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ATV snow plows – safety tips

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Owning a snow plow can be a fantastic thing, especially during long hard winters. It can help you keep your driveway clean, so you can access the roads in an instant in case you have to make an urgent trip to your local hospital or in any other unforeseen situation.

They are great products if you want to take advantage of your ATV’s immense power and to make your life a bit more comfortable, since using a shovel can be hard on your back. Most people agree that combining a snow plow with a wheeled vehicle can be a very efficient solution for moving large amounts of snow fast.

However, just like with any other activity that involves large tools and public spaces, you have to pay attention to some safety guidelines, if you want to have a smooth experience. Down below I reveal what you can do to make sure that your life will be made easier and not harder.

First of all, you need to invest in a high-quality ATV snow plow. There’s no doubt about that. If the item you buy is made of sturdy materials and it is made to respect the highest quality standards, it means it won’t break and scare you.

This above-average construction quality suggests no piece of the product will fall down and in between the wheels of your ATV whenever you hit something substantial.

Equipment that falls apart is not the only factor that can lead to losing control of the vehicle. If you don’t have the right tires for winter and icy roads, you can easily smash into the nearest tree or pole. That’s why you should change summer tires with winter tires.

The same safety measure applies when it comes to excessive speeds. Never speed up more than necessary if the road is slippery and if there are children in the area. Kids can be quite surprising, so always let your family know what you’re planning to do ahead of time so they can stay inside.

If you want to take things even further, you can buy a helmet to wear whenever you are on snow removing duty. Quality helmets protect your head against blunt trauma and will save your life in case of a collision with another vehicle. They can also protect your skull in case you slip on ice.

While you are at it, you can also invest in a pair of goggles. This way you make sure ice bits and snow won’t get into your eyes and blind you. Moreover, snow is notorious for the fact that it contains bacteria, so even if a little gets into your eyes you can still get an infection, even if it doesn’t hurt your eyeballs.

 

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How to Ride Your ATV Safely with Kids

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Taking long rides on your ATV can be a fun activity. However, if you want to enjoy this experience in the company of your children, there are a couple of tips and tricks that you might want to know.

Can children operate ATVs?

Although no general guidelines have been imposed, in some states, children under 16 are not allowed to operate ATVs. According to the experts, children do not have the knowledge, judgment or the necessary strength to drive such vehicles. What is more, many children have a tendency to take risks and to be impulsive, which, sadly, can result in unfortunate accidents.

Studies have shown that children under 19 years of age caused more than 33% of ATV-related accidents that resulted in serious injuries that required medical attention and hospitalization.

Because most ATVs are meant to be utilized by a single person, you should not take on passengers if your device was not intended to transport more than one person.  If you decide to break this rule, the balance of the device will be affected and the risks of an accident will increase.

 

What can you do to ride safely?

Firstly, you should utilize a four-wheel ATV rather than a three-wheel vehicle. This is important because three-wheeled models are more unstable and more likely to be involved in incidents. Next, before you or another member of your family decides to operate such a vehicle, you should take an approved training course. After attending specialized classes, you will have to pass an exam that proves that you have both the skills and the knowledge necessary to ride an ATV.

Additionally, it is strongly advisable that all ATV riders/passengers use specialized protective gear. Therefore, you should invest in a government-certified safety helmet. These helmets are very protective, and they are said to reduce fatal head injuries by 50%. Protective goggles are also great to have.

Just like in the case of bikes, the ATV that you decide to purchase should be size-appropriate. In other words, you should only ride on a vehicle that fits you. To make picking an ATV easy, most manufacturers provide their models with an age-sticker.

Because young riders do not have the necessary skills and experience, it is advisable that you do not allow them to take another passenger. Kids should only ride solo under your direct supervision.  

For extra safety, it is also best that kids (or anyone else) ride during the daytime, on marked trails. Although riding at night might seem more fun, doing so is highly risky and, as a result, not recommended. Some seasoned riders also advise in favor of having an emergency plan. For example, you should make sure that you have a first-aid kit with you as well as the means to call for an ambulance in case of an accident.

 

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How to use an ATV or UTV winch

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Riding your ATV in the forest or countryside is all fun and games until nature decides to pull a prank on you and you end up in a swamp or a big hole. No matter how hard you shout and push on the accelerator and regardless of your driving skills, chances are that you will remain stuck in the swamp with your vehicle.

In order to avoid all these situations and make sure you always have a Plan B, we suggest you always carrying a winch with you. Using an ATV winch could be a hassle if you’re not used to it, so here is what we suggest.

 

Accessories

Having a winch is not all it takes to pull your ATV out of a swamp or a hole in the woods. You should also buy a few accessories that will add more grip and help you finish your task faster.

Gloves are mandatory when working with winches because you don’t want to get cuts, blisters, and calluses on your palms. We suggest opting for a new pair, preferably made of suede or thick mesh to ensure that they offer a good grip, absorb extra moisture, and prevent slipping.

A storage bag for your winch also makes an excellent option to prevent dust, dirt, rain or snow from damaging the rope and the steel.

If you think about choosing a tree to recover your ATV, never use regular cable or rope with your winch as these materials are too thin and might break under the weight of your vehicle. It would be better to opt for a tree saver strap that is at least 3-inch wide and comes with loops to connect your winch hook.

You can also consider a snatch block from the winch kit to double the pulling power. However, keep in mind that using such an accessory will slow you down so you’ll end up spending more time to finish the task. The snatch block can be attached to the previously mentioned tree saver strap with the help of a D-ring.

Take your time

Another important tip on how to efficiently use your ATV or UTV winch is to take your time to finish the operation. Make sure to use the winch in short bursts to allow enough time for your vehicle to breathe. Otherwise, you will overheat it, and it will take even more time before finishing your task.

Bear in mind that pulling your vehicle from a swamp or a deep hole might take up to one hour or even more, depending on the power of the other vehicle, how much help you get from your friends, and the type of materials you use for the process.