19 quad bike dos and don’ts

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While ATVs can be indispensable on a farm they can be deadly when used incorrectly. Here are some great quad bike safety tips from the Queensland Government

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"The safe operation of quad bikes is required in all situations," the Queensland Government says. "Owners of quad bikes should provide users with appropriate information and training, ensuring that a quad bike is the right tool for the task."

With this in mind, it has compiled this list of 19 indispensable dos and don’ts:


Quad bike operators should

  • Complete a quad bike training course
  • Never allow passengers on the quad bike unless it has been specifically designed to carry two people
  • Wear a helmet and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when practical to do so
  • Make sure all cargo is secured before riding
  • Undertake 'active riding' techniques
  • Carefully descend slopes by keeping the quad bike in low gear and allowing the motor compression to act as a brake
  • Operate the quad bike at a safe speed
  • Read and comply with manufacturer's advice in the owner's manual.


Quad bike operators should not

  • Overload the quad bike beyond manufacturer's specifications
  • Allow children under 16 years to ride adult-sized quad bikes
  • Carry passengers, unless the quad bike has additional seats and foot-pegs
  • Operate on unfamiliar terrain, rough terrain or steep slopes, especially when carrying cargo or towing
  • Exceed towing limits
  • Operate a quad bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Operate a quad bike beyond their capabilities.


Fitting and using accessories

It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when fitting and using quad bike accessories, including:

  • Using only the mounting point or draw bar provided by the manufacturer. Incorrect attachment can increase instability and cause rollovers.
  • Not altering the height of the mounting point or increase the towing capacity which could affect braking, steering or suspension and increase the risk of rollover
  • Ensuring all guards are in place and the bike can be easily operated from the seated position
  • Applying the correct load ratings on the front and rear carrier racks to avoid decreasing stability.


Pre-purchase considerations

In addition to the dos and don’ts listed above, here are some tips on buying the right ATV for your operation.

You should clearly understand the purpose for the quad bike prior to purchase, such as:

  • Intended use of quad bike (such as, tasks to be undertaken, size of property, competency of the operator)
  • Whether other equipment can be used instead of a quad bike – such as a small tractor
  • Likely terrain and ground conditions
  • Power and speed
  • Gear ratio
  • Suspension
  • Centre of gravity
  • Drive mechanism
  • After-market attachments and accessories to be used
  • Brakes
  • Seat carrying capacity
  • Reverse gear.


More agriculture safety tips are available from the Queensland Government's safety and compensation services website: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/agriculture


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