How to Transport your snowmobileMaddy Scheinost
How to Transport your Snowmobile
How to Safely Transport Your Snowmobile
First, let’s start off with how not to transport your snowmobile, from a report by 103.7 The Loon, a Minnesota radio station.
Some people’s kids, huh?
For same snowmobilers who aren’t content riding in their own backyards and instead seek next level snowmobile adventures on the best snowmobile trails they can find, there are essentially three ways to safely transport your snowmobile. You use a snowmobile trailer, you can load your sled into the back of a pick-up truck, or you can just punt, and hire a service to transport your snowmobile for you. (No judgements!)
Here at Treadworld, we’re big believers in using the best snowmobile trailer you can find, either an enclosed snowmobile trailer or an open snowmobile trailer. But, since everybody’s needs are different, we’re going to take a relatively unbiased look at all three methods.
#1: Hiring a Snowmobile Transport Company
There’s no doubt this method is the easiest, and most stress-free way to get your snowmobile from your home to New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana or any of the nation’s other best places to go snowmobiling is by using a professional snowmobile transport company. Many of these services know what they’re doing, and of course, you would choose one that is fully insured. The sticking point for some will be the cost, which is hard to nail down because it depends on the distance between your home and where you’re going snowmobiling along with the weight of your snowmobile. It’s a safe bet that it’s going to cost you a minimum of $500 per sled, which could indeed be a “minimum.”
#2: Transporting Your Snowmobile in Your Pickup
Depending of course on the specifics, most snowmobiles could fit into a truck bed, or at least a truck bed with a sled deck, usually no more than a 12” extension of the rear of your rig. As far as the weight is concerned, since most snowmobiles weight between 475 and 650 lbs., and most truck beds of a regular half-ton truck can hold a minimum of 3,000 lbs. so weight should not be an issue.
Of course, you’ll need to know the size of your snowmobile and the size of your truck bed. When you measure your truck bed, be sure to measure within the wheel wells rather than from side to side to get a true measure of the carry area. When you’re measuring your snowmobile, measure the width to the outside of the skis, which is likely the widest part. Since your snowmobile is likely longer than your truck bed, you can count the tailgate in the length because it will be open. If you determine your sled will extend outside your truck by four feet or less, you’re good to go. If it will extend outside your truck by four to eight feet, you’ll want to consider using truck bed extenders or a sled deck, possibly in conjunction with a sheet of plywood.
Loading your snowmobile into your truck bed is likely not as easy as it sounds…unless of course you’re a superhero, or you have six friends who can help you lift your 500-lb. snowmobile. Because your snowmobile doesn’t have wheels, and due to the steep angle from the truck bed to the ground, you’ll need a sturdy, steady ramp. It should be obvious, but if you’re able to drive your snowmobile into your truck, be careful not to move too quickly so you don’t smash the front into the back of the truck cab. Once you get it in, you’ll want to make sure you have the means to tightly secure it with ropes, ratchet straps and belts. Avoid using chains which may result in dents and scratches. Put your snowmobile in face first because most of the weight of your sled is likely front or center-oriented so that will reduce the chances of it falling out. Then all that’s left is to drive safe and keep an eye out for excessive bumps in the road.
#3: Using a Snowmobile Trailer
When getting a snowmobile trailer, the first step is determining whether you want a single snowmobile trailer, or one that will handle multiple sleds. There are essentially two types of snowmobile trailers – open snowmobile trailers and enclosed snowmobile trailers. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Open snowmobile trailers are generally more budget-friendly and lighter weight and therefore easier to tow. You may decide it’s wise to also have a sled cover to keep out snow, dust and rain. An enclosed trailer provides supplies more complete protection, but it’s also more expensive. Another option is to add an after-market enclosure to nearly any open trailer to turn your open snowmobile trailer into an enclosed snowmobile trailer.
You’ll also be choosing between an aluminum snowmobile trailer and a steel snowmobile trailer. Again, there are pros and cons for both. Steel trailers tend to be more durable and also a bit cheaper, but they’re heavier than an aluminum snowmobile trailer, which can decrease your fuel efficiency, and they will require more maintenance, since they have a tendency to rust. Aluminum won’t rust and is less vulnerable to weathering and mechanical road chip damage…but it tends to be less durable.
Once you’ve got your snowmobile trailer, you’ll have other considerations related to connecting it to your vehicle, including the proper hitch and ball size for your vehicle and trailer combination, safety chains, and a secure electrical connection so your lights and turn signals will work.
Loading your snowmobile onto a snowmobile trailer is generally less difficult that getting it into a truck bed. Many trailers feature built-in ramps. You’ll want to make sure the trailer is fully secured to the towing vehicle before loading and unloading your snowmobile, either by driving it up the ramp or winching it up. Cover your sled (if it needs a cover), then use snap pins and a cross bar to secure the skis in place so the sled won’t shift during transportation. It is recommended you make sure that 60 percent of the snowmobile’s weight is between the trailer axle and the back of the hauling vehicle.
Snowmobile Trailer Tires
Your snowmobile trailer will likely come with snowmobile trailer tires. But, in the event you buy a used trailer, or you decide you want to upgrade either with a larger size, a different tread design or radial tires instead of bias ply, or when you just need new tires, here are a few things for you to consider.
We recommend using RubberMaster Trailer Tires, for several reasons. RubberMaster Tires are high performance, long-lasting tires that will get you safely to the best snowmobile trails in the nation. We make them that way. They’re designed to provide heavy-duty durability you can count on, with computer-designed tread patterns that ensure long life on all roads, in any weather conditions. They’re manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, they’re triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then we cover them with our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Here at Treadworld, we’re all about providing you with the reliability you want. And we’re here to help you choose the best fit for your trailer from our wide selection. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have.