If you live in an area where it snows during the wintertime, then you may have thought about attaching a plow or blower to your riding lawnmower. It seems like a good idea, especially if your riding mower has a zero-turn radius, but buying an actual free-standing snow blower could be a much better idea. Here are five reasons that hooking up a snowplow to your lawnmower could be a terrible idea.
1. Preserving your lawn mower’s life is important
While it might sound like a good idea to use your riding lawn mower for double duty as a snowplow, consider that doing so can cut down on its life significantly. Consumer Reports notes that the transmission on most residential mowers is meant for cutting grass and that pushing or blowing heavy snow can cut down its life considerably. However, if you must attach a snowplow to the mower, then make sure that you have a high-end tractor to put it on as a cheaper one may not fair too well.
2. Snowplow attachments can be costly
Snowplow attachments typically cost anywhere from $300 to $800. That might not sound too bad, however, a snowblower attachment can cost you north of $1,000. Considering some budget-friendly snow blowers, like these ones rated by Consumer Reports, cost less than $1,000, it could be a better idea just to get a standalone blower instead.
3. A genuine snow blower can clear things up quicker and easier
Sure, a snow-blower or plow attachment may cost less than a genuine snowblower, but have you considered that they are more cumbersome to use? A blower or plow attachment can add at least two feet to the front of your mower, making it harder to maneuver through tight spaces and around obstacles. Also, a mower with an attachment might not be able to tackle large piles of snow, however, a real snow blower can.
4. Adding (and removing) a snowplow attachment to your mower is a lot of work
Let’s not forget that adding a snowplow attachment to your mower sounds quick and easy in theory, but in reality, it can be a pain. In order to connect the attachment, you’ll first need to remove the tractor deck. And when you want to revert it back to stock, you’ll have to reinstall the deck. This process can easily take up to an hour each time, so is it really worth the trouble?
5. Storing a plow or blower attachment can take up a lot of room
Lastly, storing the plow or blower attachment can take up a lot of room in your garage or storage shed. Sure, it might not seem like the attachment would take up that much space, but consider that you’ll have to store the tractor deck as well. That being said, a standalone blower can take up less space and do a better job than a hybridized riding mower with a snowplow attachment.
Buying a genuine snow blower could be your best bet
While it’s easy to be lured in by the potential time and cost savings of hooking up a snowblower or plow attachment to your riding lawn mower, it might not be worth it. The cost of the attachment, plus the time to put it on the mower, can negate the minimum amount of savings that can be realized by doing so. Instead, you may want to budget some of your money for an actual snow blower this winter season, ironically, it could actually save you more time and money.