While the gentle falling of snow marks the coming of the Holidays, it also marks the coming of lots and lots of the white fluffy stuff.
Snowfall can cause a lot of problems when left unchecked so if you want to take matters into your own hands either for your own benefit or as a commercial enterprise, you’ll do yourself a favor by looking through this handy guide I made for finding the best snow plow for ATVs.
This review contains both blade-only and complete systems. You’ll want to look at the first kind when looking for a replacement blade while first-timers should find the second type quite useful.
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- Top 7 Best Snow Plows for ATVs 2021
- The Basics of Snow Plowing with an ATV
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Plow
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Using ATVs to Plow Snow
- Tips for Using Snowplows
Top 7 Best Snow Plows for ATVs 2021
The DENALI snowplow earns the top spot on this list because of its great array of supported ATVs and being shipped as a complete package.
The mounting bar is long and allows you to mount it at the undercarriage for increased stability and support. I like the amount of curve the blade has so that the snow rolls up like icecream instead of piling up.
- Includes 2 wear bar replacements.
- The ribbed design increases durability.
- Lateral rib adds rigidity.
- Available only in two sizes.
WARN 78950 ProVantage Steel Plow Blade
As one of the most popular blades online, it’s available in a number of size configurations to fit any job. It’s got a sturdy box design that promotes durability and stability. The center-mounted design allows for good control.
- 12-gauge steel construction.
- Heavy-duty ribbing.
- Quick installation and removal.
- Finding the right parts can be confusing.
Swisher 2645R Universal ATV Plow Blade
This one is ideal for beginners who need to move snow but also want to make a budget-conscious purchase.
Its width is great for many standard ATV configurations and the manual system should be easy to learn and maintain for the average user.
You can use it with the winch that comes with your ATV by default so that adds more value in terms of savings.
- Ideal for snow, gravel, and dirt.
- Wide rolled blade.
- The cutting edge is angled well.
- The packaging leaves a lot to be desired
KFI 105500 SNO-Devil
With an industrial stainless steel design, the SNO-Devil looks right at home on any ATV. It includes a universal hybrid mount to increase fitment capabilities along with a trip system with strong springs.
Look into the poly blade KFI snowplow for the best snow plow for Yamaha ATVs if you’re looking for an alternative KFI plow that’s good too.
- Complete basic system.
- Effective on all types of snow.
- Simple installation.
- Mount system adds more length between ATV and plow.
Kolpin X-Factor Plow
Yeah, I know the name is kind of out there, but it’s actually named after a functional component of the whole plow system. All the necessary parts and hardware are included so you get a complete system out of the box.
This one also comes with a universal mounting solution, but do dig deeper to see if your ATV is really supported.
- Easy to install.
- Great for small ATVs.
- Center X sheet adds security for mounting bolts.
- Instructions are a little vague.
Cycle Country 60″ Poly Blade
This one is a plastic blade that’s lightweight but reinforced by a thick heavy metal wear bar.
It’s easy to install and fits a number of mounting solutions from Cycle Country. The blade is really wide at 60-inches, which provides incredible value for the money you pay.
- Quieter than steel.
- Lower Cost.
- Strong despite being plastic.
- Blade only.
WARN 80960 ATV ProVantage Plow Blade
This one’s another good plow for the beginner. Its powder-coated finish keeps friction low, and it’s got ribbing to add durability.
You can get away with orienting it just at a slight angle because the form-factor helps move snow easily.
- Efficient tapered design.
- Compatible with all WARN systems.
- Thick wear bar.
- Only two sizes available.
The Basics of Snow Plowing with an ATV
Why You Need a Snowplow
It’s simple. You want your property to be safer and easier to drive or walk over. But with so much of the stuff, you’re going to kill your back trying to shovel it all out and in a few hours, you’re going to need to do it all over again.
With a snowplow hooked up to your ATV, you get the job done with minimal effort (not to mention cost) and in the least amount of time. It’s an investment that will keep shoveling in the dividends in terms of convenience. Plus, you don’t have to pay someone else to plow the snow for you.
Another reason is for commercial purposes. You can get more out of your ATV purchase if you strap on a utility-centric attachment that’ll pay for itself before you know it. It’s all about examining the possibilities of your current circumstances.
Types of Snowplows
These snowplows feature that age-old straight blade design you find in those handheld snowplows. They’re used in plow attachments for old trucks and are common for ATV snowplows.
Typically found in heavy-duty snowplows for trucks, these versatile attachments usually feature a scoop mode or V-mode and are ideal for driveways and long paths.
Gigantic and wide, these snowplows are more versatile, more powerful, and easily more expensive than other commercial models. The edges can be moved inward or outward for greater control.
These are rear-mounted snowplows with a horizontal 90-degree design with wings that fold in or out. These offer a lot of control and power but take a lot of skill and practice to operate effectively.
The big boys of the snowplow brotherhood are used for the most demanding services. You’ll find these on gigantic trucks that service the freeways and mountain roads.
Parts of an ATV Snowplow
The wings are important components of a V-plow. They are able to change angles dramatically inward or outward, making these plows one of the most versatile winter tools to have. V-plows with wings are heavier than straight blades and take practice to properly use.
What attacks the snow is the cutting edge. It’s located at the bottom of the blade and is made of a removable steel or urethane attachment that you need to replace as it wears away.
A V-plow will feature wing hydraulics, which is what pushes the individual parts to change position and orientation. Look for plows with additional protection for the hydraulic hoses such as hose sleeves to prevent puncturing.
Whenever hydraulics is involved, there will always be a control box that will typically sit somewhere in front but out of the way. This is where the sensitive electrical components are housed.
The winch holds a manual snowplow in place by using tension. The winch hook is attached to a point somewhere in the back-center of the plow, allowing the system to be moved up and down depending on the desired angle.
Blade markers are reserved for trucks and some UTV plows. These are brightly colored vertical sticks that help you determine the position of the wings without poking your head outside the cab. These are handy for systems where the plow is lower than the hood and is out of your view.
Many plows also feature a trip system which consists of two large springs attached to the mounting bar from the rear-top of your plow. This allows the plow to bend downward when hitting a low obstacle but rebound to the default position once it has passed. This ensures a steady plowing rate without being hindered much by things in the way.
Kickstands allow larger plows to rest in a vertical orientation when detached from your ATV. These are handy for giving your plow a small, narrow footprint in the shed all while keeping it from tipping over. There’s always that element of risk, though, so keep fragile objects away from a resting plow.
Hydraulic downforce kits can also be included in your system. It’s basically a hydraulic piston connecting your plow to the frame and ensures a constant downward force to keep the plow steady under load. It’s a cheap and elegant solution.
Floatation shoes are located at each end of your plow and keep your plow at a somewhat elevated level to keep from scraping the ground and causing premature wear. You can keep these low when you’re plowing even surfaces like a concrete driveway, but you should raise the level of floatation when tackling trails and uneven paths.
To get an illustrative idea of what it takes to assemble a manual ATV snow plow, check out this video by the good people at Polaris:
Accessories or Tools for Using Snowplows for ATVs
Whichever snowplow you end up getting, always buy a kickstand to go with it. These accessories are an absolute must if you ever plan on attaching a snowplow to your ATV easily and on your own.
A winch system is another must-have even when you’re just rolling out in the badlands. If your ATV doesn’t have a winch by default, there are a number of aftermarket and third-party options to complete your ATV snowplow system.
When installing an ATV snowplow, you’re going to need a complete socket set so you have everything you need for fastening the parts together. Pliers are a must, and you may need other hardware like cotter pins depending on your chosen snowplow design.
Get the right tires. Self-cleaning tires with thick, deep treads are the way to go if you want to maintain good traction but still be able to climb a pile to build it up. Mud tires can still work well in snowy conditions, while those with more rugged patterns can serve you well but may limit your speed due to slippage.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Plow
This aspect is the first thing you need to consider when looking to buy the best snowplow for your ATV. A wider blade translates to more plowing volume but also makes your ATV do more work. Consider the areas you intend to service when settling for blade width. A 50-inch blade should be a good jumping-off point for household and light-duty use.
Directly affecting displacement capabilities, blade height is another thing to consider. Too low a blade, and you’ll have snow spilling back over the top. Too high, and you’ll end up trying to push a pile of snow that’s too heavy for your ATV.
This will cost nothing if you want to DIY the whole thing, but some complex systems may require a professional’s touch.
If your chosen plow has anything but a winch system to control the blade, then it might be a good idea to have a dealer install it for you since hydraulics can be dangerous and needs a level of expertise to install properly.
Typical ATV snowplows are adjusted by hand and are suspended by a winch system. This system is fine if you only have a couple of areas to do but it can get really old really fast when you have to get off the ATV to manually adjust the angle of the blade too often.
For larger jobs, consider getting a hydraulic direct lift ATV snow plow.
Not all ATVs are fit for snowplowing. Make sure your vehicle is at least 400-700 pounds or more so to ensure efficiency and to avoid unnecessary wear on your ATVs internals. Good weight and the proper tires equate to a good time plowing snow.
Engine size is almost a non-factor when it comes to snow plowing because speed and acceleration don’t really make your job any easier. Larger engines mean larger vehicles, which result in lower maneuverability.
Other Nice-to-Have Features
LED Lights/Heated Headlights
It’s a luxury for ATV snowplows but is fairly common in those for trucks. These allow you to work efficiently in the wee hours of the morning to get the job done within the best time possible.
Heated headlights prevent frost from forming against the headlight housing to maintain good visibility.
Additional mounting holes
I welcome plows with added mounting points so that I can customize my system as I see fit. These allow me to add a few more lights and any other accessory I feel I might need.
This feature allows the plow to roll snow over on itself to make it easier to move piles of snow around. Combine this with a good lifting angle and you can pile snow on top of itself no problem.
Backlighting is a godsend when working with remote-controlled systems in low visibility situations.
Whether caught out in a flurry or working late into the night, a backlit controller makes you efficient in the dark because you can easily see the buttons. It’s handy especially when you haven’t committed the buttons to muscle memory just yet.
Poly blade plows negate corrosion entirely since they’re made of plastic as opposed to stainless options. Stainless steel is tougher and can break up the ice with ease.
Be that as it may, it helps to be careful with your equipment in order to prevent deep dents that open your plow up to corrosion despite being made of corrosion-resistant material.
Equipping your ATV with a snowplow adds tons of value to it, but all that value could be lost if it’s a hassle to convert it back to trail-ready status come summer.
The best snowplow will have enough ground clearance under the carriage so that you can keep the mounting system installed even in the toasty months.
Come snow season, you should simply be able to slap on the plow and get working.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using ATVs to Plow Snow
ATVs are cheaper than UTVs or a truck but can perform light-duty tasks with ease. They’re extremely maneuverable and can pile snow like it’s nothing.
ATVs are also very low maintenance compared to trucks and will be easy to troubleshoot if problems arise.
They’re ideal for rural settings where there’s a lot of ground to cover but not enough that warrants a truck-mounted snowplow.
In terms of cost, ATV snowplows are very affordable and can easily be ordered online. They are easy to install and will last a long time with the right maintenance habits.
ATVs are faster at moving snow than a snowblower, and lets you work in relative comfort compared to walking behind a snow blower. There’s also a lower risk of damaging your property since you’re moving snow at lower speeds as opposed to throwing everything at high velocity to one side.
That’s not to say snow blowers don’t have their place, though.
Let’s face it, it can be lots of work to connect and disconnect a lightweight ATV snowplow even with help. That said, a little planning and scheduling should make your experience loads better.
You should always have the right tools handy and prepare yourself for the odd snag when it comes time to install the plow for the season.
For commercial use, you might need to step up to a UTV or even a truck plow. ATVs are small, so their capabilities are limited by their size but this also makes them more maneuverable than their larger counterparts.
All that said, ATVs are unique in the way they can work trails because of their size and capabilities.
Heated seats can only do so much and with an ATV, you’re exposed to the elements way more drastically than in UTVs or trucks. This relegates ATV snowplows for use only in light conditions.
ATVs are generally lightweight, so some models can have a hard time lifting a heavy V-plow system. This is why it pays to dig a little deeper when you decide to buy a plow.
Make sure the mounting points are compatible and that the ATV is rated for the plow you intend to buy.
Tips for Using Snowplows
Even smaller ATV snowplows can be dangerous when you aren’t careful. If you’re detaching the plow for storage, make sure to do it on even ground indoors.
Plows typically include some sort of kickstand or foot attachment to keep the blade oriented right during storage, so make sure you install those correctly.
Keep the area clean and free of obstructions or delicate tools that may be easily damaged in the event that the plow falls over.
Double-check everything before setting out. Ensure that all safety features are engaged to prevent any trouble during the job. All pins and locks need to be secure before heading out.
Practice with your snowplow before performing a job. I know it goes without saying, but you’ll be way more effective if you aren’t winging it right out of the gate.
Despite being straightforward, plows still take practice to use and are relatively heavy pieces of equipment so it pays to be prudent.
Know the site you’re working at. If you’re just plowing in your property, that’s well and good. But if you’re doing a favor for someone or are being paid to do it, make sure you know every curb, lamp post, rut, slope, and terrain features of the site.
It’ll help prevent damage to your investment and it’ll help you do a better job.
Avoid overloading your ATV. Plowing deep or heavy snow is a job better suited to trucks or even some UTVs. ATVs are light, so don’t unnecessarily overwork the machine if you see that the buildup is too much for it to handle.
For taking on larger buildups of snow, you’re going to need some momentum to plow it properly. This is especially true for heavy wet snow piles, so get some speed going by driving along a cleared path and then gradually veer into the packed area.
Having good snow tires will help a lot with this but do make sure to use this technique safely since there’s always an element of risk involved when working with machines.
When you’re done for the day, practice proper maintenance habits like cleaning off the blade thoroughly and making sure the storage area is dry and clean.
When the plow’s surface inevitably chips, apply a rust inhibitor or lubricant to the exposed sites to keep the blade from rusting during storage.
While these are directly applicable to truck plows, this video has some useful tidbits on snowplow safety and proper usage, nonetheless. Check it out here:
How well does an ATV plow snow?
The answer depends on several factors including but not limited to the current condition of your ATV, the amount of snow you plan to plow, and the type of snow plow design you opted for.
With an ATV in good condition and with a manual lift straight blade plow, you’re going to have an easy time moving powdery snow that’s below the 12-inch level.
This is enough for clearing out your driveway in a hurry but you can easily dedicate a half hour to making sure your paths are clear.
What size ATV is needed to push snow?
As long as you stay within the 400cc – 800cc range, then you’re golden. Anything smaller will struggle with moving large piles and may begin to slip from the frontal buildup.
What is better snow blower or plow?
In terms of quickness, the plow is your best bet. A snow blower will take longer to clear an area and all the while you don’t have a choice but to have a bit of a workout.
Are ATV snow plows universal?
No, but compatibility is not a big issue. When you think you’ve locked on to your best choice, visit the manufacturer website to find the manual for the plow.
Look through the compatibility list to make sure it supports your make and model.
Some ATV manufacturers make their own line of snowplows so the best snow plow for Polaris ATVs would be their glacier lineup of plow systems.
When should you plow snow?
The best practice is to plow snow early in the morning when the rush hour hasn’t kicked in yet. This will give you enough time to effectively clear a path without getting in anyone’s way.
Avoid buildup by plowing when you get an inch or so of snow.
What to put on snow plow to keep snow from sticking?
Thanks, neighbor! I got the idea from him on how to keep my shovel clean when I had to carve out small paths. l try to avoid silicone spray because of the potential environmental impact, so I lean toward vegetable oil cooking spray.
How do you snow plow a gravel driveway?
Figure out the best height to set the floatation shoes, maybe an inch or two off the ground, so that it isn’t scraping away the gravel along with the snow.
Try to start along the middle of the driveway and work your way to the sides with the V-plow to lessen the chance of falling into a rut and digging up some turf.
See my article on snow blowers for gravel driveways for some insights on an alternative.
How do you stack snow with a plow?
Find the best place to pile up the snow, preferably well away from any path. Begin plowing and ending at the site with each pass. As the snow starts to build up on the pile, slowly push against the pile while raising the blade and moving the snow over itself.
This is easily done with a hydraulic plow and best when using a V-plow. Set the plow to the V-position to essentially scoop the snow up over itself for effective piling.
While the DENALI snow plow kit is one of the best out there because it’s a complete system with near-universal compatibility, you’re always better off erring on the side of caution and making sure your ATV will accept it.
Take the time to find the user manual for the plow you’re eyeing, and see which models are supported. With a little prudence and some time to research, you can look forward to some productive days moving snow.
Happy snow plowing!