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Plowing Tips - First Time ATV Plower

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by benk777, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    I am a first time plower, and was wondering if anyone had any tips or advice for me. My driveway is uphill to the house and long. I have a Rincon with 60" state plow on a winch, and it has two bump stop sort of things on the bottom. Walk me through the process of plowing. I assume I put the blade all the way to the ground, angle the blade to the left (tapered end closer to the atv, large end further away, as pictured below) and pick up some speed on the long passes to "throw" the snow off the driveway. Get to the end of the run, lift the blade, turn around and repeat?

    Is that about right? Then keep the blade straight across for small pushing sections? My driveway is concrete. Should I expect to get it as clean as a snowblower does? Should I use the Rincon for each and every snow?

    Thanks.

    Ben

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  2. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Welcome to the world of ATV plowing!

    Couple of quick suggestions...

    PLOW WITH THE STORM! Dont expect to allow 12" of wet, heavy snow to accumulate before you go out and hop on the bike. You're going to be better off plowing down-hill as much as possible. Depending on the storm and conditions, you might run into an issue of not having enough weight to push up the hill (spinning your wheels).

    From that point on, you will find that as you get more "seat time" and experience, you will develop a rhythm and find what works best for your set-up.

    Also - use caution in ramming into piles as the season progresses. There may always be ice accumulations under that snow which will cause damage. Use common sense and take care of your equipment - it will take care of you (and your wallet). :drinkup:
     
  3. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    you'll be fine.

    you have your blade angle wrong It will work OK the way you are for short area's but with the State plows having the bigger end you want the snow to roll off the bigger end so as to get the snow to fly/roll farther away from the Blade as you make your pass.

    with how your angled now your rolling the snow of the small end and wont get as much movement.

    for you small areas just set the blade straight or a small angle and push across the drive back up move over due again.

    for the long area set blade at either small angle or large angle with the big part of the blade closer to the front of the ATV and go. If your drive is down hill for your first past I'd split the drive at 1/3 and then 2/3 and you plow the 2/3 side downhill making full width pass at the bottom turn around and plow 1/2 width pass going back uphill turn around and plow full width down hill Etc Etc.

    alot depends on the amount of snow your plowing which you'll get a feel for.
    8" powder is way more fun than 2" of wet and heavy.

    I have yet to run into at storm that My ATV wasn't able to Plow.
     
  4. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Hear are a few tips-
    1. Make sure you push your banks back at the bigining of the season.
    2. Don't let the snow build up to much.
    3. ATVs arn't very heavy so the snow will try to "scuk" you in into the bank.
    4. Plow in low range IMO.
    5. Plow in 4wd IMO.
     
  5. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Sublime... you forgot to tell him about the 440 Six-Pack you mounted on your bike. :D
     
  6. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks for noting the angle of the blade. Should I be adding weight to either the front, back, or both?

    Thanks.

    Ben
     
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    I don't add any weight but some weight on the back would help out IMO. Chains would also help out alot.
     
  8. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    I want to avoid the use of chains to prevent any marking of my driveway.

    Thanks.

    Ben
     
  9. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070


    Yea that does due wonders for the Power department LOL

    some of the bigger strom's havn't been pretty to plow with the ATV but I got them done.

    had one big one last year of 15" and that's the one where I broke the Belts on my Blower 1/4 of the way through my route. The parts store in town only had 1 belt and mine has a double belt set up and I had never changed out the belts before so I didn't know if it was a 20 minutes or 3 hours to put new belts on. so 4pm with 15" of snow on my drive's and its getting colder by the minute. Went back to the Old ATV and Plow and got it all done by 10pm when If I had the blower I would have finished up at 6pm.

    but that was a long night on the ATV. My drive at home the last I did ended up backing ATV into the garage set blade at 6" from pavement drive out till I had stop foward progress
    pick blade up all the way. back up into garage again drop blade all the way down and go again clear. out an small area move over due again.

    fun fun fun.

    still way better than a shovel on walk behing blower

    sublime out.
     
  10. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    some weight on the back would be a big help.
    you should not need any for the front.

    also if you get to big of a pile to push you can cheat the blade up and plow off the upper half and then drop it down and plow off the lower half. but don't plow with the blade all the way up as if you sping out then your odds of backing up are not good.

    if you have 8" of lift plow with the blade at 6" so when you spin out you can pick the blade up the last 2" which will put more weight on the front tires for traction and also you wont be draging the blade back through the snow to back away from the pile you just made.

    the plow berms at the end of the drive from the street truck can be fun as well I have done the upper half lower half trick there alot to get me a hole punched through the berm. Once you have a path made through then you can just take 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 pass there to get the snow moved where you want to go.

    the first few snow falls you'll want to make some extra pass's off the side of your drive in the grass so as the snow bank builds up you don't end up with your drive getting closed in on you. for these pass you can keep the plow up 2" or so and just skim the grass so as your not ripping your yard all up.

    I'd say maybe 3x width's on your down hill plow side and 1.5x on your up hill plow run.

    as the winter progress you just keep moving in as the snow bank builds up and the snow wont go any higher.

    Goal is you still have a full width drive area to plow yet by March.

    since this is your first year its better to have extra area to move snow to then be in a tight quarters for all of January/Febuary

    just my thoughts.
     
  11. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks sublime, those are good pointers.

    Ben
     
  12. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    another just pop in my head know when your plow is all the way up so your not putting extra pull on your winch cable Alot of people break there winch cable's when plowing my thought is there alway's pulling up on the plow to far and when your plow tubes run into the bottom of your ATV the plow stops going up but the winch cable is what take the abuse of the sudden stop. so know when your plow is all the way up and let off of the switch before it hits the bottom of the ATV.

    A couple times of this here and there is no big deal but repeated pounding on the cable like this will cause it to snap.

    Just my thoughts.

    Nice looking set up.
     
  13. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks again sublime. I made sure my winch came with the synthetic rope so that it takes more of the abuse, but I will definitely try to stop it before hitting the top.

    Thanks.

    Ben
     
  14. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    another lesson I learned. Was approaching the end of the driveway berm somewhat parallel with my Plow up and was moving along at a good clip of 15-20mph or so had the plow angle all the way to the right and dove in with the left side of the plow and it bit into the bank and stopped right there spum the ATV around till the other side of the blade was into the bank and I was up sitting on top of the gas tank and handle bars wondering what the Heck just happened. and darn Glad I didn't dump the whole thing over on its side or worse.

    I have dove into banks before but had the blade either set straight so the ATV will stop or angled to meet the bank and bounce the ATV back off in the same direction as I was going. I'll never due the opp angle at higher speed into a bank again. Under 10 mph or so and you dont have that much momentum to make thing's shift and move about but the faster your moving if things go wrong the more wrong they are when your stopped moving.

    sublime out.

    or back in 10 min when I think of something else.
     
  15. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    One other thing.

    We use ATV's on walks and probably run the 10 -15 hours a storm.

    Things come loose. Be sure you are checking bolts and pins. nothing worse than 5 inches down and needing a part.

    Plowing is hard on a truck and hard on an ATV make sure you keep the fluids clean!!

    Lastly don't let the wife see you smiling, it is tough to convince her it is a job when you come in smiling......
     
  16. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    i have the same quad just take it easy and make sure she is good and warm before ya start or you will slip your clutches and that is no good,

    and sublime probably said it but after your into the bank dont try and pick it up, it will but you will strain the cable, practice where it is almost to the top, that way you dont strain the wire, and pay attention when your blade is in the air and you have slack in the line you can actually roll it up in reverse, thus changing the up down buttons, very bad when it gets all wadded up,
     
  17. a12

    a12 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Benk777

    Purchase a plastic wear bar for your plow. The metal one will scratch up your concrete, plus the plastic one should last longer than the metal one. I just installed one on my Glacier II this past weekend.
     
  18. Greenstar lawn

    Greenstar lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    i use plastic wear bars and they are great. they def wont last as long but they wont scratch the driveway. I drilled my own holes in these plastic wear bars so i can flip it when one side wears out. Also i go through 2 or 3 of those darn rubber snow flaps a season. They always rip wear the bolt is going through them. Its already stated above but plow with the storm for sure.
     
  19. captainkelley

    captainkelley Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    It doesn't matter how long your driveway is. You'll be looking for more to plow. It's fun for at least twelve hours.
     
  20. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    So last night we got a wopping 1.5" of snow in SE Wisconsin, and I convinced myself that I should get the Rincon out and plow for the very first time...for the seat-time of course.

    I first noticed how incredibly long it takes for my 03 Rincon to warm up. Temp was about 30° at 10pm, and it took a good 10 minutes for it to warm up so that I could take the choke all the way down. Any block warming kits out there? I'm glad I took the time to practice on the dusting that we received, because there is a bit of a learning curve involved. My main driveway pad is flat, but there is a long section that goes down to the road that is downhill. Going down the hill I had to keep adjusting the plow down further and further, and going up I had to keep adjusting it up. Now maybe I could have just kept it at one height going down, and then another going up, but with the metal scrape bar on it currently, it made a lot of noise! Hopefully things will be different once I get the plastic bar on.

    All things said, it really was fun! My only worry was that it was loud for the neighbors, which it probably wasn't. I can't wait to get some real snow so I can see if this blade will really "throw" the snow or just push it.

    Ben