Introduction: ATV Snow Plow Rafter Storage
I just finished building my new garden shed for storage. You can see how I built it by looking through my ibles. My ATV snow plow takes up a good bit of floor space and I spent quite some time figuring where to store it to minimize the space it takes up.
My first thoughts were to hang it up on the wall using a custom bracket. I didn't really like how much wall space that would take up plus it would still stick out a long ways.
I finally decided that hanging it from the rafters would be best.
Hanging or suspending anything above you is dangerous. It can fall and KILL, injure mame, destroy property and so forth. If you are not confident in your building, skills, and materials don't even try. In fact I actually discourage anyone from trying due to saftey concerns and this is only to show a concept. If you do get hurt don't blame me.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The tools I used are very common. I needed a drill, and two spade bits, 1/2" and 1". Bolt cutters to cut chain. Wrench to tighten I bolts. T square, combo square and tape to make and mark measurments.
Materials are very important for this ible. Everything needs to be tough and my opinion OVERRATED for overhead use to be considered SAFE.
(14 ft) 1/4 inch chain rated for 800 pounds.
(9) Quick links rated for 880 pounds, these are the oval links that have an opening that is accessed by spinning a nut open and shut.
(4) I Bolts rated at 250 pounds with (2) fender washers per bolt (8 total)
(1) Pulley with removable wheel rated at 420 pounds
(2) lag screw style I bolts to hold the tail rated at 30 pounds
(2) quick latch carabiner to hold the tail rated at 100 pounds
(3ft) 550 paracord to hold tail rated 100 pounds (I know it holds 550 pounds at approx break but working load is 100 pounds)
This all cost around $50.00 USD. I could have done it cheaper with smaller weaker components but saftey is cheaper than tragedy.
You can see the weakest single item is thr I bolts. The plow itself only weights around 80 to 100 pounds. 1 I bolt should hold it but the weight is distrusted (hopefully) equal to all 4 giving a theoretical I bolt capacity of 1000 pounds which is more than everything else.
Step 2: Concept and Design
The concept is simple... Hang an 80~100 pound snow plow blade safely and high out of the way in my rafters.
Design... The snow blade is very unbalanced weight wise. 80% of the weight is on the blade end and the tail end is very light. So the design needs to compensate for this.
My rafters were designed to hold a full sheeted roof with shingles. I actually used nailing strips and lightweight metal roofing so there is actually not much weight on the rafters. The rafters are 2x6 12 inch on center spanning 12 ft interior gap.
1 rafter could support the whole front of tbe blade but not comfortable. 2 would be ok. So I went with 4. Spanning 4 rafters with this less than 100 pound load should be fine. Plus the tail weight is on a 5th rafter.
Step 3: Measure and Scribe
I picked the spot on my rafters where there was already bracing to keep them stiff as possible.
I used a T square to mark a streight line across all 4 rafters then I used a combo square to quickly mark the center of each one.
Then I drilled at each x. The center 2 rafters are drilled 1 inch so the chain can pass and the outer 2 are drilled 3/8 to fit the shaft of the I bolt.
Step 4: I Bolts and Span Chain
I installed the 4 I bolts on the outer rafters and used quick links to attach chain to each bolt.
In the center I attached a short length of chain connecting the long span chains to create an H shape. In the center of the H using quick link I attached the pulley.
If my design works correct all the weight applied to that pulley should be spanned across 4 rafters.
Step 5: Winch Plow Up
I used the winch on my ATV to do the heavy lifting but a come along would work as well. Even a few guys pulling rope could accomplish this but I vote levers and power tools lol.
To do this step I had to remove the wheel from the pulley. My pulley has a keeper clip and a pin that the wheels rides on. Pull the clip and pin, catch the wheel, run winch cable through the wheel and reattach the pin and clip.
Then I winched it up. Be very careful at this step and watch for swinging.
Step 6: Retainer Chain
To keep the blade suspended I installed a retainer chain. This chain is attached to the span chains using quick links again and ran through a triangular hole in the frame of the plow. Running the chain in a hole will prevent the plow from sliding off the chain.
Also this steps shows the photos of the tail attachment. It is paracord clips to lag screw I bolts with carabiner clips. I can move the tail up and down with 1 finger so going heavy duty wasn't a big deal. It's just for a little extra security.
Step 7: Before and After
Before the plow took up several square feet of floor. Now it takes none. In Nebraska I will only use this item a few months per year and this keeps it out of the way. The few months it is used, very little else will be since everything is dead and frozen.
Reminder. Rigging and storing things above you like this can be dangerous and not taken lightly (pun intended). Be careful and safe.