dramatically.
Since plowing snow with your ATV puts more strain on the machine than it would normally handle, make sure it’s well-maintenanced before you start plowing. Check if your oil filter needs replaced, and make sure the oil is topped off. The engine can easily overheat due to the heavy loads of snow, so don’t start before checking your coolant level.
If you need replacement engine parts or clutches, check out The ROP Shop’s stock.
Assess the Situation
Next, take a good, long look at the area you’ll be plowing. You’ll make things a lot easier for yourself if you plan your ATV’s path ahead of time. Always plow with the contours of the surface you’re clearing, and move the snow to the lowest area possible. When the snow melts and refreezes, if it’s piled in a higher area, it can leave dangerous sheets of ice where you least want or expect them.
Prepare Your Blade
Your plow’s blade depth needs to be set carefully: you want to clear the snow without overloading the ATV or damaging the surface beneath. It’s likely you’ll need to make depth adjustments as you work, depending on the type of surface you’re clearing and the amount and wetness of the snow.
Since you took a minute to plan your plow’s movements before you started, you should have a good idea of the angle at which to set the blade. Getting the angle right will make your ATV’s job a lot easier.
Rugged, Not Reckless
Plowing snow with your ATV might be a blast, but there are a few things to be cautious of as you work.
If your ATV is air-cooled, watch when plowing to ensure that the air circulation areas around the engine don’t become packed with snow.
Your ATV can be overloaded by plowing through snow that’s too deep or too heavy. If you have deep drifts to clear, set your plow at an angle to take a small chunk of the snow at a time. You’ll want to make several passes, going back and forth over the area until it’s clear.
If your ATV’s tires aren’t getting enough traction to push the snow, you can always use tire chains to give them an extra boost. Keep in mind that some tire chains are only suited for specific tread patterns, and avoid driving over surfaces that could damage or be damaged by your chains. If you decide you need to install tire chains or chain tensioners, be sure to check out our installation video on the Rugged U video page.
Before the snow falls, consider if the surface you’ll need to plow has obstacles or objects you know you’ll want to avoid hitting. For example; potholes, shrubbery, or other landscaping. We recommend marking those ahead of time using fiberglass snow stakes. The ROP Shop carries a variety of driveway marker stakes to choose from.
Keep it Clean
Once you’re done clearing away the snow and your winter blues, don’t put your hard-working ATV away without a much-deserved cleaning. Storing your machine dirty can encourage snow, ice, salt, and dirt to stick to your plow and ATV, which can lead to all kinds of problems. Brush all that gunk away and help your machine stay rugged.
Be warned: if your neighbors see you using your ATV to save time and effort plowing snow, they might ask you for a helping hand. Help them stay rugged and share your knowledge! And don’t forget, we’re standing by to help. If you need any replacement parts for your ATV or would like to purchase some snow stakes, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help.
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