Looking for UTV Snow Tracks? Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy
You’ve scrolled through Instagram and seen the incredible videos of side-by-sides on tracks blasting through the snow.
Or perhaps you’re sick of missing out on those early or late season hunts because your machine simply can’t make it through the snow to get to the best scouting spots.
Or maybe you’ve even been out in the powder on your snowmobile and seen a UTV with tracks on the mountain – with the whole family hopping out toasty warm.
You’ve been bit by the bug and now you’re ready to invest in your own set of UTV snow tracks. But before you do, you’ve got a few questions. So let’s dive into all the things you need to know before you pony up and officially become the owner of your own set of UTV tracks.
Are UTV Tracks Worth It?
While we may be a bit biased, our answer to this question is – 100% yes! Just a handful of the reasons we’re crazy about UTV Tracks include:
- Running tracks on your side by side gives you the opportunity to see some of the most pristine and breathtaking places in the world that you simply can’t access with your UTV otherwise. There’s nothing better than experiencing mother nature in all her winter glory.
- No need to freeze your tush off on a snowmobile, snow bike, or ATV. With the ability to put on a cab enclosure, a heater, and even heated seats, you can explore your winter wonderland and stay toasty warm.
- You can bring the whole family! What fun is it to experience things by yourself? One of the best things about running tracks on your UTV is you can fit the whole family comfortably. There’s nothing better than getting to connect with the people you love most out on the trail.
So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you think UTV tracks are worth it, we’re here to convince you. So let’s dive into addressing some of the most common questions when it comes to buying tracks for your UTV.
UTV Track Systems: How Do They Work?
UTV tracks work by simply replacing your tires and wheels and consists of the following components:
- Rubber tracks: Track systems are designed to be significantly longer and wider than tires to give you better flotation over ice and snow. They also have an aggressive tread pattern to enhance their gripping power.
- Track frame: The sturdy track frame is what holds everything together and allows the track to articulate over objects and angled surfaces.
- Drive wheel: The drive wheel is shaped like a large sprocket and is connected directly to your side-by-side wheel hub – allowing it to drive the tracks forward and backward.
- Mounting kit: Your mounting kit includes the brackets and hardware needed to secure the tracks to your UTV. Since each track system and UTV model is built differently, you’ll need a kit specific to your tracks and side by side. Most standard factory mounting kits end up being the weak link – which is why we strongly encourage investing in upgraded track mounting brackets (but more on that in a sec).
Each track system is built a little differently, but these are the main components you’ll find on every track system. But how do UTV tracks really measure up against the alternatives?
How Do UTV Tracks Measure up Against the Alternatives?
So are UTV tracks really worth investing in? I mean, can they really get you further than tires? And what about snowmobiles – would you be better off just sticking with sleds? Let’s compare.
UTV Tracks Vs. Tires
While tires will certainly be able to get you through all kinds of terrain – including some snow and ice, they are definitely not designed to handle deep snow or slippery ice. Tracks on the other hand have a significantly bigger footprint and aggressive tread – allowing them to “float” on top of snow and take you places your tires simply can’t.
So while you may be able to occasionally use your side by side on tires in the winter, if you really want to have some fun – without risking getting your machine stuck in the backcountry until springtime – installing tracks is the way to go.
UTV With Tracks Vs. Snowmobile
On the flip side, you may be wondering – can UTV tracks keep up with snowmobiles and get into the same locations?
Firstly, it depends on what kind of tracks you’re running. A more all-purpose, all-terrain track like Camso’s can certainly handle some serious snow, but may not be able to handle steep terrain or deep snow quite as well as a snowmobile. But a more aggressive snow track like the Apache Backcountry tracks system, on the other hand, can handle deep snow and steep terrain comparable to a snowmobile.
And while your side-by-side on tracks may not be able to go off-trail quite like a snowmobile due to its size, in general, UTV tracks can get you just about anywhere a snowmobile can. And did we mention you can be toasty warm and hang out with your family and friends while doing it?
UTV Tracks Speed – Will Tracks Slow My UTV Down?
Yes, on average you can expect a reduction in your top speed due to gear reduction when you’re running tracks. Just how much tracks will slow you down depends on what tracks you’re running:
- Camso tracks: run approximately a 50% gear reduction
- Backcountry tracks: run approximately a 30% gear reduction
While tracks might slow your pace down a little, that certainly doesn’t mean there will be any shortage of fun and adrenaline when you’re out on the mountain.
Are UTV Tracks Universal?
The answer is – sort of. In general, the actual track system itself can go on a variety of machines. But exactly how tracks are mounted to your side by side is going to vary depending on the year, make, and model of your machine.
But the good news is, for most track systems you can purchase a transfer kit that will adapt your tracks to whatever machine you're running. So whether you’re upgrading to a new side by side or are buying used tracks from a private party that’s been fitted to a different machine, you’ll likely just need to invest in a transfer kit to get your tracks mounted up.
How Long Do UTV Tracks Last?
Just like tires, exactly how long your tracks last depends on a number of factors like:
- How many miles you put on them each season
- How well you maintenance them
- How you store them between track seasons
- What kind of terrain you use them on
With good maintenance upkeep, and keeping them stored well between uses, there’s a good chance your tracks can last you many seasons.
Do Tracks Make My UTV/Side by Side More Likely to Tip Over?
Not at all! Actually, quite the opposite is true. While you may gain a few inches of clearance once your tracks are mounted, running tracks on your UTV actually increases your stability. Thanks to a wider and longer wheelbase, plus the additional weight near ground level, tracks actually decrease your chances of tipping over in your side-by-side.
Do Tracks Make My UTV/Side by Side Harder to Steer?
In most instances – no. Steering with tracks feels fairly comparable to steering when you have tires on. Sometimes, if you’re driving slowly or you hit deep wet snow or mud, you’ll feel a little resistance. But generally, driving with tracks feels pretty similar to driving with tires.
So, Which UTV Tracks Are the Best?
This is a tricky question to answer. While there are several track companies and track systems to choose from, here at Trax Brax, our two favorite tracks systems are:
- Camso Track Systems: We like to call these the “jack-of-all-trade” tracks because they’re good at just about everything, but not great at any one thing in particular.
- Apache Track Systems: The Apache Backcountry and Backcountry LT tracks are more of a “specialist” track – specifically designed to dominate in deep snow and harsh winter conditions.
When people come to us asking which of these two track systems are the “best”, we always answer – it depends on what you’re looking for. Curious which system is a better fit for you? We break down all the differences and how to determine which one is right for you in our article Camso Vs. Apache Tracks: Which One Is Right for Your UTV?
While it’s important to invest in the right tracks, it’s equally as important to be sure you’re investing in a mounting system that matches your needs as well.
What Is the Best UTV Track Mounting Bracket System?
The brackets you use to mount your tracks is another important factor to consider. While there are standard factory mounting kits for most models of UTV’s out there, they tend to be the weakest link in the overall track system. And the last thing you want is to end up with a bent or broken bracket that compromises your ability to drive when you’re 20 miles in the backcountry in the dead of winter with subzero temps.
For that reason, we highly encourage anyone running tracks on their side-by-side to invest in upgraded track mounting brackets. Here at Trax Brax, we specialize in fabricating and manufacturing the most rugged and reliable track mounting brackets available on the market.
Upgrading to a superior track mounting system is one of the best ways to not only protect your investment you’ve made into your machine and tracks, but also one of the best ways to keep your family safe and ensure you all make it home safe and sound after a day out in the powder. Click here to learn more about our upgraded brackets and browse the models we have available.
Can I Take My UTV With Tracks on Snowmobile Trails?
This will depend on where you live. As UTV tracks gain popularity, more and more places are allowing tracked vehicles to run on groomed snowmobile trails. As far as your machine and tracks go, the answer is yes – they can absolutely handle snowmobile trails – and they’re a blast to ride on.
Just be sure to check your local regulations. And always be sure to buy local groomer stickers to help contribute to trail maintenance so everyone can enjoy being out on the mountain.
Where to Buy UTV Tracks?
If you live near a Powersports shop or UTV dealer, you’ll likely be able to find a set of tracks locally. But with gaining popularity, UTV tracks may be hard to find – especially if winter is approaching. So if you’re serious about getting your UTV set up with tracks, we suggest buying early – or be prepared for potential wait times.
If you have trouble finding tracks locally or have questions and want to ensure you’re connected with a UTV track specialist, here at Trax Brax, we ship tracks anywhere in the United States. We focus exclusively on UTV snow tracks and winter accessories and can help get you dialed in or pointed in the right direction.
Ready for Your Own UTV Track Adventure?
If you’re ready to pull the trigger on a set of snow tracks for your UTV but you’ve got more questions, our track experts are always available to help. Our mission is to help you have a blast while ensuring you’re as safe as could be. This is why we specialize in creating the most rugged and reliable track mounting systems money can buy.
So, if you have questions, feel free to shoot us a message by clicking right here. Or if you’re ready to get your own tracks, mounting brackets, or conversion kit – don’t forget that you can get 5% off your first purchase by clicking right here. We’ll see you at the top!