Half the fun of ATV rentals and side by side rentals is tearing up the ground beneath your wheels – responsibly, of course! No off-roading where you shouldn’t be!

However, while these powerful machines are practically made for terrain that’s practically inaccessible by foot, they aren’t immune to getting stuck. The good news is that you’re unlikely to encounter such a predicament on a practice track unless it’s super muddy.

Trails are a different story.

Regardless, if you’re taking any sort of off-road recreational rental for a spin, you should know how to navigate ground that may not behave courteously underfoot. Not only is taming terrain a thrilling experience, but it’s one that’s necessary if you want to avoid the embarrassment of getting stuck!

Fractional Toys, your Oakdale and Rogers provider of recreational rentals, has you covered with our tips for the trails below.

Is Slow Always Better?

If you’re unsure how what’s beneath you will behave, you may be tempted to slow down. It’s how you’d drive a car on ice, after all. However, when it comes to ATVs and side by sides, this isn’t always the case.

This time of year, you’ll be much more likely to find mud, sand, water, or rocks underneath your carriage, and these are footings that can trap you if you aren’t going fast enough at certain points.

So what’s the deal? Should you just cruise through these things like they’re no big deal? Not quite—that’s a recipe for skidding out, injuring yourself, and potentially damaging your machine. Plus, if you do get stuck anyway, spinning your wheels will just get you more stuck.

The ideal solution to terrain troubles is somewhat of a mix of fast and slow.

Pause and Assess Your Approach

If you spot something you or your team might need finesse to handle on the horizon, you should pull off to the side of the trail before hitting the tough area and assess how to proceed.

Plot out which areas you’ll need to push through, which to pick through, and which to avoid entirely. Communicate this plan to the rest of your crew and devise ways to help one another if you do end up getting stuck.

And after that? Cheer one another on! Nothing’s more exhilarating than watching your friends soar past their limits and conquer an obstacle they thought they couldn’t.

Terrain-Specific Tricks

No matter what you encounter, you’ll be solid if you just practice the stop-and-think-beforehand method outlined above. However, it is true that different footings perform somewhat differently under-wheel and, for best results, require type-specific approaches.


If you’re taking to the dunes, keep an eye for wind-made “holes” in sand. They’re often called “witch’s eyes” due to their nefarious nature. Hit one and you can be knocked way off course!

Consider ascending dunes at an angle instead of heading right up them. Not only is it easier to maintain smooth momentum this way (a critical facet to not getting stuck in the loose soil), but you’ll also have a better view of potential hazards you might face upon descent.


Coasting is the name of the game here. Accelerate before you hit the muddy spot, then let off the gas and float on through. Trying to floor it when you hit the sloppy stuff will dig your wheels in and, paradoxically, slow you down further.

If you find your speed petering, don’t be afraid to rock left to right if you’re in an ATV while touching the gas. The added weight might give you enough force to claw your way out.

Typically, muddy areas are shallower at the edges and deeper in the middle, so take the outsides if you can. However, watch for tracks that might indicate many riders before you had the same idea. If they’re present, this can suggest that you are likely to get stuck in a rut there.


Your ATV or side by side isn’t meant to be bathed! Never ride through puddles that go up through your exhaust pipe without specialized equipment.

Doing so is called “sucking water” and it’s a surefire way to ruin an ATV or side by side. If you must traverse water, do so when it’s shallow, and try not to make a splash if at all possible.

Though off-road recreational rentals are hardy things, our fleet is used day in and day out by riders just like you, so please preserve your rig for the next borrower.

Fractional Toys: We’ve Got all the Recreational Rental Resources You Need

No matter if it’s for a weekend or a weekday, a long vacation or a few hours’ fun, our recreational rentals are an affordable way to get away. Give our Oakdale office a call at 651-360-1667, or reach our Rogers location at 763-265-6891.