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ProMark Offroad Blog

Why Use Plow Skid Shoes?

Plow skids

Plow skids make your wear bar last longer and protect the driveway surface.

Even the pros are pretty much split on whether or not they recommend using plow skids. Some of the factors that come into play include whether or not the ground is frozen, what type of driveway surface you’re plowing (and even the distinction between different types of gravel or how packed down it is), the weight of the plow blade, and the type of wear bar on your plow (steel or urethane).

Why Use Plow Skids?

Plow operators who use skid shoes generally use them for one of two reasons: 1) To keep from plowing gravel or stones into the yard, or 2) To make the wear bar last longer.

Skid shoes are designed to allow the plow blade to “float” just above the surface that you are plowing. This comes in handy for gravel driveways, crushed rock, pavers, uneven surfaces or slightly raised areas, and soft surfaces that can get marred by the plow blade. With the plow raised slightly, you are less likely to bulldoze gravel and stones into the yard and you will get a longer life out of your wear bar. The skid shoes allow you to follow the contour of the surface so the blade doesn’t catch or chatter.

How to Adjust Plow Skids

When plowing a dirt or gravel surface, adjust the plow shoes so that the blade is raised slightly above the surface. When plowing an asphalt or concrete surface, adjust the shoes to the same height as the plow blade to get a clean scrape. Some plow operators remove the skid shoes or raise them all the way up when they want to scrape the surface bare. If you’re not sure whether to use skid shoes or not, try plowing with them and then without them to see what works better for the conditions and surface that you’re trying to plow.

ATV Plow Kit Review

Eagle ATV Plow

The Eagle Original ATV plow makes plowing in deep snow fast and easy.

We love hearing from our customers, whether it’s a suggestion for a new product, feedback on our existing products, or just to let us know how things are working out. The following comment is from one of our customers who bought an ATV plow kit. After using the kit to plow out after some heavy snowstorms, he contacted us to let us know how the plow was holding up under harsh winter conditions.

“Hello. I recently purchased an ATV plow kit from you. All too often we hear nothing but negative comments from people when things go wrong, and seldom positive when things are right. Well, after installing the plow kit and now using it in rather deep snow, I must say that I’m impressed with it. The blade angle adjustment is well engineered, yet simple and very effective. I’m very satisfied with my purchase of this kit and the quality of the kit, not to mention it’s priced right. My neighbor also has a 4×4 ATV and was shocked when he saw the amount of snow I was moving in a very short period of time. He is now considering purchasing a plow kit. If so, it will be from your company… Great product.”

- Bob Litzinger

Bob bought the Eagle Original ATV snow plow kit, starting at just $360 with free shipping to the lower 48 states.

Tips for Plowing Snow with an ATV

ATV snow plow

For deep snow, plow in layers.

Plowing Deep Snow with an ATV

For heavy snowfall, plowing with the storm is the best way to go. But we know that doesn’t always happen. So when there’s already 10 inches on the ground and you’re just breaking out the plow, here are a few tips to make sure your ATV plow setup can handle the job.

For plowing deep snow, only lower the plow half the depth of the snow. For example, if there are 10 inches of snow on the ground, only lower the plow 5 inches. Plow the top layer of 5 inches, and then lower the plow to the ground and remove the bottom 5-inch layer of snow.

When plowing at an angle with deep snow, only plow half the width of the plow to prevent the snow from spilling off the side of the plow.

When plowing a snowbank, square up the ATV to the snowbank and plow across the bank. Don’t plow with your blade or ATV at an angle to the snowbank. The force of hitting a snowbank at an angle can break your plow.

Other ATV Snow Plow Tips

We recommend installing a second winch on the rear of your ATV in case you get stuck in a snowbank, high centered, etc. For aggressive plowers, a rear winch is a big deal if you happen to get stuck.

One of the trends we’re starting to see for plowing is replacing the winch line with a 2-inch strap or seat belt. The wider strap spreads out the stress and saves your winch line for recovery use only. We recommend doing this if you have problems with your winch line breaking.

Winch Line Stopper

A winch line stopper keeps your hook from getting winched into the fairlead.

Recommended Plow Accessories

There are a few ATV plow accessories that can make your life easier. You’ll find some of them on your own, but here are three that we recommend:

  1. Large bottom roller fairlead
  2. Constant use at a sharp angle can make your winch line wear out faster. A large bottom roller can reduce the stress on your winch line.

  3. Winch line stopper
  4. Since you can’t see the winch line while you’re plowing, a rubber stopper prevents you from winching the hook into the fairlead.

  5. Plow wings
  6. They make your plow job cleaner, faster, and easier by keeping snow from spilling off the sides of the plow blade.

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Biggest Mistakes when Plowing Snow with an ATV Plow and Winch

Snowplow in action

Two of the biggest plowing mistakes are lifting the blade too high and lifting the plow in a snowbank.

Things we’ve learned the hard way about plowing with an ATV and winch:

  1. Pay attention to how high you lift the blade.
  2. Back up slightly before lifting the blade out of a snowbank.
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The two biggest problems that cause damage to your ATV plow and winch are lifting the blade too high (which bends the winch mount and plow mount) and lifting the plow while it’s embedded in a snowbank (which can strip the winch gears, bend your equipment, and break your winch line).

Lifting the Plow Blade

Keep an eye on how high you lift the blade when plowing with your ATV. The easiest way to keep from lifting the blade too high is to watch the front of the ATV. If you lift the blade too high, the winch will start to cinch down the front of the ATV. As soon as you see ANY movement on the front of the ATV, stop winching immediately!

If you let the winch continue to pull down the front of the ATV, the mounting plate will eventually hit the front of the ATV and you’ll have a bent plate to deal with. Even a light duty 1500 lb ATV winch has more than enough power to mangle a winch plate and plow mount.

Piling Up Snow

The second thing to remember is to back up a few inches before lifting the plow out of a snowbank. You run into problems when you ram snow into a hard-packed wall, stop there, and then try to lift the plow. If you try to lift the plow before you back up, you can easily snap your winch line, strip the winch gears, or bend up your plow equipment. The winch and plow cannot handle the weight of the entire snowbank, which is what you are trying to lift with the plow embedded in the snow. Disengage the plow from the snowbank before lifting the blade.

So how do you pile up snow on a huge snowbank without lifting the plow when you hit the bank? Start lifting the plow as you approach the snowbank. Lift early instead of waiting until you hit the bank. Then, when you hit the snowbank, start backing up before lifting the plow any further.

Choosing a Snow Blade: Poly or Steel

Poly ATV snow blade

Poly ATV snow blades are quiet and easy on driveway surfaces.

When it comes to choosing a snow blade for your ATV / UTV plow, you have two basic options for the type of construction: poly or steel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between poly and steel plows.

Poly ATV Snow Blade

Poly snow blades are fairly new to the ATV plow world, yet they have distinct advantages. For one, they are quieter than steel blades and easier on driveway surfaces. If you are plowing pavers or a decorative surface, or if you don’t want to mark up your driveway, a poly blade is your best option.

What about the argument that poly blades are not as durable as steel blades? Although this may be true of certain types of poly blades, the Cycle Country X-Force poly snow blade uses Rib-Flex technology for a blade that’s virtually indestructible. It has the same life expectancy as a steel blade.

Another advantage of the X-Force poly blade is that it’s lighter than steel plows. Unlike other poly plows that are paired with steel frames for a heavier weight than an all-steel plow, the X-Force is all plastic for a lightweight, high strength blade and frame.

Steel ATV snow blade

Steel ATV snow blades are known for their strength and durability.

Steel ATV Snow Blade

Steel snow blades have a long history of reliability in the plowing world. They are known to hold up under rough conditions and accidental abuse. Compared with most traditional poly plows (not including the X-Force by Cycle Country), steel plows are lighter in weight.

It’s also much easier to add plow wings to a steel blade than a poly blade. Plow wings increase efficiency by as much as 35 to 40 percent and cut down significantly on plowing time.

Snow Plows from Cycle Country and Eagle Now Available at ProMark Offroad

It’s that time of year again! Get ready for the snow with an ATV / UTV snow plow system from ProMarkOffroad.com. We have 3 options available, including the Eagle original plow, the Eagle front-mount plow, and the ARM plow system by Cycle Country.

All three snow plow systems include a quick latch for drive-up attachment. The plow detaches quickly and easily when it’s no longer needed.

Choose your plow system based on what you need, whether it’s a universal plow shared between two ATVs, undercarriage protection, choice of blade sizes, a lightweight blade option, or high ground clearance. Use our snow plow wizard to build your system.

See the requirements, options, and benefits for each plow system below:

Original Eagle Plow

Eagle Original Snow Plow

The Eagle Original snow plow offers undercarriage protection.

Snowplow System Requirements:

  1. Model specific mount
  2. Push tube
  3. Plow blade
  4. Lift system (manual lift, electric winch, or electric lift)
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Available Options:

  • 50″, 54″, and 60″ steel blade for ATVs
  • 60″, 66″, and 72″ steel blade for UTVs

Benefits:

  • Secure Mounting – The multi-point mount underneath your machine provides a secure application.
  • Quick Latch – Install your plow in minutes with the quick latch bracket system. The bolt-on attachment bracket can be removed in the off season for extra ground clearance.
  • Undercarriage Protection – The base mounting plate acts as a skid plate for extra protection year round without affecting ground clearance.
  • Choice of Blade Sizes – With 3 blade widths for ATVs and 3 blade widths for UTVs, you can choose the blade size that best fits your application.

Eagle Front-Mount Plow

Eagle Front-Mount Snow Plow

The Eagle Front-Mount snow plow offers high ground clearance.

Snowplow System Requirements:

  1. Model specific mount
  2. Push tube
  3. Plow blade
  4. Lift system (electric winch or electric lift required)
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Available Options:

  • 50″, 54″, and 60″ steel blade for ATVs
  • 60″, 66″, and 72″ steel blade for UTVs

Benefits:

  • High Ground Clearance – Since the plow system uses a front mount, you won’t lose any ground clearance, even with the mount on year round.
  • Quick Latch – Install your plow in minutes with the quick latch bracket system.
  • Secure Mounting – The model specific mounting plate offers a stronger application than most universal plow mounts.
  • Choice of Blade Sizes – With 3 blade widths for ATVs and 3 blade widths for UTVs, you can choose the blade size that best fits your application.

Note:

The Eagle Front-Mount plow requires an electric winch or electric lift system to operate.

A.R.M. Cycle Country ATV Plow

Cycle Country ARM snow plow

The Cycle Country ARM snow plow offers a lightweight blade option and universal fit for all ATVs.

Snowplow System Requirements:

  1. Universal mount (clamps onto the A-arm)
  2. Push tube
  3. Plow blade
  4. Lift system (electric winch or electric lift required)
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Available Options:

  • X-Force 52″ poly blade
  • Bear Force 52″ steel blade
  • ATV only (no UTV option)

Benefits:

  • Universal Fit for All ATVs – Planning to sell your ATV in the future or upgrade to a newer model? The A.R.M. snowplow system transfers between years and models. No model specific mount is required.
  • Easy to Install – This snow plow kit clamps onto the A-arm, with no drilling or fabrication required.
  • Speed Latch – A quick latch system allows for drive-up attachment. The plow detaches quickly and easily when not needed.
  • Lightweight Blade Option – Cycle Country offers two blade choices. The poly blade is lightweight and easy on driveway surfaces, while the traditional steel blade comes with a long history of strength and durability in the plowing world.

Note:

The A.R.M. System reduces ground clearance by several inches. You may wish to remove the plow mounting hardware from your ATV before riding off road.

The A.R.M. Cycle Country plow requires an electric winch or electric lift system to operate.