Unfortunately for most of us, riding the ol’ ATV isn’t as simple as stepping out the door, saddling up and riding off into the sunset. Riding commonly requires getting to the trail, which necessitates somehow loading up your quad and hauling it down the road.
The methods and products available for ATV transportation are aplenty. Depending on the vehicle and number of machines that need to be moved, options range from trailers to tow behind your SUV or ramps to provide a lift into the bed of a truck.
Trailers provide a towable transportation option that allows multiple machines to be safely and securely moved behind an enclosed vehicle, or leave the bed of a truck open for storage for other items. This method is ideal for camping trips that require hauling the family in the cab and camping gear in the back, while still requiring that the ATV’s come along. Trailers specifically intended for ATV hauling come in various configurations to allow for the loading and transport of one, two or three machines. Although the trailer itself is an additional investment that will require minimal maintenance, insurance and registration, trailer transport provides additional space and easy load/unload from low ramps.
When the bed of a truck is available for transportation of one machine, a ramp intended for ATV loading is the safest and easiest way to load your quad. ATV’s are heavy and most tailgates sit at least 3 feet off of the ground, with many lifted vehicles providing an even higher platform to reach. Dual ramps are two separate metal ramps that are placed in the proper position against and tailgate and firm ground for the ATV to be ridden up, and into the bed of the truck. Folding ramps provide a wider, connected surface area for loading the machine. Dependent on the specifications, ramps start around $70.00 and can be easily stored next to your ATV in the truck bed.
A variety of truck platforms are a secondary option for hauling ATV’s via pick-up truck. Designed to sit above the bed of a truck, platform decks require installation to the transport vehicle and are application specific. However, this method allows up to two ATV’s to be transported on one truck, while the bed itself remains open for storage. Just be sure that you properly tie down your machines if you choose to give this option a try! Pricing of deck platforms ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dependent on whether or not you choose a piece of equipment with hydraulic lifting capabilities.
Regardless of your vehicle and ATV transport needs, there is sure to be a safe option on the market to assist you in getting your ATV to the trailhead. However, if you’re one of those lucky few who have ATV recreation right outside their door, please know that I’m jealous. For everyone else, rest assured that I, too, wonder how in the world I’m going to fit everything into one truck for a weekend of outdoor adventures. Luckily with the assistance of an ever expanding ATV transport market, I usually figure it out. Otherwise, I just leave my husband at home.