A snow plow is an excellent accessory for maximizing the use of your ATV during 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 things you must consider to ensure 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 universal models are 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 like blade width and push frame length.
Check this post to learn more about 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.
However, the plow blade width (or length, depending o how you look at it) needs to match the size and style of ATV you have and 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.
Guidelines for Choosing ATV Snow Plow 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 push more snow simultaneously. 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.
- Generally, choosing a blade no wider than 50 inches wide for ATVs in the 250-500cc range is recommended.
- Larger ATVs will handle most blades up to 60 inches in most snow conditions.
- Blades over 60 inches are best suited for UTVs (side-by-sides) or large ATVs with chains and added weight for traction, used mainly in lighter snow conditions.
- Consider whether any narrow passages you’ll be plowing could restrict the width of plow 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 learn how much snow an ATV snow plow can plow.
Hopefully, you now have a general idea of what size plow blade you need, narrowing down your options.
Will You Attach and Detach the Blade Regularly?
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 crawling underneath the ATV.
Some plows have a user-friendly “click” style mechanism, like the Kimpex Click N Go, Can-Am Pro Mount quick-attach system and the Polaris Glacier plows.
Other brands, such as Warn and Kolpin, offer great plows but use a bit less user-friendly locking pin mechanism, making connecting the winch a bit more fiddly and time-consuming. This type of mechanism is more commonly found in universal snow plows.
Choosing a Vehicle-Specific or a Universal Mount Kit
If you can afford it and find a kit from a reputable brand that will fit your ATV, you will 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 or universal mounting system.
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 popular plow brands offer a range of plow widths that will fit their vehicle-specific mounting kit. This makes switching easier if you want to try a different-width plow later.
- It usually requires a new mounting kit when you buy a new ATV.
- It may cost more than a universal kit.
Universal Mounting Kit
- It 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 ensure your chosen model will fit your vehicle.
Some Polaris ATVs have integrated mounts for installing accessories such as a snow plow. They offer a sleek and robust plow install but narrow your options considerably. Polaris offers a range of plows that will fit, but if you prefer a plow from another brand, you will likely have to purchase and install a custom installation kit.
Ensure the Push Frame Is of an Appropriate Length
The push frame determines how far the plow blade sits in front of the ATV. The blade requires approximately 15-20 inches of clearance from the tires to enable full blade tilting.
If you buy a complete kit with a vehicle-specific mounting bracket, it should bolt on easily, provided your ATV is in its original, unmodified condition.
If you choose a universal system, you must ensure the mounting system allows enough clearance between the blade and the wheels.
Note that most systems are designed with standard wheel sizes in mind. You may encounter clearance issues if you run massive 32-inch mud tires or tracks.
What Size Plow Should I Put On My ATV?
To determine what size plow you should get for your ATV, consider factors such as what size ATV you have if you plan on using snow chains for better traction. Generally, you should use a 48 to 50-inch 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 if 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 can push more 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 low or moderate snow amounts.
Check out this post for our top three picks for the best ATVs for plowing snow.
Having reviewed the various aspects of selecting the perfect ATV snow plow, we hope you are better equipped to make an informed decision. Keep in mind the sizing guidelines, your ATV’s specifications, and the plow attachment mechanism when making your purchase.
Remember, the goal is to find a balance between a snow plow that fits your ATV and your specific snow removal needs. Stay safe and enjoy a productive and fun winter season with your ATV!