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Seeking advice (ATV/UTV homeowner, newbie...)

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Zevi, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Zevi

    Zevi Junior Member
    Messages: 3


    Been surfing and searching and reading -- I think it's time I ask the people who know... I don't think there's one definite answer, but I hope your feedback can help me choose wisely...

    So, here are the basics: I'm a homeowner (i.e., this is not a commercial application), looking for an ATV/UTV solution that will be used for:
    1. Plow my driveway (about 180ft, of which about 1/3 is 2.5 car width).
    2. Help me move firewood (split, as well as pre-split). Some of the terrain involve light/moderate slopes.
    3. Recreational (kids, hunting, etc.)

    BTW: I'm thinking about purchasing used, something like 2007-2011 range.

    There's an appealing "fun factor" with the ATV (looking at 2up, like the 650 Outlander Max), but:
    1. Can it reliably take the beating of plowing? Maintenance/breakage concerns?
    2. Can it pull a wood-loaded utility trailer?
    3. Will it be too much wear & tear? am I going to "kill" it prematurely?

    On the UTV side, I was looking at 4x4 Polaris Ranger (got one "bought from under me": 2008 Ranger XP with plow and "body armor" fenders, 200 hrs for about $7000...).

    Looks like either option (ATV/UTV, with plow) is about $6,000-8,000 +/-.
    Is that correct? For that price, given the intended use - should I limit myself to UTV's only?

    Your advice is highly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  2. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    Im a Honda guy so take that with some salt for what its worth.

    I would say Honda Foreman 500.

    either the electric shift or foot shift.

    Foot Shift will always work I have one of my Electric shifts doesn't shuttle shift well in the cold. the buttons get stuck and don't pop back out up to down shift or up shift. there fine on the trail when your going along but for plowing cross way's on the drive way its a pain.

    The Electric shift in better when doing a lot of on/off machine while pulling logs in the wood's cause can due 1 knee on seat and shift for forwards and backwards and on/off from either side of machine.

    I have 2 450 Foremans and a 350 Rancher

    for riding around having fun the Rancher is more nimble and turns tighter.

    the Foreman's will out pull and out plow the rancher.

    if your having kids ride also the rancher gets tight on space.

    you need to break down your multi use of the machine

    %30 Snow Plowing
    %30 Wood cutting work
    %20 riding around with kids?
    %20 Hunting

    you want a work machine, if your fun %70 or better get more sport machine
    like a Honda Rincon has Rear Indepent suspension and handles bumps better.

    the Foreman has a straight Rear Axle and will pull trailer's better.

    or Go UTV side.
    for UTV I have no comparison on things.
    sorry to ramble on so much

    good luck in your search

    sublime out
  3. Zevi

    Zevi Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thank you for the valuable input, Sublime!

    Although I'm definitely also a "Honda guy" when it comes to cars -- a couple of friends with bad Rancher's experience (electric shifting and finicky fuel system) make me steer towards other brands.

    More importantly -- do they (Honda) make a 2-up version? I know you can fit a wraparound seat on the cargo area, but with kids -- I'd rather have a legal (and safer) option.

    Very good point. However, I think the "importance" of the task at hand should be considered more than "time spent" doing it. That is, Maybe I spend only 10% of the time plowing and 40% riding with kids (because we have more opportunity-days to have fun than days to plow), but I need the machine 100% capable to plow, while willing to sacrifice some of the fun-riding comfort.

    So, with that in mind, using some important-usage rating, I'd say that my needs are:
    %40 Snow Plowing
    %40 Wood cutting work
    %15 riding around with kids?
    % 5 Hunting

    Clearly, I need a work machine.

    Are you kidding? The more the merrier! That was very helpful "ramble"!

  4. Roper7

    Roper7 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I went from a Honda Rancher and a Honda Rubicon to a UTV. Absolutely love all of the work I can do with my JD Gator. And can do some playing. However, in our area we have a huge amount of ATV trails to ride, but the majority of them restrict UTV use. I do keep finding more and more things for the Gator that makes my life easier. And have not ran across anything that it can't do yet. Hope this helps a little. Here are a couple of pics.

  5. Roper7

    Roper7 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Plowing set up.

  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090


    Nice looking setup.
  7. Zevi

    Zevi Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    OK, I'm officially jealous...
    Very nice high-end setup. With such a Gator I'd probably find a lot of things to do also (heck -- I'll even wash dishes with it... :) )

    I'm still wondering if anyone who is plowing with an ATV found that the frame gets damaged or that the drive-train wear is excessive with the plow?
  8. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    I have a 02 Honda Foreman 450S

    I run a Moose 60" plow.

    have used it every year since 02 for snow removal.

    Live in SW Wisconsin so get my fair share of snow.

    from 2002 to 2010 I did on average 3 different drives of 2 cars long 2cars wide
    give or take. 10-25 plowing events a year On a 2" snow fall was 2 hours of plowing

    from 2010 to present I now live out in the county and plow roughly the same amount.

    the Foreman still going strong and Frame is in Good shape. 3000 miles give or take.
    Its hard on the front bearing's have had to replace them but that can also be from the swamp mud I drive through as well.
  9. sm04257

    sm04257 Member
    from maine
    Messages: 33

    i have a honda 450 foreman with a moose plow , i havent had any trouble with it at all, but everyone has a differr-ent opinion but that is due to what they use
  10. silvy294

    silvy294 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    my rzr s is a beast and would never consider an atv again, I plowed with a Yamaha Kodiak for a number of years and it don't compare, even tho its a sport utv I use it for towing a trailer with dirt and rocks, use it for towing jacked up truck around my yard when they arnt running/motors pulled, plowed deep snow all last winter not a hitch and its a blast on the trails and mudding.