Most people who get into power sports know what equipment they should have to reduce injuries, whether they suit up in padded gear for motocross or wear a life jacket when boating. What about an XTV? Here’s the gear Argo recommends to keep you safe when working in or enjoying the great outdoors.
Should I Get a ROPS?
Roll-over protection systems are standard on modern UTVs, but they’re optional on most Argo models. Why? Since these vehicles have the axles, engine and transmission mounted low in the hull and shock absorption is handled by the tires instead of a long travel suspension, they have a low center of gravity. This makes rollovers far less likely than a UTV, so adding a ROPS doesn’t lead to a major increase in safety. In the water, the added weight decreases stability, so the XTV is more likely to tip. Argo advises against amphibious use on some commercial models with a ROPS installed from the factory.
A ROPS will let you install some accessories including enclosures, and the added rollover protection outweighs the disadvantages if you use your XTV almost exclusively on land. If you frequently use your vehicle in water, it may be better to go without one.
Like any off-road power sport, the combination of speed, obstacles, and the possibility of an accident make it important to protect yourself from head injuries.
A motorcycle helmet will work, but you may find an off-road or motocross helmet has features better suited to using your XTV. This includes venting that keeps air circulating at low speeds while minimizing dust. Whatever you choose, it should be either DOT certified, Snell certified or both.
A helmet is like a crumple zone for your head: the foam inside takes the brunt of the force so your brain and spine don’t. This means it will only protect you from one impact. Even if you weren’t in an accident, if there are signs of cracking or other damage, the helmet should be replaced.
If your helmet doesn’t come with built-in eye protection, you’ll need something that will protect your eyes from rocks, dust, and branches. Whether you’re using a helmet shield, goggles or safety glasses, make sure it meets either VESC-8 or ANSI Z-87 standards.
When your XTV is in the water, it should be treated like a boat. A Type II jacket is fine for the shallow, nearshore travel XTVs are primarily used for. If you’re going on a long excursion, consider a Type I jacket. It’s designed for a prolonged time in the water, keeping you safe while you wait for rescue.
Even if your vehicle has a bilge pump, a bailing bucket can keep the vehicle from flooding if one end tips into the water.
A paddle can help you maneuver your vehicle if the engine dies or you need to quickly push your XTV away from obstacles.
The extinguisher for your vehicle should cover these two fire classes:
Class B — Flammable or combustible liquids including gas, diesel, and oil
Class C — Electrical fires
BC and ABC fire extinguishers cover these classes and are readily available. An extinguisher with a plastic nozzle may be cheaper, but all metal models will last longer, withstand temperature changes better and can often be recharged.
First Aid Kit
The best kit is one you know how to use: start with an off-the-shelf “off-road” or “adventure” kit and add items accordingly. Store this kit in a waterproof bag. Separating different categories of items in plastic bags will make them easier to find and add an extra layer of water protection.
Don’t forget to check the drugs in your kit at least yearly, replacing medications as they go out-of-date.
These days, we rarely have a reason to think about cellular reception, but long distances between towers and obstacles including trees and hills can keep your phone from working. Consider bringing along a backup device, whether you rent a satellite phone, pack a personal locator beacon, or get a license to carry a portable two-way radio.
A Working Vehicle is a Safe Vehicle
Do you need to do some maintenance on your Argo before your next trip? Then you need to go to Shank’s Argo. We can service your vehicle, install accessories and provide you with all the parts you need for your XTV. Stop by our showroom, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile East of I-80 via Exit 10 to Marion.