Country Lore: Pedal Powered Snow Plow

With a riding lawn mower chassis, bike chains and gears, and two plastic shovels you can create this pedal powered snow plow.

| December 2009/January 2010

Have fun shoveling snow! Sound unimaginable? It’s not, if you build a pedal-powered snow plow. With this fun little machine, you can clear a driveway or sidewalk of snow in about the same amount of time it would take if you used a snow blower. And you’ll have more fun in the process. Soon, you’ll wish for a few inches of snow just so you can use the pedal power plow.

It probably took me 50 to 80 hours to complete the pedal plow. With a little bit of mechanical aptitude, some metal working resources, and a couple of old bikes, just about anyone else can too. 

Human-Powered Machines: The Light Bulb Comes On

Ever since I was old enough to mow the grass, I would daydream about ways to make the task easier. I thought about robot mowers, remote control mowers, and tying self-propelled mowers to a stake to track in a circle. When my chores changed from grass to snow, my musings changed as well. I grew up in Missouri, so the amount of snow that I had to deal with was fairly small.

In 1996, I was interested in recumbent bicycles and human-powered vehicles. A friend and I built a recumbent tricycle for him to use as a commuter vehicle. It was winter when we took it for an initial test ride. At some point while we were riding the nearly completed tricycle, I commented that maybe we could put a plow on the front and push snow around. We discussed the idea and ended with the speculation the snow would be too heavy, and the tricycle would not get sufficient traction.

Then in 1999, I moved to Wisconsin and experienced more substantial snowfalls. The idea of a pedal plow started rolling around in my head again. I obtained a junked Craftsman riding lawn mower without the engine and cutting deck.

Inspired by Monster Garage, I realized that I had access to a shop and the beginnings of the snow plow in my garage. I turned off the TV and began sketching ideas for the plow.

12/14/2012 2:48:25 PM

Article is a joke.

1/5/2010 1:10:23 PM

If you are interested in seeing (a little) more about the plow, check out my YouTube video. Search for Pedal Powered Snowplow in YouTube. The video is old and styled as a promotional video so it's not very informative if you want real info. (sorry) However, I will be adding more videos with more detail soon. Thanks.

Sara Mason
12/31/2009 11:19:55 AM

This is something I had never thought of but I'd be interested especially if it had a salt spreader on the rear. That would be handy!

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