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How are ATVs in heavy snow?

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by RLLServices, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. RLLServices

    RLLServices Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1

    I need an ATV to add to my snow fleet and I have no experience with them at all in the snow. How is their power in 12'' or more snow? Wet snow? Would 500cc be sufficient? or should I seach for more like 700cc? I was also think of maybe getting a UTV so I could fit a snow blower in the bed of it......They usally have around 700-1000cc or so. What do you guys think? I mean is it really hard to get in driveways in difficult conditions? Not so worried about getting stuck if I have a winch.....but I still need to get the job done! Thanks!
  2. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I know that I'll probably get blasted for saying this, but my personal experience w/ATVs in deep heavy snow is that they suck. I have a Kawasaki Brute Force 650 which works great in a couple of inches, but when there was a lot of heavy wet snow on the ground , it was not able to push it very far at all. If you raise the blade to try and get a 1st pass, you will wind up packing snow down with your undercarriage and you'll get hung up and stuck.

    As long as you plow with the storm and don't let it get ahead of you, you'll be fine w/the atv. If you already have a lot on the ground, you'd be better off w/a snow blower.
  3. bowhunter74

    bowhunter74 Member
    from MO.
    Messages: 46

    Like he said plow with the storm, but you can't always do that. So you just have to make due. 500cc will have enough power, try taking about 1/2 the blade width, it's not a power problem it's traction, run the stock tires or that type, mud tires are worthless in snow, you want a nice footprint on the ground below for max traction. We had a lot of snow here last winter and I logged a hell of a lot of hrs. with my 750 Brute with no pushing problems. I run a cutting edge from a truck(wore that down last season also wesport), no skids, and put the hammer down time is money, I sub for 2 major companies doing the walks for them then do my driveways average about 14 to 16 hrs each good snow and work the 2nd day on late calls and realtor work (most was 23hrs. with 10 hrs. about 4hrs later + the second day) + 2nd and 3rd pushes and resalts when plowing with the storms (I got so damn sick of snow last year we got hit about every 3 days). You will wand a 60" blade unless you are doing very narrow walks, if running a small blade you will be narrower then the tires when angled and will pack the snow. Get a good warn winch no cheapo's, and a good blade moose or cycle country. I'm geared up again let it snow bitches payup :nod:.
  4. lawnmasters2006

    lawnmasters2006 Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    i have a 06 Polaris'swesport sportsman 800efi....plows awesome..big piles too,just have to build a ramp style pile an u cant stack as high as s v-blade.have ran chains on it too,but is ruff on side walks..but i have to use them in icy walkswesportwesport an drives
  5. bowhunter74

    bowhunter74 Member
    from MO.
    Messages: 46

    I don't want to have to repair drives and walks from damage with chains.
  6. Matt L.

    Matt L. Member
    Messages: 54

    I use a yamaha rino. 72" cycle country blade. I put 3 sandbags in the box. never had a problem pushing snow. It will keep pushing even with snow coming over the top of the blade. as stated earlier heavy wet snow u should plow with the storm.
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    500cc is plenty big enough.

    ATVGUY Junior Member
    from central
    Messages: 24

    Not always the size that matters

    A 500 wil work just fine. One quick note when you look at ATV's (use yamaha as an example) they use the same frame size from the new 550 through the 700. Now granted you get more power but read the specs, not much different from there.

    One key issue with ATV plowing is the width. You really only want the plow size to equal just over the width of the tires, in the angled position. If you have a 500 the width is going to be less than 50" wide (stock tires). If you use a Cycle Country plow, lets say 54", when you angle it the width goes from 54" to 51" a 52" will go to 49".

    With a 500 don't go any bigger than a 54" blade and if you really want to throw snow look at a Cycle Country 52" State Plow, you can throw snow for yards, not just feet!

    You may also want to look at a Cycle Country V plow.. They make the only v plow for an ATV and the rumor is they are comming out with two new sizes, 48" and 54". With a v plow you don't get the atv "side kick" issues.

    IF you really want to be the king of snow get ATV tracks. You can push a lot more and if it gets deep you can drive on top of the snow and "wind row" it out of the way. It is unreal what you can do with tracks.
  9. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    ya 500cc is big enough. even a 400 is good.
  10. otis

    otis Junior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 9

    I have an 08 Polaris Ranger 500 EFI and power is no problem. But weight is when I get into heavy wet snow. If you can plow when ever there is 4" or less no problem but when you get more than that you will spend at least twice as long getting the job done.
  11. res12cue

    res12cue Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I see that y'all are talking about the 500CC range of ATV's. I have a 08 Sportsman 500 HO. Is that going to be enough to push the Moose 60" county blade? My boss at work told me his brother in law had a 50" for his 500 quad (not sure what brand/model) and it was worthless, just couldn't push anything more than 2 or 3" of snow.
  12. ATVGUY

    ATVGUY Junior Member
    from central
    Messages: 24


    I am not sure why he has issues with the 500. My girlfriend lives the the country and her driveway is about 1/4 mile in total. She has a 350 Honda Rancher with a cycle country state plow and she keeps it clean all winter long. At times she is pushing over a foot of snow!
  13. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I plowed snow in our home town for 5 years with a fleet of 4 Polaris 400 Xplorers (2 stroke). We had 60" blades for all of them. They did fine until you got 6" of snow or more. In our country you very seldom get over 2-3" at a time so they worked fine. When things were at their best we were doing about 60 accounts. I have never made so much money with so little imput cost. Now I have 3 pickup and am broke.
  14. otis

    otis Junior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 9

    Power is not the problem imho, it's not having enough weight to push much snow, especially wet heavy snow. If you can get on it with every 3 to 4 inches it will be fine.
  15. ATVGUY

    ATVGUY Junior Member
    from central
    Messages: 24


    Weight can be an issue but it is easy to overcome with a front and rear basket with weight in it. Also depends on if you have a place to push the snow. If it is clear and the snow has a place to go it is a deminensioning load.
  16. res12cue

    res12cue Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the replies. I top out close to 300lbs so I don't think I will have a problem...

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    hey guys im new here but have been viewing for awhile, i live in upstate ny so i know snow , i have plowed for years and then i bought a snowmobile lol, id rather play in it .

    I have a 03 rincon 650 that i plow my driveway with. that is fun to use, but cold hehe. we have storms that dump copius amounts of snow,the days that you spend all day plowin and sno blowin, and roof shovelin. to finally get done and wake up the next day, to another balls deep blanket of snow, just to look over in the barn to see the150 ftx 4ft wide driveway for the wheelr is no more lol, that really would have sucked if i didnt have a snowblower lol.

    you definately want to plow with the storm? imo and biggers better for sure ?
  18. pby98

    pby98 Member
    Messages: 86

    i have a rancher 350 with a 48 inch plow and it plows great. i push mostly dirt and stone and it does good with that.
  19. sport-trac

    sport-trac Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    i have an '04 Sportsman 500 HO with the 60" plow / warn wench on it.. does great like everyone says.. until the wet heavy stuff.. plow with the storm..

    I would get a different set of tires than the knob ones that come on it.. they suck on the driveways if it is the least bit slippery though...

  20. natueboy

    natueboy Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Not the best overall

    I have ran ATV's since 97 commercialy in our business, and anything over 8-10 inches absolutley suck for snow, especially on sidewalks. Reason why, the plow are only so tell and can only send snow so far to the sides, and on top of that they tend to push the snow to the ends, and not windrowing it at all in deeper snow. They don't have the height of a holder, or a skid loader plow. On top of that, city sidewalks is all we used them for. I hope this will help.