Archive for the ‘Winter Riding ATV’s & UTV’s’ Category

How To Turn Your ATV Into A Snow Plow

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Contributed by

Great ATV Tires

As this winter dishes out more and more snow, it may be time to consider a more efficient way to plow snow. Do you own an ATV? Why not put it to work by converting it into a snowplow? Your ATV is strong enough to plow through the toughest blizzards, but is compact enough to be stored in your garage. This could be the perfect answer to saving time and money (and your back) during these brutal winter storms.

Before you install a plow blade, make sure your ATV tires are built to handle a snowy season. Having a plow won’t do you much good if your tires are spinning. A few of our favorites are: Carlisle Snow Hog Holeshot, GBC Mud Shark C921 Mud/Snow, and Duro DI-2018 Sand / Snow ATV tires.

When you are shopping for an ATV plow blade, be mindful of the specific make and model of your ATV. Not all blades will fit your particular machine. Make sure that the blade has an efficient curve to be able to scoop out copious amounts of snow.

The following isn’t a detailed installation guide, however it will give you a good idea of how much work would be involved in installing your own blade, so you can tell if it is within your capability.

ATV UTV Snowplow

It is easiest to raise the ATV with a lift before trying to mount a plow blade so that you can see the underside of your machine. To install your plow mounting kit, you will need a ratchet, a few wrenches and possibly an electric drill. All the hardware you need should be included in the kit. Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before beginning.

Your first step will be to attach the base plate to the underside frame of your ATV, using a socket and ratchet to loosely secure the screws (you’ll tighten them in a minute). The plow mount plate goes on next and fits into the base plate. Once you have this in place you can tighten the screws.

From here you will bolt the blade to the push tubes and attach the blade springs; then secure the pins of the push tubes to the swing latches on your mount plate. For plowing, your blade will need to be in a vertical tilted position – this is one of the four positions the blade stops allow for.

After installed, you will need to adjust the springs a bit so you can attach the winch wire to the push tubes. Installation of the blade skids comes next – these are attached with nuts and washers and need to be aligned so they touch the ground at the same level as the wear bar. You will then adjust the swivel position of the blade and lock it in place with the pin in the top of the push tube.

All that’s left now is to run the plow motor wires to the ATV battery. You will mount the ATV plow control panel and its motor to the side of the handlebars using C-Clamp mounts.

On paper it sounds more complicated than it is. The instruction manual that comes with your kit should make it all crystal clear. So, throw away your shovel and get yourself behind the wheel of your own snowplow. You just may find yourself wishing it would snow more!

Choosing Tires For ATV/UTV Mountain Riding

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Guest post by: TJ at Maniac Muddy Tires Blog

Adventure riding in the mountains can be such a rewarding experience. It’s a good excuse to be out of touch with civilization for a while—after all, you can’t take phone calls if you don’t have cell reception. And indeed, half the adventure can be the unexpected difficulties you tend to meet along the trails. If you are getting ready for a mountain riding adventure, be sure your gear and your machine are equipped to get you back without incident – a big part of which includes selecting the right kind of ATV tires for your quad.

Image ATV Tires

I’d say 95% of all the problems I’ve had on the trails were either tire-related or I got stuck in that mud hole I couldn’t pass up. For this reason, I always pack an emergency tire repair kit (and a winch). And speaking of tires, make sure you have a good set of mountain-conquering ATV tires on your machine. If your tires are made for rugged terrain, hopefully you won’t have to use that repair kit. I can speak from experience after having had a flat about ten miles deep in the West Virginia mountains several years ago—I had to do a temporary repair and head back to camp early. Another time I had OEM 2 ply tires on my quad (a learning experience from my early riding years) and trashed my right rear. I had to learn how to ride my quad on three wheels for several miles that day, which was not much fun.

Tire selection is one of the most crucial items on your checklist, because on a mountain your terrain is so unpredictable. You will have steep inclines and downgrades; some areas will be rocky, and others will be soft and muddy from being in the shade. You will also have sticks and stubble from fallen tree limbs and dangerous areas where the path narrows next to a drop off. You need your tires to have good bite, be self cleaning and have puncture resistance – and not all tires are up to the challenge.

Why can’t I just use the tires that are on my quad now?
Because you most likely have either the stock tires that came with your quad or you’ve put a set on that is meant for some other purpose. Some extremely aggressive mud tires are good for only mud – for other terrain, it would feel like you were riding on a washboard and all that jarring will wear you out in a hurry. A super smooth riding OEM general purpose tire will have a tread with thin casings and won’t be very puncture resistant.

Your goal is to have the best of both worlds with an intermediate terrain tire. A tire I’d recommend of this type would be the GBC Dirt Commander, which has an 8 ply casing and an intermediate tread design. Others to look at are Maxxis Big Horn, Interco Swamplite, Carlisle Mud Wolf, Duro Power Grip, GBC Dirt Devil and Grim Reaper, ITP Terra Cross, Sedona Buzz Saw and Rip Saw—there are more, but these are a good place to start looking when you’re ready to upgrade. Most of these tires mentioned are sized for utility 4×4 ATV’s, but some are available in Sport Quad ATV sizes as well.

Preparing your tires

Image ATV in Deep Water

When I go mountain riding I like to soften up the tires a bit by lowering the air pressure to around 3psi to be more conforming to the ground and more forgiving over sharp rocks and jagged wood. Common operating pressures are 5-7psi, but I’d never go below 3psi or you run the risk of losing your bead seat or air seal. To get these lower pressures correct, you need a good low pressure air gauge—you can pick one up online or at your local power sports center.

For good measure
As I said earlier, another useful item I like to have along is a good winch. You might come across a nice big mud hole on the side of that mountain and just have to find out if you can get to the other side. You never know how deep that mud can go, so be prepared. ATV tires alone won’t pull you out.

Rzr Works Well In The Snow

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Rzr working in the Snow!

We had heard that a UTV type machine does better in the snow than just an ATV. So we were excited to try it out in one of our first snow storms of the season.  As soon as the weather forecasted snow we were loaded, ready to go.

It had snowed over night in the mountains. A foot of fresh powder was on the ground.  My wife and I headed out to one of our communication towers that we maintain. Our truck started spinning out, a good sign that it was time to unload the Rzr.  The Rzr has great traction and offered a safe ride for the 5 mile journey.  We had great control and traction. We had great stability  in the snow and it easily carried our tools and supplies.  I love the tool box from Polaris, it just snaps in and out with ease. We made it a wonderful winter day, and even though it was work, it really wasn’t.

Now it is time to think about a cab and a heater to make this wonderful machine a year round work horse.  We will check those out in an upcoming article.