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The Versatile ATV: From Farm Tool to Jet-Powered Awesomeness


Last weekend, we hadn’t planned on using ATVs, but they ended up being a large part of our activities. Our four-wheeler turned out to be a valuable farm hand, a garden tool while doing yard work at home, and a source of entertainment at an air show. It seems no matter where we went, we encountered ATVs.

red ATV headlights

On the Farm

Saturday at the farm had two objectives: I needed to mow some weeds, and Joey wanted to practice riding his motorcycle. Jennifer and I took the quad along so one of us could keep track of Joey. It had been awhile since we had donned our off-road helmets for a ride through our private trails, and the paths reflected that: terrain visibility was low.

Fortunately, we use Carlisle ATV tires. Their balloon-like structure blazed the trail for Joey’s little Honda 70 by flattening the tall weeds, and in no time, he was zipping easily along the new track. I made several passes around our acreage before passing the machine on to Jennifer so I could mow.

Unfortunately, when I went to get the tractor-mower out, the battery was dead. I needed to jump-start it, so I flagged Jennifer down and had her back up so that I could attach a tow strap. The ATV gently pulled the tractor (with me on it) out of the shed and over to the pickup. We were up and running in no time. 

In the Garden

Upon returning from the farm, I noticed the long, half-block section of our yard next to the street was in need of weed spraying. I hadn’t attempted to spray with the quad before, but it was already out, so I strapped the sprayer to the front rack and made my way along the sidewalk.

Had the ATV not been out already, I probably wouldn’t have done it this way. It ended up being overkill, and less time efficient than I’d hoped. But it sure was fun to use the ATV for yard work!

jet-powered ATV

At an Air Show

Sunday we took my Dad to the Rocky Mountain Air Show in Broomfield, Colorado. As we were looking at vintage aircrafts, like the WWII P51 Mustang built by my grandfather, we noticed a jet-powered four-wheeler on display. The machine, owned by Rocketbilly Racing, gets its jet engine from a Huey Helicopter. Rocketbilly Racing didn’t race the quad, but they did race a jet-powered semi against a vintage fighter jet. It was a close race; the plane edged out the truck at the finish line.

As an aviation buff, I was more into the planes than jet-powered ground vehicles. Joey, however, was fascinated by the truck and the quad. As I was putting him to bed that night, he was still talking about the race. It was his favorite part of the show.

All-in-all, it was a good weekend. Chores accomplished, work completed, and entertainment had by all. ATVs aren’t just all-terrain vehicles, they’re all-purpose, too. 

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