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ATV Snow Plowing Tips for First-Timers

Ready to have some fun plowing snow with your ATV this winter? If it’s your first time plowing with an ATV, there are a few things that are helpful to know before you start. With a little practice, you’ll figure out what works best for you, but here are some tips to save you from learning everything the hard way:

1. Plow with the Storm

The most important thing to remember is to plow with the storm! Don’t wait until there’s 10 inches of wet, heavy snow on the ground before starting to plow.

An ATV can handle just about any winter storm, but the key is to start early. The heavier and deeper the snow, the harder it’s going to be on your ATV, so when a big storm blows through, don’t wait until it’s over to start on the driveway.

TIP - Plowing soft surfaces: We have found that having a thin layer of packed snow on a soft surface such as dirt or gravel really helps. Drive a vehicle back and forth over the snow first and let it pack down between 1 or 2 inches before plowing.

2. Don’t Ram It

Treat your ATV and plow equipment with respect. Ramming into hard-packed mounds of snow can bend the plow blade, damage the ATV, and even injure the rider. Plowing at high speeds is also dangerous, as there can be hidden objects or a buildup of ice underneath the snow. Running into these obstacles at high speeds could seriously damage the ATV or rider.

If you need to plow a large drift, lift up the blade (but not all the way) and plow the top half. Then come back and plow the bottom half.

3. Clear a Wider Path

Push the snow out into the yard at the beginning of the season so that by the end of the season, you still have a full width of driveway to plow. Come February, you don’t want to find that you have nowhere left to push the snow! To keep from ripping up the yard, lift up the blade a couple inches to skim the grass.

4. Get a Grip

If you need extra traction and stability, secure some weight to the back of the ATV and invest in some ATV tire chains.

5. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect

Don't assume your plow will always work perfectly. Regardless of which system you select, you must examine it before, during and after each usage. Inspect before you plow for loose parts or winch cable damage, for example. Inspect it while you plow to prevent ice build up, which can make pushing snow more difficult. Finally, inspect after you plow so you know it will be ready to go the next time you need it. Plus, if you find any damage, you’ll have time to order new parts before the next massive snow storm hits.

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