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Snow Removal in the South

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by KFX450RXC, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. KFX450RXC

    KFX450RXC Member
    Messages: 39

    Down here in NC, we may get a few snowstorms or ice in one winter. Then it may not do a thing for four years. You just never know. Our average snowstorms do maybe a few inches and they often get some ice and sleet mixed in at times. Rarely do we go over 6"-8" in one storm but it can happen.

    This past winter was pretty good for us. Three snows in January and February. I have a business I do the lawn maintenance for and they have 17 locations that require snow removal if the need arises. Its pretty important to them and they've committed to me doing the job. Therefore, I'll make sure it happens, whenever it happens.

    This past winter we ran like dogs. One tractor with a front end loader and a scrape blade on the back. Lots of ice melt and a few shovels. Each storm had us out for over 24 hours non-stop at a time.

    But down here in the south, its hard to justify tens of thousands of dollars in snow removal equipment. I have eight pallets of ice melt already ordered but I know it could be December or it could be 2018 before I get to use them.

    So I think this year, I'm going to go with ATV plows. I already have a 2007 Rancher. I can afford to get another quad so two quads with plows sounds like a good alternative to the tractor method. Not a whole lot of sidewalks and average parking lots with maybe 30-40 parking spaces.

    But now the obvious question: what plows? I called a dealer in central Va. about the Boss plows. They seem like great units but he said they'd run me about $2500-$3000 per plow installed. $2500 just a plow alone seems crazy. I'm in the obvious conundrum. I need something very dependable because of how important it is to do the job when it does snow. But I also must be real about the fact that it may not snow for years before I use them the first time. So why spend that kind of money?

    I saw on the picture thread many different brands of plows on quads. You guys up north must know what you're doing. So I assume you don't have to spend the entire bank account on plows in order to get the job done.

    So again, getting the jobs done is extremely important. But spending that kind of money if I don't need to is something I prefer not to do.

    Any recommendations? Thanks guys.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  2. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    For your needs i would suggest a warn power pivot plow at least 52 inches wide so it can fit on some sidewalks angled and can clear lots rather quickly. It can raise and lower by a winch on the quad if you have one and it can pivot with the touch of a button. Personally i have a quad boss 52 inch plow on my kawasaki prairie 3604x4 which has survived 6 heavy new England winters. Also if you want to get fancy you can add a salt spreader to the back of the quad....
    My plow installed on my quad was less than 600 all together said and done.
    Price wise you get what you pay for this day in age and install on these things are not hard at all anybody with some mechanical knowledge and tools should be able to install.
  3. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,934

    It would be cheaper for you and more efficient to just buy a blade for your truck if you already have one. One truck is faster than two atvs. It's also easier to get from site to site. You could spend a couple of grand for one decent used blade for a truck than have to buy a second atv, and two plows for them. You'd also be nice and warm while clearing the snow.
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    What accounts do you plow with an atv down here? They're really only practical for sidewalks. We don't get much but if you're going to do it, just get a plow for the truck. I sold my plow a couple of years ago. I no longer had the time to commit to plowing (full time job and family) and I wasn't making enough to make the insurance and plow worth keeping because of those reasons.
  5. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    I think you could make it work ok.
    I would go with 60" plows what ever brand you choose. or get 1 60" and then a smaller plow that will fit on the few side walks you have to due

    I like Moose myself.

    next big thing is due you want power angle or can you get by with just setting the plow how you want and live with it?

    if your looking at it may be years between gigs I'd think just get basic plow use winch for up/down and then you have the winch for year round use on the ATV to boot.

    if you get the big snow for you of 8" you can windrow the snow and then use tractor to push the big stuff
    having 3 units per lot the 2 quads to make piles for tractor to push
    get toward to the end send 1 quad to next site to start making windrows for the tractor. Finish the big stuff with tractor and send tractor to next site
    finish up the spillage with last quad and then follow to next site.

    what are your temps for plowing? and can you drive the quads from site to site? how long is the loop?

    just my thoughts.
  6. KFX450RXC

    KFX450RXC Member
    Messages: 39

    The loop is huge. Last winter, it was over 300 miles. All the businesses are spread out among several nearby cities. It was 19 overall but this summer, they moved the two furthest ones to another district. So that was a blessing for sure. Now its probably 200 miles. We would leave and go non-stop for 24-28 hours. Dropping those two businesses will knock off at least 4-5 hours. Obviously, no driving the quads from one stop to another.

    Going from having one tractor and snow shovels to one tractor and one or two quads will be a treat for what we're used to.

    Two brands I'm also looking at besides Moose. RockyMountainATV carries Warn plows. I deal with them a lot with our ATV racing. Meyer seems a little pricy but I like the quality look and a five year warranty.
  7. KFX450RXC

    KFX450RXC Member
    Messages: 39

    Do you mean temperatures outside? If so, the worst we saw this past winter was 5. Since we go for more than 24 hours, we get the warmest and coldest parts of a day. Plowing at 5 degrees at 4:00am is miserable. But we do it.

    Of course, then it gets to where we just can't move but so much. Its so frozen, we push what we can, salt the heck out of it, and move on to the next stop.

    But for central NC, that's not too common. Usually we're anywhere between the teens to the 30s at night and anywhere from the 20s to sometimes the 40s during the day.

    Almanac is calling for another cold, wet winter. I have eight pallets of ice melt being delivered tomorrow. I may use it in 4-5 months. Or it may be 4-5 years. Just the nature of the business down here. :waving:
  8. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I bought a 50" Swisher plow at Tractor Supply in Knightdale. It is a tough little plow. My Rancher handles it with ease.
  9. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    if you add heated handle bar grips/thumb warmer to the atv it makes a word of difference and also Handle bar Mittens are a nice option as well.

    what is your travel time between site's? you can warm up a little in the truck between job's

    how big is your tractor?
  10. KFX450RXC

    KFX450RXC Member
    Messages: 39

    Average drive time between sites is probably 20-30 minutes. Its definitely our time to thaw out.

    I absolutely plan to add the heated grips and the handle bar mittens.

    Tractor is a New Holland T2220. 34 hp with 4WD.
  11. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I've got my contract locations in Raleigh, Garner, Cary area and grew up in Raleigh. Personally, I'd never use an ATV for that many sites. And with the icing we get down here you're going to get beaten up for sure fighting it.

    I'm waiting for our next 2 foot event any year now...we're due.
  12. onemanband

    onemanband Member
    Messages: 33

    If you have a quick attach on the tractor I would pick yourself up an 8' straight blade Western or any other manufacture. Have a fabricator put the quick connect on the plow side and you are in Business. Use your Hydros on your tractor for left and right, Find the correct tilt for your cutting edge and put the loader in float mode. Probably $1,000 tops in the unit. If you want to stay warm buy a cab cover and a ceramic heater.
    You could buy an older jeep with a 7' straight blade for the price of 2 , 4wheelers and plows. Im familiar with your weather and location. Just a thought but I would make sure you have big logos on all your equipment when you are driving around in that bad weather. There are so few folks that have that equipment in your area you can be the hero and plow them out and maybe gain some more summer customers :)))