"Go Anywhere" 16-Wheel ATV Runs Through Water
Gene Riddlestine's Polaris 250 is more than an "all terrain vehicle". He calls it an "all anywhere vehicle". When he adds 12 wheels to the four wheeler, there isn't much that can stop him, including lakes and ponds. The idea came to him when a former employer, a local Polaris dealer, asked him to help pull snowmobiles out of the water during a summer "water skipping" contest.
    "The beach was real sandy, and I put duals on my 250," recalls Riddlestine. "Someone asked if it would float, but it didn't. Two years later, when I was asked to help out again, I decided to try fours instead of duals. I drove down to the beach and out into the lake about 400 to 500 feet."
    The first year, Riddlestine simply put spacer drums on each wheel and the 16-wheeler crawled across the lake at about 1/4 mph. The second year, he turned the ATV into a paddle wheeler by welding four steel paddles onto the spacer drums. This brought his water speed up to about one mph.
    "A local metal shop did the work for me," says Riddlestine. "They built the spacers from rolled pieces of steel to lock between the rims like duals on a tractor."
    Riddlestine then took the studs out of the four-wheeler hubs, replacing them with a long redi rod. As a wheel is added with a spacer in between, it's locked in place with two lug nuts.
    He cautions that anyone putting together a similar rig should be careful not to try forcing turns. The extra wheels add a lot of weight. They also add a lot of width. At 14 ft. wide, the 16-wheeler must be hauled sideways down the road.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gene Riddlestine, N1621 County Hwy K, Mauston, Wis. 53948 (ph 608 847-4896).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2