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Amphibious ATV Fitted With Front And Rear Floats
Michael Dick of Humboldt, Iowa, can drive his ATV right across deep rivers and lakes. That's because he equipped it to float on front and rear-mounted pontoons.
  He welded two pairs of 17-gal. steel drums together and mounted them on front and back of his Honda 450.
  "I came up with the idea because I live on one side of a river and wanted to go trail riding on the other side," says Dick.
  He made a steel mounting bracket for the front drum which U-bolts to the ATV's front bumper. On back he bolted steel mounting brackets to the ATV's rear axle and welded other brackets to the luggage rack.
  A length of steel pipe clamped onto the exhaust muffler on back serves as a "snorkel". Muffler tubing was used to make another "snorkel" for the air intake (not shown). "Even when I don't have the pontoons on, the snorkels allow me to still go in fairly deep water," says Dick.
  "It makes quite a sight because when I go in deep water all you can see of the ATV is the handlebars. With the engine below the water line I can't even hear the engine running, but I can feel it vibrating on the handlebars. I only go about 1 mph. The deeper the tread on the tires, the faster you will go. The front wheels are still used to steer.
  "The bracket that supports the drum on front has a series of holes in it, so that by pulling a pin I can adjust the height of the drums. I can also raise or lower the rear-mounted drums. Whenever I'm on land I raise the drums so they don't catch on tree stumps, rocks, etc. To keep from ębottoming out' when approaching the water's edge I simply pick out a spot that's not too steep so I can go in gradually. If I ever do get stuck I can use an electric winch on front of the ATV to pull myself out. And the front-mounted drums can be swung out of the way by simply pulling a pin.
  "The drums stick out about 6 inches on each side of the ATV, which makes it a little harder to get between trees. I think hunters in the wilderness could haul the drums on a cart behind the ATV and mount them whenever they have to cross deep water. Once they're across they could leave the drums there until they come back."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike Dick, 1998 215th St., Humboldt, Iowa 50548 (ph 515 332-3550; fax 3770).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2