How To Properly Load and Tow Your ATV

As a follow-up to our earlier article about properly towing your ATV, found a good article on our ATV feed about the proper method to tow your ATV if you choose a professional towing service.  Check it out…

How To Properly Load and Tow Your ATV

As an ATV fanatic, there’s not many places better than for off-roaders than Tennessee. from Sugar Creek to Coal Creek, and everywhere in between, the area provides so many great opportunities for riders to explore and get muddy.

So with ATVs on the brain, I wanted to take some time to explain the proper techniques, inside tips, and precautions we recommend taking when transporting an ATV or offroad vehicle via tow truck.

Lighter Weight = More Care

Although most ATVs have four wheels like the cars and trucks that we deal with on day-in, day-out basis, the similarities for transportation end there.  The biggest difference between an ATV and their larger 4-wheeled cousins is the weight, and for us the ATV’s light weight design align them closer to the Motorcycles we service.

Why is this a big deal?

While most cars and trucks can be secured on a flatbed with minimal rigging due to their heavier weight, lighter ATVs requires multiple hold-downs and wheel blocks to keep the ATV from moving around on the tow-truck’s platform.

Minimize Rubbing

Since any tie-strap or hold-down requires a bit more tension to secure the lighter ATV frame, it’s important that the straps aren’t contacting any plastic and/or painted surface.  Movement during shipment will almost certainly rub off the paint coat, especially when towing long distances.

If using a chrome or painted part on you ATV to secure is unavoidable, we use (and recommend using) Soft Loop Straps which are designed with a soft nylon fabric that reduces movement relative to the securing surface, while able to handle the higher tension necessary to transport the ATVs lighter frame.

Using A Flatbed Tow Truck

While it may seem obvious, it’s worth noting that a flatbed tow truck is an absolute necessity when shipping an ATV long distances for a couple of reasons:

  • Flatbeds provide the versatility required to secure all the different designs of ATV and off-road vehicles. each with their own hold-down points to work with.
  • When shipping multiple ATVs, most standard sized flatbed tow trucks provide enough width and length to get at least 3 or more ATVsb comfortable on the bed of the truck

NOTE:  Some of our customers have expressed concerns about shipping their ATV or motorcycles uncovered, thereby exposing them to scratches from road debris.  While we feel the risk is minimal as our Tow Truck cabs take the brunt of the wind force, as ATV riders ourselves, we do understand the concern and recommend purchasing a vehicle cover to eliminate the possibility of scratching during transit.

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About the Author

Fred Willlett

Fred is an off road junky from Memphis who, from the best of his recollection, was born on back of an ATV riding the trail north of Hotsprings, Arkansas. In addition for writing for a couple other ATV blogs including this one, Fred spends whatever money & time visiting Offroad hotspots throughout North America.

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