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Thread: Tricks for uphilling?

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    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default Tricks for uphilling?

    Going downhill on a 4-wheeler is generally not the "heart thumping" experience that the same ride uphill gives a rider. The fear of rolling over backwards is an ever-present reality going uphill on even a fairly gentle slope, especially one that has large rocks or hussicks. Short of the obvious trick of overloading the front racks with lots of weight, does anyone have any special procedures for getting safely uphills?

    There have been some areas I've hesitated to venture into because I've feared I could not get back up safely (especially if I was loaded with moose quarters....) Use of anchors, ropes, winches.... Anyone have some experiences to share?

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Actually my experiences with wheelers is just the oposite. Same with snowmachines. You hear the sled guys talk all the time about not being able to come back down what you have just climbed. You have no control coming down as gravity takes over.

    The big key to going up is to try and keep a smooth constant speed/rpm as you go up. Stand up and lean forward. Don't panic as your front tires hit a rock or climb over a ledge and are in the air a little bit. If the front does start to come up too far, you can always back off the throttle to bring it back down. Always start up the hill as fast as you are comfortable with. Going uphill, you can always stop on a dime as needed as gravity is with you. If you have to hit the throttle, do so sparingly as it is easy to lift the front end on a steep climb. I worry far more about rolling one coming down a steep run as I drop the front end over the edge of something.

    It boils down to practice practice practice, gets some hours under you and get familar with your quad.

    Yes, if it really gets steep, and you have a big load of meat or gear on your quad, Winching yourself up will stop you from going over backward as long as you are hooked to something solid enough to support the weight.

  3. #3

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    I would rather go uphill than downhill. It's not very easy to bail from an atv that flips back over front.

    Uphill is easy, lean forward and peg the throttle. Adjust speed according to upcoming obstacles.

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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    up hill.. i've been know to 1/2 azz stand up- grab my front rack extention in the center with my left hand and use my rite hand, "upside down /under the bottom of the handle bar" to run the gas... up u go!! now to get back down....I Will find a better way to get back down! IT'S "side hill'in" in moss& alders that aint much fun... ps; I ONCE "backed up a steap mound just to show my kid i aint that old and i could do it...well the back tires left the ground about 1/2 way up and the wheeler in four wheel drive still had the front tires turning "off i flew like a big ball cause it tossed me, i hit the ground crawling for my life as the 4 wheeler was.. .. comming ...somewhere behind/above me ..then it hit ME rite in the small of the back ..i thought it was over with for me .....ouch/ REAL pain...luck?.... the "other conner of the wheel hit the ground 1st as it bent the rack to the tire!...no wheel chair for me ..this time.......TUG
    Last edited by atvalaska; 07-24-2009 at 13:02. Reason: rambling....
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    best trick for hills is get a 6x6...
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    best trick for hills is get a 6x6...

    Very true!!! We have 3 4x4 polaris's and on sportsman 6x6. That thing is impossible to bring over backward. They are also almost impossible to tip over sideways. Maybe someday my wife will let me use it. Once she figured out just how stable they are, she has not got off of it! A tank with tires instead of tracks.

  7. #7

    Default +1 for easier uphill

    It is possible it is just my imagination but I think I have much more control going up. Pucker factor comes into play getting back down.
    Mike
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    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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    Speaking from personal experience.

    Going down a hill with a moose in a trailer scares me to death. You have no braking power, your tires just slide. All my atv trailers are design with brakes or a braking system. There are several ways of using a rope to lower you and you trailer down a hill safely.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Speaking from personal experience.

    Going down a hill with a moose in a trailer scares me to death. You have no braking power, your tires just slide. All my atv trailers are design with brakes or a braking system. There are several ways of using a rope to lower you and you trailer down a hill safely.
    X2. I've slid down monument before, bout **** my pants. Even workin the pedals to keep the clutch engaged didnt help. I pick going up any day of the week.

    I would first say find out what your comfortable doing, and what your machine can handle. I'm absolutely amazed at my rig. There isnt many places I wont go, or atleast try. Half of managing terrain is know how to make it work for your machine and ability.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Speaking from personal experience.

    Going down a hill with a moose in a trailer scares me to death. You have no braking power, your tires just slide. All my atv trailers are design with brakes or a braking system. There are several ways of using a rope to lower you and you trailer down a hill safely.
    I am curious as to what kind of brakes you have set up on your trailer? Surge or electric? I too have thought of trying to set up electric brakes on a meat trailer. Shouldn't be too hard to do I wouldn't think. Coming down monument or even old man creek with a loaded trailer can be very interesting to put it mildly.

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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Well, I'm in agreement with the original poster. I am far more intimidated going up hills than down. I ride a Grizz 700 and the engine braking and low gear keep it in good control coming down hills, but going up is nerve racking. The front end does lift on me, sometimes, and I do stand up and lean over the handlebars and use steady throttle. I have thought about stiffening the rear suspension some to keep it from being so prone to lifting.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default clarification

    To clarify circumstances I'm encountering: I have no difficulty on my Honda 4-wheeler when I'm haulin a trailer (dual wheeled Pac-Rat loaded with camping gear) going down most hills. The loaded trailer anchors my wheeler so that it can't roll over forward and the low gearing in the Honda drive train is generally sufficient to go down any reasonable slope (let's say a 45-50 degree slope) in a very controlled manner--usually not even necessary to brake.

    Loaded the same way (or more likely--Pac Rat heavier with meat), that same slope will give me major problems when I try to return uphill. Composure of slope, of course, has everything to do with everything especially when trying to pull a heavy load. Assuming no tire spinning (loose rocks, sand...) is happening, maintaining a constant speed and leaning way forward on an established trail works well all the time.

    The conditions presenting difficulty to me are when I'm running uphill over tundra (deep dips and raised hummicks) or larger unavoidable rocks--typical cross-country (trail breaking) trails. Unavoidable stops (even though one does their best to avoid making any) sometimes happen in this kind of a climb. The loaded trailer in this situation is a major burden, as it not only makes climbing more difficult, but also tends to pull the wheeler over backwards.

    Winching up has worked for me when there is something solid above to anchor off the winch. But, oftentimes there is not anything to anchor to (no trees and I'm leading someone loaded just like me). I've never tried a boat anchor for this, but was thinking that a Dankfort type that could dig into tundra might work. Has anyone tried this?

    I'm not trying to get into an argument over which is more difficult: uphilling or downhilling. The rig one is driving, experience of driver, and most important, the composure and steepness of the trail (or lack thereof) have an immense impact of which type of driving is toughest to any given individual.

    The specific situation I had last moose season was this: I was already down in a valley (already gone safely down, camped several days, and successfully hunted) and was trying to get back up the same route. Because of heavy load on trailer (wheels spinning) and/or adverse trail conditions (like described above), I had come to a complete stop numerous times on a 45 degree slope. The meat trailer was heavy enough to pull the wheeler back downhill each stop so hand brakes had to be engaged to prevent slipping backwards. But, using the brakes tended to lift the front tires up.... The obvious answer was, of course, don't stop! But, sometimes it's pretty unavoidable! The only way to get going again was to have partner sit on front rack. Eventually, the machine would not go without wanting to tip over backwards. So, any tricks I'm missing? I've got good tires--large Mud-lights, but will occassionally spin out driving on loose rocks/sand going uphill and cause a similar problem.

    We did make it up the hill eventually. Our method was to unhook buddies meat trailer and couple the wheelers together (my wheeler pulling meat trailer roped off to and pulled/assisted up hill by buddies wheeler). Reversing the order of the operation got his meat trailer successfully up the hill, also. Very time consuming, but worked! Any other similar experiences or advice?

    "T"--Wish Honda made a 6 wheeler! How would your tracked Argo behave at climbing in the circumstances described?

  13. #13
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Have gun...

    I got ya now. This is where the polaris 6x6 (little sportsman one) really shines. It wouldn't miss a beat. That is a mute point and I won't try to sell you on them here.

    I have been in the kind of situation you have described many times. The first thing I would do if it were me is to drop the trailer on one of the wheelers and run it up empty. Now you have something to winch off of and you could walk right up it. When the loaded gets up, run the empty one down, hook up to the trailer and winch it up too.

    Option b is the danforth anchor. They do really worth well in the muskeg tundra country. Sometimes too well in that they can be a pain to get back oout of the ground. I generally carry a long length of rope when hunting in that kind of country so that your winch has a much longer reach so you do not have to keep moving the wheeler up higher or the anchor. The rope can be very useful in stream crossings as well as a safety line so that one does not get swept away if you hit something too deep and they start to float away.

    Going up a steep grade with a heavy trailer, you are correct in that the tongue weight will want to lift the front end of the wheeler. Stiffening up your rear spring certianly help keep the front end down. BUT, the front end will only come up so far with the trailer hooked up as well. Once the front comes up more than about a foot, the trailer hitch is now below the centerline of the rear axle and therefore is now actually pulling the front end back down to the ground!!! Make sense? It is a freaky feeling to get used too, but once you have been there enough, you will get accustomed to it and not worry too much. You are correct, better safe than sorry. Especailly when loaded as you have described. That is exactly what the whiches are for. Ride with a polaris 6x6 sometime and play with one. You will be flat out amazed what they will do in that type of country.

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    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Smile great advice

    Ultrarider--great advice! My son-in-law is a big fan of Polaris 6 wheeler, also! Like I say, too bad Honda doesn't make one! Thanks!

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    I knew I forgot something. The last option that i have used as well especially when you have just one wheeler is to drop the trailer, run the wheeler up and then winch the trailer up. Even easier is if you do have that long rope, is to use the rope instead of the winch or both as needed. I will often take my 600'x 1/2" anchor rope from my boat with me on a serious hunting trip back into that kind of terrain.

    Good luck hunting this fall. May your trailer be full!

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    I am curious as to what kind of brakes you have set up on your trailer? Surge or electric? I too have thought of trying to set up electric brakes on a meat trailer. Shouldn't be too hard to do I wouldn't think. Coming down monument or even old man creek with a loaded trailer can be very interesting to put it mildly.
    One trailer had hydraulic brakes that was controlled by a lever this system was very heavy but the weight was not a problem because it was a big trailer. My small atv trailer braking system was nothing more than a bar that went between the tires rims. I would put the bar in at the top of the hill, drag the trailer down the hill, back up, remove the bar and continue down the trail. It was that easy.

    One hill was giving me a lot of problems about 100 feet long and extremely steep 60* to 70* at the top 20 feet. My solution was to tie a inch cable to a tree, make 3 raps around a horizontal 4 inch pipe that was welded to the back of the trailer. I then estimated the distance it would take for gravity to pull the track rig and trailer down the hill. I tied off the cable, got back in the track rig and drove it off the hill until the cable held me back. Put the track rig in neutral, got out, untied the cable and as the gravity pulled the rig down the hill I was able to hold it back using the cable. I did all this by myself.

    I had nightmares thinking about going up and down that hill and all the things that could and did go wrong. I took 5 moose in 5 years and live to tell the tale.

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    Cool

    I have a 95 and a 2000 Suzuki king quad,,the ones with high ,low, and super low.Going down a hill in Super Low in first gear is not even a thrill. Its geared so low,you barely even move, no need for brakes...love it.You can have those automatics with there belts and no gears..ill stick to what i have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    I have a 95 and a 2000 Suzuki king quad,,the ones with high ,low, and super low.Going down a hill in Super Low in first gear is not even a thrill. Its geared so low,you barely even move, no need for brakes...love it.You can have those automatics with there belts and no gears..ill stick to what i have.
    The problem with that is though, when it is really steep and on loose surface such as gravel, or it is wet is that you start skiding. When in that low of a gear you can not get your tires to match your ground speed so you are sliding out of control! I hear what you are saying and it works great until you lose traction. Reminds me of the old honda 110 3 wheeler days. Never had brakes on those things, just engine braking. It used to get real interesting going down hill with a trailer full of meat. I sure don't miss those days.

  19. #19

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    For my machines I found that stacking a bunch of weight on the front rack helps with climbs. With no weight on the front the front tires don't get enough bite to maintain good control.

    Worse experience was downhills in 6" of snow with a 10 day camp and large bull on board. Once started down there was no stopping

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    best trick for hills is get a 6x6...
    Yeah, and talk about an eerie feeling hopping on a 6x after you've just got off your fourwheeler. Load the box with some moose quarters and you're free-flyin up front!! Kinda weird to feel so unstable but stay so stable....going uphill at least.

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