Introduction: Leaf Plow for Zero Turn Mower

Picture of Leaf Plow for Zero Turn Mower


After blowing and raking most of my leaves for the year, I got the idea to add a plow to the front of my new zero-turn mower. I had used the mower to plow some leafs with the cutting deck lowered, but this was somewhat limited in effectiveness.
This was made for a Hustler Raptor, however, I assume it would be easy to adapt to other zero-turns or perhaps a lawn tractor.
After just some initial testing, I very happy with the results.
I hope you find this Instructable useful.

Step 1: Materials

I decided to use wood as the predominant material since it is lighter and much cheaper than steel and very easy to work with.
  • Frame uses 2x3 and 2x4 lumber.
  • Face pieces are 1/4" or 3/8" plywood scraps I had laying around
  • Steel angle was used to make the frame mount
  • Wire mesh was used to cover large open areas
  • Plastic landscape edging formed the bottom sweep
  • Swivel caster wheels

Step 2: Mount Location

Picture of Mount Location

The mower had two bolt holes available for attachment of front weights that counter-balance the rear bagger system. These holes in the front frame section would be my attachment point.
I used a wood block to fit within the channel frame, and a high-strength bolt with a rubber washer to protect the frame, metal washer and nut.
This left two bolts to attach the plow.

Step 3: Frame Mount

Picture of Frame Mount

I cut and welded two pieces of 1 1/4" steel angle to create the mount that connects the plow frame to the mower frame bolts.
Holes were drilled to accept wood screws at the under-side of the mount and larger holes for carriage bolts at the sides. A section of angle cut away to avoid conflict with a bolt on the mower frame.
Two sections of 2x4 lumber were secured to the steel angle mounts to act as forward arms to connect to the main plow frame.

Step 4: Plow Frame

Picture of Plow Frame

The plow frame consisted of 2x3 horizontal members and 2x4 vertical members.
Using the table saw adjusted to the correct height, I cut away interlocking channels in the 2x3s and 2x4s and secured them to each other temporarily with wood screws.
Short, angled 2x3 pieces create the plow ends.
Plow ends secured to frame horizontals with triangular plywood pieces.

Step 5: Wheels, Plywood Face Pieces and Bracing

Picture of Wheels, Plywood Face Pieces and Bracing

I started with 1/4" plywood but had to switch the bottom plywood to 3/4" and make the triangle larger to mount the swivel wheels (later step). The wheels are 8" pneumatic swivel wheel from Harbor Freight and cost $13.99 each. Wheel are secured with 5/16" bolts.
Plywood face panels were secured with wood screws to the horizontal and vertical frame members to provide rigidity. Then center portions of the panels were drilled and cut out to lighten the plow.
Plastic landscape edging was screwed to the bottom of the plywood panels to act as a sweep which can contour to the uneven ground surface.
Wire mesh was added over the plywood panels

Step 6: Lift Mechanism

Picture of Lift Mechanism

An eyehook was screwed into the top plow frame member and paracord attached to the eyehook and a wooden dowel to acts as a lifting device.
A wooden foot control was added which pivots wooden blocks under the plow mount arms to hold the plow off the ground.
To lift plow for travel, pull back on dowel/paracrod to lift plow off ground, push foot control forward to pivot blocks into place and lower plow mount arms onto blocks.
To lower plow for plowing, pull back on dowel/paracrod to lift plow off wood blocks, pull foot control back to pivot blocks out of way and lower plow to ground.

Step 7: All Done

Picture of All Done

Just testing the plow around the yard, I found it was quite easy to plow 3-4 feet high piles of leaves.
See video link below for a walk-around and plow in action.

Comments

RoBear613 (author)2014-05-11

Someone warn Sarah Conner!

foobear (author)2014-01-26

I need one! but my land is too uneven! I like that the dog was excited about it

buskrat (author)2013-12-02

Caution this will most likely void your warranty through hustler and those hydro drives are nice and spends when you burn one up. Now yes hustler are the top if the line zero turn mowers with one of the best hydro static drives out there but they have a price tag so If I were you I would look into an accelerator bagging system that won't void your warranty and they bag leaves amazingly they fit right to your deck so there's no shoot for the leaves to plug in and you put on some mulching blades and the piles and piles turn to just a few loads I worked in a mower shop and these are what 90 percent of the commercial crews ran on the hustlers and one crew did a lot of leaf clean ups and claimed they could load a ten foot trailer with 3 foot sides in around 45 minutes with one fast track 36 inch hustler with the accelerator bagger on it. Just looking at this from mechanic point I give your hydros two years maybe three then you will start to see one side slowing and not keeping up then it will just stop altogether so good luck ( as for the build it looks very very nice and well built it will most likely out last the hydros)

fin saunders (author)buskrat2013-12-06

I suspect the load on this pushing leaves isn't any more than mowing wet grass. If it were snow, yes. If the hustler has a snow blower attachment, or a real blade, I wouldn't worry at all.

marple200 (author)buskrat2013-12-03

For the two days a year I need to use it I don't have that concern. I still use my leaf blower for the majority of the cleanup, blowing the leafs into rows that can easily be pushed. At the front yard, I blow them onto the driveway where pushing is easier, out to the curb for leaf pickup. The pushing of the large pile was for demonstration purposes, as I had previously already cleaned the leaves into a pile before I constructed this. I am not running a commercial leaf cleanup crew, just doing my yard.

Hawkeye_bkj (author)marple2002013-12-03

How much does your plow weigh?

marple200 (author)Hawkeye_bkj2013-12-03

I would guess around 60 lbs. Not very much.

MerlinTheGreat (author)2013-12-06

Nice work!
Just a tought...
Maybe you could change the lifting mechanism so that the plough is lifted automatically when you drive backwards.
The way it is now, you scrape the leaves with you when driving backwards.
The blocking system can stay unchanged for when you don't want the plough to be lowered while driving (forward).

temper (author)2013-11-30

An impressive piece of work, however I am not entirely sure of it's purpose, I mean how did the leaves get to be 3-4 feet high in the first place? I assume they were raked - if so why weren't they raked to where you have ploughed them in the first place? You have put a lot of work into this so I am sure there is a reason behind it so there must be something missing from the video in the overall process?

marple200 (author)temper2013-12-03

Plowing of the pile was a test. I got the idea for making the plow after raking/blowing all of those leaves into that pile.
I was able to use it in my front yard and am now ready for next season.

ToolboxGuy (author)marple2002013-12-05

sounds like you should make a blower attachment for the plow,

aclise (author)2013-12-05

Great idea; well executed!

Hawkeye_bkj (author)2013-12-03

How well do you like your Raptor?

marple200 (author)Hawkeye_bkj2013-12-03

So far so good. My first zero turn.

chadfluegge (author)2013-12-03

Nice! This should be easily adaptable to a regular lawn mower; or in my case, an original cub cadet garden tractor!

cwilliams82 (author)2013-12-02

Just get a sweeper and pull it behind you lawnmower

marple200 (author)cwilliams822013-12-03

Had one previously. This works better when used as described in other post comment.

thematthatter (author)2013-12-02

You can also use that to herd the in-laws away from the buffet!

1tri2god (author)2013-12-01

excellent!!! deserving of a viral copying by other aggregate websites!!!

carteravaalli (author)2013-11-30

That's genius.

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