If it’s your first time out on the trails with an ATV rental or a side-by-side rental, it’s normal and natural to feel a little nervous. Even though you’ve passed the legally required safety courses, the first few trips out can make you feel a little uneasy at times, simply because everything is so new. You might even be worried that you’ll embarrass yourself somehow in front of more experienced riders—and nothing puts a damper on your outdoor fun quite like self-consciousness!
We at Fractional Toys, as a recreational equipment rental service, understand. We’ve helped countless people who are new to recreational vehicles get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Below, we share a few tips to help your first few trips on recreational vehicles be as relaxing, fun, and safe as possible.
You’ve no doubt been briefed on safety requirements and how to operate an ATV or other recreational vehicle safely during the licencing or safety course process, but there are certain things you can only learn through experience, or from recreational vehicle experts like those at Fractional Toys. Before hitting the trails, remember the following:
● Riding with experienced outdoorsmen is always safer. For your first few times out on the trails, it’s always helpful to have a buddy who knows what they’re doing. By following their lead and asking questions, you can gain the confidence and the know-how to confidently go exploring on your own. Plus, you’ll have someone there to get you out of a jam if you need help!
● Get to know your vehicle before departure. All brands, models, and even individual off-road vehicles behave differently. Especially if you’re renting or haven’t ridden in a while, always test out your vehicle in a large, flat area before pushing your limits and tackling unknown terrain on the trails.
● Wear the proper safety equipment. Accessories like specially made jackets, helmets, gloves, and goggles can protect you from wayward branches and pebbles that your vehicle may toss up, and they also go a long way toward protecting you in the case of an unfortunate accident. For your safety and relaxation, it’s imperative you ride with the proper equipment. Don’t know where to begin? Fractional Toys can help with our affordable helmet and goggle rentals.
● If you don’t know what’s ahead, slow down. Though it’s always a blast to zip around and feel the power of your off-road vehicle, you can easily pose a safety hazard to other riders and pedestrians on the trail if you get out of control. It’s always safest to round blind corners slowly; if horseback riders or pedestrians with dogs also use the trail, this rule especially applies. If you’ll be riding over tedious or unfamiliar terrain, slow is the way to go.
Above all, relax! We all know that we make poor decisions when we let nerves or adrenaline guide us. You’ve studied safety, you’ve taken precautions, you’ve passed your exams—now it’s time to have a blast on the trails!
Nothing cuts a fun time short like getting stopped by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a law violation. However, organizations like the DNR exist for a reason: to keep everyone safe on the trails, as well as to make sure the environment is respected, which keeps these trails usable for many generations to come. Following the DNR’s regulations is not only the legal thing to do, but the courteous and conscious thing to do.
The Minnesota and Wisconsin state DNRs have unique requirements for off-road vehicle riders. Make sure every vehicle in your group has the proper resident or non-resident licencing, and that all drivers in your group are both of legal age and have passed the prerequisite safety training. *Please note: ATV safety training only applies to individuals born after July 1, 1987 in Minnesota and after December 21, 1897 in Wisconsin.
Follow all posted trail rules! Never speed. When doubt of any trail rule, always err on the side of caution.
Finally, and this goes without saying, but never drink and drive. You’ll endanger your own life, as well as the lives of others. Be responsible, set a good example, and save your adult drinks for after your riding session is over.
Of course, knowing where you’re going on the trails is essential; getting lost in the middle of nowhere, with a limited gas supply and patchy cell service, is certainly not fun.
One of the best ways to address these concerns is, as recommended above, to always ride with an experienced outdoorsman who knows the trails you’ll be using. An internalized directional scene is, many times, more reliable than a paper map, which can be lost or dropped in a puddle. With an experienced rider in the lead, you’re bound to feel much more comfortable.
That being said, in parks with reliable cell service, numerous apps can help with navigation. Polaris’s Ride Command™ app is one of our personal favorites; it allows for live location tracking, can show the weather radar, and even lets you save portions of maps for offline use.
With the proper combination of experience and technology, your first few rides are bound to be great!
ATV and Side-By-Side UTV Rentals in Minnesota
With two convenient Twin Cities locations, Fractional Toys offers ATVs and both two- and four-seat UTVs for daily and weekend rental as well as toy haulers for weekend camping trips. Every vehicle is well-maintained and in like-new condition to ensure riders have a safe and pleasant experience. Trailers are included with rentals, and we also offer receiver hitches for rent, as well as a tow vehicle that is ideal for hauling ATVs and UTVs, and which is very capable in off-road terrain. To reserve a recreational rental or find out more about our services, call us today at 651-340-0937.