A snowplow is a great accessory to make the most use of your ATV throughout the winter season. But will any plow on the market fit your machine, or do you need to find a vehicle-specific model?
ATV snowplows come with either vehicle-specific mount kits designed for specific ATV models or universal mount kits designed to fit most ATVs. There is no universal industry standard for ATV snow plow mounts. Each plow manufacturer uses its own locking mechanism design. A plow from one brand will likely not fit the mounting bracket from another.
So if you’re in the market for a new plow for your ATV, you shouldn’t pick up just any plow, or you may end up with one that won’t fit your vehicle.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the things you’ll need to consider to make sure you choose a plow that will fit and work well with your ATV.
How to choose a snowplow that will fit your ATV
Just as there are many different types and sizes of ATVs, there are many kinds of ATV snow plows. While there are universal models available, they are not the best option for everyone.
In this post, we look at what size ATV is best for plowing snow.
An ATV snow plow consists of three main components:
- An installation bracket or kit
- The plow blade
- A push frame
These components come in various shapes and sizes, designed to fit multiple sizes and types of ATVs.
Even if you opt for a universal model, this only tells you that the mounting bracket is designed to fit most (but not all) ATVs. You still need to consider things blade width and push frame length.
Check this post to learn more on how the different components in an ATV snow plow work.
Start by deciding what blade width (length) you want
Plow blades come in a range of materials, shapes, and sizes. We’re not going to be focusing as much on blade material (composite, metal) and styles (a straight blade, v-blade, etc.) as these are factors you can choose more freely regardless of what ATV you have.
The plow blade width (length), however, needs to match the size and style of ATV you have, as well as the typical snow conditions you expect in your area.
Plow blades for ATVs typically come in widths ranging from 48 to 78 inches, where 52 to 72 inches are the most common.
Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing blade width:
- A wider blade enables you to cover a larger area in less time.
- A wider blade requires a bigger ATV with more traction because you’ll be pushing more snow at the same time. A heavier ATV will generally have more traction, but you may consider snow chains or studs to achieve even more traction.
- Choose a blade with at least the same width or a couple of inches wider than your ATV as a minimum to prevent compressing unplowed snow on the sides.
- As a general rule, it’s recommended to choose a blade no wider than 50 inches wide for ATVs in the 250-500cc range.
- Larger ATVs will handle most blades up to 60 inches quite well in most snow conditions.
- Blades over 60 inches are best suited for UTVs (side-by-sides) or a large ATV with chains and added weight for traction, used mostly in lighter snow conditions.
- Consider whether you have any narrow passages you’ll be plowing that may limit how wide that will fit.
- Wider blades are typically heavier, causing more stress and wear on the front axle components. Consider a composite blade if you want a wide but lightweight blade.
You should also consider the plow height. A typical ATV plow blade is 16 to 24 inches high. A higher blade will push more snow than a lower blade due to a larger surface area but requires a heavier ATV with better traction.
Check this post to read more about how much snow an ATV snow plow can plow.
Hopefully, you now have a general idea of what size plow blade you need allowing you to narrow down your options a bit.
Will you be taking the blade on and of throughout the winter?
Some plows are much easier to attach and detach from the ATV than others. This is determined by what style of locking mechanism they use.
If you plan on using your ATV for riding applications that require removing the blade, consider looking for an alternative that offers a fast and robust quick-attach mechanism.
While most blades can be attached or detached relatively fast (in a matter of minutes) after the initial installation process, you will likely appreciate the ability to connect the blade in seconds without having to crawl underneath the ATV.
Some plows that come with a user-friendly “click” style mechanism is the Kimpex Click N Go, Can-Am Pro Mount quick-attach system, as well as the Polaris Glacier plows.
Other brands such as Warn and Kolpin offer great plows but use a bit less user-friendly locking pin mechanism that makes connecting the winch a bit more fiddly and time-consuming. This type of mechanism is more commonly found in universal snow plows.
Should you choose a vehicle-specific or a universal mount kit?
As long as you can afford it and find a kit from a reputable brand that will fit your ATV, you likely get the best plowing experience by choosing a vehicle-specific plow mounting kit.
Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether you want a vehicle specific mounting system or one that is universal.
Vehicle specific mounting kit
- Faster and easier to install with less need for modifications.
- They are guaranteed to fit.
- Typically offers a more robust connection with the ATV frame than a universal kit.
- Most larger plow brands offer a range of plow widths that will fit their vehicle specific mounting kit. This makes it easier to switch if you want to try a different width plow later on.
- Usually requires a new mounting kit when you buy a new ATV.
- It may cost more than a universal kit.
Universal mounting kit
- Will fit most ATVs
- Availability is usually better.
- It won’t look as “stock” and well-integrated with the ATV as a custom kit.
- There is no guarantee it will fit your ATV. Please ask the manufacturer to make sure the model you choose will fit your vehicle.
Some Polaris ATVs come with integrated mounts for installing accessories such as a snowplow. They offer a sleek and robust plow install but do narrow down your plow options quite a bit. Polaris offers a range of different plows that will fit, but if you prefer another plow, you will likely have to purchase and install a custom installation kit as well.
Make sure the push-frame is of an appropriate length for your setup
The push-frame determines how far the plow blade sits in front of the ATV. The blade needs about 15-20 inches of clearance from the tires to allow full blade tilting.
As long as you buy a complete kit with a vehicle-specific mounting bracket, you should be good to go, as long as your ATV is stock.
If you choose a universal system, you need to make sure the mounting system allows enough clearance between the blade and the wheels.
Note that most systems are designed with standard wheel sizes in mind. If you run massive 32-inch mud tires or tracks, you may find that you run into clearance issues.
What size plow should I put on my ATV?
To determine what size plow you should get for your ATV, you need to consider factors such as what size ATV you have if you plan on using snow chains for better traction. As a general rule, you should use a 48-50inch blade for ATVs under 500cc. For ATVs larger than 500cc, you can choose a blade as wide as 60 inches.
Can you put a plow on an ATV?
You can put a plow on most ATVs, as long as you get one with the appropriate installation kit. Universal kits are available if you don’t find one for your model. A heavier ATV provides better traction and is better able to push snow than a lighter ATV. It is generally recommended to use a 300 to 500cc size ATV or higher for effective snow removal.
Can you plow with a 2wd ATV?
You can plow snow with a 2WD ATV, but it won’t be as effective as one with 4WD. When it comes to plowing snow, it’s all about traction. A lightweight 2WD will likely not provide adequate pushing power to plow more than small or moderate snow amounts.
Check out this post for our top three picks for the best ATVs for plowing snow.