PHOTO: J. Keeler Johnson
December 20, 2016

It can be hard to believe, but some people are big fans of winter. They enjoy the snow and the activities that come with it, and they are often disappointed if winter is mild and warm. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a farmer that counts winter as their favorite season. When farm chores require you to head outside every day, multiple times per day, like clockwork—even when it’s minus 20 degrees F outside and the snow is 2 feet deep—the concept of “winter wonderland” seems more and more farfetched every minute.

But hey, winter isn’t all bad—in fact, there are some cases where snow makes things easier, and that’s where snow sleds come in!
To be more specific, when I say “snow sled,” I’m referring to large polyethylene sleds somewhat like this one, which easily glide through snow and allow you to transport heavy loads of supplies with ease. Need to carry a couple of hay bales to your pastures or from a hayshed to your barn? In the summertime, you might use a small yard cart pulled by hand or by a lawn tractor/ATV, but believe it or not, snow sleds are superior in many ways.

Snow Sleds Don’t Tip

For starters, snow sleds don’t have wheels and aren’t elevated above the ground; as a result, their center of gravity is very low, making it very hard for them to tip over even when carrying large loads. However, it is possible to stack hay too high and lose your load when making tight turns. Ask me how I know.

You Can Carry Big Loads

Snow sleds tend to be larger and lighter than yard carts and small trailers—a single person can easily pick one up and carry it around—yet the large size provides plenty of space for larger objects like bags of shavings or firewood.

You Can Maneuver Them Yourself

Perhaps the biggest benefit of snow sleds is that they’re remarkably easy to pull by hand. In the right snow conditions, they slide across the ground effortlessly, making it possible for a single person to pull a couple hundred pounds by hand.

They Can Be Used Year-Round

In addition, snow sleds aren’t only for use during the winter! While they aren’t as easy to pull in non-snowy conditions, they slide reasonably well over grass, and with an ATV to do the pulling, you’ll still be able to transport large loads while taking advantage of the sled’s low center of gravity.

Snow Sleds Are Weather-Proof

While you might not think of this immediately, many snow sleds are also watertight and will float in water, making them ideal for all sorts of adventurous tasks that involve a variety of terrain. As a hobby farmer, perhaps you don’t need a floating sled, but then again, maybe it’s exactly what you’re looking for!

Needless to say, I’m a big fan of snow sleds and use them all winter long.


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