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Conquering Mud: Upgrades and Techniques for Your Argo

Argos go places that will stop garden variety ATVs, conquering steep passes, snow and even water with ease. What about mud? The Bigfoot XTV is built for mudding, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only option if you want to get your Argo out on soaked soil. With the right equipment and techniques, you can get your vehicle over the softest mud holes and bogs.

Traction Options for Better Mud Performance

Argo uses AquaTorque tires on their Bigfoot XTV, and these tires can be fitted to other Argo models. AquaTorques have a stiff sidewall and massive tread blocks to paddle through mud and offer an excellent response when used with Argo’s skid steering system. The wide blocks and reinforced rim guard protect the tire from impacts, so you won’t harm it when hitting solid ground or sliding into trees and other obstacles. However, the treads can’t paddle through water like Argo’s standard tires. If you fit AquaTorques to your amphibious ATV, you can only go in water if it’s shallow enough to keep the wheels on the ground.

Tracks also limit your water access, but they offer maximum floatation for soft mud. Argo offers three track designs. Rubber tracks are the best choice for general-purpose operation, as they’re built to maximize your vehicle’s contact patch without affecting performance on solid ground. Standard tracks offer better mud traction, but they aren’t as smooth on solid ground. Super Tracks use a block design optimized for soft snow. They’ll get the job done, but you’re better off using a different set of tracks outside of winter. Their plastic block design makes the ride rough and noisy on solid ground.

Running lower air pressure increases tire flex for a better grip. However, a hard impact can roll the tire off of the rim without sidewall support. Beadlock rims depend on clamping force to keep the tire on instead of air pressure, making it safer to run at low pressures.

What You Should Do Before and After Driving Through Mud

Argo recommends airing up your amphibious ATV’s tires to 1.5-2.5 psi on soft ground. You may want to bring a portable compressor with you to air up when you’re back on solid ground or to add buoyancy before crossing water. Keep tires wrapped in treads or mounted to amphibious trailers at the same pressure on all surfaces.

Clean your tires thoroughly after your ride. Clumps of stuck mud on the tires can throw them out of balance, making your XTV hard to control. While you’re at it, make sure the cabin and underhood area are clear of mud as well. Be sure to check the axles for leaks: mud can pass through the seals more easily than water.

Techniques for Crossing Mud

Your amphibious ATV has lower ground pressure than a regular UTV. If you have tracks installed, it has less ground pressure than almost any vehicle in the world. This lets you drive over mud instead of through it, making it easy to drive through areas that will stop other off-roaders. Good driving technique will make driving even easier.

Look at the ground around you. You may be able to see lines taken by other riders. These will generally be safe to cross. If you see an area where tracks stop, or tire patterns go across at several angles, then other vehicles have gotten stuck at that spot. Do your best to drive around these areas. If you see vegetation, the ground is solid enough to support root systems, offering more traction for your vehicle.

Maintaining momentum will help you cross muddy areas. Before crossing a mud hole, line up your vehicle, so you won’t have to make a turn. Changing direction will slow you down. Be gentle on the throttle. The tires should fling mud off and keep the vehicle moving forward. If you lay on the throttle, the tires will start spinning, digging into the mud instead of rolling over it. Try not to get too deep: if the mud reaches the hull, the extra drag can have a drastic effect on speed.

If your XTV starts to high side, move some weight over to one side of the vehicle. This helps lower the tires to the ground, giving you the grip you need to drive out of the problem.

We are Your Argo Headquarters

Shank’s Argo is one of the largest Argo dealers in the area. We don’t just sell Argos, we offer the parts, accessories, service, and support you need to get the most from your XTV. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at www.shanksargo.com. You can see our current stock at our website, and schedule a demonstration.

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