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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need to get a snow plow for my driveway this winter (it's about 100 yards of paved driveway + a governors circle)

I purchased both a 2022 JD 1025r and a 2022 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 SE (a 4wd "Gator" like ATV) when we bought this house this earlier in the year.

I'm trying to decide if I should get a plow for my tractor, or a plow for my side by side. The tractor has the benefit of having hydraulics, but I don't have a 3rd function on my FEL and don't plan on getting a 3rd function for this plow. The ATV has the benefit of being much more versatile in the snow, it can go more places, I feel much safer from tipping in it and sliding vs my tractor (we live in western PA and our property has lots of steep areas) I don't have any tire chains for my tractor and I have the hybrid tires on there now (I forgot what they're called, they're not the versa turfs but they were described to me as hybrid (in between a turf tire & an agricultural tire)

I was hoping for some advice from you guys to see what you think and which direction you would go, knowing that many of you have experience plowing with your sub compact tractors. Thanks guys
 

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I'd imagine they are both four wheel drive and both could be equipped with chains. .

I use the bucket for moving snow on a much shorter driveway but assuming you can hook the FEL tilt function up to angle the blade I'd give the advantage to the tractor there (vs whiney electric motor)

I'd also give the advantage in weight to the tractor assuming that with ballast it would overall be much heavier.

No idea total cost either way or hassle to mount/dismount for the side by side - - that might be a bigger factor than the rest . . . but I'll assume tractor is cheaper and quick attach easier?

So surprise - you asked if a tractor would be better for a task on a tractor forum - and I'm the first (of many?) to say it will be!

Kidding aside - there is a channel on Youtube - Outdoors with the Morgans - he lives in Western PA and I have seen videos of him using a side by side to plow some extensive driveways. Might pay to watch video to see if it looks like it would do the job - overall it looks like a more compact setup (1025r gets pretty long with plow and ballast) but to me blade looks small and electric motors sound like toys. But you can see him plowing some decent snow, so . . . can't argue with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No idea total cost either way or hassle to mount/dismount for the side by side - - that might be a bigger factor than the rest . . . but I'll assume tractor is cheaper and quick attach easier?
Yea thats true about the ease of installation, From my reading installing & uninstalling the ATV plow takes several hours and the JDQA it would take just a few seconds...good point.

From what I've been seeing, a quick attach plow for an FEL isn't cheap its like $2500ish and thats without a 3rd function to control the tilt angle (you gotta get up to change the angle manually) but I can get a plow for my ATV for about $500

What's your experience been like just using your bucket for plowing? I was told by the sales guy when I bought the tractor that it kinda sucks...he said the pile of snow quickly gets too big and you have to get out to shovel what you collected to the side. Maybe just using the bucket I already own is worth saving $2500
 

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What's your experience been like just using your bucket for plowing? I was told by the sales guy when I bought the tractor that it kinda sucks...he said the pile of snow quickly gets too big and you have to get out to shovel what you collected to the side. Maybe just using the bucket I already own is worth saving $2500
Several hours to put on a blade would be a hard pass for me, even if only twice a year - I did that for years with a big garden tractor . . . now that sucks.

A lot of guys on here are going to jump in and tell you its nuts to use the bucket. But a lot depends on your driveway.

I use the bucket and to protect the blacktop from scratches - a Snow Edge by Ratchet Rake.

I have used walk behind snow blowers (much younger) and a big garden tractor with a plow and manual blade. Coming up on 30 years dancing with this driveway.

I minimally do two driveways and as time permits and in big storms help the neighbors - - my drive way is maybe 75' long by 30' wide and the second driveway is smaller maybe 50'x20'. Houses are separated by a good sloped hill so I need to usually push my way up and down.

When I used garden tractor/plow, it worked fine but no obstacles near driveway and no cars on driveway - - multiple directions to push, as long I didn't let the storm get too far ahead of me it did great.

But now - fence on downhill side, plants everywhere and multiple cars on driveway - no longer a good way to push - I need surgical precision out there - so I decided against the plow.

I was going to go with the front mounted snow blower in spite of storage being issue (hate leaving stuff outside) but then salesman talked me out of it - told me to use the bucket for a season and if I didn't like it he would hold the price on the snow blower for me. The dealer has a pretty good sized lot and he told me he cleans their lot with a 1025r and a bucket - that put me over the top. That was 4 seasons ago.

I'm looking for pics from last year, need to ask the neighbor, we got wacked several storms 30" - - I did four nearest driveways and the street - piles 10 foot high and 10 foot wide for half a block . . . it performed flawlessly. Took me a while, but that's what cigars are for.

That said, if I had 300' of driveway, no obstructions on either side, no driving around things and I could do three up and down pushes with an angled blade and get the snow off to the side . . . . well a bucket won't do that - you can push a mountain of snow a mile with enough ballast, but not being able to angle would mean a different approach - push maybe 30-50 feet then off to the side, do it again and again - it would take longer - which is the salesman's reference to suckage.

Like I said - my experience - depends on your layout - and cue everyone saying using a bucket for snow is nuts . . . . .
 

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I was in a semi-similar situation. I had a lawn tractor with a manual angle plow for 1100' driveway with curbs and a few bump outs for parking spots etc. That was no fun at all. I could only really push any amount down hill and even then with the curbs, there wasn't enough lift and throw. Took me 4 hours with a big 2 stage snowblower to finish up the huge piles.

I ended with a 1025r TLB, I needed the front qh for a broom I was left - 60". The dealer said I'd want the plow for heavy snows 4+. The plow was relatively cheap after the qh and driveshaft cost so got it. I put a poly edge on it and haven't used it once. The brush does an amazing job. It throws the snower further than i expected and leaves the cleanest driveway you can imagine. It is so clean that it is usually dry by the time the back of the tractor passes over. I'm a huge brush fan for Chicago area snows. Heaver stuff - probably would use the plow. The tractore will push amazing piles and the speed of the tilt and lift is good. I've plowed wtih pickup trucks a lot for reference. The only gripe with the front qh is the lift height is not high. Eg... it won't go over a curb. The one plus to the u/atv I'll say is you can get a lot more speed built up and throw the snow off a plow. If you need any lift and throw it might make sense to go atv. I've never even tried the loader for snow, I'm afraid of peeling up the asphalt.
 

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Check out Goodworks tractor, he has a lot of videos using a Snow Bucket which easily mounts to the FEL. I personally use a 47” blower and it takes me about 2-3 hours on my 1/10 mile gravel driveway and parking areas in my yard. I am in the Lake Michigan snow belt and have used the JD Front Quick Hitch 54” plow before getting the blower back in 1995. When I got my 1026R I tried the blade again and settled for the blower on the 1026R and the plow on my 445. Seldom used the 445 for the winter anymore so I quit mounting the blade a couple of years ago.
 

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over the last 35 years, I have used ATV, UTVs the smallest being 500 cc, 4x4, withe 60” county style snow plows. They all worked but after a couple years from shifting forward and reverse all the time I had issues with the transmissions. I had a JD 425 that I put a 54” blower on but due to windy conditions blowing snow , I always ended up with having to blow the driveway twice. The ATV / UTV plows have a very poor plow edge and don’t last a season of plowing, moldboards are thin and cheap.
I bought my 1025R with FEL and bought a 72” FEL mounted plow, adjusted the tilt cyl.to what I wanted to the plow adjusted to. Then disconnected the tilt cyl. hoses and connected the plow angle cyl. To the tilt hyd.quick disc. This allowed me to angle the plow and not need a 3 rd function. Works great. Also u can get snow plows for much less then $2500. Just look around for after market mfgs. I paid about $900.00 and have used this plow for 9 years with no issue. I plow much more the 100yds of pavement.
 
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I would say the tractor would always be my pic over plowing with a UTV.
This video demonstrates pretty much why I say that.
 

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Lots of different scenarios to consider here and seems like no one right way for all. I have a 625 foot gravel drive that is steep with two curves. One side has grass that slopes toward the drive, and the other side has an elevated retaining wall at top and a tree line at the middle part. I used a lawn tractor for seven years with a 44 inch push blade. Worked well for snows up to 5 inches but beyond that struggled to push to the side with the typical central Illinois wet snows. 6 years ago I got a 2025r with FEL and back blade. I use the back blade for most snowfalls and if we don't have a thaw before the next snowfall I may have to use the FEL to widen the path. Maybe once a year we get 10 inches or more and then have to use the FEL since I don't have room to push snow far enough to the side with a blade. Also have two parking areas where picking up and piling the snow is a must.

My overall point is to evaluate your unique site and decide what is best for you.
 

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I live in NW Pa and have been plowing my 850' driveway with the bucket and Edge Tamers for 15 years now.

Just last winter I bought a snow plow for my Gator.

The plow for the Gator KFI snow plows. I now use the Gator for under 6" snowfalls and continue to use the tractor for above. We get quite a few snowfalls over 6".

The KTI plow is fairly light weight and isn't very tall. But it does hook up in about 30 seconds - easy on and easy off.

I will plow with the Gator then still use my tractor and bucket to push the windrows back into the lawn area. I keep everything very wide and open so you always have room for the next snowfall.

Here is an example of plowing just 2" of sleet - we get lots of sleet storms also which is really heavy stuff. Perfect for the Gator.


And here is an example of a heavier snowfall where the Gator would be useless.


The KTI plow was relatively cheap last year around $800 shipped - no idea what they could be now or if you can even get any. That goes for any snow equipment - best would be to plan 1 year ahead for any purchases these days....

Here's where I bought my KFI plow - excellent customer service.

 

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Plowing a wall lined driveway with my 87" custom made plow with the 1025r. This plow width reduces the time to plow this drive by half. The plow top flap makes the entire process so much easier without the snow simply pushing over the top of the blade as it otherwise would.

Anyone plowing with a plow blade should seriously consider the plow top flap as well as the rubber plow edge.


This video shows the importance of a plow top flap and having a cab. The temp at the time I was plowing was -18F., the windchill was near -40F. ...Imagine with the wind blowing and extreme cold, how wearing all of the snow would have been without the cab....Incidentially, it was 71 degrees inside the cab.......


I have video somewhere using the 72" snow pusher with back drag feature last winter. I will need to locate it and post it......The memory card are probably still in the camera......
 

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I have a quarter mile drive ( hilly and curvy) with another long branch and a couple of separate parking areas. I use a plow on my Kawasaki 610 mule and if stuff piles up use my tractor bucket to just move around the piles. That said most of our snowfalls are in the 3-8 inch range. The way my plow is set up, it takes maybe five minutes to attach to the frame. It uses the winch to raise and lower. The couple of hours should just be the initial installation of the frame etc…. After that it is super easy on and off and I can plow often at a higher speed than the tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
over the last 35 years, I have used ATV, UTVs the smallest being 500 cc, 4x4, withe 60” county style snow plows. They all worked but after a couple years from shifting forward and reverse all the time I had issues with the transmissions. I had a JD 425 that I put a 54” blower on but due to windy conditions blowing snow , I always ended up with having to blow the driveway twice. The ATV / UTV plows have a very poor plow edge and don’t last a season of plowing, moldboards are thin and cheap.
I bought my 1025R with FEL and bought a 72” FEL mounted plow, adjusted the tilt cyl.to what I wanted to the plow adjusted to. Then disconnected the tilt cyl. hoses and connected the plow angle cyl. To the tilt hyd.quick disc. This allowed me to angle the plow and not need a 3 rd function. Works great. Also u can get snow plows for much less then $2500. Just look around for after market mfgs. I paid about $900.00 and have used this plow for 9 years with no issue. I plow much more the 100yds of pavement.
Oh that’s cool, so you can use a hydraulic plow and not require an actual 3rd function. Maybe I need to look closer but everything metal has gone up in price to an insane level…bad time to be buying tractor attachments
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I live in NW Pa and have been plowing my 850' driveway with the bucket and Edge Tamers for 15 years now.

Just last winter I bought a snow plow for my Gator.

The plow for the Gator KFI snow plows. I now use the Gator for under 6" snowfalls and continue to use the tractor for above. We get quite a few snowfalls over 6".

The KTI plow is fairly light weight and isn't very tall. But it does hook up in about 30 seconds - easy on and easy off.

I will plow with the Gator then still use my tractor and bucket to push the windrows back into the lawn area. I keep everything very wide and open so you always have room for the next snowfall.

Here is an example of plowing just 2" of sleet - we get lots of sleet storms also which is really heavy stuff. Perfect for the Gator.


And here is an example of a heavier snowfall where the Gator would be useless.


The KTI plow was relatively cheap last year around $800 shipped - no idea what they could be now or if you can even get any. That goes for any snow equipment - best would be to plan 1 year ahead for any purchases these days....

Here's where I bought my KFI plow - excellent customer service.

We also live in northwest pa, we just moved to Franklin from Pittsburgh so I’ll be plowing out of similar conditions
 

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We also live in northwest pa, we just moved to Franklin from Pittsburgh so I’ll be plowing out of similar conditions
It’s tough to guess what kind of precipitation you will get and what equipment will best work for you. Every place is different - every driveway - and every snowfall. After a couple seasons you will have a much better idea of what works best for you.
 

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I have not read all of the replies, so may be some repetition here.
I've have had 3 UTVs, 2 with plows as well as a 1023 then a 2032 and now a 3039 all with loaders, snowblowers and rear blades so I have some experience with both.

Pros of the UTV
Faster. Especially if you need to move the snow a great distance.
Quick connect for the plow, so machine's other uses are not compromised.

Cons of the UTV
Speed is required to make up for lack of traction, and some instances require some lower speed precision.
Were ever you stop the first time is your boundary until snow piles melt.
No down pressure for back dragging.
Pretty much useless in an extreme dumping
This type of heavy use will take it's toll on UTV much quicker than it will on a tractor.

Pros of tractor
Traction provides ability of controlled low speed use
Ability to move existing snow piles and berms.
Ability to pile higher.
Ability to handle an extreme dumping
Will hold up better in the long run

Cons of tractor
Slower than UTV

Some other factors...
Does either one have protection from elements?
Is one machine in more reliable condition than the other? Repairs in the elements suck big time.
Is one or the other kept in heated garage?
 

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Why would you like to kill a good Honda SxS?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great comment thank you. I'm aiming towards using the tractor at this point.

Both my tractor and UTV are brand new 2022 and were just purchased this year, both are stored inside (but not heated) tractor in my barn & UTV has its own garage spot. But neither have a full "cab" ...my UTV has a windshield and doors but no "windows" aside from netting. The tractor has NOTHING. I'm young tho and nicely equipped with a goose down coat / long undies / the works 😎 I'm used too going out and doing the driveway. with a shovel or the snow blower so whichever option I choose will be an upgrade.
 
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