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ATVs and the Military

ATVs and the military

   The first ATV was invented in 1967 and it was manufactured in 1968. However, in the history of this vehicle, the event that propelled it into the success that we associate with it today, was the manufacturing of the Honda ATC in the 70s.

   Although it might sound strange for those who are unfamiliar with the popularity of these sort of all-terrain vehicles, in recent years, ATVs have started to be widely utilized by army ground units and the Marines.


   Sport vs. utility


   While sport ATVs are very fun for drivers that are seeking adrenaline-rushes, ATVs designed and used for practical reasons have started to gain many followers. ATVs made for races are, first of all, constructed to be fast and, as a result, they feature frames that work well for track use as well as suspensions and powerful engines.

   On the other hand, utility ATVs, those that often come provided with various accessories such as ATV gun holders, are specially made to be easier to tow and haul. They are designed to handle a wide array of terrains and they are, overall, quite practical.

   Given that these alternatives feature a lighter ground clearance, you can successfully use them to traverse large obstacles with ease. One drawback that you should not overlook, however, is their heavier weight. Because of it, these vehicles are better equipped to handle more challenging environments.

   Utility models are now oftentimes used for hunting as many of the available choices come with camouflage patterns that make them suitable for the task. Plus, they can also be used for towing or for hauling loads with ease, no matter the type of racks that they include.

   To cater to the needs of their users, these units are also much more comfortable than their sports counterparts. They include comfortable seats and they are specially designed so that the driver can sit in a much more relaxing position.


   Why are they used by the military?


   Currently, ATVs are used by the Army, the Marines, and the Special Operations Command. The Military first started to utilize ATVs in Afghanistan in 2004. One of the main reasons why these vehicles are preferred is, undoubtedly, their size. Because they are compact, they fit in Sikorsky's MH-53 Pave Lows, Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys as well as in Boeing's MH-47 and, thus, they can be easily transported and even dropped from the air.

   In the case of the Special Forces, the use of ATVs allows them to deploy small units to various combat areas safely, in a much faster way than on foot.

   Given the popularity and practicality of ATVs, the Military has started to work with some manufactures and, consequently, they have started to design vehicles of this sort that can be utilized in combat. The ATVs that the Military personnel uses have a more flexible design and they are made in such a way so that they can provide the users the responsiveness and the mobility that they need.

   Another advantage that definitely factors in from this regard is the price of these vehicles. Because they do not cost as much as other vehicles made for combat, the loss of an ATV is not as pricey as the loss of another vehicle. This allows the military to destroy them in case the circumstances require it. Doing so is important because once destroyed, these vehicles won’t get into the hands of the enemy.


   The risks involved


   Even though ATVs are practical and very simple to handle on difficult terrains, this does not mean that they do not come with some drawbacks. According to a study from 2013, in the fiscal year 2013 alone, five soldiers lost their lives in ATV-related accidents. In 2011, no less than 107,000 soldiers suffered injuries as a result of ATV accidents and had to receive treatment.

   To minimize the risk of accidents and injuries, all soldiers that operate ATVs and motorcycles are now required to wear PPE and they have to complete a safety training course.

   If you want to learn more about safety courses that you can follow in order to use an ATV, we encourage you to check out the info made available by the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.



Military ATVs

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Military all-terrain vehicle

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All-terrain vehicle in service with special forces

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Military ATVs

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Amphibious ATV

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Polaris ATV

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All-terrain vehicles in military

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