He Plows Snow With His Zero-Turn Riding Mower

"I made a snowplow blade to fit onto my Hustler zero-turn riding mower. It turns on a dime and really gets the job done," says Hal Minnigan, Zionsville, Ind.
Minnigan says he came up with the idea because his driveway is wide and fairly long, and he needed something to remove the wet and sometimes very heavy snow in central Indiana. "We also have chickens in our backyard, and I needed a way to remove the snow from the yard where they range," he says.
"It works fantastic. I get great traction because the mower's wheels are direct drive, and there is no differential and therefore no slippage. It also takes advantage of the speed and maneuverability of the mower."
He cut a discarded well pump tank in half lengthwise, trimmed the pieces to length, and welded them together to make a 4-ft. wide blade. "I copied the articulating tilt design from a truck snowplow using mostly scrap iron," says Minnigan. "The blade mounts on a 3/16-in. thick steel plate that bolts on in front of the mower. The blade is hinged at the bottom so it can flex forward if it strikes a hard object. The spring from an overhead garage door provides tension on the blade."
Minnigan?s driveway surface is uneven and he wanted to clear snow from his back yard without gouging the ground, so he mounted a rubber edge on the lower edge of the blade. "I used a rubber truck bed liner to make the edge, but a rubber stall mat would also work well. The flexible edge protects the blade from gouging and follows the contour of the driveway really well."
A portable 12-volt winch mounted on front of the mower is used to raise or lower the blade, using pulleys also salvaged from the overhead garage door. A heavy-duty 12-volt linear actuator can be used to tilt the blade up to 20 degrees in either direction.
"I wired DPDT switches for the winch and linear actuator up to the mower's 2 ZTR drive levers. It allows me to drive the mower and raise, lower and tilt the blade using only my hands," says Minnigan.
He needed extra weight for traction, so he constructed an angle iron frame on back of the mower and then mounted steel barbell weights on it that sit right over the rear wheels. "Lights on top of the frame let me work at night. I use chains on the rear wheels for extra traction,? notes Minnigan.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hal Minnigan, 2678 Deer Run, Zionsville, Ind. 46077 (ph 317 691-1053; hminnigan@gmail.com).