ATV Good in Snow : All Terrain Vehicles  -- Utility ATV Discussion Forum and Review ATV Good in Snow : All Terrain Vehicles -- Utility ATV Discussion Forum

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 01-29-2005, 21:37 Post: 105204
ncrunch32



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 ATV Good in Snow

I am thinking of picking up a new or used 4x4 ATV - just to go up and down a hill on my property or to take a rare trip 1 mile in the woods to my wood lot. I am not interested in top performance but just reliability and stability. Maybe a box on the back to carry a few logs or tools. I see that people are partial to Polaris or Honda on this site. Can they really zip around and up and down hills in snow? How about in 1-2 feet of snow? Would I have to look for special tires for the snow? Any comments or recommendations would be appreciated.






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 01-30-2005, 13:28 Post: 105233
earthwrks

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 ATV Good in Snow

I have been an avid offroader since 1988. I have several Jeeps, 4x4 pickups, 4x4 construction equipment, three wheelers and quads (ATV). The thing common to all is that they all have round tires which, generally speaking, when the depth of the snow, mud or whatever exceeds roughly 1/3 the tire height and there is no available traction (key words here are "available traction"Wink yeah right the vehicle's tires will spin. Available traction can be overcome several ways, by added weight to find the "bottom", floatation (wider tires or tracks) or centrifugal force i.e. paddles as on a paddle tire used in sand. I was sadly disappointed when I tried to drive through 10" snow with an ATV. It would climb up on top of the snow then fall through it. I had to lay on my stomach on the pull bar and give it gas to get going. Want traction? Get a snowmobile with a track.






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 01-30-2005, 15:51 Post: 105240
dsg

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 ATV Good in Snow

earthwrks is right. ATVs aren't to hot in snow, 6-8" of fluffy snow is no problem but more or wet snow is. However I see now they make tracks for ATVs (see link below). Or you could have a snowmobile ride out where you want to go (two or three times) and pack the snow down, then the wheeler would do fine.

David






Link:   Tracks for ATVs 

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 01-30-2005, 17:42 Post: 105250
earthwrks

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 ATV Good in Snow

Good idea about the snowmobile making tracks. Gotta watch though--don't want to veer off the trail going to fast. The soft unpacked areas can easily grab hold of the front tire and throw you off. Did it once and suffered a separated shoulder. DOH! Can never be too safe--and ALWAYS ride with a buddy (on another machine).

Invest in a 12-volt winch mounted on the front or rear of the machine or both. And bring enough wire rope with hooks on each end, a choker strap (tree saver) coiled up to reach the nearest tree--and then some. There's nothing like trying to extracate a stuck machine weighing over 500lb. You'll find a suitable 2000lb. cap. winch cheap on e-bay for about $150. I paid as little as $49 for a 1000 lb. cap. one and $100 for 1500 lb.






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 01-30-2005, 19:16 Post: 105255
ncrunch32



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 ATV Good in Snow

Thanks for the information guys. What you say about these machines in snow makes sense. I guess an ATV might still be the way to go for me - since some winters we have little or no snow - and since my use would be limited - and snow could be packed by my neighbors with snowmobiles who we have given permission to use our hill. I am not willing to buy a gator or rtv - too much money for what I have to do.






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 01-30-2005, 19:31 Post: 105257
earthwrks

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 ATV Good in Snow

If money is an issue, check out some of the ATV deals on e-bay. I saw several guys selling "family packages" that had 2, 3 and 4 ATV's with a trailer for the price of one name- brand one. Yeah, they're probably made in China or India, but for the price...especially if it's going to get whacked by a tree (or vice versa).






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 01-31-2005, 08:25 Post: 105285
Murf



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 ATV Good in Snow

For what those track kits cost, plus the price of the ATV in the first place, you could hire a helicopter to fly you back there a couple times a year.

The only reasonably priced option for year round wandering like that is an Argo with tracks for the snow, they are not fast, and they are not graceful, but you will get there and back.

Best of luck.






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 01-31-2005, 09:12 Post: 105289
DRankin



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 ATV Good in Snow

News flash.... My RTV is not a sterling performer in snow either. As soon as the snow gets deep enough to compromise the ground clearance it just sort of wallows. It isn't just the "round tire" issue in this case..... I went around that problem by installing mud and snow radials.

I can get it to work if I chain it up and then follow the trail I break with the tractor.

I have not had the time to experiment yet, but I would guess that 1000 pounds of ballast in the cargo box might give it more authority, but there is still a limit based on snow density and ground clearance.

Given on the fact that the RTV is the heaviest side-by-side out there, I would make an educated guess that the Gators/Rhino's/etc don't do any better.






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 01-31-2005, 10:00 Post: 105293
Murf



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 ATV Good in Snow

I've seen a few people up here use snow tracks on the Gator 6X4's.

There are ski kits for the front end that were designed for ATV's, they subtitute snowmobile skis for the front wheels.

The tracks they use are for an Argo, they are basically just like the tracks for SSL's in that they go around the existing tires and connect two adjoining axles together, but these are made of some sort of plastic material.

Some people make their own tracks using snowmobile track material and just adding steel 'L' brackets to keep them from slipping off the tires.

I suspect though that the reduced weight of a Gator goes a long way to keeping it on top of the snow.

Best of luck.






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