ATV-UTV Safety And Liquid Tanks

ATV’s and UTV’s are used for many purposes on the farm. Maybe you haul water or liquid chemicals in a big tank on the back of the vehicle. Be aware that you need to take extra safety precautions with this type of load.

Chuck Schwab is an extension safety specialist at Iowa State University. He says there are two ways that liquid tanks can affect an ATV or UTV. The first one is that the center of gravity is changed. It makes the vehicle more top-heavy and easier to roll over. The second way is what he calls “live loading.”

"Meaning, that the contents in that tank can move around and shift, which can create an unstable quick movement of a lot of weight. Weight distribution on ATV’s and UTV’s can be very particular," he says. "They impact the operation of the vehicle pretty dramatically."

If you take a sharp turn or the wheel hits a depression in the ground, you will feel the weight shift and the vehicle trying to roll in one direction. It’s a good idea to know where holes and rocks are located.

Schwab also recommends checking with the vehicle’s manufacturer for safety precautions when carrying tanks with liquid.

"Like where the tank can be placed, what’s the capacity of the tank that the vehicle can support? Two, is using a tank that has baffles. What that does, it prevents that liquid from moving to one side of the tank in a rapid motion. It has to kind of filter through and it makes the motion of that liquid slow down enough so that it’s not like a hammer hitting it," says Schwab.

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