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Work Power 2000 Snowplow System

Painless Plowing!

 


By: Bob Davis - February 8, 2001

    Cycle Country's corporate credo must be the conviction that "no problem is without a solution." Their devotion to high thinking in making things simple for the ATVer is evident in their successful lineup of accessories. ATV agriculture implements, orchard sprayers, trailers, the Electrix Shift system, field mowers and snowplows to name a few. Cycle Country was aware even way back in 1981 that accessories do more than recruit existing ATV consumers. If the accessories are quality-made for years of trouble-free service, they also offer an inducement for the person who's straddling the fence on whether an ATV will be worth the expense. If a work-related option can be consciously placed into the minds of prospective ATV buyers, it can justify the expense. A sort of "means-justifies-the-ends" kind of thinking of the male ego. Hey! It's my kind of thinking too.
      Snowplows are one of the most sought after accessories for an ATV. Why? Because for all of the utilitarian uses of a 4x4 ATV, snowplowing is one of its greatest abilities. This project was especially gratifying because along with the trick plow system, it was attached to Honda's new Rubicon.

How'd the Plow System Work?

Of course it worked well! There's not a whole lot of high technology in pushing snow. Under the unalterable laws of physics, if you have the power behind you and a metal blade in front of you--you're pretty much plowing snow. However, it does take ingenuity to create an easy-to-use ATV plow system that is not arm tiring, taxing to the battery or a hassle to use. For this article it was our determination to find nuisance areas that we've seen on other plow systems or to ascertain new problems that might occur with this system.

Specifically;

(1) Would the Rubicon's battery and charging system hold up under two straight hours of plowing with the electric plow lifting and the Rubicon's three headlights on at night?
(2) Would there be transmission problems with the constant back and forth maneuvering?
(3) Would the manual plow angling system become clogged with snow and freeze up becoming a useless frozen glaciate mass?
(4) Did the Rubicon's' limited-slip front end have enough traction to push the 60" wide plow?
(5) Was the new Cycle Country electric lift system easy to use? Install? Remove?

     Did the Rubicon's battery and charging system hold up under two straight hours of plowing with the electric plow lifting and the Rubicon's three headlights on at night?

     Prior to Cycle Country's new Work Power electric lift system, you had three choices for lifting your plow during the plowing process. (1)The not-so-bad long manual lift handle that's mounted to the rider's left, (2) the overly hard and cumbersome rack-mounted pull handle, (3) or an electric winch system. We opted for the top of the line electric lift kit. If you only plow long driveways, manually lifting the blade is not that arm-grueling. Should you have areas 20' and wider to clear (such as parking areas) where a constant back and forth process is required, the electric lift is the only way to go. Another good reason for requesting the electric lift is that I'm getting older, fatter and weaker and have a propensity to bitterly complain at the slightest notion of actual work. --Still, our lingering question was if the lifts' electric motor would draw too much current off the Rubicon's charging system over a long period and slowly weaken the battery?
Electrical test results:
The lift motor worked well during the entire night-plowing test, drawing very little power. The headlights never dimmed and the battery was always fully charged--checking the amperage several times through the 2.5 hour plowing period. A contributing factor was the Rubicon's alternator--putting out a full 330-watts.

 


Our test unit.


The 60" plow


The electric lift system


Handlebar mounted up/down switch


Side view


The V-bar chains

Would there be transmission problems with the constant back and forth maneuvering?

      Automatic transmissions tend to be easier to plow with, so with the slick Rubicon tranny we weren't expecting any problems. In fact, this turned out to be the best result of all. No problems whatsoever. After voting the Rubicon "ATV of the Year Award" status at the Connection because of the auto-tranny, it was especially gratifying to see it behaved extremely well. The constant back and forth motion of the machine's hydraulic transmission along with constant range lever selection revealed no overheating or shift lever problems.

Would the manual plow angling system become clogged with snow and freeze up becoming a useless frozen mass?

      The three-way blade angling system is manually operated and as is the rest of the setup, deliberately designed for easy use. A short lever sticks out from just behind the blade. Simply push down with one hand and rotate the blade with your other hand. It's very easy and it never became inoperable due to ice/snow buildup. (An optional angle pin release lever operated from the seat is available for $50)

Did the Rubicon's' limited-slip front end have enough traction to push the 60" wide plow?

      We're Honda guys almost to a fault. So we grudgingly admit limited-slips aren't as good as a true locking-front-end for traction. No surprise here. Limited-slips are insurmountable for regular 4x4 trail riding steering ease, but the deeper they are probed against locking front ends', the more the traction fundamental weaknesses appear. We ran it against the locking front end of a Polaris 500 Magnum and the Polaris did push better. This isn't to say the Rubicon's limited-slip didn't work well--we were still capable of pushing 8" of snow with a 60" wide blade. And, as with any quad, the more weight on the machine, the better snow removal you'll experience. We put sacks of sand on the racks and were able to push just about anything out of the way. Including previously plowed snow built up on the sides of your driveway. The V-bar chains worked OK on the snow, but on ice is where they prove their worth. Our optional top-of-blade snow flap did a fine job of keeping the snow from flying back onto your goggles.

Was the new Cycle Country Work Power electric lift snowplow system easy to use? Install? Remove?

      The supreme virtue of the simple but brilliant Work Power 2000 snowplow system was that it was soooo easy to use, install and remove. This was probably the best and easy-to-use accessory we've yet tested. With Cycle Country's latest Work Power 2000 system, the snowplowing process is deliberately designed to interfere as little as possible with the operation of the ATV while allowing you easy operation of the plowing blade. The five-minute to install electric lift switch system simply mounts near the left handgrip where the up/down button is within easy reach of your thumb. The switch comes pre-wired and the wire is run under the plastic for a direct battery hookup.
       The knotty problem of mounting the hardware underneath is reduced because the skidplate does not have to be removed (in most applications) for mounting of the plow arms. Four thick bolts screwed perfectly into the Rubicon frame's pre-drilled and threaded holes. (Cycle Country obviously did their homework with the Rubicon.) The only item removed from the Rubicon was the front plastic skid plate. Cycle Country also dispensed with the cumbersome and time-consuming front-of-quad mounting system. The new design is simply a nylon strap holding up the weight of the blade. We thought it appeared cheesy at first, but soon found that infinite height adjustment for different height quad front ends' is the reasoning. It's super easy to install and takeoff, and best yet, it didn't mar the front rack at all. --Again, high-thinking for a simple solution.
        The most compelling thing that Country Cycle did was the enormous trouble in devising a plow system whereby anybody could use it. Literally. If it can't be fixed with WD-40 or duct tape, I'm at a loss. Yet, I installed and wired the entire plow system in 38-minutes. Record time for a novice mechanic and much shorter than the two hours it took me to install the Magnum's system. The freedom of infinite blade height adjustment does wonders when plowing through extra-deep snow or pushing mounds of previous snowfalls. Besides the ease of use and saving your arm from all the blade lifting, the infinite plow height adjustment is one of the system's greatest assets. The electric lift option is highly recommended.

Rubicon snow tube adapter $48.00
Electric Blade Lift Kit $153.00
(Manual lift $95)
Universal push tubes $159.00
60" Blade $180.00
60" Rubber Blade Flap $23

Cycle Country
2188 Hwy.86
Milford, Iowa 51351
Phone: 712.338.2701
Toll-free Phone: 800.841.2222
E-mail: ccac@cyclecountry.com

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