Enthusiasts set up their ATV machines to get the most work and play out of their ride, so it just makes sense to know a four solutions to common problems you may encounter.

1. Tow hitch

A tow hitch on your ATV is a great convenience whether you’re using the machine for work, or are just out in the woods hunting or exploring…at least until you encounter deep mud. The squishy stuff grabs on to the hitch and can drag you down like an anchor, especially when you try to reverse. If you know ahead of time that you’re heading for a muddy area, remove the hitch before you start out. You’ll avoid the annoyance of getting stuck and save yourself both embarrassment if your buddies have to dig you out, and valuable ride time.

2. Stainless steel hardware

That mud – as well as water – can cause mild steel fasteners to rust, making them nearly impossible to remove without breaking. It’s no problem if you replace them with stainless steel hardware. Start by switching out the small screws and bolts that can be most easily damaged or stripped. Most major big box stores have just what you’ll need: an assortment of fasteners that you can use as replacements and that will prolong the life of your equipment and save you from a hassle later on.

3. Winches

Some machine-saving ideas are about how you actually run your ATV. For example, you can extend the life of your winch by using it properly. Winches last longer when used in multiple short intervals rather than receiving a constant flow of power that eventually can burn them up. You’ll have plenty of quad-tugging power when you need it if you keep the control at your fingertips and use the winch sparingly.

4. Cell phone care

When you venture out into the wilds, remember that you need a way to call for help in case of an emergency. Your cell phone might be that lifeline, so make sure you have it on you and keep it safe from the killing combination of water and electronics. Tucking your cell into a Ziploc bag solves the problem, so you’ll have a means of communication if you need it.