Buyer's Guide - Snow Plow Roundup

The Best Tool for Winters Worst Job
Written By: 
John Arens

2017.feature.snow-plow-review.atv-plowing-snow.jpg Nobody is ever going to hand you a trophy for plowing the snow out of the driveway. The best you can hope for is a warm drink and a kiss from your significant other, and with any luck a few days off before you’re forced back outside to fight winter back again. At least you’ve got one of the best tools ever for getting the job done. When equipped with a plow it is truly amazing how much snow you can quickly push out of the way with an ATV or Side x Side. The trick is getting the right size plow for your machine.

ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL

Most plows for ATVs and Side x Sides range from 48 inches to 72 inches in width. Picking a plow of the right size isn’t just a matter of horsepower; it’s also about overall vehicle weight. ATV plows are on the narrower end of the scale, and although there are some high horsepower ATVs, when put behind a very wide plow the snow can actually begin to push the ATV. With almost double the weight of most ATVs, a Side x Side has more ability to roll the snow back even though overall horsepower numbers are about the same. vendor.2017.extreme-metal-products.plow.on-utv.jpg

For ATVs under 450cc, we generally recommend a 50 inch blade. Larger displacement ATVs can push blades up to 60 inches in most snow, but that’s about as far as you want to go. Most UTVs are approximately 60 inches wide and will require a blade in the 60 to 72 inch range. The second factor to consider is blade height and most blades range from 16 to 24 inches high. Short blades push easier thanks to less surface area, but larger machines can handle the extra load and higher capacity of taller blades.

When pushing snow it’s all about traction, and even stock tires will get the job done if they’re in decent shape. A little extra weight on the rear makes a big difference. Practically every aftermarket tire has a more aggressive tread pattern than the stock tires and their deeper lugs will almost certainly help. Always be careful when going up in tire size though. Much bigger tires and extremely aggressive tread patterns change your CVT gearing and can pop axles and CV joints.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best ATV and UTV plows on the market. Each has their own unique features and capabilities, but the one feature they share is they’re an excellent tool and you’ll be happy to have them ready to go when the snow begins to pile up.

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EXTREME METAL PRODUCTS – The Snow Pros

You don’t live in Ohio without learning to move snow, and lots of it! Extreme Metal Products has a wide range of well built, high quality aftermarket parts, and their snow plows definitely fit that description.

All of the EMP plows are built from American made steel in their Cleveland area plant for complete quality control. The mounting structure and push frame on the EMP plows is almost twice as thick as many other plows, and it’s made from laser cut, interlocking pieces which are welded together to create a boxed assembly. It’s incredibly strong. Because of the plow’s ability to swivel and adapt to the terrain, it can pivot in nearly any direction and roll snow to either side. Wear blades are replaceable and cut from tough, A36 steel for maximum life, but the average owner will never wear them out. All blades can be pivoted either manually or an accessory power pivot lets the operator swivel the plow from the cab. As with most other plows, an accessory winch controls blade height.

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EMP PLOW QUICK FEATURES kit cost beginning at: $999.00

Surface following pivot mount is standard

14 Ga Steel Blade with 1/4” stiffener braces – 20” height, 72 inches width

Optional Electric/Hydraulic Power Angle

Frame is made from 1/4" and 3/8” thick A36 American Steel.

Powder Coated for superior corrosion protection.

Dual Trip Springs - – Plow shoes included

Attaches to machine quickly with supplied hitch pins.

Will require a winch and winch mount specific to each vehicle. www.extrememetalproducts.com phone: 216-267-3900

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CUB CADET – Up For Any Challenge

For those that need their Cub Cadet Challenger™ to move snow in the winter or dirt in the summer, the plow accessory easily mounts to the front of the utility vehicle to provide one of the most reliable, and useful accessories you can get. 

With the Cub Cadet plow attached to the front of the Challenger UTVs, one of the most despised jobs of winter can be done from the comfortable seat of a Challenger. Cub Cadet recommends the 58” Blade kit for the Challenger 400 and 400 LX, and the Challenger 500, 700 and the 750 crew can easily handle the larger, 72” Snow Blade Kit.

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Both blades pivot easily and mount to the Challenger frame. Cub Cadet is also the only manufacturer that specifically builds a blade for pushing dirt and loose materials in the summer. They include a synthetic rope with their kit for longer life and less cable fray.

CUB CADET PLOW BLADE QUICK DETAILS

  • All kits made from high-strength steel

  • Blades pivot 50 degrees

  • All parts coated for corrosion protection

  • Side markers included with each blade

  • Steel skid plates to protect the blade as well as the plowing surface

www.cubcadet.com


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Like a BOSS

BOSS Snowplow is a leader in the snow and ice management business with a growing line of plows for trucks, UTVs, and ATVs

The BOSS system is unique in that it has a self-contained hydraulic system to operate all plow control functions from a push button, cab mounted joy stick. Plow hookups are super easy, and everything about the BOSS plow is heavy duty, from the mounting hardware to the push frame. Plows are available in either a Power-V design, or with a standard straight blade.

The new BOSS 5'6" XT was designed to fit most ATV and mid-size UTVs. The plow features a low-profile undercarriage designed for trail compatibility, and a 30-degree lift height for superior snow-stacking. Like all BOSS products, it is extremely well made.

New BOSS 5'6" XT Standard Features:

  • Full Blade Trip Design helps to prevent plow damage when striking obstacles.

  • V-Plow offers versatility in a tough, compact package.

  • High-Performance Hydraulic Package delivers reliability and speed.

  • Low-profile Undercarriage designed for excellent ground clearance.

  • Quick Attachment System allows for quick attachment to vehicle

  • Handlebar Switch Box Controller mounts to ATV bars or inside UTV

www.bossplow.com


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SUPER ATV – Super Tool for Winter vendor.2017.super-atv.plow-pro-heavy-duty-plow.on-utv.jpg

We’ve been using a SUPER ATV Plow Pro Heavy Duty Plow on our Polaris Ranger for the past year and it’s been excellent. Overall the kit was easy to assemble and works exactly like we hoped it would. Key features of the kit are:

  • Snow Plow Blade width: 52", 60", or 72"

  • Machine specific frame mount and Heavy Duty Plow Mounts.

  • Blade end marker & top deflector

  • Replaceable cutting blade

  • Skid shoes

  • Blade is raised and lowered with optional winch.

Check out our full review of the SUPER ATV Plow Pro Heavy Duty kit in this issue.

www.superatv.com Tel: 855-743-3427 or Tel: 812-574-7777


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WARN

The Warn PROVANTAGE plows feature a durable, high strength steel blade with reinforced stiffening ribs and an oversized Power Pivot bushing system for extreme durability. The ProVantage mounts are easy to put on or take off, plus they won’t reduce the vehicle’s ground clearance. Warn blades can be lifted with either a winch, or a redesigned plow lift actuator on ATVs. Since any blade for a UTV plow is heavier, a winch is required to carry the extra load. vendor.2017.warn.provantage-snow-plow.on-atv.jpg

We especially like how all the Warn plows and plow lifts are professionally designed to work as a package. And with a host of other accessories, such as the ProPivot, plow markers, skids, and of course, WARN ProVantage and Vantage winches, WARN has you covered when it comes to plow season.

WARN PROVANTAGE PLOW QUICK FEATURES

  • Blade Width – from 50 to 72 inches

  • Blade Design – tapered or straight

  • Blade Material: ATV Blade - 12 Gauge Steel, UTV Blade Material - 11 Gauge Steel

  • Lifting mechanism: ATV – Optional Linear Actuator or Winch, UTV - Optional Winch

  • Frame mounting system: with quick release pins

  • No ground clearance loss when plow removed

  • All parts powder coated for corrosion protection

www.warn.com phone: 800-543-9276


CURTIS – The Cab, Plow, and Winch Company vendor.2017.curtis.snow-plow.studio.jpg

Curtis Industries has long made cab enclosures, attachments, and accessories for compact vehicles and that includes several different models of plows. There is a big difference in how the plows are operated though. While all CURTIS plows feature spring loaded trip protection, easy vehicle mounting with no drilling or welding, and a blade that can be swiveled to either side, the difference is in how they are lifted. You can get a Curtis plow with the traditional winch mount system, or you can get the fully contained hydraulic system.

The new Curtis V-Plow for Utility Vehicles has one big difference over other plows on the market; it’s made of stainless steel for the ultimate in strength and corrosion protection. Since it is a premium plow it comes with the hydraulic control system for fast repositioning, with a 6” lift cylinder and 35 degree travel for exceptional plowing and snow stacking. Double trip springs protect the plow if you catch anything hidden in the snow, and it even has a “float” mode to hug the surface and do a great job of cleaning. A 9 button controller inside the cab controls all plow functions. The Curtis V-Plow is designed to be the last plow you’ll buy, and even when you change machines all you’ll need is a new vehicle mounting bracket.vendor.2017.curtis.v-snow-plow.on-atv.jpg

CURTIS V-PLOW QUICK FEATURES

  • Stainless steel construction

  • Narrow 60" width at "V" and 78" width straight

  • Full hydraulic action - 6" lift cylinder and 35 degree travel

  • Standard double acting cylinders, locking back dragging operation

  • Over center linkage operated locking pins and foot pedals

  • Illuminated controller features individual buttons for "V" and scoop positions

  • Mount kits available for many current utility vehicle models

www.CurtisCab.com Tel: 508.853.2200


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JOHN DEERE

John Deere is one of the few manufacturers that also make plows to push dirt or other loose materials. Your Gator is never going to be a D9 Cat, but it can help you level out the drive, push landscape bark, and push snow all with the same blade. Here are two types of Deere blades:vendor.2017.john-deere.powertach-blade.on-xuv.plowing-snow.jpg

Heavy-Duty POWERtach Blade, 72 Inch; XUV

Built for all-season utility, the John Deere POWERtach heavy-duty 182.8 cm (72 in.) blade raises the bar higher for utility vehicle blades. The exclusive POWERtach lift system, optimized blade curl, hydraulic power lift and angle, and a heavy-duty reinforced moldboard make it a performer that leads all others in reliability and strength. Details are:

  • Completely sealed, high-performance hydraulic system is the fastest operating and most reliable hydraulic system available

  • Power up and down, and left / right (25 degrees) with down-pressure and float modes

  • Two angling cylinders for maximum blade control and durability

  • Easy on/off blade and mounting frames without tools (after the initial setup)

  • Maximum durability for heavy-duty use

  • Five-position joystick control is mounted close to the shifter

  • Hardened skid shoes and reversible cutting edge for extended wear life

  • 72 inch reinforced moldboard minimizes blade twist and torque for maximum durability

Standard Straight Blade, 72in

Standard-Duty Straight Blades have replaceable cutting edges, skid shoes, power lift and three-position angling. Available plow markers enable operator to easily see blade edges. The Standard-duty 182.8 cm (72-in.) blade provides the following:

  • Frame and wiring harness, which were designed for the quick and easy installation

  • Implement lift frame kit, which uses four attaching points and cotter key pins

  • Hydraulic implement lift kit, which allows for the easy lowering and raising of the blade

  • The lift switch, which can be installed either on the instrument panel or between the seats

www.JohnDeere.com


All of the OEMS offer an accessory plow system. While they are often built a little lighter, the advantage is they are designed by the same people that built the rest of the vehicle. Fit is usually very good, and with a few tools and a buddy you can get it installed with little trouble, or the dealer would be happy to install it for you.

POLARIS GLACIER PLOW

The Polaris Glacier plow we installed on a Sportsman XP 550 fit perfectly! Polaris prewires the machine for winches, making it even easier. It’s a good plow for the price and it works.

www.polarisind.com


CAN-AM’s ALPINE FLEX PLOW vendor.2017.can-am.alpine-snow-plow.atv.plowing-snow.jpg

The Can-Am ALPINE FLEX plow is by far the best looking plow on the market and is made from a flexible yet tough UHMW plastic which allows the plow to absorb impacts. Can-Am also offers a traditional straight blade, or even arced blades. All the Can-Am plows mount to the bottom of the chassis and look very much like an accessory skid plate. No drilling or cutting is required for installation, and Quick-release pins attach and detach the plow blade and base assembly in a matter of minutes.

http://store.can-am.brp.com/


ARCTIC CAT

Arctic Cat offers 3 different plow designs: a one way tapered blade, a two way tapered blade, and a straight blade. Mounting brackets attach to the frame for optimum strength, and both tapered blade styles offer a heavy duty, high strength steel blade with 3” wear bars and adjustable skids. The straight blade plow is made from a super tough, high density polyethylene over a steel structure, and all models of Arctic Cat plows require a standard push frame. All plows are raised and lowered by an accessory winch.

www.arcticcat.com

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