Instead of retiring your ATV for the winter season, consider using that summer toy as a winter workhorse! ATVs can be a simple and efficient way to plow snow from your driveway or other surfaces.
If you have never used an ATV to remove snow, be sure to follow these 8 tips for a smoother and safer plowing process.
1. Make Sure The ATV Has Enough Power
Check the manufacturer's specifications and make sure that the ATV you are using is powerful enough to attach a plow on and remove snow. If you overload your ATV, the best case scenario is that you will have trouble plowing through the snow. Worst case: you can damage your ATV and cause bodily injury. Never overload your ATV!
2. Do All Of The Proper Maintenance Before The First Flake
Working on any vehicle in frigid temperatures is never ideal. Make sure your ATV is tuned up and in good running condition while it’s still (relatively) nice out. Change the oil, check tire pressure and thread, check electrical wiring, and ensure all elements are debris-free and working properly. Review “ 9 Ways to Keep Your ATV or UTV in Peak Condition ” for more detailed tips.
3. Make Sure The Depth Of The Plow Is Adjusted Correctly For The Job
The plow depth needs to be set at the perfect spot where it clears the snow without overloading the ATV and so that it does not damage the surface underneath. You may have to change the plow depth when you are plowing on different surfaces and with varying depths of snow.
4. Determine The Best Angle For The Plow And Set The Angle As You See Fit
The proper angle of the plow depends on the driveway or surface that is being plowed. Consider how much snow is present and where you want the snow to end up. Getting the angle set right will make the snow plowing effort much easier and cleaner.
5. Avoid Especially Deep Or Heavy Snow Drifts
Plowing through snow that is too deep or heavy will overload the ATV and cause more wear and tear on the vehicle. Deep snow drifts may need to be plowed at an angle taking a little of the snow at a time, and going back over the area a few times.
6. Be Cautious Of Items Hidden Underneath The Snow
Landscaping features, curbs and kids toys are known to hide underneath snow, damaging the plow and making the plowing process unsafe. For those static items like landscaping features, considering adding poles or other labels to indicate where they are. To avoid other hidden items, put away any unnecessary items before snowfall to avoid them getting buried.
7. Plow With The Natural Contours Of The Surface
If you follow the natural slopes of the driveway or other surfaces you are plowing, you make the plowing and snow placement easier. You also avoid damaging the plow blade by hitting the ground in uneven areas.
8. Perform a Final Clean Up Before Storing the ATV
Clean all of the dirt and snow off your ATV and plow blade after snow plowing. If you don't remove the snow, ice and dirt clumps right away, they can freeze and get stuck to the plow or ATV. This will make it a more difficult process to plow the snow next time.
Using your ATV to plow snow can help make the chore more efficient and, dare we say, fun! Following these eight tips will help prevent damage to your vehicle, your property and yourself!