HFX Motorsports Fun Expert, Brett Vanderkooi knows what questions to ask to help you choose the right plow system for your ATV/UTV
One of the biggest considerations when purchasing a plow for your off road vehicle is whether to buy a front mount or mid mount (bottom mount) plow. This can be a tough decision because there are positives and negatives to both style of mounts. You will have to consider a number of factors around how you use your machine, the areas you will be plowing and the durability versus ease of use.
There are 3 main benefits to a front mount plow system. The first is the ease of installation of the plow blade. For example, you may use your ATV for other actives such as trail riding, or have trouble storing the machine in a shed that has an entrance too small for the blade, requiring it to be removed. If this is the case, a front mount system is probably your best bet. Front mounts are typically easier to install and remove because you do not need to position the bike over the push frame of the plow, or lay on the ground beside the bike while holding the frame up to the mount and insert the plow pins. With a front mount you can drive up to your plow system, hold it up to the mount and push the pins in without laying on the ground or reaching under the bike in an awkward position.
The second reason that you may want to consider a front mount plow is whether ground clearance is an important factor to you. The front mount is positioned under your winch on the front of the bike, which keeps it up and out of the way of any rocks or ruts that you may encounter in some of the more rugged trails. If you’re the type of person who likes to attend a number of rallies and uses the machine frequently over the course of the snow season, then a front mount is probably your better choice.
The third reason that front snow plows are beneficial is that they have a higher lift height to get the blade off the ground. If you’re short on space for snow piles then this can help pile the snow up when it gets too heavy or frozen to push further back. Having the blade higher off the ground is also beneficial if you have a number of obstacles to maneuver around such as street curbs.
The first benefit to a mid (bottom) mount plow is simplicity and security in knowing it will not damage the frame of the bike in an unexpected impact. With this type of mount, the pushing force from the plow blade is not applied directly on to the frame of your machine. What this means is that if you catch a rock, curb or other obstacle with a large amount of force you will break the mount and/or plow, likely without causing damage to the frame of your bike. This is a very important aspect to consider if you live in the suburbs plowing a few neighbouring drive ways with the potential of catching a manhole cover or drainage grate.
The second benefit of a mid mount plow is that they are often times a bit cheaper. The reasoning behind this is because mid mount plows are universal in design and often fit multiple machines whereas front mounts are very model specific. With the added reliability, a mid mount is a great option for someone who uses their machine primarily for plowing in the winter months.
In conclusion, if you are an active rider throughout the winter a front mount is your best option for its convenience. On the other hand, if your machine is primarily used for plowing than the more cost effective mid mount option would be suitable for you.
Written by Brett Vanderkooi, Fun Expert