I have been servicing and repairing UTV’s now for 7 years and have seen a lot of different problems and many that repeat themselves.
I love talking with my clients and hearing all the stories about their rides and all the likes and dislikes people have experienced with all of their UTV’s, which include all makes – Polaris, Honda, Can-Am, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Textron.
But the thing that kind of scares me the most is the same statement that comes up when we discuss a wreck that has happened to their UTV. I have seen in my shop approximately seven wrecks that have caused significant damage, ranging from $1500.00 – $5,000.00 in costs associated with these wrecked UTV’s. Update one more wreck while writing this blog post loaned out to son with $2,000 in plastics alone on his Can-Am
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to wreck my Polaris UTV! I have installed all safety devices, so just in case the unfortunate happens while riding, WE, hopefully, come out OK, but the UTV never comes out OK.
Along with thousands of dollars to repair your UTV, you will usually lose several months of riding, and this usually happens in your main riding season.
So, here is the scary thing about what I hear my clients tell me…in all seven wrecks they were all loaned out to family, friends, co-workers, and bosses. It has never been the actual owner, and worse yet, it has usually happened immediately after their first quick ride!
As much as you want to let your family and friends take your expensive UTV out for a ride, you better think twice about it. At least, put in place a way to make it a learning experience with you in the passenger seat.
My guess is people must watch YouTube videos and watch those guys and gals making it look so easy and fun to drift around corners and jump the next hill. They make it look like these UTV’s are so easy to drive.
Then when they borrow your UTV and come up to a sharp turn doing about 40 mph, they think it is going to feel just like their car that they drive on the pavement that handles this type of speed on a turn just like it. They end up sliding out, the UTV ending up rolling and wrecking because they did not slow down to handle the turn at a proper speed. The modern-day UTV handles like a dream, but you are on dirt, rocks, and sand, so it takes some finesse and hours of seat time to handle the high-speed turns and hills.
If you are going to loan out your UTV, I would suggest these steps before the first ride:
- Make sure your insurance is up to date and covers other drivers.
- Discuss with them about your concern and how you would like them to drive your UTV.
- Make sure they are all buckled in.
- Be the passenger on the first ride out, and make sure to let them know if they are going too fast or attempting something they probably should not try with a borrowed UTV.
- Make sure your UTV is in good shape and have it checked over on a regular basis.
- Check your air pressures on tires – I believe this has been a factor on several wrecks.
I am not suggesting you never let someone else drive your UTV, but I believe, if you put in place some of these items mentioned above, this could prevent 80% of the accidents happening while using borrowed UTV’s.
Wrecks that I have seen personally and the damage that has been done:
If they do a soft rollover, it is usually around $1500.00 – 2000.00.
If they are driving fast and hit some large rocks unexpectedly, I have seen up to $5,000.00 worth of damage, including broken transmissions, axles, hubs, ball joints.
At this time do you bring in your insurance company – yes or no?
If you have your insurance company take care of a $1500.00 wreck, what will this cause?
- Your insurance rates to go up because we all know they are getting their money back?
- Do they cancel your policy?
- Will they be there in case you later wreck and it totals out your UTV – may be resulting in $15,000.00 in damage? Will you have the coverage you need?
I hope this does not happen to you, but it will pay to plan ahead for loaning out your UTV.
Update – as I am writing this article, one more customer came by and talked to me about his wrecked Can-Am. His kids borrowed it and turned it over. He has priced out the body panels that were damaged and the parts alone are over $1800.00. He is in the same debate – does he bring the insurance in or not because of the possible consequences of his insurance rates. This is a very common problem.
If you get in a wreck and want to bring the UTV by for me to check it over and see if it looks like it could be repaired, give me a call.
Until we ride again…