Hate it or love it, snow is an inevitable part of life for most people. And with snowfall comes the dreaded but necessary task of clearing it. When it comes to moving snow off of your driveway or sidewalk, you could go the old-fashioned route and shovel it (perk: this doubles as a workout). Or you could make the job a tiny bit easier and use a snow blower.
But we prefer to work smarter—not harder—which is why we’re all about snow plows! Not only is adding a snow plow to your side-by-side super practical, but it’s also a great way to make use of your machine all year long. And if we’re being honest, UTV snow plowing can be pretty fun.
It’s only fun if you’re prepared, though. So we’re here to give you some tips on everything from installing your winch to cleaning if off when the job is done.
When it comes to choosing the best UTV for snow plowing, there’s no “one size fits all” solution.
Some people might say you need a higher-powered engine (700cc and up) to successfully plow snow. But if you’re just clearing sidewalks or a medium-sized driveway, a smaller UTV like the Honda Pioneer 500 or even a four wheeler offers all the power you need. You may need to go a little slower and make a few more passes when plowing, but small UTVs can still get the job done.
Bigger jobs require bigger machines, though. If you have a massive driveway or plan on plowing snow from parking lots or access roads, you’ll want a machine that can keep up. Full-size utility models deliver enough power to plow and haul large amounts of snow without damaging your machine.
There are a few things you’ll need for plowing snow with a UTV. We recommend taking care of all this in the fall, when the weather is still nice. That way, you can roll into winter knowing you’re ready to get to work as soon as the first snowflake hits the ground.
Most UTV snow plows are operated using a winch, so we’ll start there. If you don’t already have a winch on your machine—why not? A winch is a crucial tool for riding, both for UTV snow plowing and exploring trails. SuperATV’s Black Ops Winches are a great place to start if you need one.
Once your winch is in place, it’s time to buy and install that UTV snow plow! Our Plow Pro Snow Plow converts any UTV into a hardworking utility machine with its 7-gauge steel cutting edge and five operating angles. It’s definitely one to check out if you’re in the market for a new plow.
Something else to consider when equipping your UTV for plowing snow are your tires. Stock tires might be fine for light plowing, but if you’ll be tackling a lot of jobs this winter, you need tires that are up for the task. Mud tires are actually great on snow because of the deeper lugs—check out SuperATV’s collection of mud tires if you need a new set.
As with any vehicle, regular maintenance is a no brainer. It’s the best way to preserve your investment and keep you safe while driving. Here are some things to look for when inspecting your side-by-side and snow plow.
This isn’t just good practice when plowing snow—it’s something that you should already be in the habit of doing. But as a reminder, make sure to check all your fluids before setting out to clear some snow. Checking your fluid and oil should be a no brainer. You may also need to check your coolant if you have a liquid-cooled machine—your engine can run a little hot once you start pushing all that snow around.
As we mentioned before, most UTV snow plows are winch operated. That means if your winch doesn’t work, you won’t get much plowing done. Check for any loose parts and also inspect your winch rope for any fraying or damage.
If you’re using a brand-new snow plow, this part won’t take long. But if your plow has seen a few winters, it’s important to check the cutting edge before each use. If it’s starting to look worn, you may need to think about replacing it for maximum performance. Be sure to check the hardware at the mounting points and tighten anything that looks loose. Greasing any moving parts is another way to extend the life of your snow plow.
Once your machine and equipment are all set up, it’s time to clear that snow! Here are some pointers for fast, easy, and efficient snow plowing.
Correctly setting the height of your blade is important if you want to preserve your blade and the ground you’re covering. Pay attention to how deep the snow is and adjust your blade height accordingly. If your blade is set too low, you risk scraping the pavement or digging into the earth.
Waiting until there are several feet of snow on the ground to start plowing can do more harm than good. Not only are you putting extra strain on your plow and machine, but it’s also going to make your job a lot harder.
If possible, try to plow with the storm. Getting your machine out while the flakes are still falling might not be the most fun chore, but it’s better than waiting until there are 12 inches of snow on the ground to start clearing a path. And if you do have to plow huge amounts of snow, just be prepared to take your time.
This might sound counterintuitive, but plowing in the direction of the snowfall will actually make your job easier. It’s physics—snow in motion is easier to keep in motion.
If you’re plowing over softer ground, try running your vehicle over the ground a few times to pack down the snow before dropping your blade. This will prevent you from accidentally digging into the ground.
Know where you’re piling the snow before you get to work. Never pile snow on someone else’s property (that’s rude) or in the road (that’s dangerous). It’s also important to note that pushing snow across the road is illegal in most areas. That may cause you to leave snow or ice deposits that could spell disaster for passing motorists.
Don’t relax just yet—your work isn’t done just because the snow is cleared. Now that your driveway or parking lot is clean, it’s time to turn your attention to the snow plow.
The first thing to do when you’re done plowing with a side-by-side is knock off any snow, ice, or dirt that’s stuck to the blade. If you don’t do this now, it could freeze over time and become harder to remove later on.
Take the time to wipe down and dry off your plow blade as much as possible. Leaving any snow or debris could cause the blade to rust, and nobody wants that.
You also want to lower the plow blade when you’re not using it. This eliminates any unnecessary strain on your winch and your side-by-side’s suspension.
If you’re serious about plowing snow, you’re going to need more than a UTV and a plow. Here are some other accessories that will make your job easier this winter.
With the right equipment and a few tips and techniques up your sleeve, you’ll be clearing snow like a pro this winter! So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to a Plow Pro Snow Plow and turn that dreaded snowy chore into an adventure.
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Should the preload adjustment on the shocks be changed when plowing? If so should they be softer or stiffer?
Hey Jim, you don’t need to make adjustments to your preload unless you need to adjust your height, and that usually means making them stiffer. Thanks for the question!
New to UTV’s and plowing so just trying to learn as much as I can. Thanks for the response
That’s why we’re here! We’ve got a lot more info about shock adjustments in general here if you’re interested: https://www.superatv.com/offroad-atlas/how-to-adjust-atv-shocks/