Its holiday season: time for winter vacations and gift giving, two activities in which many ATV enthusiasts often incorporate their vehicles. Whether you are planning a hunting trip, a family escape from the city or a new off-road purchase, you may be faced with shipping your ATV. If this is the case for you, it is important that you know how to keep your ATV safe from theft and damage while it is in transport. This applies to when you are hauling your vehicle yourself and if you have decided to contract a moving professional.

One of the essential elements of moving an ATV are soft ties. These straps are specially designed to be durable enough to secure an ATV to a trailer while at the same time being non-abrasive to the more fragile exterior parts. These ties are used by most professional shippers and are available online and at any outdoor outfitter.

Another element to keep in mind when shipping an ATV is open versus closed trailers. If you transporting the vehicle a short distance than open trailers are just fine, just be sure to use a soft cover to protect it from debris and wind. However, if the distance increases or there is a risk of rough weather you should consider a closed trailer. Closed trailers not only provide protection from wind, rain and ice, but they also greatly decrease the chances of an ATV being stolen during a stop. Theft rates generally increase around the holidays, so be sure that any company you hire is taking these precautions as well.

In the event that you do hire a company to transport your ATV they will provide you with a checklist of additional steps to be taken before the shipment. These may include but are not limited to: draining the gas tank, removing or charging the battery and a maintenance check-up. Make sure you are clear on everything ahead of time. Also, as business tends to pick-up around Christmas it is always a good idea to book everything as far out as possible.

Happy holidays and safe riding.

Written by Ben Leffler of, an online marketplace for ATV Shipping.