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ProMark Offroad Blog

Essential Offroad Accessories for ATVs and Jeeps

atv plow accessory

Adventure enthusiats gravitate to offroading for the thrill and excitement around every corner. Jeeps and ATVs are two of the most popular offroad vehicles, serving a distincitive purpose depeding on terrain or needs. ATVs are great for thrill rides, mudding, and adventures where a Jeep just cannot traverse. Jeeps offer more control and sense of conquering grounds, more adequate for longer trips and demanding scenarios. Like most adventure activities there is a lot of gear involved, and offroading is not exception – there are many offroad accessories for Jeeps and ATVs.

Let’s take a closer look:

Jeeps

1. ProMark 8000 lb Midnight Series Electric Recovery Winch Synthetic Package - Any serious offroader will tell you that a winch is a must of accessory. The ProMark lines are known for the solid rugged and durable manufacturing, offering a solid product that performs under even the harshest of conditions. These winches are perfecting designed to adapt to most Jeep models and worth their weight in gold when a situation arises in which using a winch is the only answer.

2. PolyPro 3 Jeep Cover - Offroading occurs under a diverse set of weather conditions. For those longer trips and exposure to the elements, this Jeep cover is a must have. It is made of heavy duty fabric to protect your vehicle from damage – both short term or prolonged exposure.

ATVs

1. ProMark 2500 lb XTR Series ATV Winch Synthetic Rope Package - This winch is strategically designed to offer serious offroading assistance when truly needed most. The ATV winch is packed with power and can perform in almost in condition – it is built with the strongest all metal gear parts as well as a waterproof motor. This model is a awesome accessory for any ATV.

2. Cycle Country V-Bar ATV Tire Chains 9″ - These tire chains transform an ATV into a monster vehicle that can shine in all environments. Ice and snow are no challenge with a set of these tire chains, depending on the conditions a set of tire chains is the difference between stop and go.

Whatever your desire to push your ATV or Jeep to the next level, chances are there’s an accessory for that purpose. We mentioned only a few essential ones, but visit the ProMark website for a full list of gear.

ATV or UTV: Which Vehicle Is Right For You?

UTV

ATV and UTV vehicles have been in use for several decades. They are employed for both sporting and practical purposes. There are a number of different brands and designs that are adaptable to different tasks and terrains, from toughly constructed UTVs for farm or ranch use to lighter ATVs for racing and recreational operation.

All Terrain Vehicles

ATVs are similar to motorcycles, but have 3 or 4 wheels and are operated by a single user. The four-wheeled versions often referred to as “quads.” There are even AATVs, or Amphibious All Terrain Vehicles, that float and operate at slower speeds. These can even be fitted with outboard motors.

Utility Terrain Vehicles

UTVs have been described as a cross between a pickup truck and an ATV, and are used for both work and recreation. Though UTVs were developed for farm and ranch use, they have evolved into multi-use vehicles, for sports and recreation, as well as competition. They are known by many other names, such as SxS (Side-by-Side), RUV (Recreational Utility Vehicles), ROV (Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles), and MUV (Multi-Use Vehicles). They offer driver and passenger side-by-side options, and larger versions have additional passenger seating in the rear.

UTVs offer a higher payload capability and can carry more weight than ATVs. Their payload is carried below the top of the tires, as opposed to the ATV, which carries its payload above the fenders. This yields a lower vertical center of gravity for better stability. UTVs can also be fitted with accessories such as windshields, snowplows, and winches. With gas or diesel powered engines, these vehicles haul heavy loads and adapt to challenging terrain.

Don’t Forget To Observe The Rules Of ATV/UTV Use

No matter which machine you choose, it’s important to observe the safety precautions when riding an ATV/UTV.

  • No alcohol or drug consumption before or during use
  • Only operate vehicles off-road or on designated trails
  • Use speeds appropriate for the type of terrain and conditions
  • Observe weight and passenger limits specified by the manufacturer
  • Use a helmet and other protective gear (gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirts/jackets, eye protection, boots)
  • Safety certification classes are available in most states, and there are a number of organized competitions and events in which both ATV and UTV operators can become involved. Whether you are looking for a farm workhorse or a speedster on the off-road trails, there’s a vehicle for every need. So just grab your key and go!

Staying Safe on your ATV

ATV riding is one of the safest sports there is, providing you maintain a few safety practices. Keep these tips in mind as you enjoy your ATV riding experience.
1. Install an ATV winch. If you accidentally drive your ATV into a boggy mess, you want to be able to make sure you can safely pull it back out again without putting you or your riders in harm’s way. Install a winch that is the proper size for your ATV. You’ll be able to stand clear while the motor does all the work of getting your ATV back on solid terrain.
2. Consider some training. If this is your first ATV or you think your teens might be driving it, consider taking an ATV training course. The course will only take a short time but the benefits you’ll get will last the lifetime of your ATV riding. You might also get a break on your insurance premiums by taking such a course from your ATV dealer or another authorized instructor.
3. Invest in bumpers and brushguards. Even though some people consider ATV bumpers and brushguards purely for looks, they operate as safety features as well. Bumpers help to absorb the shock should you experience impact. Brushguards help to protect your legs when you need to maneuver through tight areas.
4. Wear proper apparel. Wearing proper ATV riding apparel helps you to protect your skin if the ATV accidentally flips. Heavy boots, thick gloves and a helmet go a long way toward preventing lacerations, burns and head injury.
5. Avoid driving while impaired. Just like you wouldn’t jump in your car and go driving after having one too many beers, you should avoid driving your ATV while impaired by drinking or drugs. Even if you’re just planning to stay in your backyard, it’s not a good idea to operate a motor vehicle unless you’re clear headed and can make smart choices.
6. Be aware of your passengers. Though you may be comfortable on your ATV, your passengers may not. Make sure they know the basics of being an ATV passenger, such as their weight distribution when taking corners. Be aware of their presence. If they are getting nervous, slow down and make sure they’re okay to continue. A panicked passenger can spell trouble for both of you.
7. Announce your plans. Never take off on your ATV without telling people the general vicinity of where you’re planning to go, especially if it includes a trek across a frozen body of water. Always let someone know, either with a note or otherwise, your itinerary.
8. Carry survival gear on board. Chances are you’ll never have to use it, but it’s a good idea to keep a few supplies on board, such as a flashlight, some rope, a bottle of water, a first aid kit, a granola bar or two, etc. If you have to spend the night somewhere unexpectedly, you’ll be more comfortable and able to take care of yourself. With some forethought, you’ll likely never have trouble ATVing.
For more safety tips or help choosing the proper winch for your ATV, contact us. Sources: http://www.promarkoffroad.com/

How to Buy an ATV Cover

An all-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) is a rugged vehicle that takes folks into places that are not accessible by car. Used by hunters, campers and ATV riding enthusiasts, these owners keep their ATV in good condition and often buy an ATV cover for protection.

The cover’s design is such that it protects your ATV from animals, theft, rain, snow, and sun.

Following are some useful ideas to buy a cover for your ATV.

Heat

Your ATV works hard to get you into remote areas. This means that the area near the engine is hot when you arrive. The fabric in most covers melts when exposed to high temperatures, making it impossible for you to cover your ATV immediately. Look for a heat-resistant fabric. By doing this you will not have as long a wait before you cover your ATV and move on.

Material

In addition to a heat-resistant material, consider that ATV covers usually come in either nylon or vinyl. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

Nylon vs Vinyl ATV Covers

Material

Benefits

Drawbacks

Nylon

Lightweight, protects against mildew and light

Degrades quickly in rain and UV light

Vinyl

Ideal for rainy weather

Heavier than nylon

Check the UV protection offered by the makers of the cover you are considering. The higher the rating, the greater the protection the material offers your vehicle.

Fit

The tighter your new ATV cover fits, the better protection it provides to your ATV. A tight fit prevents the cover from flapping in the wind and exposing parts of your ATV to the elements. Some ATV covers come with elastic ends that give a tighter fit. Elasticized covers are for smaller ATVs, if you have a larger ATV, you may not find a cover with elastic that fits.

Measuring

Measuring your ATV is not hard. The first thing is to measure your ATV at its longest point – this is usually from the front tip of the front bumper to the back of the rear rack or hitch. The next step is to measure your ATV at its widest point – generally, this is across the back fender. Take into account any accessories such as a basket or an extension on your front or rear rack that add to dimensions – if you have items like this, measure from the outermost width of your machine. Finally, measure your ATV at its highest point from the ground.

When you select your cover, make sure it fits for your dimensions, some covers are tight, and you may have to order a cover slightly larger than your measurements. Also, some covers cannot fit ATVs with windshields. Be careful if you have a windshield that the cover you choose is the correct design for windshield ATVs.

Take Away

Try to buy an ATV cover that is heat-resistant so you do not have to wait to cover your vehicle when you arrive at your destination.

  • Buy the tightest fitting ATV cover you can to give your ride the most protection.
  • If you have a small ATV, the cover you choose may have elastic ends for a tight fit.
  • When measuring your ATV for a cover take into account the accessories you have.
  • If your ATV has a windshield make sure the cover design you choose will fit.

Winching your Vehicle out of the Mud

Whether you’re a hunter, fisherman or avid adventurer, if you do any type of activity that involves off-roading or venturing off into rough country, at some point or another you’re likely to get stuck in the mud. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in a four-wheel drive vehicle or ATV that’s designed for off-road situations, you can’t always get out of such situations without a little bit of help. That’s where a winch comes in handy. A winch is a piece of equipment that typically attaches to the front of a vehicle. It’s a mechanical instrument that winds wire around a drum, while keeping steady tension on the line. And if you’re caught in a tricky situation, where a tow truck can’t feasibly reach you safely, a winch may be the only thing that saves your vehicle from being permanently stuck in the mud. So just how exactly would you go about winching your vehicle out of the mud? Here’s a look:
  • Selection: Before you can rescue your own vehicle from the muddy abyss, you need to make sure that you have the right type of winch installed on the front or rear end of your vehicle. Electric winches are classified by Rated Line Pull, or RLP, ratings. Generally speaking, you should select a winch that has a RLP of between 1.25 and 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle. This ensures the RLP is great enough to not only pull the weight of the vehicle, but to also work against the resistance you’re sure to get when it is stuck in something. So know how much your vehicle weighs when fully loaded, don’t simply just go by curb weight. We recommend a winch with at least 75 feet of cable.
  •  Using it: So you’re stuck in the mud out in the backwoods. What’s the key to using a winch? The first step is to select a strong enough anchor. Simply put, if the anchor breaks as you’re winching you’re vehicle, you’re doomed. So choose a tree or a large boulder to use as the anchor. Then, for a single-line pull, run the clevis through the protector loops and lock it in with a pin. The winch should then be put into free spool, so wire rope can be pulled out of the drum. There’s a hook at the end of the wire rope which should now be put into the clevis. After this is done, slowly take up the slack and then power it into a full load. You can also administer a double-line pull which allows for some extra oomph in situations where the vehicle is really, truly stuck.
When you travel off the beaten path, you should prepare for the unexpected. And when the unexpected comes about, a winch can come in really handy for getting yourself out of sticky situations. Just make sure you know how to use the device and that you’re properly caring for it and maintaining it.

Most Common Winch Issues and Solutions

When operating and maintaining your winch, either on an independent machine or on your vehicle, there are a few different issues that commonly pop up. Things like kinks in the rope or winch chain, rusting in the winding mechanism, or even gear and motor failure are the most common issues to watch out for. Some of these issues can be prevented but others are related directly to the age of the machine, the make, the model, and more factors that cannot be predicted or prevented.
The easiest way to prevent any issue with your winch is of course proper care of your winch prior to use. This means regular cleaning, service, and maintenance to replace parts that may have worn out or that are getting a bit old. With something like a kink or knot in your winch rope or chain, this is often an on the spot repair. Often, when a winch is not properly rewound or when the rope has too much slack or tension, it can become tangled causing knots and kinks that make for a difficult re-spooling process and therefore, loss of leverage. The best way to prevent this is of course to make sure your rope maintains the proper tension while in use and while being re-spooled. Another cable issue that might pop up is of course breakage. This again can be related to the spooling technique or more simply to the age and level of use with the cable. Older cables that are made of nylon or fiber can become worn and frayed and even dry rotted which means that a rope or cord could easily snap while being used.
Another issue to watch out for is of course gear failure. This can occur when a gear is worn, old, or when it is not properly lubricated. Often when a gear slips or fails, there is some sort of tell tale signs that this failure is on its way. The best way to fix gear failures is of course to make sure you routinely check your gears to make sure they are catching and that they are not grinding upon one another. When a gear slips or grinds, it is often accompanied by a loud noise indicating that there is something wrong with the gear mechanisms.
The last issue, motor failure, is far less simple to diagnose and catch prior to a complete blow out. Again, the best way to prevent a motor blow out is to routinely check your motor and your winch to see that it is working properly. By running your winch every week you can spot check for issues that may pop up and you can even take the time to perform routine maintenance. If you are at any time unsure how to remedy a problem that pops up with your winch, it is always better to talk to a professional and get proper help to prevent further damage to your winch that may be irreversible.

How To Install Your Winch On The ATV

The snow is off the ground and it’s time to put away the snowmobile and take out the ATV. Whether you will be using the ATV to clean up the property after the winter storms or just cruising along the back trails for some recreational fun, you may want to finally install that winch to pull dead branches from the path or free your friend’s stuck ATV from the mud.
Installing The Winch: Easier Than You Think
When a person thinks about a winch, they imagine the huge ones on the back of a tow truck that require expert people to install. So they will spend tons of money having a small winch installed on their ATV. Yet the fact is, an ATV winch is easy to install and will only take a few hours out of your day to install. Before you install the winch, you want to make sure you have all the equipment you need without running to your ATV shop for parts. First, you will need a mounting plate since most ATVs don’t have a spot to connect the winch to the frame. You may also need to get a new bumper since the mounting plate may not be able to attach to the stock bumper many ATVs sport.
Step 1: Mounting the plate. Carefully push aside wires and hoses so you don’t put a screw through them. Place on the mounting plate by following the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Step 2: Wire up the winch system. Locate a place where you want to mount your contactor box (lots of people will place it under the driver’s seat). Next, you need to connect the wires from the winch up to the contact points on your contactor box. If you are having problems running the wires due to the ATVs framework, you may have to drill and file a path between the contactor box and the winch.
Step 3: Attach the winch control switches. Most people will mount the control switches right near the steering mechanism so they can easily reach the winch controls from the driver’s seat. With a voltage meter, locate the hot lead on your ATV’s ignition. Connect the winch control switch wire to the ignition lead as you will connect the other control switch to the contactor.
Step 4: Connect to the battery. You are almost finished connecting your winch to the ATV. The last step is to connect the winch up to the battery by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
And there you have it! You have successfully installed your winch onto your ATV. Get the vehicle outside and try it out, keeping in mind the weight limit that the winch can haul. Ensure the line is secure and everybody has moved out of the way of the line in case it snaps. You will have so much fun using the winch that you will try to find something to do with it every time you take the ATV out for a drive.
Sources: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/off-roading/atv-winches4.htm

What you Need to Bring on your ATV Journey

An ATV journey is a great way to get away from it all. A way to see things you would not be able to reach in a car, or get to in enough time on foot. All the while still staying close to nature and enjoying fresh air on your vehicle. Preparation is key to a safe and fun time on an ATV adventure, because if anything goes wrong you are left exposed to the elements in back country areas that are bound to be hard to reach if you are stranded. If you have the supplies you need an emergency can turn into a simple inconvenience.
Key Items To Bring on Your ATV Journey
 Emergency Supplies. A basic first aid kit is the minimum, however many first aid kits are geared
for people who already have shelter and necessities such as running water. Make sure you have
the ability to make a shelter, a fire, and the ability to make water potable, along with a supply of
bottled water in addition to the expected medical supplies. Other items that may not be
included in a basic kit but will come in handy are flashlights, flares, candles, and a GPS unit or
compass.
 Tools To Keep You Going When Things Get Tough. Keep a stocked tool box with the basics you
would need to make small repairs. The trick is to balance what you will need for repairs with the
space it will take. The very basics would include a set of screwdrivers, wrenches, fix-a-flat, wire,
pliers, nuts and bolts, and perhaps small backups of parts that need to be randomly replaced
such as spark plugs, and headlight bulbs. Radiator sealant, putty and duct tape in a fix it can
temporarily seal a damaged fuel tank, seat, and come in handy in many emergency situations.
Whether you are alone or in a small group a wench is imperative for getting out of a tight
situation, or in worst case scenario righting a flipped ATV.
 Food and Drink. Do not forget to pack a lunch if you are going out for more than half a day, and
pack plenty of drinks no matter how long you plan on being gone. Extras like high calorie energy
bars, and beef jerky stored wherever you can fit, may just save the day if you decide to camp or
become stranded.
 Extra’s Just For Fun and Convenience. Binoculars and a good camera to see and record the
adventure, and camping gear so you can decide to stay if you want are extras that increase your
 fun. An extra fuel tank will help you go twice as far. If you have room for these, you will
maximize your adventure and be able to make spontaneous decisions such as going just a bit
further and filming a grizzly, or setting up camp where the fish are biting.
On most trips, something goes wrong. Sometimes it is an inaccurate weather forecast that leaves you stuck in a rain storm, or washed out roads. From medical emergencies, to human error, to mechanical problems or just wanting to be able to go a little further or stay over night, being prepared will make anything that happens in the wild easier to handle.

How to Remove Links From ATV Tire Chains

When you’ve gotten out into a great off-roading experience and get into a situation where you need your chains, there’s nothing worse than realizing that they’re too big and you’re stuck. Adjusting the fit of your chains is a fairly common procedure due to the differences in tire sizes. It’s pretty easy and straightforward to remove links from your ATV tire chains before you need them with just a little time and effort. Here is a simple tutorial on how to remove links from your ATV tire chains to get a great custom fit:
1. Put the chains on by spreading them out either behind or in front of your ATV, then back the
tires onto them, preferably with the easier to fasten side on the inside, so that the harder to
fasten side is where you can see it easily. There are slotted ramps available that can make this
process easier by holding the chains in the correct position.
2. Try to fasten the chains as tightly as possible. Be sure to put a chain tensioner on to take up
slack. Drive 1/4 mile and re-tighten. If you have more than two or three extra links when
fastening, you’re going to want to remove the excess chain. To do this, you can use a pair of
heavy bolt-cutters, a cutoff wheel on a Dremel or similar tool, or similar process after removing
the chains from the tire.
3. If trimming them back will put a cross chain past or too close to your fastener to be able to
tighten it easily, you will need to remove the close cross chain. To do this, you will need to
remove the chains from the ATV, and wearing safety glasses, use a cold chisel and hammer to
loosen the joining link that attaches the cross chain to the side chain by turning the joining link
sideways, wedging the cold chisel into the joint and striking the chisel with the hammer. Once
the joining links is loose, repeat on the other side.
4. Don’t forget that you will need to engage the tightening lever or cam and possibly put a chain
tensioner on to help keep the chains snug against the wheel. If you do have spare links on the
side chains, you’ll want to fasten them down to prevent damage to your fender wells. You will
also want to keep your speed down while you’ve got chains on as well, preferably under 25
miles per hour.
It’s important to remember that properly fitted chains have up to twice the life expectancy as poorly fitted chains due to broken links, excessive wear and similar issues. By taking a little care to make sure they are properly fitted at the start and taking a little time to maintain them by letting them dry properly, fixing broken links and other issues will make your investment last a long time and give you every bit of performance you need out of them.

Stay Safe on Your ATV: Best Practices

While ATV-related injuries are on the decline, many ATV accidents still occur every year. Avoid becoming a statistic and enjoy safe and fun riding by practicing these basic ATV safety precautions.

Get in Gear

Protective gear is a critical part of safe riding. Because many ATV accidents result in head injuries, helmets are a necessity. Be sure your helmet fits properly: it should feel snug and fasten securely. Additionally, goggles, gloves, boots, long-sleeved shirts and pants not only help protect your skin, but can also promote a more comfortable, stable ride.

Know Your ATV

Not all ATVs are created equally. Depending on the model, ATVs can differ in a variety of ways, such as brake variations; transmission, clutch and throttle types; occupancy requirements; and minimum age recommendations. Consult the vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that you are in compliance with the guidelines. This also promotes optimal handling by familiarizing you with all switches and controls.

Maintain Your Machine

Routinely inspect your ATV to ensure that it’s road-worthy: brakes, tires, controls, shifters and lights and switches should all be in decent working condition; also check oil and fuel levels before each outing. A tool kit can be a lifesaver, while adding a winch and its accessories is another valuable safety measure — particularly when sticky situations arise.

Consider Your Surroundings

It is important to consider how your ATV handles in different situations — from inclement weather to hilly terrain. While ATVs are designed for a variety of environments, different situations demand different best practices. Following these not only benefits your personal safety, but also extends the lifespan of your vehicle.

ATVs can be unpredictable and hard to control on on paved roads; in fact, paved roads are a factor in a significant number of ATV accidents and fatalities. Refrain from driving your ATV on paved roads to avoid rollovers, crashes with cars and other threats.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

ATVs are not toys; they are motorized vehicles which move at extremely high speeds and  require 100 percent of your full attention. Driving an ATV while impaired by drugs or alcohol can have disastrous consequences.

Go Back to School

One of the best ways to ensure best ATV safety practices is to take a hands-on safety training course. This can help you learn how to control your ATV in both typical and atypical conditions, as well as gain invaluable experience with the comprehensive range of off-road riding situations.