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Transcript for Loading and Unloading

Haley: Hey. Now, if you thought my secret fishing spot was beautiful, just wait until you get to hunt at Rob’s secret, Squirrel Ridge. Oh, do you want to help load the ATVs? Great. Now, here’s the first thing you do. You want to make sure that the area around is as level as possible and is free from obstacles. What do you think about this spot?

The person behind the camera looks around and gives a thumbs up.

Haley: Great.

Rob: All right, do you mind helping me with this ramp?

Haley: Sure.

Rob: All right. So we are using quality aluminum loading ramps that won’t bend or break. And here’s one of the tricks. You want to secure it to the trailer. And you can do that with retaining cables or straps, just like this one. Any idea why that’s important?

Haley: It’s a physics thing. The forces of a moving ATV can pull an unsecured ramp right off. That’s why you never use an unsecured or friction-hold ramp. OK, this is secure. Let’s get geared up to load the machines.

Rob: All right, so loading might look harmless, but don’t let that fool you, because anything can happen. And that’s why I’m wearing all my gear. Now the first thing we did was we took out any heavy cargo from the ATV and loaded it in the truck. If you have a winch, you can use that because people have been seriously injured driving up too steep of a ramp. All right, why don’t you guys stand off to the side as I move this machine up, and signal if you guys see a problem. First, all four wheels are engaged, and it’s in low gear. And I give it a slow, smooth throttle. You see how I’m leaning forward with both feet on the footrest? That helps keep my weight over the machine’s center of gravity. Once on top, I gently brake to stop and set the parking brake. Now before we load the second ATV, you want to make sure that you strap it down securely to the trailer. Ropes? They’re for clotheslines, not securing these heavy things. Besides, they can stretch.

Haley: Now that this one’s loaded up and strapped down, it’s your turn to load this one on the trailer.

Rob: OK, once you have it started, put it in four-wheel drive so that all wheels are engaged, and put it in low gear. Now drive slowly up to the ramp. Check to make sure you don’t drop a wheel off the side. OK, give it a smooth, easy throttle. Looking great. Oh, and don’t forget the parking brake. Once you strap down the last ATV and secure everything, then you’re set. We’re ready. Let’s get in.

Haley: All right, you two. Have fun and stay safe. Did you bring your phones? OK, good. And remember, no texting while driving or while riding on the ATVs. OK? All right. Have a good one.

Rob: It looks like it’s going to be a good afternoon. You know, we’re pretty lucky to be able to drive way back in with these ATVs. It’s a privilege, really. And that’s why it’s each rider’s responsibility to know and comply with the ATV laws and regulations of any state they’re riding in. Plus, it really helps to be able to Tread Lightly!, so we can help keep these wild and remote places looking wild.

Having arrived at their destination, the two begin to unload.

Rob: All right, so unloading these things is pretty much the same as loading, except for a few key points. We secure the ramp the same way, and we put on all of our gear. Goggles, gloves, helmet. We make sure there isn’t anything behind or under the machine. While holding the brake, I get in front of the ATV—that’s the big difference. We don’t get on the machine. It’s too dangerous. I release the brake to let the machine slowly roll back. I adjust the speed with the brake to make sure it doesn’t go too fast. When it hits the ground, I stop it, put on the parking brake, and I walk around. One more time. Remember, we stand in front of the ATV. Slowly ease up on the brake, and let it drift down the ramp. Once it stops, put on the parking brake, walk around, and drive the ATV off. And now we’re ready to load it. All right, so we might not know where this offroad adventure will end, but we sure know where it started—safe and smart. Practice what you’ve learned in this series before and during your adventures, and you will safely bring back stories to share.

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