At some point, every ATV owner residing in the snowy northern climates has looked outside, longed to hop on their quad and explore the great outdoors. Then they looked at the snow on the ground and the reality hit that it’s just too deep.
Or is it? The availability of snow tracks for the ATV community has allowed extreme riders to convert their quads into all-weather, snow eating machines. Track kits, which are available for snow only applications, or all-weather use, are available from a number of reputable manufacturers and will typically dent your pocketbook for anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
Although tracks are a sizeable investment, they may be well worth it for individuals who have ample recreational time available during the winter months. They’re also a popular option for search and rescue organizations located in harsh winter climates. The tracks themselves are wrapped around an expansive gear system that replaces the everyday ATV tires. Imagine, if you will, your own miniature snow cat.
Installation of snow tracks is easily completed by individuals with some basic mechanical knowledge of their ATV and a set of basic tools. In essence, the tracks bolt onto the torsion bars of the machine and, fortunately, most track kits themselves come completely pre-assembled. Many owners have reported the ability to transform their machine from a ground pounding four wheeler into a winter snow toy in under an hour.
Opposed to tires, snow tracks create a larger footprint and distribute the weight of the quad, or UTV, over a much larger surface area. The redistribution of weight allows ATV’s to travel over snow without sinking into the powder. The concept is similar to that of four wheel drive enthusiasts who opt to air down their tires while driving in snow; only on a far more extreme scale.
Once tracks are installed, users are capable of running their ATV in areas that would otherwise be deemed plan old in accessible during the winter months. From winter hunting expeditions, to exploring worlds that look completely different blanketed in snow, an ATV equipped with a reliable track system turns your ATV into an ATV…and a snowmobile.