Snow Pushers: The Ultimate Skid Steer Attachment for Big Spaces and High-Volume Winter Work

John Deere snow pusher

A skid steer has many snow tools. Snow buckets can handle large volumes of white stuff, engineered with a high back for pushing and straight sides for cutting through snow piles. A simple straight snow blade can be set to the ideal height and angle to push and clear snow. A complex V-blade can be adjusted in five different plowing configurations for the exact job at hand. A snow thrower is ideal for deep, heavy and wet snow.

“Snow pushers [the focus of this story] are typically used to move large volumes of snow quickly,” explains Darin Gronwold, product specialist for Ignite Attachments. Because a snow pusher carries more material than a normal snow blade or even a V-blade, it’s typically more efficient. “They are ideal for large, open spaces like parking lots and farmyards. A snow blade or V-blade, on the other hand, is better suited for a driveway.”

Snow pushers are snow blade attachments engineered with wings, allowing the operator to easily capture and push snow into a pile, stacking it for removal. Snow pusher attachments are sometimes called box plows or containment plows. In addition to moving greater volumes of snow, a snow pusher enables an operator to maintain more control over of the snow (with no spillage over the sides) and more control of where the snow is going overall than a traditional snow blade permits, according to Gus Krejcha, product marketing manager of aftermarket attachments for Case Construction Equipment.

“[It’s] the ideal tool for moving snow into a pile in a given area, and the best option for moving volumes of snow over a large area,” he says.

Snow pushers provide additional advantages over other snow attachments that help contractors keep operating costs low. Snow pushers allow a skid steer to clean an area on the first pass, reducing the need for secondary passes, ultimately allowing the work to be done faster and with less wear and tear on the machine and pusher. We’ll note here that pusher size will affect the amount of snow removed and with what precision. While a longer one-piece snow pusher will pick up lots of snow in its first run, it will also keep the plow at the highest level and will miss lower levels of snow. A smaller one-piece plow allows contractors to have more control and be more precise. This is also the attraction of snow pushers with multiple “sections” of blade. An example of this is Case’s Arctic Sectional Sno-Pushers, where each individual moldboard section independently trips over unseen obstacles beneath the snow, allowing for more snow to be collected and less wear on the blade. Check it out.

Snow pushers are faster than snowblowers. With a snow thrower, an operator can only travel as fast as the machine hydraulics can blow the snow. Snowblowers are typically a better fit for deep snow along sidewalks and in driveways. Blades are best for highway applications, where snow is being pushed to one side. Snow blades, V-blades and snowblowers rely more heavily on hydraulics, which increase their versatility but also increase maintenance requirements and costs. Conversely, most snow pushers don’t require high hydraulics or many hoses. Some are simply attach, push and stack.

“A pusher plow can also stack the snow, creating high piles, which is useful when moving snow from large areas,” says Erin Hunt, snow control product manager with Douglas Dynamics, which owns snow attachment brands Fisher, SnowEx, Western and Henderson. “If there is no room to windrow snow to the side, then the best choice is to move the snow forward. A pusher plow is the ideal choice in this situation.”

Get Help for Entryways & Tight Spaces

Pusher plows are massive and can be hard to maneuver in tight spaces. The best approach to remove snow from entryways or tight areas when using a containment plow is to also have an onsite assist with a truck plow and spreader. The truck comes through and back drags the snow away from doorways and hard to reach spots, taking care of the cleanup needed that a box plow can have difficulty performing. V-plows are commonly used for this because they are more diverse than a straight blade. Having a utility infielder is also great for de-icing services when you need to spread sand or salt.

Matching a Skid Steer/Track Loader and Snow Pusher

Ignite Attachments snow pusher

If a contractor is looking to purchase a containment plow like a snow pusher, not only do you have to consider the property type being plowed but also the vehicle being used (a skid steer or track loader in this instance). Typically, wheeled skid steers work better in the snow than compact track loaders engineered with an undercarriage and tracks. Snow pushers are made in a variety of sizes for skid steers and track loaders — 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 ft attachments are popular. Many manufacturers use inches instead of feet so 72 to 120 in. The ideal size of a snow push is determined by the size of the operator’s machine and its operating weight.

“It comes down to the operating rating of the skid steer or compact track loader’s ability to push, which involves looking at the size or the class of your skid steer or compact track loader,” says Krejcha. He notes the typical sizes Case works with are 8, 10.5 and 13 ft for its Arctic Sectional Sno-Pushers. The company also offers standard non-sectional snow pushers in 72, 84, 96 and 120 in. “Operators should ensure their machine is rated to match the appropriately sized snow pusher,” he reiterates, referring operators to the easy-to-read snow pusher compatibility charts created by Case engineers so operators won’t exceed the maximum machine specifications.

At a minimum, the push should be at least as wide as the machine or wider, says Douglas Laufenberg, manager, sales and marketing for attachments at John Deere, but warns: “If the machine is small, you will not want to utilize an oversized push. This is because once the push attachment is full, the machine will not be able to move it effectively.”


In addition to ensuring that the push is wider than the carrier, Gronwold says it’s important to make sure there’s enough tractive effort and horsepower to push the larger volume of snow. “Typically, 6- and 7-ft snow pushers are used on compact tractors and smaller skid steers,” he explains. “An 8-ft snow pusher requires a minimum of 40 hp while a 10-ft option needs at least 70 hp, making these a better fit with larger skid steers.”

Hunt lists a few additional considerations: “You’ll want to ensure the height of the pusher accommodates visibility and that it still allows easy entrance and exit to your vehicle.”

Snow pushers will also be made from a variety of materials, including polyethylene (heavier than steel, but snow won’t stick to poly + it’s resistant to scratches, dents and corrosion); mild steel (corrosion resistant but prone to dents and scratches); and stainless steel (durable and rigid but snow tends to stick). Snow pushers will also have cutting edge choices, coming in either A) steel (more effective and durable but more expensive + it can be replaced in sections), B) rubber (easier on delicate surfaces and cheaper, but doesn’t last as long and the entire length of edge needs to be replaced at once) or C) carbide (tougher than steel and replaced in sections but the highest price).

Pull Pushers + Mechanized Sides

Western pile driver

The standard snow pusher is a simple attachment — simplicity being an advantage — typically consisting of a one-piece pusher box with sides, skid shoes and a cutting edge. If given the choice, Gronwold advises selecting a rubber cutting edge for longer wear life and optimal surface protection. Reversible edges are even more cost-effective because they can double the useful life. For further protection of the surface being cleared, add polyurethane edges and shoes to make the pusher less abrasive. John Deere offers a standard attachment with a rubber edge that allows operators to work on decorative surfaces and enables surfaces with variances to be cleared.

The Arctic Sectional Sno-Pushers from Case come standard with moldboards, steel cutting edges, long-lasting skid shoes, mechanical side panels, polyurethane mounting blocks and spring-loaded trip edges. “If you were to hit something with the blade,” Krejcha explains, “it would kick the section up with the spring on it and then load back down. The impact would not hit the actual pusher itself. Instead, it would just hit that spring edge.” The moldboard sections on the Arctic Sectional Sno-Pusher move independently, allowing each section to move up and down in response to uneven pavement. For non-sectional snow pushers, Case offers a choice of edges and pullback options.

Adding a pullback or back drag option allows the operator to roll over and pull snow away from a building, structure or other hard-to-reach place. Gronwold says: “This is a smart investment for operators who are clearing more than an open parking lot.” Deere also offers pullback as an option. “This would be used if the operator is needing to pull snow back from doors, garage doors or objects you can’t get around,” Laufenberg says.

A snow pusher’s side panels can also be mechanized. While traditional snow pusher attachments are static boxes, manufacturers are engineering units that feature mechanical side panels that lift up to glide over and around obstacles or flex in and out to change length and box configuration or even change the style of plow, going from straight to V to box plow. An example of the latter would be Virnig’s V60 Hydraulic Snow Blade/Pusher (made for skid steers) or Western’s Wide-Out and Wide-Out XL adjustable wing snowplows (made for trucks).

“Adjusting the pusher plow wings adds several feet to the plowing width, providing the operator with optimal pushing and moving capacity and versatility,” says Hunt from Douglas Dynamics, which owns the Western brand.

Clean that Snow-Covered Skid Steer

Once the snow starts to fall, arrive at the skid steer early enough to allow time for the machine to warm up. Wipe off all the snow from the machine. Pay attention to the radiator grille area, which should be clear to allow airflow through the radiator and hydraulic cooler. It is important to thoroughly clean the snow away from the attachment steps and machine steps that you will use to get in and out of the machine. A sure grip for your feet is critical when entering or exiting the equipment. Get in the machine and start it up to allow it to warm up. Clear the top of the cab to remove snow from the window for visibility when stockpiling and/or loading snow. Clearing the cab of snow allows the beacons or lights that are installed on the cab to be seen more clearly. Clear snow from the loader arms and the side windows of the cabs as snow here will reduce visibility out to the jobsite.

Operation Tips: Push Snow Safely


The good news is that pusher plows are simple and easy to use, Hunt contends, with operation integrated into the vehicle controls. “Even less-skilled employees can use pusher plows with great success and [few] issues.” However, it’s important to remember that pushers are best suited for large, open areas. As Gronwold says, “If you have tight spots with several obstacles, a snow blade, V-blade or snowblower might be a better option.”

When working with any attachment, it’s important to know the carrier’s limitations, including the operating and lifting capacity. You’ll want to make sure the vehicle has the power to push the added weight of the snow collected by the pusher. Snow can be very heavy, especially when pushing it over large, open areas.

“You should also be aware of any potential hazards in the area you are clearing, such as curbs, manhole covers and other immovable objects,” says Gronwold. “Operators should always wear their seat belt and travel at a slow rate until familiar with the area. Hitting hidden objects that are under the snow could injure the operator as well as damage your machine and attachment.”

Lori Lovely is a freelance writer for Compact Equipment.

Cool Containment Plows for Skid Steers

Ignite’s 8-ft Snow Pusher
Ignite’s 8-ft Snow Pusher.

This fall, Case will introduce new snowblowers that have a cool pullback option for skid steers and compact track loaders. “This will increase efficiency and timing on the jobsite, as the operator doesn’t have to maneuver the machine with the snowblower to get close to the building, garage and close edges of the snow they need removed,” says Gus Krejcha, product marketing manager at CE aftermarket attachments for Case Construction Equipment. Case also plans to introduce a variety of snow removal products for the small articulated loaders and mini track loaders it launched in the summer, including snowblowers, snow blades and, for the larger small articulated loaders, snow pushers.

Western and Fisher introduced a new pusher plow to the market in 2022. They are available in 8-, 10- and 12-ft sizes to accommodate skid steers, tractors and wheel loaders. SnowEx offers 8-ft and 10-ft widths for skid steers and compact loaders. Key features include: trace edge technology with independent 2-ft sections that raise, oscillate and trip to accommodate contours and obstacles in the plowable surface; self-leveling; reversible, bolt-on side plates with reversible, bolt-on skids that remain in contact with the plowable surface; and replaceable carbide inserts on the 3/4-in. cutting edge.

Ignite Attachments added snow pusher attachments for skid steer and track loaders to its lineup last year. Available via a digital, direct-to-consumer storefront, the Ignite Snow Pusher is designed to clear parking lots, driveways and building sites with maximum efficiency. This pusher features a corrosion-resistant finish that can stand up to harsh winter conditions with an 8-in. replaceable rubber cutting edge. Amplifying its durability, the Snow Pusher’s skid shoes are replaceable, extending the longevity of the pusher, and reversible, doubling its lifespan and providing cost savings down the road. For hard-to-reach spots, Ignite offers an optional back drag kit to pull snow away from buildings.

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