When you live here in Colorado, knowing how to plow a driveway with an ATV can save you a lot of time over the course of a single winter season. Depending on the size of your driveway and the volume of snowfall, it could take hours to clean up after every winter storm. People try all kinds of things to get out of shoveling their driveways, from using alcohol solutions to flamethrowers (which we absolutely do not recommend).
Fortunately, you don’t have to go to those lengths. Instead, you can use your ATV! Here’s everything you need to know about ATV snow removal.
Inspect & Maintain Before First Snow
Getting an ATV inspection and regular maintenance before winter is always a good idea. This is true whether you’re planning a snowy trail ride or want to remove snow from your driveway.
It helps to make sure your plow is properly attached and that everything else is ready for winter, such as:
- Tire pressure and tread
- Oil change
- Electrical wiring inspection
There are some things you can take a look at by yourself. For other things, though, it’s worth taking your ATV for a professional inspection. If you’re out of your comfort level with something, it’s usually best to call a professional for guidance.
Make Sure The ATV Has Enough Power
Check the specs for your ATV to ensure it has enough power to handle a plow to remove snow. If you overload your ATV, it won’t be effective. Worse still, it can be dangerous to try something that goes beyond what your vehicle is capable of. It’s not worth risking your health or damaging your property.
Make Sure You Have the Correct Items for Your ATV
You’ll probably need winter tires, and some people even prefer tracks. Of course, you’ll also need a plow attachment. Depending on how cold it is, you might need to make other adjustments and include cold-weather ATV parts.
Make Sure The Depth Of The Plow Is Adjusted Correctly For The Job
If the plow is too high, it won’t be able to clear the snow very efficiently. If the plow is too low, it might get too much resistance and overload the ATV. Setting the plow too low can also damage the surface underneath. The last thing you want to see after clearing your driveway is that you just put a bunch of deep gouges into it.
You might have to adjust the depth of your plow a few times to get it right. Then you might have to adjust the plow again when you move to a new spot of the driveway or an area with more snow collected. It can be tempting to skip this step, but an incorrect plow depth will almost definitely cause you problems.
Avoid Especially Deep Or Heavy Snow Drifts
One of the dangers of riding an ATV in the snow is that you can’t see what’s underneath. When you’re on your driveway, you probably know the area and have an idea of what’s underneath the snow. If you can tell that the snow is especially deep in one area, you might not want to go straight through it.
Instead, you can shave off a little bit at a time by approaching from an angle. Because you’re only clearing a little bit at a time, you’ll have to take more passes to complete the job. The extra care and caution will prevent you from overloading your ATV and getting into a dicey situation.
Be Cautious Of Items Hidden Underneath The Snow
Hopefully, you remember where all of the curbs, plants, and other landscaping features are so you can avoid them. It helps if you add poles or find another way of labeling where everything is. If you know where all of the fixed objects are, all you have to worry about is whether something was left out on the ground. Cleaning up before snowfall can help you avoid running over toys or similar items.
Plow With The Natural Contours Of The Surface
Following the natural slope of your driveway will do three important things for you:
- It can make the job easier. If you plow downhill, for example, gravity is on your side.
- You can place the snow more effectively. To get the snow off of your driveway, it will have to end up somewhere else. Think about that, then plan your movements accordingly.
- Following your driveway’s natural slope and shape can keep you from banging or scraping your plow against any uneven areas. Running the plow into the ground isn’t good for your landscaping, the plow itself, or your ATV.
Working with the driveway instead of against it will make ATV snow removal easier.
Perform a Final Clean Up Before Storing the ATV – Every time & After the Season is Over
Once you clear your driveway with your ATV, it’s time to inspect the vehicle. We never recommend putting an ATV away dirty, especially when there’s a mixture of snow, ice, and dirt on it. It’s easier to clean it immediately than it will later. Plus, think about how nice it will feel to have a clear driveway and a clean ATV!
Prepare for Plowing Snow With ATV
Fay Myers Motorcycle World is your local source for all things ATV. We serve clients from all over Colorado at our Greenwood Village location. Stop by to see us if you want to prepare for the next snowfall, or reach out if you have any questions!
Photo Credits: Baxtar