There are many perks of an ATV + UTV—like being able to easily maintain your driveway and trails

Perks of an ATV/UTV

When deciding how to tackle long-term driveway or trail maintenance, you need the right tools. Plenty of cabin folks like me maintain trails for hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, riding their ATV/UTV or other activities.

I have been volunteering to maintain snowmobile and other recreational trails since my childhood, and nothing helps do the job better than a correctly equipped UTV (utility-oriented ATV) or side-by side. Also, maintaining a cabin often means maintaining a large driveway. Here are 5 tips to do both with your best tool, your UTV.

See also My First ATV Ride

Know how to use your winch.

A winch is one of the most useful things you can have on a UTV for trail maintenance. You can hook it to downed trees and move them out of the way, pull out large undergrowth shrubs, winch your UTV out of a hole if you get stuck or use it in conjunction with a plow for easy snow removal in winter.

Perks of an ATV/UTV

Utilize implements.

There are many different implements that can make your job easier. Most UTV makers have these available in their accessory catalogues, or you can use an aftermarket company like Wild Hare Manufacturing. This company makes hydraulic systems that allow your UTV to be a front-end loader, grader, plow, etc. Implements will help with taking trees down, cutting wood, plowing snow, hauling debris, flattening trails or your gravel/dirt driveway or actually moving gravel or dirt. Plus, you don’t have to buy a big tractor or another vehicle

Keep hand tools on your UTV.

I usually carry a full complement of tools, but when maintaining trails or a long
driveway, I have a shovel, metal rake, small chainsaw, hammer and nails, cordless electric driver with at least a few different bits and a Phillips and standard head, colored tape, zip ties, small tow strap plus the normal tools that should come standard on a UTV.

Know before you plow or grade.

In the winter, it is hard to see what is under the snow, and you can damage a plow very quickly. If there is a big rock or concrete lip in your drive, make sure you take care plowing around it. Same thing goes when an implement is attached to the rear of your UTV, such as a brush hog. Also, from personal experience, it is much easier to go considerably faster on a UTV than it is on a tractor. This means, you can often not see an impediment and end up breaking things more quickly on a UTV.

See also Buying a Snowmobile

Perks of an ATV/UTV

Play by the rules.

Check with local town or village officials and know the rules about UTV use in your area. If you are planning to volunteer for things like snowmobile trail maintenance anywhere off your property, discuss the use of your UTV with club members to make sure property owners and local officials are aware and give the ok. And while it may be legal to use a UTV to plow your driveway or make trails, the size of your property may be a limiting factor. Most of all, being respectful and lawful is priority #1.

About the author
Mark Boncher, the editor of American Snowmobiler magazine, is a fan of all things that go zoom!