ATV with a plow or a snow thrower?

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The house I had built and recently moved into has a lot of surface area of potential snow to remove. 208' X 10' drive, the drive is wider just off the road for several feet plus there is a large pad between the house and the metal building. I don't have a thing to remove snow yet. I don't know much of anything about ATV's or removing snow. I'm a mechanic by trade and can pretty much work on anything however. I'd like to buy a large Cub Cadet 3X 34 Pro self propelled snow thrower. My wife while in her 30's and in good shape, is 5'8" and a scant 121 pounds. Think she can handle a large snow thrower? If I'm better off getting an ATV and plowing, what should I look at?
 
If I had no other use for the ATV other than pushing snow, I'd opt for Cub Cadet snowblower. Do you have/need/use a riding mower? If so, I'd be tempted to buy something like a Deere X series (or any mower heavier duty than a run of the mill "lawn tractor") and put a snowblower on it for winter use.
 
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Having used both I can say a 4x4 ATV can really plow some snow and it's fun and easy. Don't waste your time with a riding mower with a snow blade even a 4x4 stiener is awful and the two wheel drive with chains arent much better. That said you only have so many places to push snow. A 4x4 ATV is like a mini pick up with a plow but that does no good once you got it pushed up and it snows some more. I have to say, not as fun but a big snow blower moves the snow and then some. You can create mountains. It's alot cheaper as well. A 4x4 ATV with a plow will set you back thousands and a two wheel drive isn't any better than a riding mower. Go with the snow blower.
 
Personally I'd look at a Honda or Simplicity pro if going with a walk behind
 
Apples and oranges. With a snow blower you can get a bunch of snow and have no trouble dealing with it because it throws it away. With a plow you have to have somewhere to push it to. If you get much snow you can become snowbound if you don't plan ahead and push it far off the driveway. Your wife can handle a large self propelled snow blower, the hardest part is turning it around and that's not a big deal. Main question is do you want an ATV? A snow blower has to be less money than a decent ATV & plow. Is the drive paved? If not you either throw or push gravel into you yard. And occasionally jam the snow blower with a stone.
 
I've plowed many driveways with a 4x4 ATV and a plow. I did use the ATV at the time for many other things, but I will say the ATV was very fun and great for covering a lot of ground quickly. I currently live in a neighborhood where I snow blow a few of the neighbor's driveways with a John Deere tractor that has a 42" snowblower mounted on it. Both have their pluses and minuses. The ATV is much faster, and more fun to use. I'd also say it is less likely to break, since I had no issues with my Honda ATV while I had it and the plow was pretty tough. With that said, for very deep snow (2 feet or so), and areas where there is limited space to mound up snow with a plow, the snowblower wins. The deep snow can easily be solved by going out twice with the ATV though. If you get a snowblower, I would stay away from anything Cub Cadet or MTD. This is from 13 years of working on equipment. The Cub Cadets have attractive prices, but they are flimsy. The gearboxes are cheaply built, the metal is thin, and with a large area you will notice it falling apart after a few years. The 42" snowblower on my Deere is actually made by a company that is a branch of MTD, and I've had to do a lot of work to maintain the operating condition of the blower attachment. The paint flakes off easily and then snow sticks to it causing it to clog. If I were to get something for snowblowing a large area I would buy a large commercial machine from Toro, Ariens, or Simplicity, or find a John Deere X-series tractor with a snowblower attachment. With that said, you can find used 4x4 ATVs with a plow for probably not much more than the snowblower, and it will likely be easier for your wife to manage.
 
How much time would it take to use a snowblower on a 200 ft long driveway? I don't know how much snow you can get in a year. I have a snowblower but my driveway is only 30ft long by 20 ft wide. Takes 30 mins to clear it out. If I had a long drive I would look at getting a used atv and blade.
 
I have no clue but will a blade on a atv move 10+ inches of wet heavy snow personally I don't think it would.
 
Probably not cost effective, but it would meet both "needs", LOL: It's a good question. We need more information such as amount of snow in one dumping, property layout (plow vs. throw), etc.. From my experience plowing with a compact farm tractor with 6' back blade, I am hedging more towards a walk behind blower.
 
Most large snowblowers, at least the quality ones, have some sort of power steering aid. Sister in law knows how to use a snowblower, a farm girl, but always finds a reason not to do so. IF she's careful and doesn't get in a hurry, she should be able to handle the blower. Knowing where to put the snow is part of the battle it seems. My 2¢
 
Like has been mentioned, we need to know how much you are likely to receive yearly? Are you in a snow belt area or not? I use smaller 4 stroke Toro snow blower for my 50'X 20'and it is surprising how good this little sucker moves the snow. It is fairly light and would be a breeze for your wife to use, but again, will it be big enough for the snow you receive annually? Check and see what your neighbors use/have? I also use to own an ATV with a plow but it was used to just clear a pond, nothing else. It worked great, but without studded tires on the ice, it had it's limitations but that shouldn't be a problem for you if you are paved or on gravel?
 
Originally Posted By: irv
A 200' driveway with a single stage non-propelled blower? Not even once. An ATV or lawn tractor with a plow will be way faster than a walk-behind blower. How much snow and how often do you get it? If you need a lawn tractor to mow with anyway that might answer your question.
 
The choice also sort of depends on how "clean" you want your surfaces to be. Snowblowers need a minimum depth of snowfall before they work well---at least that's been the case for my single-stage Toro CCR2000. Don't bother it with less than 2", and 3-12" are better, and it'll clean right down to the pavement, and it'll blow the snow 15-20ft. Less accumulation will have it barely dribbling out of the discharge chute. I use it on 300' of sidewalk and a 60'x20' driveway (not including the neighbors' pavement that I oftentimes take care of, as well), and I make it through a winter (sometimes two) with only replacing the paddles and scraper bar once. It takes 30 minutes to get the job done. I also have a two-stage Honda 724 hydrostatic drive blower for really deep snow, and it'll blow the snow 40-50'away, but its shoes are cranked up to keep the scraper an inch or so above the ground, since I use it to clear an unpaved path to a storage garage. In any case--particularly if your wife will need to use it unaided to get where she needs to be--spend real money on a quality piece of equipment that'll start easily. To me, that means "buy a Honda", and take care of it. My Toro is a 24yr. old machine that I bought new, with a Suzuki two-stroke engine (Toro doesn't build this anymore, but decent used ones are out there, and worth considering) that will still reliably start on one or two pulls after a 8-month off-season. The Honda, which led a hard life with its previous possessors, is the same. IMHO, B&S-engined devices, while cheap, aren't a reasonable solution for a machine you actually want to reliably use.
 
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Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Originally Posted By: irv
A 200' driveway with a single stage non-propelled blower? Not even once. An ATV or lawn tractor with a plow will be way faster than a walk-behind blower. How much snow and how often do you get it? If you need a lawn tractor to mow with anyway that might answer your question.
Reread my post again. I alluded to it not likely being big enough, but more info is required first. I agree, with the length of his drive, any snowblower/person will likely be taxed by the time they are done, but comparing this little sucker (not as little as you think, however) to my neighbors big walk behind, I am done my same size driveway in less than half the time it takes him. I have noticed, after talking to a few of my neighbors about my snowblower, many more in my neighborhood are now using them. Those big honking, old school, walk behinds are no longer needed this day and age when something a 1/3 of their size/cost is available that does just as a good of a job. Thinking further now, and needing more info/pics of what the OP is up against, maybe even a small/mid size P/U with a plow on the front might be an even better option, provided he has room to get rid of the snow, a place to store it, etc, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bOshJ_frWI
 
Originally Posted By: khittner
The choice also sort of depends on how "clean" you want your surfaces to be. Snowblowers need a minimum depth of snowfall before they work well---at least that's been the case for my single-stage Toro CCR2000. Don't bother it with less than 2", and 3-12" are better, and it'll clean right down to the pavement, and it'll blow the snow 15-20ft. Less accumulation will have it barely dribbling out of the discharge chute. I use it on 300' of sidewalk and a 60'x20' driveway (not including the neighbors' pavement that I oftentimes take care of, as well), and I make it through a winter (sometimes two) with only replacing the paddles and scraper bar once. It takes 30 minutes to get the job done. I also have a two-stage Honda 724 hydrostatic drive blower for really deep snow, and it'll blow the snow 40-50'away, but its shoes are cranked up to keep the scraper an inch or so above the ground, since I use it to clear an unpaved path to a storage garage. In any case--particularly if your wife will need to use it unaided to get where she needs to be--spend real money on a quality piece of equipment that'll start easily. To me, that means "buy a Honda", and take care of it. My Toro is a 24yr. old machine that I bought new, with a Suzuki two-stroke engine (Toro doesn't build this anymore, but decent used ones are out there, and worth considering) that will still reliably start on one or two pulls after a 8-month off-season. The Honda, which led a hard life with its previous possessors, is the same. IMHO, B&S-engined devices, while cheap, aren't a reasonable solution for a machine you actually want to reliably use.
Hondas, like a lot of things nowadays, are no longer as good/reliable as they once were. Many Honda pieces of equipment are now made in China with Chinese parts. I researched this to death and I was shocked to see/read about that. Hondas are still the most expensive as well, but people, because of the brand name, still think they are good and therefore worth the extra money. Not saying Toros are leaps and bounds better, but for the money and their warranty/guarantee, they are a brand that shouldn't be overlooked, imo. Also, keep in mind, try to purchase whatever it is you choose, from a reputable dealer, not someone like Home Depot or Lowes, etc, as those are made to those jobber's specs, not to Toros, nor Hondas, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbQVDmvPnpY Edit: No idea what make or brand this snowblower is but it does show quite well what these little suckers are capable of doing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-5HZmtsM4o
 
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I probably have about the same area to remove snow from as the OP. For about 5 years, I used a snowblower. A year ago, I bought a used Honda Foreman 4X4 and put a 60" blade and a winch on it. Much better solution, in my book. [censored].....I plow a 1/4 mile of road now, in the same time it took me to just snowblow my driveway. And the ATV has other uses. The snowblower.......Well, it can only blow snow.
 
Back in 1991 a place I worked for had a Cub-Cadet riding lawn tractor that had a PTO (power take off) connection on the front of it. They had a big rotating brush that went on the front that cleared snow very well. Look for some kind of riding mower with a PTO on the front and either a two stage snow thrower, or a big rotating brush.
 
I've always thought snow plows were a compromise, because of having to find a place to put the snow (over and over and over and over again) I always wished I owned a snowblower in those days, but oh well. A friend of mine in Fargo does professional snowblowing, and he always uses top-of-the-line Simplicity or Ariens.
 
What are your rooflines like? I have a detatched garage but both its and the house's rooflines slope together and dump in a 15-foot-wide "valley" between them. I knew that building the garage but the alternative was having the snow dump in front of the bay doors. That said I use a snowthrower in a valiant attempt to keep a walkway open between garage and house for as long as possible. Eventually I get an icy mess and just walk on top of it. Sometimes my outdoor cat can climb this pile onto my roof and look in my 2nd story windows. LOL I just got a full size plow truck. Nothing handles the icy/ slushy end-of-drive better. It takes some creativity backing over snow that I want to plow "out" and across-the-road. Snowthrowers just make snow go "away". The working man around here always has a snowblower, typically a 8 hp, 24 incher.
 
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