All it takes to separate your ATV/UTV from the trailer you are hauling it on is having to change lanes quickly or having to slam on the brakes because the idiot in front of you stopped suddenly for no reason in the middle of the interstate.
All it takes to make sure your ATV/UTV stays put is just a few minutes of preparation. Remember, you are hauling a very expensive piece of machinery and there is no reason not to secure it to the trailer or in the back of your pickup properly.
I’ve written before and will do so many times in the future, I’m sure, about the need for a good set of ratchet straps to hold your ATV/UTV in place on its trailer or in the bed of your pickup truck.
If you will use heavier straps, not those little 1-inch straps, you’ll find it will hold your vehicle securely on the trailer when used in conjunction with other security measures. I like to put a strap at each wheel and one on each side of the machine. I tighten them right to the frame of the trailer or a D-ring in the truck bed. This works really well to keep your machine where you want it.
I cross the straps from left to right and right to left and have found it makes the machine stay put much better than just snugging the straps straight ahead or behind.
I also engage the unit’s parking brake while it is on the trailer. By itself it isn’t enough, but with the ratchet straps in place, the parking brake set, the machine will stay put in all but the worst high speed maneuvering.
Now that you have the machine secure on the trailer, you need to make sure the trailer is securely fixed to your tow vehicle. I always make sure the trailers I haul my ATV on have trailer brakes – it’s a law in many states. Trailer brakes will sure stop those 1,000 pounds you have behind you quicker than your tow vehicle’s brakes alone.
Make sure you have good tires on your trailer, too. Bald tires are nothing but trouble and can leave you stranded beside the road when you should be riding your ATV/UTV.
I also like to use safety chains when I haul my ATV/UTV on a trailer. There is a real sense of security knowing that if the trailer hitch fails, I at least have a few seconds to get my 4-wheeler slowed with the chains in place on the tow vehicle. Without them, a hitch failure means your valuable ATV is suddenly a wrecking ball careening down the highway.
And last, but certainly not least, make sure you have trailer lights hooked up and they work. Some states till don’t require them, but it just makes sense to have them on your trailer and that they work, to prevent an accident.
It doesn’t take much to make sure your ATV/UTV is safely secured to the trailer and the trailer is safely secured to the tow vehicle. Doing both is smart and adds to your safety and the safety of those around you.
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