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Terrain Hazards to Watch for While ATV Riding

Don't let the land throw you off your ride. Midwest Traction has a few terrain hazards to avoid. 


Rough paths and dry creeks can have V-shaped gullies, and some can be quite deep. Avoid driving at an angle with one set of tires on the incline. If possible straddle the gully while maintaining an upright position. Enter at an angle, drop and remove one tire at a time from the gully. This prevents two tires from getting stuck at the same time.

Deep Ruts

Tracks that are heavily used can develop deep ruts, which can make it difficult to ride through without badly scraping (or caking) the undercarriage. If made by a large vehicle, drive at an angle with one wheel on the hump and the other in the rut. If another ATV made the ruts, don’t follow the path. Instead, straddle one of the ruts with one set of tires on the hump and the other on the outer part of the track. 

ATV MuddingMud Holes

Mud and water puddles can be very deceptive; check the depth with a stick before tearing through.

While traversing muddy patches and water holes, maintain steady momentum in second or third gear. Going too slow or too fast can cause wheel spin. Avoid first gear; the extra torque causes wheels to spin out. Accelerate gently when traction improves and slow down when wheels lose grip. Moving your steering side-to-side may provide some traction, but avoid doing too much; you don't want to dig a hole. If you feel your ATV is bogging down, come to a stop without engaging your brakes.

Happy Riding

Enjoyable off-road ATV riding has a lot to do with making common sense decisions. Obviously, you would not want to ride at a very high speed on rough terrain, and you should adjust to upcoming obstacles at a steady and slow pace. Be safe, smart, and enjoy your ride.

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