John Deere Gators are highly versatile whether you use one for work or play. Their primary function is transportation and hauling whatever you need from point A to point B. However, a John Deere Gator is capable of a lot more.
Yes, you can plow snow with a John Deere Gator. That said, there are also a wide variety of snow plow blades out there that, while they may not specifically be made for a Gator, will readily attach to one, allowing you to effectively and safely run your Gator as a snow plow.
John Deere also manufactures a series of snow plows that can be installed on their John Deere Gator UTVs.
However, to install any snow plow, regardless of the manufacturer, you will also need to purchase a snow plow mount, which John Deere also sells.
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How to Install a Snow Plow on Your John Deere Gator
Installing a snow plow on a Gator is not too difficult, especially since most snow plows that you order, especially those ordered from John Deere, come with a mounting bracket that you will install first, followed by the snow plow.
Many John Deere Gators also come with a motorized winch on the front. The winch is an integral part of the setup. Since you won’t be using hydraulics to raise and lift the snow plow, your motorized winch comes in handy for this feature.
The snow plow blade essentially installs to the winch and the preinstalled mounting bracket, with the winch serving in place of a hydraulic system. You can operate the winch from inside the cab, raising and lowering the snow plow blades when needed.
Many newer Gators may come with a winch, while some older ones will not. In the latter case, you will need to purchase a winch separately because you have to have something to raise and lower the blades.
- Spring assembly that installs directly on the snow plow
- Polyurethane blade at the bottom of the snowplow rim (if applicable)
- Attachment pin for the snow plow
- Motorized winch
- 6″ drop-down receiver hitch without the ball (if applicable)
It’s difficult to explain exactly how to install your snow plow because every Gator and snow plow is slightly different. Some things you may have to have welded on, and you may or may not need the above-mentioned receiver hitch.
You also may need to predrill some holes for various attachments, especially if you have to install an electric winch. However, in most cases, you will only have to install the mounting bracket and the snow plow, both of which are pretty easy.
The mounting bracket is easy to install, and the most you will have to do is predrill some holes through the metal and bolt it in. It slides right underneath the electric winch.
All the snow plows you purchase for a John Deere Gator will generally come with a single arm that slides right into the mounting bracket underneath the motorized winch. Once you slide it in there, all you need to do is lock it in with the pin that comes with it.
Along the arm of the snow plow, there will be a series of holes. Some snow plow arms will come with more and some with fewer. Once the arm is firmly attached to the mounting bracket, you must draw the winch cable down and clasp it to one of the holes.
It’s usually best to clamp it to a more centered hole. However, you can clamp it to whichever hole you prefer, according to how you like to operate the snow plow.
How to Choose the Right Winch
Depending on the package you purchase when you get a Gator, it may or may not come with an installed electric winch. If it doesn’t, you can add the winch to the list of expenses when installing a snow plow.
In general, you want your winch to be pretty hardcore, and getting one that comes with wireless remote control is especially useful. You want to be able to control that thing while you are sitting in the cab. It will be nearly useless to snowplow if you have to get out and manually move the snow plow every time.
Selecting a 2500lb winch will probably work just fine, but it’s better to get something more along the lines of 4000lbs +. The weight of the blades isn’t terrible, but plowing snow can put a lot of downward strain on the winch, not accounting for whatever might be hidden under the snow.
You want something that can handle the job’s weight and potential sudden impact weight. The Viper Elite 4000lb Winch is an excellent choice, even though it’s a bit on the expensive side because it’s a powerful winch, and you can get it with a wire extension kit and a dash switch for in-cab control.
Another good choice would be the Viper Max 5000lb Winch. It’s a bit of overkill, but there’s nothing you won’t be able to handle with the thing. Also, it comes with that coveted wire extension kit and dash switch.
How to Choose the Right Snow Plow
While everyone is entitled to their own opinion on what makes the best snow plow for a John Deere Gator, purchasing snow plow blades that John Deere sells will always be your best bet. That’s primarily true because you get to avoid the extra installation expenses.
Snow plow blades sold by John Deere are the simplest to set up and are designed to work with your Gator without having to throw in a whole bunch of modifications and haul your Gator down to a welding shop.
Depending on the job, you have the 66″ and 72″ kits, whichever suits you. John Deere also sells a John Deere RTV Denali Snow Plow Mount to make everything easier.
After that, John Deere sells seven different snow plow kits in 66″ or 72″ varieties. Many people decide to shop elsewhere for a snow plow and modify their Gator to suit the off-brand because John Deere snow plow kits are not cheap by any means.
Currently, the cheapest one on offer is the John Deere RTV 66″ Standard Denali Snow Plow Kit, which is $699.95 on SidebySideUTVParts.com. The most expensive is the John Deere RTV 72″ Denali Pro Series Snow Plow Kit Yellow or Black at a retail price of $849.95.
KFI makes some pretty good snow plows. You can buy a 66″ kit on Amazon constructed of high-quality steel; click on the link to check it out.
However, you may have to do little after-market modifications to accommodate one, and they are just as expensive or more than the John Deere versions.
You can put a snow plow on your John Deere Gator, and it’s pretty useful if you decide to do so. However, depending on what you decide to go with, you may spend a lot on modifying the front of the Gator, or you may have a pretty simple installation job on your hands.
It just depends on how you want to do it.