Plowing Tips
Maintenance Tips   


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Helpful Tips For Plowing With Your Truck/SUV

• Before beginning to plow, check all pins are properly installed and secure

• Plow promptly after every 3-6 inches of accumulation during heavy snowfalls

• Plow immediately after each snowfall

• Exercise caution and be familiar with the area you are plowing. Hidden obstacles can damage both the plow and your vehicle

• Stay clear of all obstacles by at least 3 feet (walls, telephone poles, gate, etc.) as your vehicle may slip sideways on ice causing the plow to strike the obstacle

• Never ram a pile of snow (as your FirstTrax Snowplow is not designed to move huge blocks of ice and attempting to do so may cause damage to your vehicle, as well as voiding your warranty)

• Do not exceed 10 mph/15 km per hour as excessive speeds can overload the plow or cause you to loose control of your vehicle

• If your plow “hops” when plowing reduce your speed

• Your plow is designed to trip forward if it is overloaded or if it encounters a small obstacle buried in the snow. The plow will automatically reset itself. If you are unsure as to why it tripped, examine the snow pile for a hidden obstacle before proceeding with caution

• Always lift the plow before backing up

• Always lower the plow when parked

Helpful Tips For Plowing With Your ATV

A Quick How To
*Source: e-How (to read the complete article on-line, please click here).

• Raise the blade a few inches above the snow level until you have reached your beginning point. Decide where you are going to push the snow and where you will be starting from. Lower the blade to just a fraction of an inch above the ground.

• Slowly and steadily give the ATV the gas and push one pass of snow to the area where you will be piling the snow.

• Return to your starting position with the blade overlapping by half into the area you just plowed and halfway into unplowed snow (this will catch any excess snow). Again, steadily push the snow to the pile.

• Repeat steps 2-3 until the area is clear of snow.

Tips For Moving Snow
Source: ATV Magazine (to read the complete article on-line, please click here).

One way to determine you are plowing your driveway correctly is to watch someone who has experience doing it. Of course, you could learn by the seat of your pants, but watching someone else do it could pay off. Watching snow plowing could mean watching that diesel truck push snow across the bank parking lot, or it could mean watching your neighbor use his ATV. The goal is to learn what not to do.

Don’t plow fast!
This can be dangerous because the blade could catch on an edge or rock or curb and force the ATV to a jarring halt. Typically, you’ll want to drive at a pace that both pushes snow effectively, yet is not so fast it damages the blade or any of its parts. Practice makes perfect. Plus, your quad’s speed will be determined by the amount of traction it’s getting and the type of snow you are trying to move.

Don’t tear up your lawn.
A smart move is to push the snow further than to the edge of your driveway, if possible. That way, when the temperature warms up, the snow won’t melt on your driveway and form patchy ice. The theory is, if you push it far enough away from your driveway, it will melt into the ground and not on the driveway.

Don’t push all the snow in your driveway to the end of the drive, especially if it’s a wet, sticky snow.
All this will do is create one large, firmly packed wall of white stuff. Your ATV is not powerful enough to move it and that means you’ll have to bust out a shovel.

We’ve tried several methods over the years and a down and back method seems to work for us. It creates less snow build up or deep spots. We’ve also pushed one direction to the edge of a driveway and then stopped, reversed the quad and created a new path in the same direction. However, you must lift the blade off the ground before you back up, unless the manufacturer says it’s not necessary.

Some professional snowplow operators have learned the skill of lifting the plow blade as they approach the pile. This has a couple advantages. The first is it lifts the snow to new heights and helps you push it farther off your driveway or open lot. The second is it prevents you from smashing into the wall of snow and possibly damaging the blade or its parts.

This is far easier to learn and accomplish with either a winch-operated plow or with an electric lift device. You only have to master the toggle switch. While you are doing this, carefully inspect the winch or lift cable for any ice/snow dams or pinching.

Don’t assume your plow will always work perfectly. Regardless of which system you select, you must examine it before, during and after each usage. Look at it before you plow for lose parts or winch cable damage, for example. Inspect it while you plow to prevent ice build up, which can make pushing snow more difficult. Finally, examine after you plow so you know it will be ready to go the next time you need it. Plus, if you find any damage, you may have time to order new parts before the next massive snow storm hits.