DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 1


For years, I have always wanted to make my own snow plow.

Normally snow plows are huge heavy blades mounted on the front of heavy duty trucks. My unique problem is that I plan to mount it up to the receiver hitch of my little 3,000lb Honda Accord. Read more to see what I came up with and how it works!

If you are impatient and just want to skip to the final product, check out the links below:

Index of the snow plow build process:

DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 1 – lifting frame and winch
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 2 – Completion of lifting frame
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 3 – Building Plow pivot and cutting edge
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 4 – Complete plow frame and assembly (First time plowing snow!)
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 5 – Build blade angle adjuster

 

 

From the beginning:

Keeping in mind this plow will spend most of it’s time behind my Honda (and now my minivan that replaced the Honda) I had some objectives.

  1. It has to be pretty light
  2. I want to make it so I can push OR pull snow
  3. I want the mount/bracket to be able to do more than just pull a plow

I stewed on this for a good month or two. I probably went through 20 different designs scribbled on little sheets of paper until I came up with a design that I liked.

 

Here is what I came up with: The plow mount fits into any 2″ receiver hitch. Made out of 1/4″ thick 2×2″ square tubing, it has an upright with a winch at the top. Attaching to the mount is an 18″ long piece of receiver hitch tubing 2.5 x 2.5 x 1/4″ (which makes the ID Inside Diameter 2″x2″) that will be pulled up and down by the winch. Attaching to the receiver hitch tubing, will be the plow which I will be able to unpin and turn around so I can push or pull the snow with the same plow.

One design compromise that I really put a lot of thought into was if I should have a trip edge or full trip blade. The point of having a trip edge or full trip blade is when you hit an object such as a curb, manhole, sewer drain etc. the edge trips up or the whole blade folds over instead of bending, breaking, or damaging your truck (or car 😉 ).

I decided not to put any kind of trip blade into my design for a couple of reasons.

  1. I will only be plowing a couple of driveways (no curbs or man holes)
  2. It would add quite a bit of weight
  3. It would make the design more complex
  4. I couldn’t figure out an easy way to include a trip and still have the blade be reversible.

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” – Robin S. Sharma

The first step was to stick an already made attachment in the receiver hitch to measure how long the two pieces of tubing needed to be. I did have to push it out a little further for the winch to clear the Honda’s bumper. Your setup might need to be different.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

 

Next up, use my trusty Chop Saw to cut the 2″ x 2″ x 1/4″ square tubing.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

 

Now I lay the pieces out and tack them together with my MIG Welder.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

You can see in this pic that with 1/4″ wall this tubing is pretty thick.

In preparation for this project, I went ahead and bought a small remote control winch. I ended up buying the one below because it was cheap and came with a wireless remote control which will work perfect for our purposes.

With the tubing mount welded together, I ground the paint from the ATV winch mounting plate and welded it to the tubing.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

We then get to throw it in the receiver hitch to see how it fits.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

And with the winch on it.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Now we get to drill some holes. One for the receiver hitch pin, and another as the hinge for the receiver tube that will raise and lower the plow.

Fabricator Tip: A quick way to measure/mark for a receiver hitch pin hole is to slide the tubing into a receiver hitch then use your 5/8″ drill bit to make a center mark.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

For good measure, I also used a center punch and hammer to make the mark more defined to be sure the hole is drilled where it is supposed to be.

We can then chuck a smaller bit in the drill and drill the hole out in steps with lots of cutting oil.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Cutting oil is cheap and can save you a lot of money and time. Cutting oil cools and lubricates the drill bits so they last longer. This is especially important when drilling thick materials. I like to put mine in a little metal oil pump so it is easy to use.

All of the holes for the hitch pins are 5/8″. I usually take 3 to 5 steps from pilot to final hole depending on how big it is and how thick the material is.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Once all of the holes were drilled, it was time for me to cut out some notches in the receiver tubing so it can pivot on the base.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

 

On the top side, I cut down each side, then cut off approximately 2″ from the bottom. I made another slit across where I stopped cutting the sides and bent it down until it touched (forgot to take a picture).

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This is how far I cut in the bottom side.

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Once making the relief cuts in the receiver tubing, I was finally able to pin it onto the base.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Installed on my car with the winch sitting on it.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

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Next up, I need to make mounts for the winch hook, do some welding, and start making the pin on snow plow.

Index of the snow plow build process:

DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 1 – lifting frame and winch
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 2 – Completion of lifting frame
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 3 – Building Plow pivot and cutting edge
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 4 – Complete plow frame and assembly (First time plowing snow!)
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 5 – Build blade angle adjuster