We talk a lot about safety here at CFMOTO, so much so that you might think another blog on it is redundant. How much is there to know about being safe on your CFMOTO CFORCE ATVs, CFMOTO Utility Side x Side, or CFMOTO Sport Side x Side? After you’ve obtained the proper license and suited up with the right equipment, what more is there to learn?
Reviewing safety in the springtime is crucial because the warmer weather presents a whole new laundry list of hazards that old and new riders alike must learn how to watch out for. Mud, pedestrians, and wild animals alike all can throw a wrench into your riding experience. Below, CFMOTO discusses a few safety problems that are unique to the spring season and how you, as a responsible rider, can smoothly negotiate them.
Plan Ahead for Common Hazards
You can’t possibly plan for everything you may encounter on your outdoor adventure, but that’s what makes it so exciting! If you’re met with something you don’t know how to handle, it’s generally best to slow down your vehicle and think critically about how you should best approach things.
However, there’s one key situation, which we’ll discuss later, that is somewhat of an exception to the slowing down part of the above rule. Remember, you have a powerful machine on your side, especially if you’re riding a CFMOTO ATV or CFMOTO side by side. Use that machine wisely, but also respect limits: yours, your vehicle’s, and those of your riding crew.
Study up on these spring-specific safety problems to set the stage for safe, stress-free rides.
Remember how we talked about a caveat to the “slow down” part of our advice earlier? Encountering deep mud is this instance. We certainly aren’t saying you should blast through all sloppy patches without a second thought—that’s just going to result in getting stuck—but we do know that momentum while crossing mud patches helps keep your vehicle from getting mired down.
Slow down before you drive into the mud, never during, while considering the best path through, and don’t be afraid to use teamwork and construct a plan with your riding buddies.
For more information on tackling sloppy terrain on your CFMOTO, check out our ATV company blog that explores the topic, as well as what to do when you find yourself caught in the rain.
Pedestrians on Horseback
Of course, it’s common to see all sorts of pedestrians come out of the woodwork in the spring, but for many ATV and side-by-side riders, spring is the first time they encounter horseback riders.
While many equines have been desensitized to the presence of noisy vehicles—they’re common on the farm—some can and will startle at a sudden noise.
Should you encounter such a horse and rider pair, come to a halt a fair distance away and ask the rider how to proceed. You, as a machine operator, have the predictable asset in this situation, but the rider knows their animal best. Follow all directions given to ensure the safety of everyone in this encounter.
Though many animals shy away from noisy engines, you’re bound to encounter a few brash individuals. Certain animals, like bears and moose, can prove hazardous at any time of year, though aggression levels of many creatures in the spring can vary depending on your region and the species in question. Before you ride, determine if any hazardous animal encounters have been reported at your destination of choice and adjust your plans accordingly.
Pack the Right Equipment
As we said earlier, spring brings rain and a lot of trail usage—and with both of those come mud. There’s a technique to riding through the stuff; ATV Rider, an online ATV lifestyle and product review blog, goes through it in detail.
That being said, a lot of getting yourself out of a sticky situation when it comes to spring’s trademark terrain hazard is packing the right gear, so read on for our top recs.
A winch isn’t something you exactly pack; it’s either on your vehicle or not, but luckily, it comes standard on all CFMOTO ATVs from the CFMOTO 500 on up. It’s essential for getting yourself—and your buddies—out of a rut when your wheels can’t get significant traction, letting you continue your adventure. For more info on the awesome things your winch can do, check out our ATV and side by side manufacturer blog on the subject. There’s more to these devices than getting you safely unstuck!
If you don’t have a winch, a tow rope can do in a pinch—though keep in mind this method may fail to be effective if the ATV doing the towing can’t get traction too.
A Snatch Block
While every rider won’t need this piece of equipment, as a winch is usually sufficient for pulling power, it’s a great tool to have if you plan on tackling some seriously tricky terrain. According to Outdoor Life, an outdoor lifestyle publication, snatch blocks have two primary purposes: they increase your winch’s pulling power, and give you the ability to use that power in a more targeted, strategic way. It’s incredibly useful for getting yourself out of a serious bind.
A note of caution, though: sometimes, Outdoor Life points out, these devices can do damage to your machine if you’re not careful and conscientious. They’re quite strong, so make sure you understand the risks before whipping one out to save the day.
Stay Safe, Embrace Adventure:
A safe ride starts with a safe vehicle—a CFMOTO. Use our CFMOTO online dealer locator to get yourself in the driver’s seat today.