How to Tie Down a UTV on a Trailer
If it's your first time transporting your UTV on a trailer for a vacation, then you've come to the right place!
In this article, we'll be showing you how to tie down a UTV on a trailer. This post will focus on how you can properly do the process to ensure road safety for you and the other motorists around you.
Step 1: Ensure Even Weight Distribution
The first step in this process is to make sure you load your UTV onto your trailer the right way. That means you want to achieve an even weight distribution.
To do that, you have to place the heaviest part of your side-by-side over the axle. For most vehicles, that's going to be at the rear part because that's where the engine is located.
So, you want to bring your machine forward until it's a little bit closer to the front of your trailer. A good rule of thumb is that 30% of the weight should be at the tongue (head of the trailer).
Even weight distribution is crucial when towing a trailer load because it helps you with sway control. Whether it's strong gusts of wind or an emergency maneuver you have to make, equal weight distribution quickly stabilizes the swaying situation.
Step 2: Tie Down Your UTV
You can tie down your UTV on your trailer in three different ways. Take a good look at each method so that you can find out which one will work best for you.
1. Four-Point System
The four-point system is one of the most recommended techniques in tying down a UTV on a trailer.
For this method, you're going to need four ratchet tie-down straps. Identify four attachment points on your side-by-side and fasten the straps to them.
Ideally, these tie-down sites should be located at the low part of your vehicle. Two should go on either corner of the front part.
Another two go on each side of the rear part. This is going to create that pulling pressure on your UTV to secure it in place.
Once you've affixed the straps to the machine, hook all of them to four anchoring spots on your trailer. Then, use the ratchets to tighten each one of them in place.
If there's a long, slack leftover strap, you may simply roll it and create a knot. That way, the straps won't be flying around while you're driving.
One important thing to note about this method is to make sure you avoid placing the straps over sharp metal surfaces. If you don't, they're going to end up being cut off during the drive, which compromises the security of your UTV.
Another tip we'd like to mention is to check if the strength of your straps is able to hold the weight of your vehicle. For example, if you have a 2,200-pound machine, make sure to get straps with at least a 3,000-pound working limit combined.
2. Wheel Chock Strap-Down
For this technique, you're going to need four pairs of wheel chocks and four ratchet straps. Wheel chocks are plates you bolt down onto your trailer bed to secure the tires of your UTV.
Each wheel is going to be positioned between a pair of wheel chocks. One chock should be at the front of the wheel, while the other will have to be at the back.
Once your vehicle is aligned with the wheel chocks, use the ratchet straps to tie down the tires onto the trailer.
To do that, first, lay the strap right down the center of the tire. Then, lock one end on the front chock by sliding its metal buckle into the slot.
Do the same thing to the rear part of the tire and use the ratchet to tighten the strap around it. Repeat the same process on all wheels of your UTV.
3. Tire Bonnets
This method is somewhat similar to the wheel chock system. The thing that makes this process different is the type of tools you need to use.
Tire bonnets essentially have three straps for each wheel.
One is at the center that you drape over the tire so that it wraps around the top part. On the other hand, the other two are connected to the middle strap, which you're going to use to attach the wheel to your trailer bed.
Another tool you'll need for this system is mounting tracks. You need to install two long tracks on each side of your trailer bed so that you can have anchor points where you can hook the straps.
One advantage to this setup is that the tire bonnet straps are adjustable. They can work with 26-inch up to 36-inch wheels.
Step 3: Double-Check Everything
After tying down your UTV onto your trailer, check if the vehicle is strapped down securely. Go to all tie-down straps, shake them, and make sure they don't come off.
Then, rock your machine side to side to double-check that it's not going to move.
Once you determine that your side-by-side is anchored well, lift up the gate of your trailer and lock it. You can also go over the trailer hitch to see if everything is attached properly.
Use a UTV Cover
Tying down your UTV isn't the only thing you can do to protect your vehicle. You may also use a trailerable UTV cover.
We've put together a list of some of the benefits of covering your machine while you're on the road:
- Helps protect your UTV from the sun to increase its longevity
- Keeps your UTV away from rain or harsh weather to reduce chances of corrosion and rust
- Shields your UTV's paint job from exposure to nature such as bird droppings
- Light and foldable, making it easy to store while on trips
Knowing how to tie down a UTV on a trailer can come in handy if you go on road trips often. It's sure going to need a little bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it eventually.
You just need to remember three easy steps. First, load your UTV onto your trailer properly until you have an even weight distribution.
Next, tie down the vehicle to the trailer using four anchor points. Then, finally, check everything is secure and protect your machine with a UTV cover.
Now, you're all set! Enjoy your getaway!