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Newbie needs help...LOTS of questions...

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by ns2a, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. ns2a

    ns2a Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I am looking for an ATV for snowplowing. And mostly just snowplowing. It'll pretty much sit during the summer.

    I live in southern Minnesota and while I can get cold and snowy, usually our snowfalls are under 6" at a time. I have a gravel driveway that is about 125 feet that is literally at a 45 degree angle. It also has a space on the side 2-3 cars can park and so we can back out of the garage. So just that part is about as big as a 3 car garage. I cannot just set the blower on that part and go. I have to shoot the snow forward, backup and go forward. This part takes a bunch of time. The driveway also flares out at the top so it's a bit wider than the garage if that makes sense? Anyway, I bought the biggest snowblower Sears had and a 3" snowfall takes at least an hour to clear if I move quickly and just enough to get it cleared. If I want to do a nice job, add 20-30 minutes.

    I've been looking at Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Maybe Can Am. I'm looking at the Warn system with the power pivot. I think the power pivot is a must for my situation.

    How big should the ATV be? I hear at least 500, but some also say don't go too big (like the 700 class). My wife will be doing this half the time, and if it's too hard to handle, that won't be good. She cannot handle the snowblower at all. She's 5'4, 110 and kind of wimpy :)

    And because of the angle of the hill, should I get better tires? I see a lot of used machines with those Mudlite tires, but maybe chains on the stock tires will be fine?

    Fuel injection. Necessary? Again, because of my wife, she'll just want to fire it up and go.

    And do these usually start up easily in the winter? It'll be in an unheated tool shed. Someone mentioned a battery maintainer to me at one point. There is no electricity in the shed, but I could run a cord out there if necessary.

    I'm still debating new or used ATV's. If I buy used, what should I look for? Is it like a truck with a plow and I have to worry about the tranny and such? Should I stay away from ATV's with plows because of this??

    I'd like to keep it under $6k, with the Warn system but I may be dreaming.:sleeping:

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. wkahler

    wkahler Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Well you mention it took you a hour to clear three inches..........if i had gravel i would probable not mess with 3" but that is just me!! I would say you are on the right track, but for the price you are looking at, if you have a 4x4 truck you can get a very nice used boss for half that 6k range, heck for that you could get a nice new boss. I was looking at a ATV once and then thought about how much i didn't want to sit out in the cold and push the snow around, is your wife cool with pushing snow in the blowing and cold?? I am sure someone will chime in with some ATV info but you might look at a plow or a used plow set up and then you have a truck if you ever need one!!
  3. 06Sierra

    06Sierra PlowSite.com Addict
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,328

    With a driveway that long and steep, is there room to put snow off to the side somewhere along the way? Going down might be fine if there is room at the bottom to put snow. But going up a steep slope pushing a bunch of snow could be tricky. Chains would be the best bet for the tires though. I still think it would be a pain going up hill. That's also going to depend on the type of snow you get, wet and heavy or light and fluffy? I agree with above, if you don't want a blower look for a truck and plow.
  4. Dave T

    Dave T Senior Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 165


    A 500 class machine should work fine. Personally, I think a heavier ATV will push more snow. My Polaris 500 HO works well (it's heavy). Of the ATV's you mentioned, the Can-Am is probably the heaviest... and most expensive.

    As already mentioned, with your driveway, you want to be plowing "downhill". With that steep of a driveway, you get nowhere trying to plow uphill.

    You'll need a machine with good tires. Everyone has their favorites. I like Bighorns. You will probably want to modify the Reverse Override that comes on most machines so that you don't have to hold down the button for 4WD in reverse as you are backing up.

    EFI is not necessary, but I would get it if possible. It makes winter start ups much easier... especially for someone who is not used to a manual choke.

    I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend getting a good battery maintainer like the Battery Tender Jr or similar. It will make start ups easier, and prolong the life of the battery.

    I think you are going to be looking at a used ATV in the price range you mentioned.

    Good Luck
  5. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Another option for you to consider would be a Mini Truck. Your situation sounds very similiar to a recent customer that I sold a plow truck to where his wife was going to be using it most of the time. She loves it! Their "winter only" machine turned into something they're using year round. Mini Trucks are a great ATV/UTV replacement option that weigh about 1500lbs dry, 4'x6' beds, about 1200lb payload capacities (ballast!), and can easily tow their own weight. Nothing better than having a heated cab and a tight turning radius at the same time.


    We equipped this Suzuki Carry 4x4 with a 72" plow system, lift, and 23x8 all terrain tires. This customer reported back as many do...they love their little trucks and their capabilities.

    Good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any more questions. :drinkup:
  6. carver60

    carver60 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    can am is the ebst for pushing snow. o own a 07 outladner 500, it does great. 2 more 650's are in the workings so that should be even better for plowing. a 800 is a little high and are only really good for speed. the 650 is your best bet. with that you could push the snow up or down depending on your mood. new tires are a must!! i have my stocks on, which are not bad but if i got new tires, which i will be getting around sept, i would be indestructable. the only thing that the can ams arent the best for is, the plow doesnt go up as high as the polaris (i own a 700 and 500 sportsman also) so its a little bit easier to get stuck if snow gets under your plow. but other then those small problems, i would recomend the can am outlander 650. they run anywhere from 6500-12000. depends what year, features, size etc.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    badger are you gonna get him out the door truck and plow for 6000? if you are i want one too.
  8. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    That would be one heck of a special! But, honestly with trucks starting-off in price at about $5400 (for a good, lower mileage stock truck), we're not too far off that target with a plow system added-on once we add package discounts, etc. It all depends on the set-up of the truck.

    OF COURSE there would be a Plowsite Discount added in there too! :cool: