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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Check out my stunning lack of situational awareness a couple days ago...

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I was bombing around the local ATV park in my Wildcat Sport and having a jolly old time. It's an old gravel pit with gnarly hill climbs, washouts, mudholes and the like. Unfortunately, when you're strapped into your 4 point harnesses, you can't lean forward and see what is in front of you when you're climbing a shoot. Well, turns out I was climbing a shoot that ran into a different shoot about 3-4 feet lower and kitty corner to my intended path. I saw the path going to the left from my seat, but missed the whole 3' down bit, so the front right wheel went off, compressed the front left suspension and all was ok until the back right wheel dropped down and the rear sway-bar decided to roll me over. Totally my fault for not scoping out the climb on foot before attempting it. One hell of a ride!

A nice young gentleman came around with his (no winch equipped) 4 wheeler and saw that he'd be useless. We flagged down 3 other riders and found a guy with a lick of sense who had a winch on his machine. Ran a tow strap to the center bar on my ROP and winched it onto the wheels. This kind soul was repaid by the off-road gods about an hour later when he found a monster rut in a mud hole and munched his control arm and lost steering on the left side of his machine. His buddy in a RZR found the same rut a bit after that and rolled his machine in the mud hole, donating plastic body panels to the park.

I, on the other hand, merely have to replace a 1/4 turn retaining nut on my windshield.


Things this taught me:

I'm glad I put in a harness bar and 4 point harnesses. Sure, the harness is uncomfortable, but broken ribs from being flung around with regular safety belts would be way worse.
ATVs without winches are worthless.
4 strong guys can't tip a class-2 ATV (Side by Side) upright when you can't get to more than the front fender without being in harm's way.
ATV'ers are awesome when it comes to helping others who had an oops. They'll also bust your balls after everyone is safe.
Seriously, get rid of the worthless 3 point belts and put in 4 or 5 point harnesses. I like at least a 3" padded strap on them.
 

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Glad you walked away with only a lesson learned. Those SxS seem to get larger and heavier all the time. My Raptor 700 is plenty heavy for me. You might have swayed me to put a light winch on it, been on the fence about it for a long time.
 

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I've got a winch on the front of my Honda Pioneer. It's saved me a lot of time and energy when I need trees felled in a specific direction. I'll have to admit I have never used it for vehicle extraction.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've got a winch on the front of my Honda Pioneer. It's saved me a lot of time and energy when I need trees felled in a specific direction. I'll have to admit I have never used it for vehicle extraction.
I've never used my winch for anything other than vehicle extractions. ;) So far, it's been to get out of a mud hole, either me or someone else's machine. I don't use it often, but it's nice to have. I also learned that I need to relocate the "recovery kit" with snatch-block and straps from behind the seat to somewhere it can be grabbed without removing the seat. Removing the seat to get at it is a bit of a PITA when the machine isn't sitting on all 4 wheels...
 

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If you aren't tipping over, you aren't riding!

Glad you're okay, hopefully no expensive repairs required. We used to say it was $100 per revolution when you crashed/rolled an ATV. I'll bet the new machines are worse.
 

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what exactly kept "4 strong guys" from tipping it back on all fours? Out wheeling with buddies once and flipped a jeep on it's side it only took 5 of us to right it.
 

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Glad you & your machine are OK, how tough is it to unbuckle those 4 point harnesses? Do you ever worry about not being able to get them off in time if you had the same situation entering or exiting a river crossing?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what exactly kept "4 strong guys" from tipping it back on all fours? Out wheeling with buddies once and flipped a jeep on it's side it only took 5 of us to right it.
Front to back was a 40+ degree slope.
Passenger side was on the ground, with roof up against the gravel leaving only the hood exposed on the top of the machine.
I wouldn't ask or allow anyone to be on the down-slope side, or in the danger zone for tipping it.
Brains (and a winch) work better than brawn, and nobody is in danger except me when we winched it over onto the wheels. I crawled back in to man the brakes once it got onto 3 wheels.

If you aren't tipping over, you aren't riding!

Glad you're okay, hopefully no expensive repairs required. We used to say it was $100 per revolution when you crashed/rolled an ATV. I'll bet the new machines are worse.
I'm out about $3 in fasteners for the windshield and about an hour of my time.

Glad you & your machine are OK, how tough is it to unbuckle those 4 point harnesses? Do you ever worry about not being able to get them off in time if you had the same situation entering or exiting a river crossing?
Takes no longer to unbuckle harnesses than it does to unbuckle a 3 point belt. Putting the harness on, however, takes a bit longer.
 

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The snatch block that came with my winch is in the glove box. I use my SxS for 95% work. I have never taken it out looking to get stuck or climb stuff. Only reason I put a winch on it is to plow snow. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't waste money on a winch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The snatch block that came with my winch is in the glove box. I use my SxS for 95% work. I have never taken it out looking to get stuck or climb stuff. Only reason I put a winch on it is to plow snow. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't waste money on a winch.
No such thing as "wasted money" when it comes to a winch on an ATV (or UTV).

My winch has never been used to extract my machine. It has been used a few times to extract other machines. I've been winched out, I've been winched back onto the wheels, I've winched others out of holes, moved debris (trees & branches) out of the way on trails through the woods...

Even the "boring" utility UTVs are surprisingly capable off-road machines.
 
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