I’ve already mentioned that I’m from Alaska. Being an Alaskan I am familiar with cars with tracks, particularly snowmobiles (snow machines). I’ve found that for some people, it’s logical to change the tires on your UTV/SXS or ATV tracks during the winter months (or even throughout the year) and I wanted to know what is the best idea.
If you are driving on a smooth or deep surface such as snow or mud replacing the tires on your vehicle with a track allows you to ride through even the middle of winter. Tracks increase the surface grip of your vehicle (traction) and spread a load of your vehicle across an area that is larger.
The advantages of tracks
Tracks have more traction than any other type of tire. Tracks are constructed with a tread pattern that’s directly in contact with the ground across a vast surface. This allows tracks to offer much greater grip than tires be, which makes them ideal for use on slick or soft terrain.
Tracks don’t sink in snow or mud nearly as much as snow, all-terrain, and mud tires. Tracks have a larger and larger surface area when they come that is in contact with the ground than the other kinds of tires. They are able to stay on top of the soft surfaces of mud and snow without sinking and getting stuck.
Tracks will increase your vehicle’s ground clearance. The kit for installation and the height of the tracks will add a few inches to the overall height of your car. The standard height is 4 inches however it will differ depending on the manufacturer and track kit you purchase. The extra height makes it possible for you to navigate obstacles like mounds, rocks, and logs and avoid getting stuck.
They are more stable when driving on uneven terrains. Due to the bigger surface area that is in contact with the surface, tracks can distribute the burden of the vehicle better than tires are able to. This improves its stability vehicle in general and allows the vehicle to be more able to manage uneven terrain, without falling over or tipping.
The disadvantages of tracks
Tracks can slow your car down by up to 50 percent. Tracks weigh more than tires. They also have several wheels with small diameters that move around the tracks. This demands more power from the engine in order to move forward. The additional power and weight will drastically decrease the vehicle’s speed.
Your car will require more fuel. Due to the additional power required by the engine to push the tracks forward, it will require more gas to cover the same distance as it would without tires. The speed, terrain, and capability that your car has will affect how often your car requires more gas.
Your vehicle won’t be as agile as it would be with tires. Tracks are great for navigating difficult terrain, but they’ll boost the radius of turn that the car. Due to the increase in turn radius, the vehicle won’t be able to take on very tight turns as it can with tires.
Tracks are more expensive than tires. The purchase of a new set of tracks will cost around $2500. Curtain track kits may be more than $5000 depending on the model and features you’re seeking.
Tracks are not legal in certain locations and on certain trails. You should check the local regulations applicable to the area you want to travel in, but the majority of local and state authorities prohibit access to ATVs and UTVs equipped with tracks. Some trails that are open to snowmobiles are also accessible to an off-road vehicle equipped with tracks, therefore you shouldn’t believe that a sign that says “Snowmobile” implies that the tracked vehicle is permitted. For instance within New Hampshire, many snowmobile trails don’t permit track-based ATVs and UTVs without the written permission of the owner of the property.
The process of installing tracks can be a bit longer than changing tires and can take some time until you’re proficient with it. They are usually supplied with tracks as well as an installation kit specifically designed for your vehicle. This is essential since when you buy a fresh SXS or ATV, you will generally use the tracks you already have. And if the installation kit doesn’t work with the vehicle you are purchasing it is possible to change it out and not need to purchase new tracks.
To set up your new tracks, you must lift your vehicle off the ground and then take off the tires.
The next step is to attach the mounting brackets included in the installation kit following the instructions of the manufacturer. Don’t tighten the bolts till the right step! This will give you a little extra room to maneuver when you mount the tracks.
Then, you can mount the tracks. They can be quite heavy according to the model you picked and you might have to work hard lifting them up onto the bracket for mounting. Be sure to install washers and spacers in the correct order as indicated in the instructions. Use a torque wrench to make sure that each bolt is tightened to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
Tracks Vs. Snowmobile
ATVs as well as SXSW are utilitarian vehicles. They’re designed to tackle many different activities, from traversing up rocky terrain, navigating hunter trails, and speeding through sand dunes, to transporting equipment to a construction site transporting equipment and equipment on the ranch or farm, plowing snow, and making maintenance on large property simpler. They are more focused on their duties. They are able to travel through extremely fast snow and carry up to two riders and pull a sled however, they aren’t powerful enough to clear snow or handle heavy loads. They’re also not designed for use on surfaces different from snow.
Snowmobiles tend to be more agile than an ATV or UTV equipped with tracks. They can also turn them more quickly and are a bit more agile than a task car that has tracks. But, if you’ll be stopping and starting frequently on snow that is soft and deep the snowmobile could be more easily absorbed which makes it more likely to become stuck.
The top brands of ATV as well UTV Tracks
Camso tracks can be used with nearly every model and brand of UTV and ATV. UTV. All you require is the appropriate installation or transfer kit, and you are able to transfer your Camso tracks to a different vehicle.
4S1 UTVs are great for snowy, deep marshes, swamps as well as muskegs and mud. These tracks are great for those who want their vehicle to function as an all-year-round vehicle that can take on the most difficult conditions. These tracks are designed for 300cc or larger engines. (link to Camso video on YouTube regarding these tracks)
the X4S – Camso creates a UTV and an ATV version of this type. They’re stable and able to be used all year long in all terrains. They are stable and can be used year-round on any terrain. UTV version is designed for small to medium-sized SXSs with 3 seats or less which means if you have an SXS with a seating capacity of 4 or 6 seats, you’ll need SXS then you should take a look at the 4S1.
T4S ATVs – Multi-purpose robust, durable, and light tracks for ATVs that have engines of 300cc or more. These are the most popular tracks for ATVs, and they are able to perform in any weather.
R4S ATVs – for moderate recreational purposes like transport to your preferred fishing or hunting place. They are also great for farm transport, but not suitable for heavy-duty tasks or dealing with difficult slopes. These tracks are made specifically for ATVs that have engines of 500cc or less.
Mattracks has been producing tracks for a range of vehicles since. They now produce a complete collection of ATV tracks as well as UTV tracks.
EZ series – Mattracks provides the ATV (EZ) as well as a UTV (EZ UTV) option in this series. The tracks measure thirteen” wide, suitable for all terrains and self-cleaning. They’re also made of steel and are around 10-pounds heavier than tracks they offer in their other models. Tracks from the EZ series are the least cost option offered by Mattracks. they are only available for usage on ATV which weighs lower than 2,500 pounds or the weight of a UTV which weighs under 3,500 pounds.
XT series Tracks from the XT series are made for ATVs that weigh up to 2500 pounds (XT) and UTVs that weigh up to 3500 pounds (XT U) as well as 4,200lbs (XT HD). Also, there is a rear-only option called XT PLUS that is available for ATVs as well as both UTV classes. The tracks measure 11″ wide, designed for all terrains, and they self-clean. They’re also made of aluminum, making them lighter than tracks of the EZ line. Tracks from the XT series are Mattrack’s low-cost option.
M3 Series Tracks from the M3 series have been designed for ATVs with a maximum weight of 2500 tons (M3) as well as UTVs with a maximum of 3500 pounds (M3 UR) or 4,200 pounds (M3 UR HD). There’s also a read-only option and the M3 PLUS is which is available for ATVs, as well as both types of UTVs. The tracks measure thirteen” wide, designed for all terrains and self-cleaning. They are also constructed with aluminum. Tracks from the M3 Series are Mattracks’s more expensive option.
ZXT UR Series The tracks in this series were made specifically for UTVs only. They are made from a combination of steel and aluminum and are the largest tracks Mattracks offers for UTVs. There are three models available that make up this line, the XT UR for UTVs with a weight of up three hundred pounds. The XT HD, which is for UTVs with a maximum weight of 4,200 pounds, and the XT-UR+/XT-UR HD+ with rear-only tracks that can be used on UTVs with 3,500 or more pounds. These tracks measure 11″ wide, are designed for all terrains, and are self-cleaning.
A few of the bigger ATV/UTV manufacturers are entering the track market, too. Polaris as well as Can-Am have come up with brand-specific tracks. These are high-quality tracks specially designed to be compatible with their vehicles. The tracks are available in conjunction with the time you purchase your car through a dealer who can put them in place on your behalf if you do not intend to replace tires or tracks based on the time of year and the conditions that you’re riding in.
Polaris Prospector Pro Tracks
The Polaris Prospector Pro tracks are specifically designed for use on the Polaris Ranger or RZR UTVs. They work with Ranger models up to the year 2011, and many RZR models that are starting from the model year 2015-16. The tracks begin at $5500 for the set of tracks as well as the mount kit.
Apache Tracks from Can-Am
Can-Am has designed a variety of ATV and UTV tracks that are compatible with their side-by-sides. The tracks include the Apache 360 Track System as well as the Apache Backcountry track system. Apache Backcountry tracks. The price ranges between $4700 and $6250 similar to Polaris the tracks will require you to buy mounting kits that add an additional $450-$800+ the price. It is vital to know this: the Can-Am Apache tracks are only made for winter conditions and are not an all-year alternative for your car.
Apache 360 tracks fit most Can-Am off-road vehicles and are specifically designed to handle massive loads. The tracks have an average clearance of around sixteen” and are suitable for use only in the snow when used with the Maverick X3 or X ds. Turbo UTVs.
Apache Backcountry Tracks Apache Backcountry Tracks provide a larger surface of ground contact over Apache 360. They also provide a larger area of ground contact than Apache 360, creating better floating in snowy conditions. The Backcountry adds an additional 7 to 8″ in-ground clearance your vehicle, which helps to keep it above the snow-covered hazards and better deal with deep snow.
Are tracks the best option for your off-road car? If you drive in slippery terrains like swamps or boggy areas, or you spend a significant portion of the time-traveling through the snow-covered land and don’t worry about the speed loss tracks could be the best option for you. But, if you do not frequently drive in the winter months and only use trails and roads that aren’t hard, it’s most likely to buy tires that satisfy your needs for driving.