If you manage your snow and ice control vehicles right, they work like the perfect employee. The more work it does for you, the more efficiencies you get out of your investment. By using your machines all year round, you cut down on storage costs and can make double the profit compared to only using the equipment part time. Not to mention, keeping your machine regularly serviced and in service is the best way to maintain reliability and service life.
UTV’s are a perfect example of squeezing every last bit of versatility out of your fleet. They no doubt can help you spread, spray, and haul in the summer months, but the fall is an important time to make some key adjustments to keep the UTV working throughout the winter.
Winterize the UTV Cab
Many UTVs have a roof to shield you from the elements, but that will only take you so far when you’re braving the winter cold and snow. If you really want to use the machine year-round, invest in a fully enclosed cab, which includes doors, a windshield, and a roof. Some UTVs even offer heating within their cabs to make it an even more comfortable experience.
But comfort is far from the only benefit to an enclosed cab. When you’re protected from the elements, you’re more efficient, focused, able to take on more jobs, and complete the work better and faster. Not to mention, it’s safer for snow and ice crews and they typically deliver a higher level of service and dedication to the business because they feel more appreciated.
Even though most UTV interiors are made to withstand exposure from snow and rain, it is important to ensure that all of your aftermarket electronics, such as plow and spreader controls, are IP rated against moisture if you do not have an enclosed cab. SnowEx® offers IP rated controls for mid-size UTV plows and shielded enclosures for UTV spreader controls.
Get the Right Snow Removal Equipment for Your Setup
Not all snow and ice equipment is created for the same applications. Manufacturers like SnowEx design snow plows and salt spreaders with specific UTV sizes and weight ratings in mind. The key is to do your homework and determine what’s best for your application and current setup.
- UTV Plows: You’ll want to make sure the snow plow is properly rated for your vehicle. If it isn’t, it could affect the suspension or even the overall performance and safety of operating the UTV. One key feature on the new Mid-Duty UTV plow is the weatherproof controls. They are rated against moisture and use large, durable switches that make it easy to use, even with gloves on.
- Drop Spreaders: The greatest benefit of a drop spreader is that you can better control where the salt goes. It drops straight down out of the spreader with minimal bounce, as opposed to a broadcast spreader that spins the material out to cover a wider area. A drop spreader is ideal for salting sidewalks because it reduces the chance of damage to surrounding turf and landscaping.
- Anti-Icing Solutions: Liquid spray systems are the ultimate tool for sidewalks and entryways. By spraying liquid brine on surfaces prior to a storm, you can reduce the chance of ice forming and bonding to the pavement. This can also greatly reduce the amount of salt needed to get the job done. Some spray systems, like the AccuSpray, are built specifically for UTVs and even come equipped with a spot spray wand for stairs and entryways.
- AccuSpray™ VSS 1000-1 Liquid Sprayer (Full-Sized/Heavy-Duty Work UTVs)
Give Your UTV Suspension a Lift
You may want to consider lifting your suspension when you add a plow to your UTV. The additional weight on the front end can cause it to ride lower to the ground and by offsetting the plow weight, it will allow for better ground clearance.
Diversify Your Plowing Efforts
Gone are the days when plow fleets consisted solely of pickup trucks. With snowplows and spreaders designed specifically for UTVs (and even heavy off-road machines like skid-steers) you can increase versatility and take on jobs you couldn’t before.
UTVs can also be a great entry point into the world of snow and ice for contractors in the lawn and garden space looking to expand their capabilities. Not to the mention, the perfect solution for homeowners with large properties that want to make snow removal more efficient and enjoyable.
The key is to stay ahead of the game and not let the first snow or freeze of the year sneak up on you. Take some time in the early fall to outfit your UTV for winter, and keep the productivity going all year long.