Using Your Riding Mower for Clearing Snow

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No one likes shoveling snow in the winter, particularly if you have a large driveway or walkways that stretch for football fields or further. Snow blowers are great, but your legs will tire out after a while. Or, if you get monster snows, it might even be too deep for a snow blower to handle. That’s when you now it is time to break out your riding mower for snow clearing duties.

Snow Plow riding mower

Riding Mower with Snow Plow, courtesy Flickr user Morebyless


There are two main attachments used for clearing snow: the snow blower, and the snow blade.

The snow blower attachment operates the same as the individual blower that is powered by your leg muscles. The difference here is that it is attached to the front of your riding mower.

The snow blade simply an angled, usually slightly-curved blade that attaches to the front of the mower and pushes the snow out of the way, into piles or into areas where having snow is not an impediment.

Prepping Your Riding Mower

You can’t just put the attachment on and start going, though. Before you even put it on, you’ll need to prep the mower.

  • Remove the Mower Deck: You’ll need to make room for the bracket and attachment of your choice, so you’ll need to remove the mower deck. You owner’s manual should have instructions for your particular model.
  • Mount the Bracket for the Attachment: Once the area is clear, you’ll need to mount the bracket. Brackets can be attached independent of the attachment itself.
  • Put Chains on the Rear Wheels: Particularly for non-four wheel drive mowers, you need some extra traction. Chains will help to get a grip in ice and snow.
  • Add Weights to the Rear of the Mower: Chains will help you dig into the ice and snow, while weights will help keep your riding mower planted and push the chains down harder for better power transfer. You can either go with a weight rack for the rear of your tractor, or wheel weights that attach right to the rear wheels.
  • Mount Attachment: Once you’ve got the mower prepped, you’re ready to put on your attachment. Just follow the instructions, you’ll be fine.

Snow Cab, or No Cab?

If you really don’t like the cold, and you want extra protection beyond your clothing, consider a lightweight and easy-to-attach snow cab. These are essentially plastic and canvas on a wire frame, to keep the cold out and hold some heat in. Some of them come with visibility issues, so if you have an area with obstacles or pedestrians, you may want to think twice on that.

Safety in the Snow

Just because the whirling blades are no longer attached doesn’t mean the riding mower is harmless. It is still a heavy piece of machinery that can trap the user underneath if they are overconfident or careless. Don’t plow or blow snow on a gradient that is more than you would consider mowing.

Using your riding mower to clear your property after a snowfall can help you avoid injury and make the process go quite a bit faster, but only you know what you’re doing. As long as you are cautious and take the same precautions you would as if you were driving while mowing the lawn, you should be good, and back inside before your cocoa is too cold.

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.