Towing Your ATV

Towing Your ATV Properly

Although I like to think that my ATV can go just about anywhere (including the freeway), the fact is most of the time I need to transport, and not ride my ATV to the trailheads.

While many riders do live right next to the where they ride (the lucky bastards), most of our readers need to drive a bit to get the trails.

So if you’re like the majority of ATV riders,  there’s a few things you’ll want to make sure to keep in mind in order to get it (and you) safely to the destination in one piece.

Loading An ATV into a Truck

ATV Truck Ramp
ATV Truck Ramp

Trucks aren’t just there to look pretty, sometimes you actually need to use it for hard work.

If you’ve got the room in your truck bed to fit your ATV, this is the easiest choice for OV transportation, but there’s are a few things you’ll need to plan for prior to driving your ATV up into your truck’s bed.

  1. Buy some sturdy metal truck ramps. Whatever you do, don’t use wood.  Get some sturdy metal ramp that are rated for the weight of your off-road machine.
  2. Secure the ramps to the truck bed.    Most good metal ramps come with ratched straps to ensure that the ramps do not slip when in use.  Take our advice and use this feature at every load/unload as a matter of course.  Nothing is worse than having a ramp slide out from underneath you.


Trailers For Bigger Rides

Unless you’ve figured out a way to attach an ATV to the top When you tow your ATV, you will need to attach it to a trailer. You will need a trailer that is in excellent condition. You will need to make sure that the trailer is sturdy enough to support your ATV. You will also have to make sure that you can securely attach the ATV to the trailer.

If the trailer you rent cannot fully support your ATV, you will have a hard time towing it at high speeds. You may be able to tow it on back roads, but you won’t be able to tow it on the highway. Finding the right trailer is crucial.

Properly Securing Your ATV

You won’t want your ATV to be jostled around as you tow it. If your ATV isn’t fully secured, it could be damaged during the towing process. You may want to rent an enclosed trailer to tow your ATV with. An enclosed trailer can do more to protect your ATV than an open trailer can.

You shouldn’t just assume that your ATV is fully secure. You should check it numerous times to make sure that the ATV is properly in place. If your ATV needs extra support, you should try to provide that.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Can Support This Amount Of Weight

There are limits to what a vehicle can tow. Most vehicle specification are available to fin out what the towing limit for your particular vehicle is, but as a general rule: if your vehicle is small and fairly lightweight, you may not be able to tow something that is as heavy as an ATV.

If you know what the weight limits of your vehicle are, you’ll have a better understanding of your options. If you know that you can’t tow an ATV with your normal vehicle, you can rent a vehicle that can handle that amount of weight.

Look Into Professional Options

While it can be a bit expensive to have someone else ship an offroad vehicle, professional assistance is sometimes worth the cost, especially if you’re towing long distance.  This is especially true if you don’t have the trailer, rig, or the inclination to tow your ATV.

With our move from Charlotte NC to Memphis in 2012 we’d bit the bullet and used a local Charlotte towing service to ship our ATV buggies to Memphis.  At the time I didn’t own a trailer, and absolutely did not want to take the chance driving over the Smokey Mountains in the winter with a 1/2 ton rig behind my 6 cylinder Dodge Ram, having never done it before.  With experience in motorcycles towing, the towing company we’d chosen had the rigging, flat bed, and horsepower necessary to do the job, and at a price that was surprisingly more reasonable that I had gone in thinking.

Since then we’ve since gotten the necessary gear, and experience to do the job ourselves, but I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is new to towing their ATV.

Thanks for reading and see you out on the trails!

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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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