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Choosing an ATV Winch for Snow Plowing

Eagle Original Mount ATV plow

A winch with a mechanical brake is better for plowing because it prevents the line from bleeding out.

In order to use your ATV plow, you need some type of lift mechanism. The three options you can choose from are a manual hand lift, a 12V electric winch, and an electric lift system. Some plow kits—such as the Cycle Country plow and Eagle Gen II plow—require an electric winch or lift, in which case a manual lift is not an option.

Why Use an ATV Winch for Plowing?

Since a large number of ATV owners already have winches installed on their machines, an electric winch is the simplest and most affordable option for lifting your plow. And if you don’t have a winch installed yet, it still might be one of your best options because of the fact that you can use it for offroad riding, landscaping, yard work, and plenty of other applications. A winch is good for more than just plowing.

1500 lb Winch

The 1500 lb XT winch comes with a mechanical braking system that's ideal for snow plow use.

Which ATV Winch Is Best for Plowing?

Some ATV winches are better for plowing than others. One of the differences between winches involves the type of braking system: mechanical or dynamic. A mechanical brake is a physical brake that works similar to the way the brakes work on your car. The mechanical brake stops the drum from turning when there is a load on the cable. A dynamic brake is built in to the winch. It uses the resistance from the winch motor to prevent the drum from turning. Hoisted weight may cause the winch line to bleed out on a winch with dynamic braking.

Winches with mechanical brakes are better at holding a load, which makes them a better option for plowing snow. With a mechanical brake, you won’t experience the plow slipping or line bleedout that you might experience with a dynamic brake.

What Size ATV Winch for Plowing?

Generally, almost any winch capacity will work for plowing. Even a light duty 1500 lb winch has more than enough power for most plow setups. If you plan to use the winch for more than just plowing, check out our article on choosing an ATV winch for tips on figuring out what size winch you need.

A mechanical brake is the key factor in choosing an ATV winch for plowing snow. The following ProMark Offroad winches come with mechanical braking systems:

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