How to Snow Plow With a Loader Bucket

A front end loader can move tons of snow in a short amount of time
A front end loader can move tons of snow in a short amount of time (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

A tractor equipped with a front-end loader has several advantages over a snow-plow equipped vehicle. The snow can actually be picked up and moved to another area with the loader bucket. This prevents the snow from accumulating too much in one area. Another advantage of the loader is that the snow can be loaded onto a truck or wagon for removal. This is often necessary in areas with large snowfall. The main disadvantage of the loader is that it is slower in operation than the plow.

Determine if your loader control is equipped with a float function. This is often accessed by pushing the control lever fully forward. If the float function is available, use it, as this will allow the loader bucket to ride easily over the terrain, without digging in.

If no float function is available, use the loader control to lightly set the bucket on the ground, without excessive down force.

Set the front of the bucket slightly higher than level when plowing. This keeps the bucket lip from tearing up the surface.

Place the tractor in a low gear and begin plowing. Maintain a slow speed and push the snow into an area where it will not interfere with the rest of the plowing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try adding weight to the rear of your tractor to offset the weight of a snow filled loader.
  • Rear tire chains can also help keep the tractor moving.
  • A front-end loader can pick up a large amount of weight, often more than 1,000 pounds, so stay alert and plan your routes in advance.

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  • Snowplows; Jeffrey Zuehlke; 2006
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