GOING AWOL DOWN THE ROAD!
DIALED IN: UTV TIE-DOWN QUESTIONS
DW FAN WRITES IN: I have a Polaris General and it is towed to my riding destinations via a truck and a trailer. I am using ratchet straps, two in the front and two in the rear. When reaching my riding destination, I always find the ratchet straps loose. Boss, I know they were tight when I left the house. Can you please explain this phenomenon? And maybe a better way to tie down my General before it goes AWOL down the road! – Larry Sloan, Midway, NM.
OUR PRO ANSWER: I am going to assume you are attaching the ratchet straps to a low point of the frame, front and rear and then to bed mounted ring loops. Not to a suspension component. And the straps are as straight as possible. And you have at least 6 ratchets to fully cover the barrel of the ratchet so it will not slip. Ideally, you want equal and opposite pressure on the ratchet straps. The up and down movement of the UTV on its suspension causes this stretching and slackening action if you attach above the suspension. Have you looked at tire bonnet or lasso straps? These go over the tires and strap them down to the trailer’s bed. This system allows the UTV’s suspension to float over rough roads. An easier-to-attach and simpler-to-cinch down version that also allows the UTV to float is the Speedstrap “Through The Wheel Tiedown” here: https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/parts/speedstrap-through-the-wheel-tie-down-p. Essentially it is a soft strap that goes through any hole in a rim and then folds back around the tire and through a D-ring. The other end is slid into the ratchet and then attached to a mounting ring on your trailer, just like any other strap. The UTV’s tires are thus solidly mounted to the trailer so there is little fore and aft movement lessening the chance of the ratchet straps loosening. Note that for best results, the placement of the soft strap through the rim should directly align with the angle of the strap to the trailer mounting point.
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