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Getting Started with the Argo Bigfoot XTV

You asked for it, and Argo delivered: the new Bigfoot line take Argo’s proven amphibious ATV platform and turned it into the ultimate mud bogging machines. Whether you’re an experienced Argo owner, or you normally go mudding in a truck, getting the most out of the MX6 and MX8 takes a different approach. Here’s what you need to know

What Makes the Bigfoot 800 MX6 and MX8 Different from Other XTVs?

These vehicles are built around the new AquaTorque mud tire. Argo worked with Interco to develop a 25 x 9-inch tire with thick, paddle-like lugs that can bite into the mud while still having the flexibility to grip terrain like a standard off-road tire.

As equipped from the factory, the Bigfoot cannot float, nor can it tread water. It can ford mud and water up to 26 inches deep, but if the water reaches any higher, it will flood the vehicle, swamping the engine or causing the vehicle to sink.

If you want to set up your Bigfoot for amphibious use, the AquaTorque tires can be swapped out with Argo’s standard paddle-treaded tires. Tracks cannot be installed on the Bigfoot, no matter which tire you use.

How is Operating a Bigfoot Different from a Truck?

If you’re switching from a lifted truck or SUV to a Bigfoot, there are some differences you need to account for.

Argo makes their vehicles waterproof from the factory. All the components are built into a watertight hull, and the axles have double seals to keep the water out. This doesn’t make the vehicle 100% mud proof, but you’ll have a lot less trouble with contaminated fluids.

Ground pressure is low, letting the Bigfoot float on top of soft mud instead of digging in. This makes the vehicle far less dependent on ground clearance to cross deep mud. This also lets the vehicle drive all of the wheels 100% of the time for maximum traction.

Argos use skid steering instead of a steering rack. When you’re making a turn, you don’t have angled wheels that can suddenly slip on the mud and hurl the vehicle to the side. The handlebars only control the brakes, so there’s no chance of the controls whipping and injuring your hands.

Tips for Mudding in the Bigfoot

Lower the air pressure: The included beadlock rims keep the tires on without having to depend on tire pressure. The lower the pressure, the more the tire can flex, shaping itself to the terrain and helping the thick lugs on the tires bite into the mud. Argo recommends 1.5-2.5 psi for mud and other soft surfaces. If you’re on a harder surface, increase the tire pressure to 2.5 to 3.5 psi.

Stay straight: Turning will decrease momentum. Line up your XTV on dry ground before crossing a mud hole.

Balance the throttle: The wheels should spin fast enough to fling mud off of the treads while still maintaining momentum. Too much throttle can cause the tires to dig into the mud instead of driving over it. If that happens, reduce the throttle instead of trying to stop and start again.

Stay out of ruts: The Bigfoot MX6 and MX8 have 9.5 inches of ground clearance, which is more than enough for most trails thanks to the vehicle’s ability to float on soft ground. However, if you try to follow taller vehicles and ride into their ruts, you’ll end up pushing the hull through the mud or getting your vehicle hung up over the ruts.

Caring For Your Bigfoot XTV

For the most part, you can follow the same care and maintenance procedures you would apply to any Argo.

After getting your Bigfoot out on the trails, take the time to clean the mud off of the tires. Clumps of dried mud stuck to the tires can throw the tires out of balance, making for a bumpy, hard-to-control ride. Do a quick check under the hood and in the cabin to make sure there isn’t any water or mud inside.

Check the axles after each use. The force of the mud coming off of the tires is more likely to push through the seals than plain water.

Are You Ready For the Ultimate Mud Machine?

Go to the people who know Argo: Shank’s Argo. We’re one of the largest dealers in the East, and we have over 35 years of experience helping people with their outdoor equipment. We should be your first stop if you’re considering an XTV or would like to schedule a test drive. Our shop is at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

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