If you’re in need of a smaller vehicle than your car that has great towing capabilities and the muscle to get through rocks and mud, then a UTV is your best bet. Utility terrain vehicles, or side by sides as they’re also known, are versatile vehicles for both work and play purposes, so they’re a handy tool to have in your arsenal if you do a lot of heavy-duty work or off-roading. Now that summer is here, it’s important to keep yourself safe while riding your UTV in hot temperatures, because it’s easy to forget yourself and become overwhelmed by the heat and sun exposure if you aren’t careful.
Your local Yamaha dealer is Gordon Bay Yamaha, found in Lake Joseph, Ontario. We have all the information you need to make good decisions about your summer UTV riding practices.
Dress The Part
When riding a UTV, safety gear is important. Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you should go with shorts and a T-shirt. You want to protect your skin from dust, debris and scrapes on the trail, as well as from sun damage. Wear breathable, natural fabrics that won’t weigh you down and will let air circulate over your skin to keep you cool. Long sleeves and pants are the way to go when on or off the trails, and gloves and sturdy boots will keep your hands and feet protected. These clothes will also help protect your skin from sun damage, although you should still apply sunscreen to your face, wrists and the back of your neck.
The most important piece of safety gear is, of course, a well-fitting helmet rated for high-impact riding. You can wear a motorcycle helmet with a full face mask or visor for eye protection, or a lighter motocross helmet with goggles to serve the same purpose. The motocross helmet will not be as hot, which can help you stay cooler in the sun.
Stick To The Shade
If at all possible, avoid long stretches of riding through direct sunlight. Augment your path so that you stick to shadier areas. If you’re off-roading, go with a forested trail rather than over dunes or through an open field. Also, if you’re doing work that requires you to be in the sun for extended periods of time, try to do it early in the day or later in the evening, since the sun will be hottest during mid-afternoon.
When you’re doing anything strenuous in the heat, you’ll want to retain your focus as much as you can. One good way to prevent loss of focus is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can set in quickly when temperatures are high and you’re sweating more, and if left unchecked, it can severely impede your mental faculties. You can also quickly develop heatstroke if you ride in the heat too much and don’t drink enough water. Avoid sugary beverages and caffeinated drinks and, obviously, alcohol, since all of these will serve to dehydrate you further. Supplement your water intake with a snack or sports drink to replenish vital electrolytes.
Take Frequent Breaks
Finally, another good way to keep yourself safe while riding your UTV in the summer is simply to rest more often than you might in cooler weather. The sun takes its toll on everyone, so take breaks in the shade wherever you can to rest your body and brain and rehydrate. Not overtaxing yourself will help you to do your work more efficiently and have more fun riding recreationally. You’ll also spare yourself from having an accident caused by fatigue or loss of focus if you give yourself chances to relax!
Still in the market for a great UTV for some summer riding adventures? Our dealership has a vast array of new and used UTVs, including the latest Yamaha UTVs. Gordon Bay Yamaha is in Lake Joseph, serving the cities of Muskoka and Toronto, Ontario.