Many people in northern climates put away their ATVs when winter hits because they are not well suited to ice and heavy drifts of snow, but it is not necessary. Both sport and utility all terrain vehicles (ATVs and UTVs) can be converted for use in snow and ice with ATV tracks and snowmobile ski conversion kits. Camoplast Tatou ATV tracks are made for many different ATV and UTV models and the extra surface area they provide makes use of a snow plow possible in situations where ordinary wheels and tires just can’t cope and lets the vehicle ride over deep snow instead of sinking down into it.
Tracks are also useful in muddy holes that could sink an ATV equipped with ordinary tires, and companies like TJD advertise their XGen tracks as suitable for all season use on any terrain. Their track system has a suspension to absorb some of the bumps like tires would do while increasing ground clearance and retaining most of the maneuverability of tires.
There are also conversion kits for exchanging the front tires on ATVs for skis that are used on snowmobiles. These conversion kits are designed to bolt on in place of the front wheels of an ATV and allow the use of ordinary snowmobile skis instead of front tires. The result is a sort of cross between a snowmobile and an ATV, with the propulsion still provided by the rear tires and the snowmobile skis in front allowing the machine to more easily ride over snow.
One such kit advertised on eBay mentioned an inherent problem with this solution: when the front end comes off the ground going over bumps, the skis might rotate and land on the tips, resulting in breakage and/or a crash. The ad mentioned a way around this problem: apply the front brake when leaving the ground! That seems like an accident waiting to happen in a moment of inattention and they recommended against it, offering other solutions such as securing the front loops of the skis with bungee cords attached to the frame to limit rotation and ensure that the landing is ski side down and not on the tips or on inverted skis. This seems like a much safer solution than relying on driver skill and reflexes, but does require monitoring the bungees for wear and replacing them before they fail.
Whether for agricultural applications, snow plowing, or just pleasure riding, ATV and UTV tracks and ATV adapters for snow skis can extend the capabilities of your vehicle and make the impossible possible. Click the link to see the ones that are available on eBay today!