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Possible atv for sidewalks (next year)

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by sven1277, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    I have a bevy of walk behind snow blowers and a compact tractor with a blade. I really think an atv could be a great sidewalk machine. Much faster than blowers and even the tractor. My two biggest questions are-

    Straight blade or v? Atv's are light. I'm afraid that a heavy, wet snow fall may just push the machine around if using a straight blade. We do clear commercial walks with the storm, not at the end. Sometimes the snowfall is too quick to keep up with. Sidewalks are about 48" wide.

    Auto or manual? This purchase would primarily be used for business. I have personally always enjoyed shifting when riding. I won't be using this machine for snow personally. I would never want a manual tranny for a plow truck, but I don't feel it is as big a deal with an atv. What are your thoughts?

    I would probably fit it with a spreader on the back and add a few bags of icemelt to the racks. That will add some weight. I am looking at a 400-500cc engine range machine. Probably a Honda. I don't think the larger machines are a necessity. Thanks.
  2. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 499

    A 48 inch straight blade would be perfect, along with the 400-500 cc range is perfect for plowing also. i would suggest auto for ease of use and you won't burn out the clutch. Other guys can also easily use the automatic some people do not know how to shift. An electric winch and maybe the warn power pivot would be perfect also.
  3. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    If your going Honda then get the Foreman.

    are you getting New or used?

    the foreman went to a 500CC engine in 2005.
    I would due foot shift. How fast you want to go for plowing?

    www.hondaforeman.com you can learn all about Honda atv there.

    I think for the Plow get a V-plow. with a straight blade you'll have plow steer and it will kick you out into the bank and you'll have to back up to get another run at it. The V will just keep knifing through.

    get Heated Grips/thumb and Handle bar Mittens and you can go along time plowing without getting your hands frozen up.

    just my thoughts.
  4. TheHammer

    TheHammer Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Anyone near you rent them? We rent Honda Rancher 420FM's 4x4 foot shift models with 48" cycle country blades with manual lifts. Cost is about $348 for 2 days rental with the insurance. They work so well for sidewalks you could keep up with any storm.

    IMG_3039 atvplow.jpg
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Agreed, as posted.
  6. mark268

    mark268 Member
    Messages: 81

    Short of the make, I completely agree below. Not disagreeing that Honda is not a great ATV, it is. I just don't want to say one make is better than another.

    We actually use an ATV for sidewalks. It works great. My sidewalk crew pulls it on a 5x8 trailer behind the truck. We are using a Kawasaki Prairie 360 with Cycle Country 48" straight blade. A V blade will definitely help with "Plow Steer". This is a problem we run into. Just have to take your time so not to cut into the grass.

    I would be careful not to buy an ATV that is to big. Something in the 350cc - 500cc range should be perfect. Plus, keep the blade width to 48". Sidewalks can be narrow. I prefer Automatic just for ease of use, and 4wd.

    One other thing to consider is the lift type, whether its manual or winch. Starting off we purchased the cycle country manual lift system. JUNK!!! the poor factory welds broke causing it to inoperable while clearing our Wal-Mart walks. Switched to the winch and has worked flawlessly ever since. I went through and re-welded all the factory welds on the plow and push tubes.

    Hope this helps. ATV has been a wonderful asset for my operation clearing apartment complexes, condo's, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

  7. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I have thought of this as well but our problem is our accounts will probably try to tell us that we damaged the sidewalks lol if you go through with it you should make sure your clients are okay with it.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    I got a 650 rincon, I push up to two feet of snow in straight blade , its not easy in deep snow you just have to be smart about it,I have a vee I used it once. It's a cycle country and the arms didn't hold up well at all . The pins bend and make it hard to adjust, got so bad I ground them off and put in bolts and yes I break them occasionally,

    I also always plow in straight till the end, and clean up in the angle I choose. This year my banks are 8' tall by 100' as opposed to the huge banks I made in previous years!

    My quad pushes an easy hundred feet to my bank, I have chains but my tires are like 1 1/2 inch tread and the chains tend to weave inside them not touching the ground!!

    Keep that in mind if you. It used with aftermarket tires, for ballast I got 2 10" blocks in a custom box,

    For me nothing but a Honda, I've had Polaris Suzuki quads and every manufacturer bike, but have a kawi bike now.

    Reason price was right. Bikes an animal it's a no brainer but if I could get what I wanted it would be a Honda , Yamaha close second, then kawi and then Suzuki, it would be the same rundown for quads.

    I wouldn't piss on Polaris or can am if they were on fire !! Let's just say they were late to the party they couldn't reinvent the wheel so they did their own thing, stamped steel parts macpherson struts. If you seen their first quads they were junk too!! But somehow 1986 Hondas still sell for as much as they cost new when I bought them , why is that?
    Can ams are just plain noisy after you run them awhile, they look cool but aren't made too last!!

    Everyone will come to defend them but they aren't old enough to even see how long they will hold up!! My bike is 10 years old. What's a 10 year old Polaris worth or a bombardier for that matter ! And that's if you can find one worth buying!
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I would disagree with you
    I owned a lot models and Polaris has been the best
    Polaris has a true 4x4 all 4 wheels pull and leading the way for sidexside units.
    I'm looking to upgrade to the new model Polaris ACE
    My Polaris I plow with is 13 yrs old still look like its new
    My 01 books at 3800-4200 but she's to nice to trade in or sell I'll keep her

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    Nope that one seater was invented by Honda lmao, first a 250 then a 350 and then the pilot 400!!

    That not a sxs will be either a kids toy or a huge flop ,lawsuits will be never ending with that thing!!

    Turn a corner flip over, that's just the way it is.

    Never sell me on the quality of a Polaris , sure yours is minty because you never left your yard with it!!
    Mines been in terrain races first place finishes, it's been sunk mudded, never crashed though. Ridden hard and plowed all winter! My winters alone are severe!!

    I judge a quad that can take a beating and still survive many years of the same abuse!! If you paid the extra and bought a Honda it would probably lasted you your whole life !!!

    My front end is actually floating in here, your belt would of been wet 10' in, why because my buddies have been towed out of the same area!!
    I've had a Polaris scrambler 400 4x4 thinking it would be the 250r 4x4 I always wanted , it wasn't it was far from it, I terrain raced that as well I took 7th and only because it was muddy as hell, 250rs would come around that thing so fast in the fields your head would spin.
    I'm just glad I left most of them in the mud and never gave them a chance too catch up!!

    So to be honest I'm talking about real world testing not something that stays in a garage and never seen mud deeper than its wheels, no offense to anyone that doesn't use it like I do too me they have always been toys and ridden hard! But mine works as well!

    Check out this video on YouTube:


    Sent from my iPhone
  11. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    LOL Well pilot was a knock off go cart Polaris is 4x4
    I had a 400 Scrambler I drag race it Won a lot a 250R wouldn't touch it
    My Scrambler was a trinity 440 Big Bore it was 200 ft thrill Hate to say how many $$ I put in that. I got out of it when they wanted to put me in a 4x4 only class or make me run in 2wd people complain so much about me running my 4x4. The last year I race I had to race in open class against 1100 motors in a atv frames. Still could beat them with right tract conditions
    My son Trinity 240 Blaster would out run 250r
    We got out dragging got more in trail riding. The sportsman handles well over other brands I ran and owned I can say they Don't float well.

    Back 01 when I bought my sportsman. We have atv park should say its a mud park. There was 11 atvs we went to the park only 2 of us had Sportsman 4 Honda 4x4 and 2 grizzly and 2 jack up big bears I never got stuck , all I got done was pulling everybody out and 1 year same guys all beside 1 are running Polaris. The one guy is still running his old Honda and he still gets stuck he is a true Honda man.
    I don't ride much to busy with the business. Last trip went up to UP Michigan. We use to go out west ride every year

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    You modified a Polaris??? Lol, I said hell no after I realized the brakes absolutely sucked still under warranty.i had the dealer change everything in it, he called me and said I even did your clutches. I went and picked it up and went screaming down the road hit the brake left one grabbed and spun me around in a circle.

    Dealer sat there shaking his head!! Sold it soon after!!

    My Hondas were 80mph buggies, my first 86 3 wheeler was 85 mph and scary as hell,

    Last year I got me one of these monsters, all I got to say is it sucks to get old!!

    Check out this video on YouTube:


    Sent from my iPhone
  13. mark268

    mark268 Member
    Messages: 81

    Here we go with the manufacturer battles. "X make is better.. yours sucks..." Guys, ATV's are like trucks, plows, or anything else in this world. Every one has their preference for different reasons. I don't think this was the OP's intention.
  14. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Can I plow with the Honda Pilot? Really, thanks for hijacking.
  15. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You hit the brakes and left only work. Sound like you dealer didn't know how bleed the brakes. I never had problem with any my Polaris brake I owned 4 of them
    Who needs brakes when your racing :gunsfiring:
    I tell you most fun I had on a atv was my 500 quadzilla One of the baddest 2 stoker I ever owned Would I plow snow with it NO.
    Hell getting old I don't heal as fast I did back in the day So I stick riding easy and slow but did get little wild up in UP Michigan. Im more in to rock climbing with one then plowing in the mudd. Even into jumping my Sportsman I'll have to dig up some old pics of a jumping contest I did back in 2000 won the 4 stroke class with a 500 sportsman and only blowed out one shock

    Sorry to OP for hijacking

    I like plowing with a belt drive auto vs one you have to shaft I have a 91 350 Big bear 4x4 and it was tuff to plow snow with it . So it only gets used for broadcasting seed when I installing new lawns works best for that
  16. blizzardsnow

    blizzardsnow Member
    Messages: 83

    We use a little manual trans. 2x4 Honda Recon 250 with a 44" straight blade that we angle for our mile or so of commercial walks 2 bags of ice melt on the rear rack and it'll really roll snow. It will roll 1-6" of wet snow without any trouble (we never let more than that stack up.) Sidewalk crew really likes the small size of the machine as it makes it easier to navigate some of the nooks and crannies of a few of our accounts. We also mounted a snow shovel on the back to hop off and get some hard to reach places and steps. I would be cautious about a big machine, those 90 degree turns and dead end alleys could get annoying. Not to mention price.

    Just my $.02
  17. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Thanks, I was planning on keeping it under 500cc
  18. jpell

    jpell Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    We run a 800cc Polaris sportsman 4x4 straight blade 54" warn provantage. it's great in the snow and we pull a spreader behind after for salting. Automatic is the way to go imo
  19. marylandplow82

    marylandplow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Hammer did you get new 720 single stage in yet? I want one
  20. marylandplow82

    marylandplow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    What is the minimum amount to finance something? I want to get a trimmer and an hs1132 as well