Using ATVs for OHV Trail Maintenance
By Midwest Traction on August 26, 2017
After years as a motorcycle trail rider, I've seen a lot of trail damage. I don't believe all was caused by humans; some is the result of natural decay. Nonetheless, I want to become an active member in trail maintenance. In order to be most effective, I'll need to stock up on ATV accessories. Interested in joining me? Read on to get an idea of what you'll need.
The most basic tool needed for trail repair is a shovel. With an ATV tool holder, the shovel handle easily snaps into the 1″ clamps. Shovels are versatile; beyond digging holes and moving dirt, they can be used to roll downed branches out of the way, control prescribed fires, and dig stuck OHV's out of holes.
A quick release chainsaw holder could be invaluable in deep woods during spring. Heavy mountain snows devastate some of the weaker, older growth. Decaying timber falls under the weight winter snow, creating trail blockage. Moose brand chainsaw holder allows safe carriage of dangerous tools to maintenance areas.
A 5-gallon bucket holder would be useful for its varied uses: carrying small tools or water, to name a few. Most hardware or paint stores stock five-gallon buckets with removable lids. A lid-equipped bucket prevents spillage.
Winches are extremely valuable, especially in conjunction with a chain saw. Logs can be removed with the winch. Winches are also useful for getting unstuck, or assisting other riders out of a jam.
Useful for pulling small cargo trailers to haul tools, rocks or even timber for bridge repair. Last summer at Taylor Park, Colorado, I discovered broken bridge planks on one of my favorite single-track trails. Since this is single-track, a four-wheeler may not be permissible to get to the bridge location. However, with an ATV-accessible trail, I could have loaded timber into the cargo trailer to repair it. I regret not being able to make the repair; hopefully someone else could. Riders were going around the bridge into the small stream to continue along the trail, damaging the environment.
Many trail riding clubs hold trail maintenance outings. These folks scout the trails for areas demanding attention. The club publicizes these clean ups, to bring in volunteers and resources. Check your local ATV clubs for ways to get involved. Let's keep our trails clean and cared for!