UPDATE 10-12: BlackLine is still in business and is moving its headquarters. More to follow.
Time to be realistic, summer is over and winter is just around the corner for us here in Chicago. That being said, I had to look for a plow for the Mule. There were a few things that I needed to look for. First was quality, I did not want a cheap sub par plow. I wanted one that would stand up to the harsh Chicago winters year after year. There are many ways to mount a plow to your ATV/UTV. I wanted something simple and easy to connect. The BlackLine Plow stood out.
The connection of the plow is universal and simple, it's a standard 2″ tube receiver, the kind you see on almost every vehicle out there. This is great for a few reasons, the connection is simple with one standard pin to lock it into place and it's compatible with a all 2″ receiver accessories. You need to choose your plow mount depending on your vehicle. The Black Line plow mount is hefty and designed to last. On the 610, the plow mount takes up the winch location on the Mule. To some this is not an issue as you don't need a winch with this plow. For those who want it you have a few options, buy a 2″ receiver hitch winch mount, this allows you to put the winch on the front or back in seconds. What I did was fabricate the plow mount to include a winch mount on the top. It was relatively easy. I used a Miller 375 Spectrum Extreme Plasma Cutter and a Millermatic 211 Autoset. I will write about the fabrication in another article. Blackline plow mounts for other vehicles allow for both the mount and a winch. The stock Blackline mount was easy to install with the 4 included U bolts and nylon locking nuts. They even included nice screw caps to make the job look factory.
The plow is strong and the welds are top notch and the build quality is great. The plow has a power ram feature which is awesome! Not only does it save my winch from wear and tear but it provides 650lbs of down pressure. Why would you need down pressure? So you can back drag, plow down through ice and bulldoze with the blade. This makes it more than a snow plow, you can bull doze dirt with it, and this spring we will be using it to spread gravel. The plow is powered by an electric actuator that has a 10″ stroke and moves the plow one inch per second. The actuator is strong and looks quality. There are 4 springs that allow the plow to bend forward when it strikes an object. You can lock this feature out for bulldozing. There is one thing I noticed with the plow. When you're driving with it in the up position there is hardly any play, it is solid. Other winch lifted plows that I have tested bounce all over the place. The plow is capable of left and right angles via two pins that you remove and adjust. I would like to have seen a faster/easier pin release system and possibly some more angle notches. The blade has a replaceable wear bar
The wiring could not be simpler. Just tie in power and ground to the control box and that's it. For the Mule I mounted the control box up behind the dash and ran the switch throughout the steering column to just under the steering wheel. The switch has a up and down and a right and left. The right and left are for other plow set ups from Blackline which we will go through in another review. To wrap it up, we haven't had a chance to use the Blackline in some snow yet but will be posting a lot more about it. It is the closest thing I have seen to a Full Size plow in the ATV/UTV market. The power down feature sets it apart from the rest of the market.
UPDATE: We got a chance to use the plow and had some issues with the electric actuator. It spun out on us a couple times and is very slow. It is back working now.