ATV's for snowplowing??

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Hummer, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Hummer

    Hummer Big Member

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    How effective is an ATV for plowing snow on a gravel driveway? What are the limitations and how much snow is too much for it to handle? Any recommendations on plow size, chains, etc.?

    A tenant at our mountain property has proposed getting one for clearing the drive and I told him I didn't think it would do the job, but maybe I'm wrong. The drive is about 300 yds. long, has some 25% grade, but IT SNOWS A LOT there, sometimes every day in winter, often 10-30+ inches overnight. I have used a toyota pickup and meyers plow there for 25 years and it works great, but I won't let anyone use my plow and the tenant's only other option is to hire it done for $50/time.
     
  2. kennjen

    kennjen

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    I'm just guessing....but I don't see how ATV can push through more than a foot of snow. Especially for 300 yards.

    It's like asking what 9mm ammo they should carry in bear country.
     

  3. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I don't know about ATV's, but they are probably similar in performance and power to a garden tractor.

    I have a garden tractor with weights and chains, and a 4 foot plow. Basically I can plow up to 1 foot of snow. Depends on the weight of the snow, but that's usually the limit.

    Any more than that, and I use a snowblower.

    When plowing, as you probably know from your truck, snow pushes back.
     
  4. hamster

    hamster NRA Life Member

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    Nice try. You are clearly trying to talk your wife into letting you have an ATV. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  5. Squaw Man Wolfer

    Squaw Man Wolfer

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    I think we're talking busted tranny here. I saw a lot of guys in Connecticutt go "bust" pushing a snow plow. Still, if you know your limitations..
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  6. Ljay

    Ljay Micky's Packin

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    It sounds like you have too much snow and driveway for an ATV plow, I,d stay with the full size truck plow,

    Depends to on how large an ATV you get to, the bigger the better, It must have good tires,I dont use chains, and a 4WD lock is very important, One wheel spinning in the front, and one in the back is not going to get it in deeper snow. The blade must be wide enough to angle and still clear a path for the front wheels,

    The one I have does well as long as you keep it within its limitations A foot of the white stuff is about max it will push, Pushing up a grade can be tough, Mine weighs about 700lbs. empty and over a 1000lbs with me on it,

    In February we had a lot of snow here The ATV and the plow were well used that month.

    The larger the ATV the better,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    I live at 8700 feet and deal with a great deal of snow from late September until late April. I plow a hundred yard driveway, an acre or so parking area an a half mile of dirt road.

    For years I used a Kodiac 450 ATV with an Eagle plow. During winter snows when the moisture content is very low the plow will easily move two foot snows without a problem... high moisture spring snows are a different matter and moving 12-18 inches can be more than it can handle... especially since most of the spring storms drop more than that.

    Several years ago I added two pieces of equipment. I put a four foot snow blower with a 23 HP Kohler engine on the front of the ATV. It throws snow 100 feet and will easily go through 3 1/2 to four feet of snow without getting stuck. The blower can be set high enough so as not to pick up gravel or stones.

    I also added a skid steer bucket loader. With chains and it's 11 foot bucket height there hasn't been a storm I haven't been able to deal with. Although slower than plowing there are times when snow has to be picked up and dumped... not just pushed.

    I imagine there's a way to get a skid steer stuck... I just haven't found it yet. Between the snow blower and the skid steer I've yet to be snowed in and that's with over 5 foot storms... anything over that and I just watch HBO and wait for it to melt.

    Jack
     
  8. edcrosbys

    edcrosbys

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    It depends on the the size/weight of the ATV and the weight/depth of snow. A smaller 450 had issues with about 18" of powdery snow without making multiple passes on pavement. It was easier (and faster) to use the tractor with the Front End Loader.

    For the price, I'd think you'd be better getting a tractor or old truck with a plow. I like the look of the snowblower Jack mentioned, but they don't look cheap (2.5k-5k). Might be better money spent to just get a snowblower, tractor (with blade or blower), or old plow truck.
     
  9. Glock!9

    Glock!9

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    I have a 500 ft driveway, My neighbor has a 130 ft Driveway, My parents, and uncles both have about 150 ft driveways. I do them all with my Suzuki 450i.
    We got 24 inches a month back and If I was a little more patient and took my time It would have not been a problem. My driveway is very narrow and I stacked the snow too high too close to the driveway edge itself. It ended up working but it was a pain in the ***. My neighbor with the 1300 ft driveway has a wide and open drive so it was easier.
    Next yr i will do it right. I had several snows with 1 ft or less and had no problems at all.
     
  10. ssgt_acft_mech

    ssgt_acft_mech

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    I did most of my street in S. Dakota last yr and we had a foot or more in the street....just need an ATV with some nuts....My Grizzly 700 did the trick....Depends on how wet the snow is as well....I hit some extremely wet stuff (almost 6" of slush) and it damn near stopped me in my tracks. I did blow throw 3-4 ft drifts like they were nothing though. I still need to convince the wife I need a down force kit for the plow
     
  11. StudParker

    StudParker

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    Here's what I've used for the last 3 years....

    [​IMG]

    On this driveway in Minnesota......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It definitely gets buried from time to time. Heavy drifting...forget it. However, if you get light (powder) snow falls in Trace to 12" amounts no problem. But if you get heavy snow above 6-8" then it's time for the F150 and the Western blade. No comparison either in the time or comfort factor.

    The ATV can work...but there are better options.
     
  12. ranger56528

    ranger56528

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    A good folding V-Plow makes a big differance,I have the same set-up as Ljay and it workd for me,my friend has a driveway thats about 320ft and bought a new v-plow and its a world of differance when opening up a road....I attached a 28" piece of heavy angle Iron(45lbs) to the top of my plow for down force,works well.
     
  13. fwm

    fwm

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    My neighbor plows my driveway for me with an ATV. this year he moved over 17" of snow at one time. Much more maneuverable that a tractor and faster. He pushed the snow from one side too the other, about 22 feet, at one stroke, and zigzagged back and forth across the way until done. Seems simple.
     
  14. Glock!9

    Glock!9

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    EDIT to add the snow we had was VERY wet and heavy.
     
  15. happy seal

    happy seal

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    You'll let the guy drive the ATV but not your Toyota?????????????????????????????????????? Oh yeah the gas pedal thing! :wow::wow:
    Seriously, the price difference MIGHT not be that much different depending on years and such. Why not teach him how to plow like you would or watch him to see if he has the ability. It doesn't take much to plow snow properly w/out running into stuff or breaking parts. two minutes in the truck with him and you'll see if he has the mechanical mindset to do the job properly. ATV repairs aren't cheap either!
     
  16. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    I can't believe how well my friend's 660 Grizzly plows snow.
     
  17. Hummer

    Hummer Big Member

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    Thanks a lot for your input, guys! Some great advice. The ATV would be the tenant's, I don't own one, never have.

    I discouraged him from the ATV idea (actually he's moving in next week and I didn't want him to spend his rent money on a toy :supergrin:), but it might do the job for him OK most of the time. I have a second cabin there (NW Boulder County) and drive over the continental divide every month or so in winter to clear the driveway with my truck. Don't know the details but he said the ATV was a fairly new 500cc that he could get on a trade in for about $1000.

    Ljay, that's a nice rig, looks like a well built plow. GioaJack, sounds like you've got everything covered with the skid steer. They can do amazing work in very tight quarters, I'd like to have one. The snowblower on the ATV sounds like a great setup. Remember the 7-10 foot snow storm we had back in '97?

    StudParker, great photos, really beautiful. Happy Seal, here in the Rocky Mountains we have lots of those things that can really beat up a plow rig. I can't risk letting anyone else use it....there's also a liability issue.

    OK, a bigger heavier ATV with 4WD lock, good tires w/chains, maybe a V-plow or snowblower, and a skid steer or full size truck plow as backup....

    Here's my rig, used the plow commercially for 12 years. The little Toys hold up a lot better than the bigger trucks--never had a major breakdown.

    [​IMG]