Winter is quickly approaching, bringing with it bitter cold fronts, bone-chilling winds, and of course, plenty of snow. And while the winter snowpack is a playground for skiers, snowmobilers, snowshoers and the like, it presents a challenge for people with parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks that need to be regularly cleared of snow. Forget the backbreaking task of shoveling or the cost prohibitive snow blower. If you own a Polaris Ranger, you’re already one step ahead, as there are countless Polaris Ranger snow plows, plow kits, and snow-related accessories that will save you time, reduce your workload, and get you by until spring.
But with so many aftermarket snow plow kits available, you might be asking yourself “which one is right for me”? By the end of this guide, we hope that you’ll have a better understanding of what makes a good snow plow, and can feel confident and able to make a decision that most benefits you. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Finding The Best Polaris Ranger Snow Plow For Your Budget And Needs
The size, style, and type of snow plow kit you choose for your Polaris Ranger will depend on many factors.
Size is an important thing to consider when deciding on a Polaris Ranger snow plow kit. Sizes of blades vary in terms of both width and height. Generally, they range from around 60” wide -- like the smallest system by Eagle Plow -- to upwards of 72” -- like the full-size Polaris Ranger plow kit by EMP. Obviously, the larger the blade, the more area you can cover in a shorter amount of time. So if you are merely searching for a plow to shovel your walk and driveway, a smaller kit will do. But if you’re looking for a commercial grade plow, go big or go home!
Straight Blades VS. V Blades
Unlike commercial road plows or aftermarket plow kits for pickup trucks, UTV plows generally use a straight blade design -- as opposed to the V blade. Both plow designs get the job done, and with swivel, pivot, and lift functionalities, a straight blade can direct, push, and scoop snow with similar efficiencies to a V blade.
The most significant difference between straight and V blades arises when dealing with frozen snow and ice. Because of its shape, the V blade’s sharp tip can slice through harder material better than the flat edge of a straight blade.
Like most components and accessories, Polaris Ranger snow plows are made from a variety of materials -- each of which with specific pros and cons. The three primary materials used in UTV plows are polyethylene, mild steel, and stainless steel. Let’s dig in to identify a few strengths and weaknesses of each material.
Polyethylene -- commonly referred to as poly -- provides a good combination of sturdiness, slickness, strength, and durability. They are typically scratch and dent resistant, with colors that don’t fade over time. Their low friction rating causes snow to glide right across the material, easily sliding off during use
Counterintuitively, poly plows end up being more expensive and heavier than their steel counterparts once they are properly hooked up due to the heavy framework needed to reinforce the plow section.
Mild steel is the most common material used to make Polaris Ranger plow kits. This type of steel is preferred among many in the industry because of its low cost. They do tend to rust or corrode over time after prolonged use, but because they are generally treated with special coatings, their longevity can be extended.
The biggest drawback to mild steel plows are that they are noisy and tend to rattle incessantly during use. This can be annoying to both the driver and residents if the plow is in operation during the early morning or evening hours.
Stainless steel is a modern material that has just recently been used by plow manufacturers. Unlike mild steel, stainless steel plows are designed to resist rust and corrosion and have a slick outer layer to direct the snow -- slicker than mild steel but still not as slick as poly. Stainless steel is also more aesthetically pleasing, with its chrome color and metallic feel.
It has many of the same drawbacks of mild steel -- like the noise factor-- but is better at resisting corrosion and rust and some argue that it is more durable. Others, however, say that stainless steel is easily dented, which can detract from its looks and reduce its utility over time.
Although important, the blade isn’t the only part that you’ll need for a properly functioning UTV snow plow. You’ll also need a winch -- as well as a winch mount to attach the winch to your machine -- and a push tube. Where the winch is concerned, power is important, but the control mechanism is of even greater importance. If you don’t have in-cab or dash-mounted controls, it could become a tedious task to raise and lower the blade.
The push tube is important as it needs to be strong enough to handle the forces of the snow in front of it. As we mentioned earlier, poly blades often require heavier push tubes, making the complete kit heavier than units with steel blades.
Most push tubes are universal, but it is always worth checking to make sure they’ll fit both your UTV and your blade before buying. Most times, however, the blade comes with the push tube -- and sometimes even the winch. If you’re ever in doubt, stick with the same brand for all three components and they should be compatible.
Whatever you decide, installing a snow plow on your Polaris Ranger 900 XP, 1000 XP, or even 570 will make your winters a lot more bearable. The right plow for your needs will depend on the size you need, the style you require, and the looks you desire. At the end of the day, most plows will get the job done, yet some will do it better than others. While kits like Koplin’s Switchable Plow System are famous for their low cost, others like the Plow Pro by SuperATV are chosen for their sheer power and reliability.
Regardless, all I can say is plow up and get ready, because we’ve got a long winter ahead of us. And if you’re unprepared, this long winter is only going to feel longer!
Check out our full line of snow plows!