Transform your UTV to battle snow
Key attachments and accessories can give UTVs winter use.
The first snowfall of the season will be here before we know it. When preparing for the frigid months ahead, grounds and equipment managers can save on equipment costs by converting their existing utility vehicles (UTVs) into snow-fighting machines with the simple addition of key attachments and accessories.
With advancements in equipment technology from some of the leading manufacturers, gone are the days when UTVs could only transport people, tools and materials throughout the warmer months. Thanks to more powerful engines, cold-weather packages, and a variety of snow removal attachments, UTVs are extremely versatile and can adapt to the changing weather conditions year round.
For example, Toro’s heavy-duty Workman® HDX Auto is simple to outfit for winter use. With the simple addition of winter accessories, they can pull double duty – clearing snow and spreading salt and sand, or used as a de-icer in the harshest winter conditions.
Such vehicles have made it easy for operators to not only accommodate a number of different attachments, but also switch attachments quickly and effectively for a multitude of snow management tasks. Grounds and equipment managers can consider the following list of the top 10 attachments and accessories to help transform their UTVs into an efficient machine for snow and ice removal:
10. Mirror kits: Between blowing snow and shorter days, winter has a way of bringing low visibility. For this reason, it is important for the operator to have complete awareness around the UTV for maximum safety. This can be accomplished with side mirror and rear-view mirror kits for cabs.
9. Light kits: Light kits can include a beacon, a work light and a turn signal. For operators working early or late shifts, equipping the UTV with light kits are not only good for effectively identifying obstacles in the dark, but also makes the UTV more noticeable to drivers and pedestrians.
8. Angle brooms: During and after light snowfall events, angle brooms are ideal for a quick sweep of driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and more. Additionally, sweeping helps keep the snow from turning into a layer of ice or slush. Angle brooms are also incredibly useful attachments for properties that require zero snow accumulation for safety and liability purposes. An added bonus with this attachment is that angle brooms can be utilized year-round for dethatching and clearing debris and dirt from turfgrass, sidewalks and parking lots.
7. Snow tires: When utilizing a UTV for snow removal applications, equipment managers shouldn’t skimp on high-performance or aggressive tread tires. Snow tires have superior tread patters designed specifically for traction on ice and snow and may use soft rubber compounds to enhance grip on slippery terrain. Snow tires are a stark contrast to turf tires, where the tread is much less aggressive and designed to minimize damage to turfgrass. It’s extremely important to upgrade to snow tires when operating the UTV on snow or ice.
6. Spreader: BOSS offers a spreader that is designed specifically for Toro UTVs. When a spreader is coupled with an angle blade attachment, it quickly transforms the UTV into both a proactive and reactive snow removal machine. While the front of the UTV can clear sidewalks with the help of the blade, the spreader at the rear of the machine can distribute salt or sand, immediately treating the area after clearing. The poly hopper is made of corrosion-resistant material and fits easily in the bed of the UTV.
5. Blower: For snow removal jobs that require more than a snow blade, there are a number of blower options designed to attach to UTVs. Blowers are ideal for clearing snow off parking lots, sidewalks and driveways. These attachments also provide the operator with more control of where the snow is deposited.
4. Heater kit: During winter months, operators can be required to work long hours, so equipment managers should do their best to provide a comfortable and safe environment. Equipment managers should look for a heater kit that has a defroster for the windshield to ensure proper visibility. Any operator can attest to the fact that sub-zero temperatures can make for a long day without a heater.
3. Snow blade: Companies such as BOSS offer full-size plows which are available in both straight-blade and V-plow options. Mid-size plow attachments are ideal for UTVs and many offer a high-performance hydraulic package to protect the plow from the elements, preventing corrosion and hydraulic freeze-up. The attachments are fully hydraulic, so there’s minimal manual adjustment for chains, winches or pulleys, and they can be quickly attached to UTVs such as the Workman.
2. Hard enclosed cab: This is especially crucial during the bitter-cold months to help operators stay warm and keep blowing snow out of the cab. Windshield wipers are also important on windy days and keep snow and moisture from collecting and reducing the operator’s visibility.
1. Four-wheel drive: This option provides the UTV with better acceleration in inclement weather. Similar to snow tires, there is simply better traction with four-wheel drive, which helps increase operator productivity and safety. Rear-wheel drive can also perform well in the snow as long as the UTV is outfitted with snow tires. However, rear-wheel-drive UTVs have a higher risk of fishtailing than their four-wheel drive counterparts.
When you break it all down, purchasing winter accessories and attachments for a UTV helps equipment managers instantly add year-round versatility to their UTV fleet. For tasks that have traditionally required three or four dedicated pieces of equipment, a winter-ready UTV can accomplish the same tasks with only a handful of attachments and accessories. This not only contributes to a healthy bottom line, but also maximizes return on the initial UTV investment.
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