While not impossible, it is pretty hard to put your ATV/UTV to use the way it was meant to be used on the streets in your subdivision. That means you have to get it to areas where you can ride trails, hunt or fish.
How you do that may be the most dangerous undertaking you perform on your vehicle. Whether loading your ATV/UTV in your pickup truck bed or driving it onto a trailer so you can get it to an area where you can use it, there are some safety considerations every owner should remember.
1. Loading most often involves a ramp of some sort, so be sure the ramp is secure when loading. If safety straps are included with the ramp, use them! This is especially true with today’s high pickup truck beds. If the ramp slips, you and your ATV/UTV are going to crash and having a 700-pound ATV fall on you when a ramp slips while loading it is a sure bet to ruin an outing before it begins.
2. Take extra care when loading to make sure you don’t drive your ATV/UTV so fast up the ramps that you drive it through the rear window of your pickup truck (I’ve seen this happen too many times) or off the front of your trailer (often launching the rider, too).
3. Use ratchet straps to help lock your ATV/UTV onto your trailer and/or truck bed. Parking brakes on ATVs/UTVs can fail, so the safety straps are the extra insurance you need to make sure your vehicle arrives when you do. Good ratchet straps can have a thousand uses and locking down your ATV/UTV is just one of them.
4. Use a spotter (another person) when loading your ATV/UTV. This seems like a no-brainer, but it helps to know if you have positioned a ramp correctly or not, and to make sure your ATV/UTV tires are aligned properly to drive safely up a ramp into the back of your pickup truck or onto a trailer. That’s often hard to tell from the driver’s seat of your ATV/UTV.
Enjoying your ATV/UTV begins with getting it to areas where you can have fun. Loading it onto a trailer on into the back of your pickup is the important start to that journey.
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