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Making Steep Climbs in Your XTV

Making Steep Climbs in Your XTV
Thanks to its low center of gravity, an Argo XTV is four times less likely to roll over compared to a standard UTV. This lets it tackle climbs that would be impossible in regular off-road vehicles, but it’s still possible to get overconfident and end up being injured or damaging your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know to prevent rollovers, oil starvation and other issues related to steep climbs.

Protecting Your Engine

Your biggest concern when tackling hills may be vehicle stability, but it can also damage your XTV’s engine. When operating at severe angles, the oil can tilt away from the oil pickup, starving the lubrication system. Without a coating of oil, metal components can make direct contact, greatly accelerating wear. Fuel can also tilt away from the pump pickup, causing the engine to stall. This is hard on the engine and can make the vehicle leap and buck, making it hard to control.
Argo recommends limiting sustained climbs to a maximum slope of 30 degrees. Before you drive your XTV, make sure the oil level is near the full mark to reduce the chance of oil starvation and fill up the fuel tank.

Balancing Weight

The rear compartment on 6 wheel models is designed to hold a maximum of 140 lbs. Overloading this compartment can shift the weight balance of the vehicle, making it unstable on climbs.

The steeper the hill, the more likely it is that the vehicle will roll over. Shifting weight forward in the vehicle will help your XTV stay stable when climbing hills while shifting weight to the rear end increases stability going downhill. If you have several passengers with you, have them move around to get the right weight balance, or have them get out of the vehicle.

Gear Selection

For most situations, the transmission should be in high range for maximum traction. While low range decreases the vehicle’s turning circle, it also forces all 6 or 8 wheels to be driven at the same time. In the case of Admiral transmission-equipped vehicles, the inner wheels will spin backward when making tight turns. This increased movement makes it easier for the tires to lose traction.

If you need to climb a steep hill with a heavy load, keep the transmission in high range and use momentum to carry the vehicle. Use the throttle to maintain a steady speed.

Using low range increases engine braking, which can help slow down the vehicle when going downhill. Use this gear if you need to descend a steep slope and turning will be minimal.

Driving Uphill

Approach the hill head-on and keep the vehicle straight when climbing. Making a turn increases the chance of a rollover. If the XTV loses traction, gently apply the brakes and wait for the tires to get their grip.

Driving Downhill

Just like going uphill, the approach should be made head-on, and turns should be avoided where possible. Use gentle brake pressure to control the descent. Stomping on the brakes can upset the vehicle and cause it to slide or roll over.

Driving on Side Slopes

Avoid side slope operation where possible. The vehicle will tend to steer downhill, requiring frequent correction that can overheat the steering brakes. The same 30-degree rule applies to the engine, even when tilted on its side.

Getting More Traction

Shank’s Argo doesn’t just sell Argo XTVs, we can also service your XTV and install accessories. If you need to drive on mud, snow, sand or marshes, we have the tracks to give you the traction you need. Worried about rollovers? We can add a ROPS to keep you and your passengers safe. Conveniently schedule a test drive directly on our site. Visit us at our showroom, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-80, take Exit 10 to Marion.

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