In all the years I’ve lived in the Nashville area, I’ve yet to see a snowmobile on a trailer or in anyone’s garage or even being ridden.
Five guesses why that’s true and the first four don’t count.
If you didn’t guess lack of snow on the first try, I’d be surprised.
It’s not that it doesn’t snow in Tennessee, because it definitely does and we’ve had some memorable snowstorms in the past 16 years. Hey, sometimes the snow even lasts more than 24 hours!
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ride your ATV/UTV in the snow and have fun and be safe, and maybe even help out those who can’t get out or might be stuck because of the slick conditions. But you do need to be a little cautious and keep a few things in mind when riding in the snow.
First, make sure you dress for the cold conditions. Remember, waterproof/windproof clothing is the order of the day when it comes to riding in the snow — anywhere. Waterproof gloves, boots, hats, and a facemask are also in order.
Second, make sure your ATV/UTV is prepared for the cold and the slick conditions. Deep snow can be fun, but also can be challenging when it comes time to maneuver. Good mud/snow tires with deep cleats are essential for getting around in the snow and the slush that’s sure to follow. Heated mitts are great for an ATV in cold, snowy conditions, and a full cover is wonderfully warm on an UTV compared to no cover at all. Windshields block the winds and snow and are great to have if you are riding in the cold.
Third, take along extra gear you might not always have along with you in normal riding conditions. I’ve written before about having a winch on your ATV/UTV. Riding in the snow is one time you are more likely to have a use for one than just about any other. If you don’t have a winch, at least be sure to put a Come Along winch in your gear pack and if one is not available, make sure you have at least 50 feet of rope or a tow strap rated for 2,500 pounds.
If you are going to be riding your vehicle at night, make sure you have lights bright enough to light up the areas where you will be riding. It doesn’t hurt to make sure your ATV/UTV is street legal, even though you are not likely to meet that many other vehicles when you are riding in a snowstorm that has everyone else at home snug by the fire.
Also, always carry water, even if the temps are below freezing. Carry a couple of bottles of water next to your body inside your coat to keep it from freezing. Dehydration can be a factor when you are out in the cold.
If you stop to help a stranded motorist (some friends pulled a state trooper out of a ditch during a recent snowstorm in Tennessee) or someone who needs help because of the snowstorm, make certain you can be seen from all directions so you don’t find yourself stranded, stuck or worse, the victim of an accident.
Enjoy riding in the snow, but be careful. It poses its own set of challenges for ATV/UTV riders/drivers as well as motorists and others who are out in it. But one thing’s for sure, cars and trucks (even those with 4-wheel drive) may be out in the snow, but they aren’t having nearly as much fun as you are riding your ATV/UTV!
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