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ZTR vs ATV for plowing snow

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by workingirl, Feb 18, 2010.

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Which do you feel is a better suited plow machine?

  1. ZTR

    4 vote(s)
    9.3%
  2. ATV

    39 vote(s)
    90.7%
  1. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I think it has long been a hallucination of many atv owners that their 4wheeler can handle more snow than a zero turn mower. I would only assume that many atv owners here don’t own a ZTR as well, to make a fair judgment to the ability of these agile machines and their capabilities. My favorite part of the mower is that you can spin around in super tight areas rather than going forward, back, forward, back, forward to turn around...like on a ATV.

    I fully understand that trail riding a mower wouldn’t be the funnest thing in the world but I don’t think that is a relevant argument in this forum as it is for ATV snow removal not ATV fun. Furthermore, they should rename this forum ATV-ZTR snow removal and while we're at it, the UTV guys should be specified as well.

    I did some research to compare an ATV vs ZTR in weight, hp, TORQUE and price of the two most powerful and comparably expensive machines in their class for a comparison study. I figured using more intermediate machines would leave too many disputable arguments for both side to try and prove their case.

    Bombrdier 800 Rotax :laughing:
    $10,000-$11,000 msrp
    71hp
    10.6 ft lbs tq
    700lbs dry weight
    1300lb towing capacity

    Bad Boy Mower 35 Caterpillar wesport
    $10,000-$11,500 msrp
    35hp
    94 ft lbs tq
    1700lbs dry weight
    2600lb towing capacity

    Every one knows that torque is what does the work and having weight and momentum will get you further with a heavy snow load than just "four wheel drive".

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it's cool and fun to own an ATV but it's more like an expensive toy that can possibly make you money in the winter. A ZTR WILL make you money all year round mowing, dethatching, aerating and plowing...all things you can charge other people good money for and wrap a full blown company around. payup

    Does any one here have any other points of view that could be backed by fact rather than simple opinion?
     
  2. hoopdogusa

    hoopdogusa Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    good post but the camam has alot more torque then 10 ft lbs! starts at the 40 and get into the 60 with torque as it goes thru rpm range. ztr are a awesome machine but my father in law has a kubota and it gets stuck all the time when it rains. seems you would have to be careful plowing or risk getting stuck?? no time plowing with one just mowing with his so not a true compairson.
     
  3. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    ATV can go where snow has not been plowed and still get through. leap over or bust through a plow berm at the end of a drive to get to the clean street or get from the street to the drive due to the light weight and ground clearance of the ATV. Can move at speed from drive to drive. even is street is unplowed. you can just drive through or over the snow.

    the ZTR is pretty much stuck sticking to plowed area's. and expanding from there.
    it's a hyped Garden tractor that has to stay on cleared area's to be effective. Though its super effective when it's on good traction.


    what is the ground clearance of ZTR's and top speed down a street?
    I would give you side by side the ZTR very well could out perform an ATV at plowing.

    the ATV though can back threw that pile of snow drop the blade on the other side and push the pile where it needs to go. ZTR will have to go around the pile and then move it.

    though you can Build up year round work for the ZTR, the ATV is more like year round FUN.


    just my thoughts

    sublime out.
     
  4. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Nice points guys!

    I would have to agree that there is now way your busting through a snow pile with a ZTR unless the plow is down. Also, I myself have found that if I’m not careful I can get my mower stuck in someone’s yard when there is soft ground.
    Now this may have only been my first year plowing but I know now that its almost impossible to get my wheels to slip at all on plowed pavement. This is more true when I have my plow down with down pressure applied on it, basically it seems to transfer most of the weight to my rear tires to get more traction. With the plow up it seems more likely to slip cuz it's riding on all four tires instead of the rear and the plow cutting edge. I have driven through 5" of snow before to get at other areas when the truck wasn’t runnin and unless you're really stupid you probably wont get stuck as long as there is pavement under the snow (not ice).

    I cant agree with the Can-Am having as much torque as you're indicating but only because I haven’t found evidence of this personally. However I do understand that generally as rpms go up the torque generally follows as the case with the Bad Boy mower. They listed 94lbs tq at 2800rpm so I don’t know what it is at idle. I find it hard to believe Can-Am would list their at idle torque instead of with peak which is why I cant believe the 40-60 you listed and would sooner believe it only has 10lbs. But please post a link that can prove me wrong, I’m very agreeable when provided credible evidence.

    Usually max clearance under the deck is 6" which doesn’t matter any ways because with the deck removed you'll get 15" of clearance and still get stuck in a pile of snow.

    Max speed of a Z is 15mph on a good day but take into consideration that no LCO drives their mower from job site to job site unless they are super close for mowing either. I'm sure this is the case not because it would be easier but because myself and every other LCO I know already has to carry expensive $1,000,000.00 insurance to get most corporate contracts. I don’t think my insurance would cover much if I got T-boned in an intersection even if my premium was up to date.
     
  5. Tosa93F250

    Tosa93F250 Member
    Messages: 91

    I don't think your insurance would care about it then. If you get t-boned by a vehicle while riding any kind of mower your toast.

    I don't have any experience using a ZTR for plowing but do have a little with my ATV.

    Now I purchased the ATV for the sole purpose of doing a commercial lot while my truck was broken during a 14"+ storm. Since I was doing a 20-25 car lot with a 200ft driveway the speed of an ATV was nice. There were times when I would easily hit 30mph while driving from one end to the other to windrow the snow in the same direction.

    When I returned the next day city plows had pushed about 18" of wet slush and snow into the end of the drive and my F150 had to work a little to get through it with the trailer. If I had a ZTR and not an ATV there would've been no way for me to plow that out even if it had 15" of ground clearance as you mentioned. Also, the ability to run full speed into a snowbank and just drive over to turn around instead of stopping and backing up was pretty nice.
     
  6. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    [/QUOTE]I don't think your insurance would care about it then. If you get t-boned by a vehicle while riding any kind of mower your toast.[/QUOTE]

    I should have figured someone wouldn’t get my analogy, I was implying I wouldn’t want to drive far because of safety issues hence "the intersection". Not that if I were toast I would care but I'm sure the insurance company would still be pissed having to replace or fix the vehicle that I got in front of. The same would hold true on an ATV as well, driving down the road extensively is just asking for trouble especially for a reputable company with employees sitting on that piece of equipment.


    [/QUOTE]There were times when I would easily hit 30mph while driving from one end to the other to windrow the snow in the same direction.[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly why some companies view ATV's as a risk to their own insurance and won’t allow them on the premises, too dangerous and a potential safety risk. My uncle lives in Milwaukee and worked for Pobloki Paving which I assume is near you. They use a 4 wheeler for sidewalks and have been told they couldn’t use it at one location any more just because they turned around in the snow covered grass. The building owner was afraid that it would compress the grass and cause snow rot (crazy, but he did it). Essentially, 4wheel drive loss them the privilege to use a ATV and had to go back to snow blowing.


    [/QUOTE]If I had a ZTR and not an ATV there would've been no way for me to plow that out even if it had 15" of ground clearance as you mentioned.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure your meaning here and I'm assuming you just misinterpreted what I said about ground clearance. I said that no matter if the deck was on and there were 6" of clearance or the deck was off and you had 15" of clearance it still would not make it over a giant pile of snow. However I would say with the plow down you could bust through it probably easier and faster than a Quad just because of sheer weight and power.


    [/QUOTE]Now I purchased the ATV for the sole purpose of doing a commercial lot while my truck was broken during a 14"+ storm.[/QUOTE]

    So if you bought it for that one sole purpose, did you sell it when your truck was fixed?
     
  7. hoopdogusa

    hoopdogusa Junior Member
    Messages: 27

  8. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for posting the link but I don’t think this is a very good chart for either of us to discuss the finer points of the Can-Am capabilities. It does possibly show the highest torque possible and then its decline.

    Showing a chart in this form indicates that you would need the engine revved to 5,500rpm to get half the torque that the comparable Z would have. I don’t think it would even be possible to hit 5,500 rpm unless you were doing 50mph or you revved the engine that high and slammed it into gear from a dead stop and then all that would happen is you would be doing a burn out. Your still looking at only 10.6ft lbs torque available at any given time from your ATV during normal plowing.

    Now a Z is usually revved to 2,500rpms 94ft lbs of torque constant, which means your torque is always constant whether you're just starting to move or cruising at 10mph.

    Power800_CanAm.jpg
     
  9. hansons glc

    hansons glc Member
    from mn
    Messages: 91

    [/QUOTE]This is exactly why some companies view ATV's as a risk to their own insurance and won’t allow them on the premises, too dangerous and a potential safety risk. My uncle lives in Milwaukee and worked for Pobloki Paving which I assume is near you. They use a 4 wheeler for sidewalks and have been told they couldn’t use it at one location any more just because they turned around in the snow covered grass. The building owner was afraid that it would compress the grass and cause snow rot (crazy, but he did it). Essentially, 4wheel drive loss them the privilege to use a ATV and had to go back to snow blowing

    THAT SUCK. FOR HIM THEN I HOPE THE BUILDING OWNER IS PAYING BY THE HOUR BECUSE BLOWERS ARE SLOWER.


    [/QUOTE]If I had a ZTR and not an ATV there would've been no way for me to plow that out even if it had 15" of ground clearance as you mentioned.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure your meaning here and I'm assuming you just misinterpreted what I said about ground clearance. I said that no matter if the deck was on and there were 6" of clearance or the deck was off and you had 15" of clearance it still would not make it over a giant pile of snow. However I would say with the plow down you could bust through it probably easier and faster than a Quad just because of sheer weight and power.

    NO HE IS TALKING ABOUT A ATV HAVING 15" OF GROUND CLEARANCE. BESIDES THE MOWER WOULD NOT HAVE 15" OF GROUND CLEARENCE WITH OR WITH OUT DECK

    [/QUOTE]Now I purchased the ATV for the sole purpose of doing a commercial lot while my truck was broken during a 14"+ storm.[/QUOTE]

    So if you bought it for that one sole purpose, did you sell it when your truck was fixed?[/QUOTE]

    NO, HE BOUGHT A ATV AS A BACK UP JUST IN CASE THE TRUCK BREAKS DOWN SO HE CAN TRY TO SAVE FROM HAVING TO FIND A OTHER COMPANY TO DO HIS WORK.

    ATV IS FASTER IN SO MANY WAYS. ,OVER CURBS ,OFF THE TRAILER,FROM PLACE TO PLACE TO PLACE WHEN YOU ARE PUSHING SNOW, HAS 4X4.

    THE ONLY NICETHINGS ABOUT A ZTR IS THAT
    YOU PROBLEY ALREADY HAVE ONE
    COULD MAKE MONEY WITH IT ALL YEAR
    IT HAS A STRONG TRANYS FOR THE MOST PART
    CAN TURN ON A DIME
    YOU CANT DRIVE OVER THE SNOW PILES OR GRASS IF THE PROPERTY OWNER IS NOT A KNOW IT ALL AND THINKS THE FROZEN TURF WLL compress the grass and cause snow rot.LOL
    SLOW
    IF NOT EFI OR STORED IN A HEATED PLACE WILL START HARD THEY ARE MADE FOR SUMMER NOT COLD.

    I FEEL USE THE BIGGEST FASTEST PEACE OF EQUIPMENT U HAVE..........IF IT WILL WORK ON THE JOB. IM HERE TO MAKE MONEY AND SAVE MY BODY.
    DO YOU SHOVEL A 20 PARKING SPOT LOT BY HAND OR USE A HAMMER TO DRIVE EVERY NAIL BUILDING A HOUSE. NOT TRYIING TO BE MEAN BUT USING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT IS KEY TO MAKING MONEYAND SAVING TIME. IF YOU HAVE A ZTR THEN PUT A BLADE ON IT AND SEE HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU. I HAVE MANY ZTR AND TRYED JUST DRIVING IN THE SNOW ITS FUN IN 2" BUT IT WILL GET STUCK WAY FASTER THEN A ATV
     
  10. hoopdogusa

    hoopdogusa Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    okay but any machine that makes 70 horse has more then enough POWER to push all the snow i need,weather it is hp or torque. not being a smart butt but have you ever rode one? i drag 15 ft logs 12 to 15 inches in diameter all day long at the farm. your not doing that with 10 ft lbs of torque. just saying the v-twins are a torque monster!
     
  11. doubleedge

    doubleedge Member
    from ND
    Messages: 64

    More torque = better chance of slipping. Plus, my 700 Yamaha loses traction before it loses power, so the torque topic is irrelevant.

    Traction is the biggest problem when plowing, I have found. The ATV has more wheels turning, but the ZTR has more weight on the wheels. What is the most you have plowed with your ZTR? My ATV can go through maybe 2 ft of normal snow before it has difficulty pushing it.

    And also, does your ZTR deflect to the side when the blade is angled? With 4 fixed wheels, the ATV should be able to stay in a straight line more easily.
     
  12. hoopdogusa

    hoopdogusa Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    doubleedge beat me to my next statement i run out of traction log before power!
     
  13. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    putting words in his mouth

    He didn’t even know what he was talking about, so how would you. Just making something up for him isn’t exactly a great rebuttal or helpful to any one. Yes, most commercial mowers would have 15" of clearance with out the deck but as I've stated before, it doesn’t matter the thing will still get stuck in a snow bank any ways so lets move on.

    I thought it was dumb as well but in the building owner’s defense, he was paying for snow removal not for someone to go off roading on his property. It wouldn't be ok to turn your truck around in someone’s front yard because it was easier than backing up

    You just made this up too, that’s not what he wrote at all. Now maybe he didnt mean it exactly the way he typed it and I shouldnt have called him out on a little detail that I’m sure he didn’t mean. I didn’t really think he sold it after his truck was fixed but you make it harder to reply to him if you're putting words in his mouth.


    Cool, than you agree with me! an ATV is better off road than a Z and a ZTR is better for plowing harder to maneuver areas than a Quad?

    We would all have to agree with this statement but that doesnt mean the customer has to deal with a contractor doing what ever they want in the name of moving snow.
     
  14. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    It's not irrelevant and you're wrong, you just want to disregard this fact because the mower has twice the torque of the ATV. Why dont you add some weight to your machine if you're losing traction?



    wow! you make it really difficult to answer or reply when you post a statement, post an opinion, ask a question, post a hypothetical scenario, ask another question and then give another opinion, all in what seems to be one expressed thought. Even the first "sentence" or what ever it is, was weird to try and answer.
     
  15. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    small torque atv

    Ok, but how do you know you would have enough power if you had more traction?
     
  16. hansons glc

    hansons glc Member
    from mn
    Messages: 91

     
  17. workingirl

    workingirl Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    About 8" of the wet nasty stuff the county truck threw up from the road onto the side walk.

    Not yet but I'm sure the day will come. Has it ever been difficult to keep your quad going in a perfectly straight line while pusing heavy snow? That actually wasnt a question, more like a retorical question, because I've been in trucks before getting pushed sideways in the heavy stuff (every one does).
     
  18. hansons glc

    hansons glc Member
    from mn
    Messages: 91

     
  19. hansons glc

    hansons glc Member
    from mn
    Messages: 91

    There is a place for every peace of equipment. U have to compare apples to apples. Atvs are fast and drive through alot of stuff and a ztr turn on a dime and go from forward to reverse with out shifting. I can't compare two but that is my opinion. In my case where i pllow with my atv i can drive as fast as i want to push the snow. If the speed i plow is a issue i will slow down i get payed by the hour but with a ztr i can't go that fast plus you don't have the traction i have with a atv.
     
  20. hoopdogusa

    hoopdogusa Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    {quote workingirl Ok, but how do you know you would have enough power if you had more traction?}



    this is funny! i have 250 pds of sand on back rack and 225pds of plow stuff on the front. i weighed the quad and with all of that and with me it was 1250 pds. and trust me still no shortage of power. once again go ask for a test ride at a dealer then this stage of the conflict will be over! you will never and i mean never run out of hp or torque plowing snow with a any big bore quad!!!!