The Importance of Proper Winter Track Kit Maintenance
Known as the ultimate ATV accessory, a track kit can allow you to navigate terrain that a wheeled ATV could not. Deep snow, mud, swamps, you name it. But now that you have invested in one, it’s important to understand how to maintain your kit to ensure you enjoy it for a long time to come.
Distributing the weight of your ATV over a larger surface area allows you to glide over various surfaces, removing many limitations you might have with wheels. They can enhance your ride in winter, transforming your ATV into a snowmobile which can get you through deep snow, but with this, brings a new maintenance process for your track kit.
Especially considering it will be ridden more frequently and in various terrains that it may not have navigated in previously. With proper and regular maintenance, you can extend the life of your track kit and enjoy it for years to come.
You might also wonder why you need a track kit in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a track kit and how you can keep it clean throughout the winter.
What is a Track Kit and Why Install One?
While ATV does stand for “all-terrain vehicle” there are some terrains that even your average ATV can’t handle.
For example, snow is the weakness of many ATVs, especially deep snow. If you try to go through a snow bank in a regular ATV, you will find that the wheels will slip and slide in the snow and you won’t be able to go anywhere.
This is why a track kit is important. A track kit is nothing more than a pair of tracks that you use instead of wheels for your ATV. This will give your ATV much more traction in the snow and other similar environments like muddy swamps.
What Kind of Maintenance is Required During This Winter?
Like any other piece of equipment, maintenance is required. Without it, you would not get nearly as much use out of your investment. Proper maintenance ensures a long life and more importantly, the safe operation of your ATV.
Imagine being halfway up a mountain in the winter and your track system fails. Would you be prepared for that long hike back to safety? Better yet, would you be prepared to risk getting injured?
Let’s explore some guidelines around maintenance for a track kit.
Keep It Clean
Keeping ATV tracks clean is relatively easy. The main thing you need to do is make sure that nothing gets stuck in the tracks. For example, while you’re driving, branches or other debris might get stuck and slow the tracks down or ruin them.
It is important to clear out this debris before it gets even more tangled in the tracks. You can pull out the debris with your hands. Hosing down the tracks is also a good idea as long as the temperature hasn’t dipped below freezing.
Adjust Components as Needed
In some cases, your winter track kit may get loose in some areas or too tight in other areas. Whatever happens to your track kit, you’ll need to make sure that it stays as it should be, otherwise it could become dysfunctional.
For that reason, you should adjust the tracks when necessary. Adjusting the tension is particularly important so that the tracks stay in place and have the right kind of grip.
Check and Adjust Tension
Speaking of tension, it is important to check the tension on your track kit every time you go out on your ATV. This is because if the tension isn’t right, the tracks might come loose or they might not work correctly.
Of course, you won’t want to deal with this when you’re out on your ATV, so check and adjust the tension before you go out.
Keep Components Lubricated
As your track kit starts to get some wear and tear, the kit will become less and less lubricated. This will not only make it difficult for the track kit to move but it will also damage the mechanisms eventually. For that reason, when it comes to winter ATV maintenance, you won’t want to forget to lubricate the tracks and the mechanisms surrounding them.
That way, the tracks should spin smoothly and without any problems.
Check for Wear and Tear on the Tracks and Systems
It’s important to get into the habit of checking wear and the overall condition of your track system regularly. Your manufacturer’s guidelines will guide you on which components to look at for signs of wear.
Wear and tear will happen naturally as you use your ATV. Usually, it isn’t a problem, but at a certain point, you may need to end up replacing your tracks because of it.
Remove at the End for the Winter
When winter is over, you’ll want to remove your ATV tracks. This is because the tracks are not necessary once the snow melts.
Using the tracks after winter is over usually won’t do you any good and it will only get your tracks dirty. Save them for next year unless you plan to go mudding.
Safety Tips for Installing and Removing Track Kits
It is critical to adhere to strict safety guidelines and safe practices when installing and removing track kits. So ensure that you perform this in a safe, clean, bright and well-ventilated area.
If the ATV shifts or falls, you risk significant injury. Use appropriate stands and blocks behind wheels to hold the ATV in place. You should never place any part of your body under the ATV unless it is fully secured on a stand. Lifting devices should not be used as a secure stand.
Always be sure that the ATV’s frame is in good condition before you take it out. If you find any wear and tear, try to keep it from getting any worse or trying to repair it.
That way, your ATV should be in good shape for a long time.
Tips For Using Your ATV In The Winter
Using your ATV during winter can be a blast, but you should always be careful. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear while you’re out on your ATV. Make safety your priority.
An ATV track kit can be a great thing to have during the winter so you can use your ATV in the snow. These tracks will allow you to drive through even the most intimidating snow banks, but you will need to know how to maintain them.
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