Loading And Unloading An ATV
When you’re ready to hit the trails, you probably have to load your ATV onto a trailer to get to the destination. Whether it’s just a few miles away or several hours, the way in which you load and unload your ATV is significant. While it seems like a straight-forward process, missing a step could mean danger during transportation, loading, or unloading. By following this direct procedure on how to load and unload an ATV, you’ll have full confidence in the security of your ATV and yourself every time. Before getting into the loading process, you won’t be able to load unless the ground is flat. Being on a hill or declining slope will make it much more difficult to properly load your ATV. Try to find a flat area if possible.
- 4 Ratchet Straps
Set Up your Ramps: Pull on a helmet before getting started since you’ll be climbing on the trailer. Align your ramps so that the ATV’s tires will be centered on them. Otherwise, the imbalance could cause it to tip off. Whether you have you a singular ramp or two separate ones, secure your ramp(s) to the trailer with ratchet straps. Tighten them until the ramp is immobile when shaken. This will prevent the ramp from sliding or flipped backwards when the ATV begins to climb up.
Loading the ATV: Now that your ramps are in place, you can get your ATV lined up with the ramp. Put in in the lowest forward gear so the vehicle can produce more torque to get up the ramp. Also engage 4-wheel drive to prevent the wheels from spinning out. Press the gas gently, but with enough force to propel the ATV onto the incline. If you get stuck in the middle of the ramp, just back up and go again with a touch more speed. Once successfully onto the trailer, park and turn off the ATV.
Locked and Loaded: Now it’s time to get your ATV fully secured for transport. Not only will this keep the ATV safe, but it’ll prevent accidents too. Sudden braking or lane changes can toss a poorly secured ATV around, and if worst comes to worst, right off the trailer into the road. Talk about a dangerous situation! Plus, if not properly secured, you could get pulled over, and who wants to deal with that? Using ratchet straps, you’ll first tie down the front frame of the ATV. Don’t use the axle for this process, as it isn’t sturdy like the ATV frame and can be damaged. With the remaining straps, continue to secure the rest of the ATV, tightening them with the ratchets so that vehicle is immobile and locked down into the trailer frame. Store the ramp(s) and then you’re ready to take off.
- Absolutely do not use rope as a tie down. Rope is simply not made to offer the security of ratchet straps.
Unloading the ATV: Once you’ve reached the trailhead, camp, or other destination, you can get your ATV unloaded. This process is essentially the same as loading, so get your helmet back on. Set the ramp(s) back up and remove the ratchet straps. Then, put the ATV in neutral and stand in front of it. Use the brakes to slowly push it down the ramp(s) until all four tires are on the ground. Move it out of the way so you can put away the ramps and straps. Now, you’re ready to ride!