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UTV with Plow or Skid Steer

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by avking, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. avking

    avking Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I recently moved into the mountains of Idaho and we get some serious snow. I have owned the house for 5 years and managed with an ATV with Plow and DR Power Snow Blower. But that was when it was a vacation house. Now we live here fulltime, I need a proper setup. My driveway is just a little shy of 1/3 mile and has one fairly steep 50' section. The rest is pretty normal, but we are limited on where we can put the snow. Have some very long pushes to get it to a point where we can then push it out to store it.

    I am looking at two options. First is just pulling the trigger and getting a Skid Steer. I know for a fact that it will make quick work of what I need to do. But, at $15,900, I am having trouble with that option.

    My second option is a UTV with a Plow. I can pickup a 09 Ranger XP for $8,700 or a 07 Mule 3010 Trans4x4 for $6,700. The Mule is a 4 seater. Neither have a cab, heater or plow on them now. In my situation, some sort of cab and heat is mandatory. For a plow, I would only go with a V plow that has all hydraulic or electric operations. I want to be able to do all adjustments without leaving my seat.

    Do you guys think the Ranger or Mule would do better pushing snow? I have looked at the Boss & Moose V-Plows. What is more popular and are there anymore options for plows that fit what I need? It looks like $2,500 to $3,500 is what the complete plow setup is going to cost. Is there anywhere selling these for better prices? Where is the best deal on a cab and heater?

    I would like your opinions and suggestions on the plow and UTV options. Also, if you think I should just say screw it and get the Skid, shout that as well.

    Thanks guys.
  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    Get the skid loader. If you have a 1/3 mile long lane, then you probably have a large amount of property that you could use the loader on as well.
  3. johnscram

    johnscram Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Ive used all 3 thru the years and i love my quad for plowing and i loved my rhino before i sold it and the skid steer always worked so well, it will push alot more than the UTV. As for the UTV the boss plow seems like the way to go, the cycle country is alot less beefed up! As for a cab and heater, tommy toppers sells some nice cabs that fit over the roll cage and i used this heater for a year or so inside the rhino, works well! As far as the money goes, your going to end up using both year round, around the property but you cant really put the snow where you want it as readily as you could with a skid. The UTV will still push alot and should do a great job.

    http://www.buggiesunlimited.com/product.asp?sku=HTR UNV 194
  4. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    what is your avg amount of snow you'll have to push and due you have bad drift area's?
    which unit can you get more use out of beside's the Snow removal?

    time you put a blade on the ranger or mule and heat the cab you'll be at the Skid price.

    I guess I'd go with what you can get the most use out of?
    the ranger can make many trips to the end of the drive for mail runs and visit's down the road and such the Skid is all work and no play.

    good luck.
  5. avking

    avking Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    A normal snow will be from 6" to 12" and we get that at least once a week and sometimes twice a week or more. About once a month and sometimes a little more often, we will get a dumping of 24" or more. And then you have Super Bowl Sunday a couple years back that dumped around 4 foot in a day with a foot the day before and another foot the day after. Early snow is light and fluffy but the later months bring wet and heavy.

    If money were no object, I would buy both. But, times are tough and I have to watch my funds. I could get a lot of use out of the Skid for sure, but won't really use the bucket that much other than snow. I would love to have a couple other attachments like log splitter, brush mower, etc. But, at $5k per implement, I don't see that in the near future.

    Based on my snow amounts, do you think the UTV has enough power to push that much that often?

    Is the Ranger or the Mule the better option for pushing? The Mule seems like it is more utility and the Ranger more sporty. But, the Ranger is shorter being a two seater and might be able to drive and turn around in tight spaces.

    One thing I forgot to mention, is that if I go with a UTV, I will trade in my Quad and get about $5k for the trade. That makes the UTV a lot cheaper than the Skid. I won't be dumping the Quad if I get a Skid.

    I think I prefer the UTV for the price savings, but am concerned it won't push far enough. My current Sportsman 500 with a 48" cheap blade can't really push it far enough into the storage areas.
  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    I would say the Ranger XP then. the Crew of the Mule would take you a block to turn around and the Ranger will have more power I think course what engine in the Ranger vs the Mule?

    eith Utv will due %85 of what you need easy but its that other %15, are you gonna keep your previos meniton snow blower? if you've done it for some years with an ATV with plow and then the blower for the deep stuff.

    plus like you said you can get 5K on trade for the ranger/mule vs getting the skid would be all out of pocket.

    with out a doubt the skid would handle all the snow you could throw at it but is that worth the extra $10K or for that amount or can you stuggle threw it with the ranger/mule and blade and then the blower?

    just my thoughts. You can pull a log splitter behind the ranger/mule and even pull a trail mower if you want to.

    just my thoughts.

    that darn money factors into so many things.
  7. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,171

    If you plow with the storm you will be fine with the UTV. But I don't think I would want to plow a foot or more at once with a UTV. I love skids, until you have one you have no idea how useful they are. For what your doing a bucket would be ok but a V blade would kick ASS.
    What kind of skid are you looking at?
  8. greywynd

    greywynd PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,339

    How about a third option? What about a compact tractor with a blower? No banks to deal with, and less issues with having to find places to 'put' snow. Depending on the unit, maybe you can get a loader as well. Cheaper implements than a skid, maybe more useful in the summer for you as well. Not sure what you have now for grass etc, but again, maybe it's something you can trade in against the tractor to save a few bucks?
  9. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I second that. A compact tractor seems like it would fit your needs quite well. You could get one with a loader and put a plow on it too. If you'd rather have that than a blower. But a blower would probably work better.
  10. avking

    avking Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I ruled out the tractor due to the inability to turn easily. I have worked with them before and they just can cut a few important corners I have to deal with. Plus, most of them put the blower on the rear and you have to drive backwards.

    Last night we got a big snow dumping. It came mostly through the night and by the time I woke up, it was so deep, I could not even drive the ATV through it. The ATV did not have the clearance and would just get hung up. With the plow in the highest up position I could put it, it was still pushing snow. This storm helped me make my decision.

    I could not choose between the Skid and UTV, so I got both. I went with the 2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4x4. It came with an OEM 72" plow with electic lift and only has 60 something hours on it. Had them deliver it to the bottom of the mountain and drove it up late this afternoon. I made it up, but barely. The ground clearance was the issue, the same as the ATV. When the snow got to deep, it just does not want to go. But, when I hit the driveway and lowered the plow, it sure did push the snow really nice. Since I can sell my ATV for about $5,000 with all the goodies it has, and the Mule was only $6,699, my out of packet was so low, I could afford it.

    For the Skid, I went with a New Holland LS175 with about 2200 hours. Just has a bucket for now, but I will put a blower on it next Winter and get a nice brush cutter for it in the spring. At $15,900, I am going way over my budget with the two rigs, but I decided it was worth it. I am going to see about getting two or three people on the mountain and do driveways for them, to help offset the cost.

    Up here, it runs about $260 to have someone clear a driveway after a dump like we got last night. If I can get just one person, I can make enough to pay the finance cost of the Skid.
  11. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    good luck with your snow removal for the season let us know how it goes.

    sublime out
  12. irv

    irv Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    we like pictures also. sounds like you have a nice setup.--irv
  13. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    One piece of advise on the skid, try to find snow tires. We started plowing with skidsteers in 2000 with limited sucess last season I put snow tires on a unit. I thought I was in a different machine. It sounds like your drive goes through the the hills & has some curves, with standard tires skids can get squirelly with the short wheelbase.
  14. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 922

    Very good advice here, however with the amoujnt of snow you're getting in the mountains and probably lack of a paved driveway, tires chains are cheaper and will REALLY bite on a dirt road.
  15. grasskeepers

    grasskeepers Member
    Messages: 71

    look into berncomac snowblowers for utvs
    i have one and love it its way faster then plowing most for most drive ways