The Best Side-By-Side UTVs For Plowing Snow
One of the great benefits of owning a UTV, also known as a side by side, is how versatile they are. I mean just think about it: ripping a trail at high speeds? check. carrying heavy produce down a farm? check. cruising along with your whole family on-board? check. it is evident that side-by-sides can do it all, and that also includes plowing snow. UTVs are one of the easiest and most intuitive ways to clear that snow on your driveway, which actually is one of the reasons people buy them in the first place.
However, not every UTV is made equal though, especially when it comes to snow plowing. there are definitely models that are going to be better for working that snow up than others, and that’s where I come in. I decided to make a comprehensive list of the best UTV models for working up that pesky snow that keeps reappearing every week at the front of your home!
What You Should Be Looking For In A UTV For Snowplowing
So just like I mentioned above, there are different types of UTVs available, and not all of them will be up to the task of handling significant amounts of snow. because of this, making sure that your UTV has a torquey and punchy engine is important. but other than the power, there are other things that you should be looking for on a side-by-side if you are going to be plowing with it. these include:
- Power: Having a torquey engine on a UTV is especially important if you are going to be plowing significant amounts of snow. If your machine has at least 250cc, then you should be fine, but if you are going to be plowing over 1 foot of snow, then you are probably going to need something more powerful. anything over 400cc is fine. but as always, the more power the better.
- 4WD System: One of the most important features that you want to have in your UTV is 4WD. Obviously, snowy conditions affect the traction of your ride, making it hard to actually maneuver around your driveway or road. There’s nothing more annoying than getting stuck on half a foot of snow because of traction issues, and that’s where 4WD comes handy. It is especially important if there’s heavy snow where you live.
- Reliability: If you didn’t know, snow plowing can really push a machine’s limits. many UTVs have an increased risk of failure if plowing snow for extended amounts of time, and because of this, you should be looking for models that can really withstand an hour or 2 of plowing without giving you issues. Thankfully, UTV reliability has drastically improved from 10 years ago so most choices on the market are going to serve you well. Still, Its something to keep in mind.
- Comfort: For many people, plowing snow entails dressing in layers so that the cold doesn’t affect them while doing so. Many people find plowing annoying but they need to do it because they need to get to their car or similar. That’s why looking for comfortable UTVs that make plowing as easy as possible is very important. and when I mention comfort, I’m talking about things like a closed cab on the UTV, air conditioning with variable temperature, and more.
- Pricing: As we all know, UTVs can be really expensive. And since most of us aren’t rich, it’s important to get a model that can get things done at an affordable price. So unless you want to ride recreationally on a trail on the weekends, getting a pure sports UTV doesn’t really make much sense. Not because it’s not capable, but because there are other UTVs that can do the same job for thousands of dollars less. Again, it’s going to depend a lot if you are going to be using the UTV for something else other than plowing
- Size: When it comes to UTV sizing, smaller models are ideal. this is because of several reasons. first of all, a smaller side by side will have more space to work with when plowing. you will lose less time turning the UTV and will finish the job more quickly in general. smaller side by sides will also be easier on the gas than their bigger counterparts, something to keep in mind if you are going to be using the UTV daily.
- Plow: This has nothing to do with the UTV itself, but I think Its something to be mentioned. The plow that you should use will depend on several factors, including how many feet of snow there is, if the snow is dry or wet, if you are going to be moving the snow so that your car can get on the street, among other things. there are some plows that cannot get attached to a UTV so its important to make sure your plow does fit before you buy either one.
The Best Side-By-Side UTVs For Plowing Snow On The Market
Kubota RTV-X1100C – The Best!
The Kubota RTV is the best UTV for plowing snow on the market today. And this is because it has everything that you need and want in a side-by-side for snowplowing. it’s affordable, reliable, the engine is pretty torquey, and it also features a heated cab for those freezing winter mornings. all in all, this is a heck of a snowplower, and it’s the best UTV that you could get for these kinds of tasks. highly recommended!
One of the best things about the Kubota RTV-X1100C is its engine. Kubota’s 24.8 HP D1105 3-cylinder diesel engine will push through significant amounts of snow with ease, working up feets of snow without breaking a sweat. Kubota’s components are also notorious for being very hardy and reliable, and this engine is no exception. Also, the fact that it’s a diesel engine means that you will be spending significantly less amounts of money on refueling this baby.
The Kubota RTV-X1100C comes standard with a 4WD system, a feature that I consider to be pretty much mandatory for utility UTVs like this one, especially if they are going to be working on the snow. And you expected the 4WD system is super capable, routinely unsticking itself out of shallow snow holes and muddy terrain. Traction issues are pretty much nonexistent for this Kubota model, making this an ideal choice for people looking to avoid hassles.
But I need to start talking about the BEST feature about the Kubota and why it makes this so superior to other UTVs when it comes to plowing snow. that feature is the closed cab! This Kubota UTV features a very comfortable cab with air conditioning, which can significantly heat up the cabin, perfect if you hate cold winter mornings. The heating system works just like a car’s system. just get inside, close the door and roll up the windows, and twist the air temp until its on hot. The heated air will get you warm and fuzzy very quickly, and it will definitely make plowing snow less of a drag.
And the positives don’t end there. UTV enthusiasts have routinely cried and complained that UTVs are quite expensive (click this link to know why) but this doesn’t apply to the RTV-X1100C. Actually, this is one of the most affordable models in the UTV world, which is honestly quite amazing considering how much stuff this bad boy brings stock. Folks who need a side-by-side to plow snow but are on a budget should definitely check this out. A base model can be had for under 7 grand, super cheap when compared to the competition.
But no UTV is perfect, and while this Kubota is pretty damn close to it (for working), I need to mention a flaw that will scare away some potential customers: and that is the fact that it has almost no sport pretentions at all. this may or may not be a flaw depending on who’s interested, but let me just mention that the Kubota is not going to win you any drag races or eat up your local trail. the Kubota could be considered an appliance, and again, many people are going to be fine with that, but if you are looking for a UTV for plowing that can also hold its own on your favorite trail, then looking at something like a Polaris Ranger or Can-Am Defender is recommended.
John Deere Gator 825i – Surprisingly Athletic
If you need a UTV that can really hold its own with heaps of snow while not being as subdued and boring as the Kubota, then take a look at the John Deere Gator 825i. The Gator has always been a favorite among farmers and people looking for a utility UTV because of its ability to withstand hours and hours of work. the Gator can be just capable plowing snow as the Kubota, but its sportier and more interesting, perfect for recreational rides on the weekend with your son on board.
Reliability has always been an important piece of the UTV puzzle, and the Gator doesn’t disappoint in that department. This is one of the most reliable UTVs on the market today, routinely being able to sustain very rough conditions and even abuse and mistreatment. The Gator is definitely a safe buy if you are looking for reliability and dependability. Also, getting spare parts is a breeze because the Gator is a very common model, so upkeep costs are quite low.
As the Kubota above, this Gator has an excellent all wheel drive system that will ensure that you do not get stuck while doing your plowing. the 4WD system is standard unlike many utility UTVs, which is really appreciated given the fact that this UTV isn’t as cheap as the Kubota, which brings me to my next point.
There are a few reasons why this is not number 1. the first one is the pricing. A Gator is significantly more expensive than the Kubota above, and even more so if you are looking to get the closed cab model. Sure, the Gator might be sportier and a little bit bigger, but this is a list of the best UTVs for snow plowing, and so, this falls short to the Kubota.
So to summarize, this is a great second choice to the RTV above if you are looking for a sportier model that you can depend on when your driveway is completely covered with snow. However, this is the 2nd choice for a reason: its simply not as utilitarian as the Kubota, plus its significantly more expensive, especially if you are going for the closed cab model. It is still a great choice though.
Polaris Ranger – The Sporty Option
If you need a sporty model that you can have fun with on the weekends while still being able to clear all the snow in your road, then take a look at the Polaris Ranger. This is one of the best Do-It-All UTVs, a sports utility model with a great starting price point that will handle and ride surprisingly well even on snow tires. If you do not need to push aside massive amounts of snow and only need the side by side for occasional plowing, then this could be a great choice!
The first pro of this UTV is the refinement of this ride. If you didn’t know, Polaris UTVs tend to feel more premium, and the ride quality is superb, especially notable while plowing wet snow. People with bad backs are going to love Ranger because of its well-damped suspension setup, which swallows bumps like its no one’s business, plus its frame stays stiff and steady while doing the plowing. In short, this is one of the easiest UTVs to plow with.
The Ranger isn’t just limited to snowy terrain though. Like I said above, this is a very sporty utility model, which is one of the main reasons people actually get them in the first place. Even more hardcore trails are no match for this baby, and the 10 inches of ground clearance will ensure you go everywhere, anytime. While obviously this isn’t as sporty as an RZR or even a Polaris General, its still surprisingly capable.
When it comes to the cons, the same thing happens with the Ranger as with the Gator: they are significantly more expensive than the number 1 choice. The Ranger also comes with an open-air cabin as standard, which isn’t exactly ideal when it’s under 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and if you want to upgrade it to a closed cab, then the final price is going to be thousands of dollars more expensive.
In short, this is a great choice for those only doing occasional plowing. There also is big aftermarket support for this UTV, including a lot of plowing and snowing accessories, perfect for those who haven’t bought their plow yet.
Can-Am Defender – For Hardcore UTV Lovers!
One of the most capable models on this list, the Defender distinguishes itself by being one of the most comfortable models available for plowing snow. Can-Am has been making some great products lately, and the Defender is no exception. The combination of a very spacious cabin, standard 4WD system, and a very sporty driving feel makes this an excellent choice for people looking to plow light to moderate amounts of snow.
One of main pros about the Defender is the fact that it has one of the roomiest cabins on the segment today. Bigger folks are really going to appreciate the Defenders ample leg room and cabin space in general. and not only that, but the Defender is one of the few UTVs that come standard with 3 contoured seats. not a bench, but a real seat that will fit full-sized adults, making this one of the best choices on the market for people who demand the space inside.
The Can-Am 4WD system is also really good. It comes standard with the ability to lock both the front and rear diffs which means it’s unlikely you are going to get stuck on the snow, especially if you use snow chains. you might only have a problem if you are working with truly massive amounts of snow, but if not, this 4WD will be more than capable.
Aside from plowing snow, the Defender is also a great choice for people looking to tow with it. it comes standard with a class leading 2500 lb load rating. if the engine were just a little bit more powerful you could theoretically tow a small car. It also has a 600 lb cargo capacity, ideal if you are going to be doing things other than snowplowing, like moving produce down a farm.
Kawasaki Mule – Dependable And Utilitarian
The lovely Kawasaki Mule is one of the stalwarts of the segments, providing ridiculous amounts of usability and utility including plowing heavy wet snow off your driveway. The Kawasaki Mule does this in a very tiny package: this UTV is just 106 inches long, perfect for folks who need a compact machine with a tight turning radius. This is very similar to the Kubota above, with its similarities and differences.
The Kawasaki Mule main pro is the fact that it’s so maneuverable. this is perfect for folks who have a smaller driveway or road or just prefer a more compact UTV for storage purposes. The official dimensions for this side by side are 106.7 in of length, 52.6 in of width, and 70 in of height, which make this one of the smallest utility UTVs on this list. Because of this, the Mule isn’t the best choice for bigger folks.
Another benefit of the Mule is the pricing. this is cheaper than the Ranger and Defender, perfect if you aren’t willing to spend more than 10 grand on a side by side. the options are rather affordable in my opinion, and the Mule enjoys a lot of aftermarket support.
But there are a few negatives. the base price might be pretty low, but it doesn’t come with a cab standard, while the Kubota does. you can add it as an option, but its going to increase the overall pricing, and then it might not even be that affordable. The Mule is quite good, but Its outclassed by the Kubota in several aspects, such as bang for your buck, reliability, and utility.