Gearing up for an exciting holiday with your UTV? Winter trails can be incredible, especially if you have an Arctic Cat or other snow-loving machine in your garage. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year to ride.
Not all states require a safety course to get your UTV permit, but all states at the very least offer one. Even if you’ve taken a course before, it’s a good idea to take a refresher every few years. Plus, local laws may have changed, and you want to make sure you’re abiding by all the rules while riding.
The dangers of winter trail riding vary based on your region, the trail, your UTV and your experience. In Utah, for example, a number of trails get heavy snowfall and even blizzards. Always check the weather forecast before heading out, and pack appropriately. Make sure you have proper hauling equipment to get your UTV to the trailhead safely (chains, a hitch with working lights, a toolkit and a first aid kit).
Prepping for Winter Conditions
Replacing a cracked windshield should be a top priority — especially in the winter. Now’s the time to pick up a full-tilt windshield for optimal warmth and eye protection. Many riders like to install a heater too, for longer winter rides. Only go with a manufacturer-approved heating system created just for UTVs ― anything else can be a fire risk. Try on your winter riding gear before you get to the trailhead to check for fit or any broken zippers.
What you pack in your UTV depends on what you have planned. Winter hunting? You may need extra cargo space for your gear. Simply want to whip through some trails? Take an extra smartphone charger if you can get reception, or walkie-talkies if you’re heading to a remote area.
Drinking and the winter holidays seem to go hand in hand, but remember that drinking and UTV riding can be even more dangerous than drinking and driving a car — the visibility is poor, you don’t know what to expect on the trails, and it can be even more tempting to indulge, since you feel isolated.
Remember: Not only is eggnog and UTV riding dangerous, but it’s also illegal and can result in a DUI charge.
Are you planning to spend the winter holiday week trail riding? You have a few weeks to make sure your machine and equipment are up to par. Having an expert inspect your ride is the best way to gain peace of mind.
You may need to replace tires for icy and snowy conditions, add a roll bar for added safety, or tackle early signs of rust after a wet autumn.
UTVs and holidays go together like Santa and cookies, so let UTV Windshield and Accessories make sure you have everything you need for a memorable holiday.