I had a friend that plowed with a Honda 4 trax. He did it from when he was 15, until he got his liscense at 17. Then he got a Jeep with a plow, and already had 20 accounts on one street. The ATV had no trouble. He weighed about 300 pounds though. He ran chains on it, and it did great.
The local high school I used to work at, got a Suzuki to do the walks with the year after I left. They got wheel weights for it, and tire chains. It too does a great job. In fact, when I was there, we did all the walks with two 26" 8HP snow blowers. It took about an hour on a 4" storm. With the quad (ATV) one guy does all the walks in 45 minutes. They still call in 5 guys to do stairs though. It still takes them the hour to do all the stairs.
The only problem is the wear bar, or "cutting edge". It wears out really fast. They run $20, so it's no big deal. Then again, it's only 2" wide, 1/4" thick mild steel. I told my friend I'd give him one of my plow's old 3/8" high carbon cutting edges, that worn down is about 2 1/2" wide. Would make a big difference I'm sure.
Then again...... Dino, do you carry a urethane cutting edge for a plow that small? Would be great for all the gaps in the walkways. Those little plows have trip springs, and do trip a lot. Urethane may eliminate some of the trips though.
The only other draw back I see is transporting it from job to job. It will get covered with snow in the back of a truck, and loading it in the snow would be "fun" too. A van may be a better way to get it around, but in a storm, a van may not get around too well.
Yes, it would be much faster, but you'd be much colder.
Also, depending on where those jobs are, and your area, you could get a hassle from Johnny Law. Around here, they HATE ATV's and dirt bikes. Mostly because they can't catch the dirt bikes, even on the dryest nicest day.
If all your accounts are in a small radius, then driving it from job to job is a possibility. My friend who did it at 15, did driveways too. He strapped a grain shovel on the back rack to do the walks and steps with. Of course you would plow all the walks you can, but around here, they like to put steps by the street, and have a walk up to another set of steps by the house. DON'T EVEN THINK of driving a ATV on anyone's lawn to get to the walks.
I plow my own driveway with a Kawasaki 300 and it does O.K., but not great. Limitations are relatively small blade size and only being able to push snow (with a good high speed slam!) into piles about 2.5 ft high. Over the course of a season where to push snow to starts to become a problem when you can't pile it any higher. Also, most blades for ATVs are pretty light - not much good for anything other than fresh loose snow - if the snow is the slighest bit packed the blade tends to ride up onto the top of the hardpack. I'd suggest using a wench to raise and lower the blade - I've yet to see one of those "handle off to one side" lift systems that come wih ATV blades that works really well. I have about 4,000 sq ft of driveway/parking and doing a thorough job of clearing a 4 inch snowfall usually takes me about 2 hours with a 4 foot blade (but I'm pushing the all the snow a good ways off from the drive). Using a ATV would probably be the ticket for sidewalks and small driveways, but as for myself - I've just purchased a skid steer and will be taking delivery on it tomorrow. Bring on the snow!
A couple more beers brought to mind a couple other points to consider. If you're using a ATV in snow that is deeper than its ground clearance the undercarriage tends to "float" in it and traction can become a problem (unless the operator is of sufficient weight to help force the machine down!). Theoretically, you're plowing over the area your wheels are going to be rolling over so this shouldn't be a problem, but in reality I've wasted a lot of time rocking and dragging mine out of deeper snow. Also, if you're running real agressive tire tread or using chains you'll need to keep an eye on tire inflation. ATV tires are rated for pretty low tire pressure to begin with and if you couple that with the machine's relatively high amount of torque in the low gears you can have problems with actually breaking the bead between the tires and the rims. I usually inflate mine to about double the recommended psi (12 vs 6) to avoid that problem. Of course the 12 psi I put in the tire while in the garage probably drops a good bit when I start plowing outside when its -30 degrees or so!
We used to use a yamaha 350 big bear with 4x4 and a reverse in it.Other than being cold and the lack of power swivel on the blade it worked grat.It would move 7 to 10 inches of snow easy.We only used it for side walks,it came with a manual lift and the blade attached at the foot pegs.This was alright but this kind of ruined the ground clearence so I modified the blade so it was set up like a regular meyer snow plow.I then used a deep cycle marine battery and what is called an actuator to raise the plow it worked great.The reason that we sold it is that we got so many accounts that the period of time the plower had to be out dictated the need for a cab and heat
>>. I'd suggest using a wench to raise and lower the blade<< So,,are ya gonna make her walk from job to job or add a second seat? If ya go the seat route the law is really gonna love you, there's sticker on them machines about not carrying riders. And if you DON'T let her ride the equal rights folks are gonna be on you like stink on poop. Persoanally, I'd go with a WINCH and run it off the battery.
I don't see a reply from Dino yet but I can answer for him. Yes we do manufacture cutting edges for atv's. I have a Honda four trax 4x4 and it has worked well with the urethane edge. I have used the same edge for over 4 years now and it holds up better than steel.
I extend the edges out about 3 inches per side and that allows me around the garage, and around the sides of the houses. The edge is outstanding for gravel and/or blue stone driveways. All my plowing up here in New Hampshire is mostly dirt, stone, bluestone or the like and a little asphalt.
I've used it in town around the town bulidings and we clean up better than any truck, because of the tight tuning radius.
Also as mentioned be careful of the air in the tires, because of the required low pressure. I've had a couple of fun times because of them.
I've actually put a larger blade on my Honda and the smaller one on my Suzuki. Good results, but the Honda does perform better.
Call Dino Alan or Bill Nero depending where you live, they will fix you up.
These edges have been designed for use on black topand/or any type of road surface. I talked about the rougher areas to clean when I spoke about bluestone, gravel and dirt.
These edgs work outstanding for airports etc. We have gone over the qualities of the urethanes a lot on this forum, and the the success for the edges this year has been outstanding.
I guess the best way to sum it up is, when you want to clean up a glass surface you use a flexible squeege not a steel one. The edges have been around a long time, call the guys like dino, alan, bill nero, john parker and you will understand why they like them and want to be part of their growth.
I'll be out in Iowa,(SnoMan) on Tuesday, Henderson that afternoon, Milwaukee (Western) Cleveland Swenson/Diamond/Meyers for the next week if you need information contact the guys above.