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Honest Opinion Need -- ATV snowplowing

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Palomino, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Palomino

    Palomino Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello everyone,

    First time posting here long time reader and I need some honest advice. I had to switch plowing services this year because my previous snowplower is no longer available. The old one was very very cheap and did a relatively good job. The new service Im using this year is a little better but just really expensive. Ive been wanting to do the plowing myself anyway, Im only 31 years old and am more then able.

    The driveway is about 425ft long and is gravel and is extremely flat. The property is more of a weekend/vacation property. The snow here in far Northeastern Wisconsin is always light and fluffy. Normal snowfalls are from 3"-8". But, every once and a while we do get a 10"+. The most Ive seen at once so far is 14" a year ago.

    So, my question is, can a 2002 500cc honda rubicon with a 50" plow handle this? A local dealer has this ATV (with the plow) at a very good price and it looks hardly used! The only problem I can see is that I am not always at the property so sometimes Im not able to plow for 2-4 days after the snowfall and the top of the snow gets a little crusty, but nothing like hard ice or anything. And, I dont know if it's because this is a very rural area or because the property is 200miles farther north, but Ive never seen wet snow on the property like I do at my full-time residence in Milwaukee, WI.

    Does this sound doable or does this sound to tough for the atv?

    Ive wanted to get an ATV for other things as well so this would really work out nice. But, I dont want something that wont do the job either.

    Thanks for the advice and a pic of the ATV is at the bottom,

    Mike
    WI

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    it is very able to do it. my 2000 arctic cat 500 pushes 4 inches of sleet with no problem.
     
  3. red4man

    red4man Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Go for it!!! I live in northern Wisconsin and have been plowing my drive with an ATV for 10 years. Never had a problem. If you would get a large amount of snow you can always have someone plow it on a one time deal. And you will find that the ATV is useful all year long. My current ATV is a 2007 Honda Foreman ES with a 60" moose plow and it works great.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  4. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    that atv will do great
     
  5. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    if your worried get a blower also and open up a lane, itll do fine, the only time i use a blower is when we get 4' overnight imo.
     
  6. Palomino

    Palomino Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks all for the responses. My gut feeling is that this ATV will handle 99% of my snow with no problems at all.

    One further question I have is this ATV has a carb'ed engine. I know that the honda's are usually setup very well but will this ATV have any problems starting in cold weather conditions? This week it's supposed to get down to -18F !!! Now it almost never snows here when it gets that cold so I dont think dealing with that temperature is a problem. But, starting around 0 degrees F may be common.

    Thanks for the further advice.

    Mike
    WI
     
  7. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    no problems it will start right up just keep it in a shed or garage if you can and keep a float charger on the battery and pop the choke on when your ready to start it it will start right up
     
  8. mudman

    mudman Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    My Foreman has a primer on the side of the carb for ultra cold weather starts but don't know about the 02 Rubicon.
     
  9. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    I think the one your looking at would be a great machine for what you have described.

    before the Pic came up I was gonna say go with a Moose Country blade and lo and behold look what's on the front of that Machine.

    Only thing I would recomend is putting Tire Chains on the Quad they will make a huge improvemtn in teh traction department.

    Sublime out.
     
  10. FOX-SNO-REMOVAL

    FOX-SNO-REMOVAL Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Dude go for it!! I have the same quad and it will push anything i want it to . You will have no problem doing it especially if you have a county plow.
     
  11. Palomino

    Palomino Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I do have another question. I still do not know how many hours/miles are on the machine. What is considered low/medium/high hours/miles for a machine that hasn't been beaten to death on trails and such?

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  12. FOX-SNO-REMOVAL

    FOX-SNO-REMOVAL Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Im not to sure but s**t i have almost 2500 miles on mine and ive beat the hell out of it. Its still running strong, but i did blow a front differential at 2000 miles it was ugly.
     
  13. kenidaho

    kenidaho Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Well let me post an opposite opinion. I have had a Suzuki 500 CC Quad Master. I live in Spokane Wa and I have plowed my 300 ft Private drive and 1/2 mile private rd. all is paved I do have a hill that causes problems. In the past 4 winters I have been okay this winter we got hit with a record snow 19" I could not start plowing until there was 12 inches of snow on the ground. the snow was very light and fluffy. I was not able to push enough snow to keep the drive way wide. The snow would bounce off the berm and roll back onto the road. we had 60 inches of snow in 3 weeks before it started to melt. I bought a plow for the front of my truck. It works much better.

    If you keep up with it you will be okay but if you have 12" you might have trouble.

    I never had chains on mine and it has never been a problem.
     
  14. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    thats when i use the snoblower, to widen back where you couldnt? i wouldnt windrow it all either imo take a couple straight passes to get rid of some then start to plow imo.
     
  15. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    you really cant kill a honda as long as it isn't beat to death and doesnt have some extremely unreasonable high number of hours you will be fine. with proper maintnence that honda would last you forever.
     
  16. Palomino

    Palomino Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi again all thanks for the responses,

    Well, to make this more complicated the dealer that is selling this 2002 honda 500 rubicon called me tonight we had been communicating via email. The 2002 honda has about 1000miles on it and he says it runs perfectly. The price he gave me is $3950 with the plow. To add to the complication he says he also has a 2005 Polaris sportman twin 800EFI with the same plow on it for $1500 more at $5400. Says the machine is very well taken care of and has 890miles on it. He also has a practically brand new 2007 Can-Am outlander MAX 650EFI H.O. for $5900 again with the same plow and it has only 200 miles on it. Story with the can-am is it was bought from the dealership by a friend of his and now the guy lost his job so they offered to buy it back to help the guy out.

    From talking to the guy I wouldnt be surprised if I could get a little knocked off the price with the tough economy and such. Said I'd probably come see him next weekend as he is about 60 miles away from me on the way to the property I would be using it at so I have a week atleast to figure this out.

    Any opinions on which one to get? Money as always is an issue, but Id be willing to pay more if either the polaris or Can-am would be worth the extra money long-term.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  17. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Stick with the Honda Best starting ATV and since it might be weeks between starting it up to plow you want the ATV that will start the best. Just my thoughts
    It is the best price out of the 3 machines you listed IF you get it and don't like the Honda for what ever reason they have the best resale value for you to recoop you money and get another ATV.
    Honda ATV take a beating for not being great at any one thing, Power, Rider Comfort, ETC,
    but they are good at all thing's and never breaking down and alway's being able to get the job done.
    is very important when you want to be able to plow snow.
    some message boards on ATV, www.hondaforeman.com all about Honda's different ATV lines, Rancher, Foreman's, Rubicon, Rincon.
    www.highlifter.com is for the ATV extreme's and geared more toward those who play in the Big Mud holes. but alot a traffic goes on that site and they have forums for Honda's Polaris, Canam

    good luck but I say stay with the Honda and you'll be fine.

    Sublime out.
     
  18. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    yes stick with the honda no dought
     
  19. sven_502

    sven_502 Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 390

    I agree. Go with the rubicon. We have a 2001 foreman es and it'll start as cold as you want, after sitting for however long. The polaris twins are just awful for cold starting though but they do have lots of power.
     
  20. mikesxr

    mikesxr Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    i have a sportsman 600 which is pretty much the same thing just a smaller engine and i use it to plow a driveway about the same as yours and it does a perfect job. its a 2004 with about 2000 miles or 3200km and still works mint. If you are going use it for just for plowing and thats it then the honda would be better because it will do the same job for less money. The polaris probably would plow a bit better with the added weight and power. If you plan to go riding with it too the polaris would be much better because the power compared between the 500 and the 800 twin ridiculous. If you were to go riding with it the polaris will offer a much better ride because of the irs in the back. If it was me i would get the polaris and i am not just saying that because i own a polaris i also had honda 450 but traded it in for the polaris which i liked alot more.