ATVs are named for their versatility. More and more frequently, light to medium land work is getting done by a four-wheeler and a little ingenuity instead of cumbersome and economically draining full-sized industrial equipment like tractors. Wintertime is a great opportunity to put an ATV to broader use by turning it into your personal snow plow. This modification involves an ATV plow kit, which is widely available.
Fitting a snow plow onto an ATV can only be spoken about in general terms because, unless you’re an engineer developing the retrofit from scratch, you’ll want to use one of the many aftermarket kits available. These will be specifically made for particular ATV models and designed to suit a variety of needs, so shop around and make sure you get one that fits.
Most kits contain two or three main components — mount and plow (and sometimes separately the plow arm) — and all the necessary mounting and installation hardware. The mount invariably attaches on or near the front axle. Some models require getting underneath to install, and some attach closer to the front. Once installed, the plow can be added or removed as needed.
Bells and Whistles
After you’ve narrowed down the proper model that is a match for your ATV, assess your needs. Plows come in different materials and shapes, some are flatter to push snow forward, and some have a bit more scoop to direct the snow to the outsides without going over the top. The latter are usually more expensive, but work best if you’ve got a lot of snow to contend with. Other cool optional add-ons usually include remote controls so the plow can be lifted, lowered or angled without having to get off the vehicle to make manual adjustments.
If you’re planning to install an ATV plow kit this winter, follow a few simple rules:
1. Know your terrain. Snow can mask or disguise surrounding features such as large holes or even bodies of water. Stick to plowing land you know.
2. Come prepared. You should only be fitting your ATV with a plow if it’s 4 x 4 to begin with; however, it’s still possible to get stuck, so bring some tire chains along for the ride.
3. Watch your speed. Use the same caution driving your ATV in the ice and snow as you would any vehicle in that kind of weather. Play it safe and don’t rush the job.
In the end, an ATV can be a great, easy and relatively cheap way to clear out the snow this winter. If you’re willing to take the time to research and install an ATV plow kit that works for you, that nice white blanket on your driveway might look a little less daunting and actually provide a little fun.
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Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.