On your farm, an ATV is as useful as the number of attachments you can afford to buy. People have made multitaskers out of ATVs, attaching all manner of tools on them such as snow plows, trailers, hay dollies and even lawn mowers.
Something else you can attach is a farming plow. Because pulling a plow requires plenty of power, you have to be careful not to overstretch your ATV’s limitations. Buy the right plow size, and make sure your ATV is up to the task in terms of power. Also check that you have the right hitch installed in your ATV.
In this guide, we explain how to install a plow on an ATV, what to consider before using your ATV to plow, and how to plow with an ATV.
What You'll Learn Today
Is it Safe to Put a Plow on an ATV?
Yes, it is. As long as you do not exceed your ATV’s towing capacity, your ATV will be fine pulling a tow behind it.
And since most utility ATVs can tow up to 500lbs or more, your farming ATV can easily handle a plow.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the plow will not put stress on the ATV’s engine. That’s why we recommend farmers get an ATV sized at 400cc minimum. A 400-600cc engine will not struggle with the added weight.
Another reason you want a higher CC ATV is that it’s going to be heavier. A heavier ATV will have better traction once you attach a farming plow.
Something else to keep an eye on is your engine’s cooling system. If the engine tends to overheat when you are plowing, you may need to install an external cooling system.
Finally, there’s the question of whether installing a plow on an ATV is safe for the rider. As long as you have protective gear (helmet, gloves and the rest), and know how to adjust your driving to account for the extra weight, it’s totally safe.
Because you’ll be towing at low speeds, it’s easy to control the ATV. But be careful when towing a sloped field or traversing a slope. Make sure the ATV’s weight is evenly distributed but constantly shifting your weight or adding extra weight on the ATV to balance the weight of the plow.
How to Attach a Plow to an ATV?
How you install the plow depends on the hitch attachment the plow comes with as well as the type of hitch receiver you have in the rear of your ATV.
Some ATVs come with a basic hitch plate or tongue. This is ideal for trailers, but may not withstand the pull of a plow digging through deep soil.
Many heavy farming attachments for ATVs require a 2-inch receiver tube. You can buy a 2” receiver hitch that you bolt onto the existing plate on your ATV. If your ATV doesn’t have the hitch plate, you can also weld the receiver tube permanently onto the ATV.
Some farmers prefer the welding option, even if they have a hitch plate, for added reliability.
If you don’t have one already, we highly recommend buying and installing an ATV winch kit. You are going to need it for most farming attachments. It makes it possible to lift and lower attached implements using a button.
How to Plow With an ATV – 5 Tips
- Because there are different kinds of plows, check your plow’s manual for instructions on how to operate it on the farm. This includes adjusting the blades or discs and setting the proper pitch.
- Make sure there is enough weight on the plow for it to really get into the soil. You may need additional weight on the ATV to help with plowing.
- Don’t forget to do a pre-drive check on the brakes, throttle, carburetor, engine oil, fuel and other components. Considering the ATV will be under considerable stress, you don’t want anything failing in the middle of your work.
- Do not plow when the farm is muddy. It’ll clog and compact the soil instead of refreshing it by bringing up a new layer of soil.
- Do not over-plow. Usually, a single pass is enough. Later, you can come back with a disc plow to break up large clumps of dirt before seeding.
- If you have a powerful ATV (500cc or more), you can use heavier-duty farm attachments designed for small tractors. If you do so, we recommend installing a 3-point hitch system with hydraulic lift.