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

  • pedal powered snow plow - in use
    This pedal powered snow plow will turn winter chores into fun.
    PHOTO: ELLIE BLAKE
  • Drivetrain layout
    Drivetrain layout and gear sizes on the plow
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • Mid-drive design sketch
    Mid-drive design showing road and mountain bike cranks
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • Chain tensioner design
    Chain tensioner design
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • Plow blade sketch
    Plow attachment and lift mechanism
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • Plow angle sketch
    Plow angle sketch
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • pedal powered snow plow - Mid-drive view
    This is a good view of the mid-drive, chain tensioners, and the location of the former parking brake axle that is now used as the main drive axle.
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • pedal powered snow plow - steering linkage
    Here you can see how the steering linkage attaches to the front wheels. It is not obvious because of the angle of this photo, but the silver linkage is only a few inches off of the ground.
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • pedal powered snow plow - completed drivetrain
    Complete view of the drivetrain. You can see where the standard bicycle cranks are used and where the bottom bracket shells are welded to the frame.
    KEVIN BLAKE
  • pedal powered snow plow - in grass
    Waiting for the snow. This picture shows how the shovel handle attaches to the blade frame. You also get a good view of the steering lever.
    KEVIN BLAKE

  • pedal powered snow plow - in use
  • Drivetrain layout
  • Mid-drive design sketch
  • Chain tensioner design
  • Plow blade sketch
  • Plow angle sketch
  • pedal powered snow plow - Mid-drive view
  • pedal powered snow plow - steering linkage
  • pedal powered snow plow - completed drivetrain
  • pedal powered snow plow - in grass

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.

JOHN & VIRGINIA LEDOUX
12/14/2012 2:48:25 PM

Article is a joke.


Kevin_37
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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