• Steven E. Overmyer

5 Tips for Mudding with Your ATV

One of the best parts of owning an ATV is getting down and gritty with elements, and making a mess in the process. Rain and mud don’t have to be a hindrance; in fact, they can make for a pretty fun ride if you know what you’re doing. Going mudding with no experience and no preparation is unwise, however, and a surefire way to mess up your precious offroad vehicle. Before you start scouting out the muddiest pits you can find, take the time to get your UTV ready and prepare for success.

Prepare your ride

The most important part of getting your ATV ready for offroading in the mud is your tires, and unfortunately, stock tires just won’t cut it. Investing in a set that’s designed specifically for muddy conditions will ensure a successful adventure. A mudguard kit, snorkel kit, and winch kit will also be useful, too. For more information on preparing your ride, check out this blog post.

Be cautious

Part of the appeal in mudding is the adventure and the prospect of getting messy, but you don’t want your recklessness to ruin everyone’s good time. It’s best to ride in an area that you’re familiar with, and watch where others cross deeper holes. A little strategy in navigating the best route through the mud will save you the time and trouble of getting stuck. Don’t drive so fast that you lose control of your vehicle, or risk riding through a spot where others have clearly sunk. Thinking that you or your machine is invincible is an easy way to ruin your ride.

Shift ahead of time

Momentum is everything when you’re driving through the mud, and you don’t want to be stopping in the middle of a deep spot to shift gears; otherwise, you’re likely to get stuck. Instead, if you see a tricky spot ahead of you, go ahead and save yourself some trouble. Shift into four-wheel drive and your lowest gear before you trek ahead.

Keep it steady

As I mentioned before, keeping your momentum and RPM steady is the key to avoiding trouble offroading through the mud. Once you’ve mapped out a route through a sticky spot, keep your speed high enough to keep you from getting stuck, but not so high that you risk losing control of your ATV. Slow and steady is your best bet. It’s also important to refrain from over-controlling your vehicle. If you start to skid, don’t fight it. Just keep your grip and steering loose and your momentum up.

Count on getting stuck

Let’s face it: you’re going to get stuck at some point. It’s apart of the experience, and can even add to the fun - but only if you’re prepared. A tow strap or winch kit are critical to have in the worst case scenario, but chances are, you won’t always have to rely on those.

If you start to lose traction but you’re not stuck just yet, stand up and shift your weight from side to side, keeping the throttle engaged and trying to nudge your UTV free. If you stall, don’t try to jerk the throttle. You’ll only make your situation worse, and you should just stop where you’re at. Before you break out the tow strap, have one of your riding partners lift the back of the vehicle while you try again (if you’re not in too deep of a spot).

ATVs are an awesome investment because they allow you to embrace the elements rather than avoid them. A lot of rain can ruin most activities, but it only makes your four-wheeler ride that much more adventurous. If you’re not afraid to get dirty, and you’re looking for a fun place to explore thousands of acres of trails and rugged terrain, Crossbar Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma is the offroad park for you!

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