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Course Outline

Loading and Unloading

  • Wear your protective ATV gear—helmet, goggles, gloves, and boots.
  • Use a winch to load the ATV whenever you can. Many accidents and even deaths have been caused by driving an ATV up a too-steep ramp.
  • Use a high-quality ramp with a rated load capacity that can withstand the combined weight of the ATV and its rider.
  • Attach the ramp securely to the trailer or pickup using straps or chains. If you have separate left and right ramps, space them properly for your ATV.
  • Approach the ramp in first gear so that you can climb it easily. Engage four-wheel drive in low gear, if applicable.
  • Ride straight up the ramp. It is easy to drop a wheel off the side of a narrow ramp.


  • Balance your trailer by centering the ATV slightly behind the axle.
  • Set the parking brake on the ATV.
  • Use tie-down straps. Ropes may stretch during transport.
  • Use four straps whenever possible, front and back on both sides. Never use fewer than three straps.
  • Cinch the straps as tightly as possible. Shake the ATV, and make sure it is secure. The tires should look like they are carrying weight.
  • Loop any excess strap length below the trailer or pickup.
  • When using a pickup, close the tailgate if possible.
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