Anyone with a lawn tractor or ZTR riding mower who lives in a snowy region has probably pondered the notion of attaching a plow or snow blower to it, especially when the snow falls heavy and deep. The thinking goes that you've already laid out the cash for the tractor, so you'll save money by buying an attachment rather than another piece of pricey power equipment. If only it were that simple. Here, five reasons you're better off buying a separate snow blower and saving your tractor for warm-weather work. 

1. You'll Shorten Your Tractor's Life
The transmissions of most residential lawn tractors and zero-turn-radius riders are best-suited for one use—cutting grass. Pushing or blowing heavy snow is another story. A number of companies, such as Husqvarna, sell sturdy plowing attachments designed for specific models. But unless you have a high-end lawn or garden tractor, you could shorten the life of your tractor by pushing a plow or snow-blower attachment against significant snow.

2. It Might Cost More Than You Think
At about $300 to $800, a plow attachment can cost as much as a decent snow blower. For a snow-blower attachment, it’s closer to $1,300 to $1,400. Add in at least $50 for chains and more still for wheel weights, both of which you’d need for traction.

3. Clearing Is Cumbersome
One plus to a snow blower is that you can maneuver it around vehicles and other obstacles in your driveway. But a snow-blower attachment adds at least 2 feet to the front of your tractor, making for clumsier movement. If it’s a plow, passage is restricted by the width. A bigger consideration, though, is that the engine and transmission themselves will limit you to snow accumulations better-suited for a compact two-stage snow blower, such as the 24-inch Craftsman 88173, $680. As for the plow pile at the end of your driveway, forget about it.

4. It's Not Hassle-Free
Before you install a plow or snow-blower attachment, you have to remove the tractor deck. Each spring, you’ll have to remove the attachment and reinstall and level the deck. Each of these tasks is a major headache, requiring at least an hour’s work every time.

5. Storage Is Tricky
Any attachment, figuring in the mechanism to connect it to the tractor, will need garage or shed space. And as long as the plow or blower is attached, you’ll need space for the tractor’s deck. All of these will take up more space than the average snow blower.

Need a Snow Blower?

For much of the country, the thought of using a lawn tractor for yard work is still weeks away. If you want a reliable machine for dealing with the snow, two-stage snow blowers, such as the high-performing Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30, $1,500, and Craftsman 88976, $1,600, both 30-inch models, are a good bet if you can find them in stores this late in the season. Check our ratings of more than 100 snow blowers and our snow blower buying guide before making your selection.