Always Set the Parking Brake on Your ATV

Two years ago, a guest at our ranch was helping with some surveys. When he dismounted from the ATV which we provided, he didn’t set the parking brake. When we returned, about an hour later, the ATV was gone, but there was a set of tracks going down-hill for about 150 yards to a ravine. The ATV was found upside down in the ravine, but it still ran.

This year, our buddy Joe was using the same ATV when he stopped to remove a branch from the road. When he turned around, he watched as the ATV disappeared over the hill into a poison oak patch. It rolled about 40 yards down the hill before stopping.

Here is a video of a portion of the recovery, which took about an hour. Joe took the brunt of it, climbing down to the ATV through poison oak. Fortunately he’s never had a reaction to poison oak, at least not so far.

From crash to recovery was a couple hours. We improvised using the winch on another ATV and various other mechanical advantage to pull the ATV up hill through the brush.

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