Go Mud Riding with your Side by Side – Preparations and Tips

Mud riding with Side by Side UTV

Many of us would be aware the popular Side-by-Side Vehicles and they come in handy when there is a need to handle tough, hostile and difficult terrains. It is also possible to enjoy some of the most exciting, challenging, fun-filled and memorable mud riding using the right side by side UTV.

We will learn more about it so that the readers are able to get a reasonably good idea about the title and subject matter.

However, we need to bear in mind that there are quite a few things that must be addressed before getting in the world of mudding of these vehicles.

The choice of right tires and the need to install a winch are also a few things that one must bear in mind.

As you move the vehicle in the mud it is quite obvious that it will get stuck quite badly. In such conditions, it would be better to have a clear and concise idea about the various things that you should do to lift the side by side vehicle or the UTV as it is also known popularly across the world.

Prepare your Side By Side for mudding

When you are planning to muddy your side by side, there are a few facts that you must always bear in mind.

While mud is a combination of water and dirt, it has quite a few positive things to it. It is all about attitude and it certainly is a way of life.

If you are one of those who believe that mud is much more than dirt and water then you will understand the pleasure and joy associated with mudding or the UTV.

However, preparing for the mudding is important because it is a completely different game altogether.

We are sharing some of the most important tips that you must bear in mind so that you are properly prepared for the mudding.

Choose the right UTV

As mentioned above, while UTVs are suited for rough and hostile terrains and roads, not every side-by-side vehicle can handle muddy, slippery and other such conditions.

Therefore, before you get going with your expedition, please spend some quality time looking for the right UTV that can handle such muddy roads.

There many models from Polaris, Can-Am and a few other companies that makes some great models of UTVs specifically for handling muddy terrains.

Yamaha has some amazing models of mudding side by side vehicles or UTV as many would like to call it.

You also could take help and assistance from experts. There are many sites that share useful and pertinent information about the best UTVs for mudding. You can get quite a few useful and valuable tips and then take the right decision. The challenge lies in being able to select the right UTV for a particular hiking or trailing.

Choosing the right tires

There are different types of tires that are used along with UTV or side-by-side vehicle. They are suited for specific condition. The most common types of UTV tires are broadly classified into Sand Tires, Rock Tires, Racing Tires, Snow Tires, All Purpose Tires and last but not the least Mud Tires.

Since we are dealing with mud riding we will be talking about these types of tires that could help you in choosing the right tires suitable for muddy, slushy and wet terrains.

Allround tires – Not a good choice

All purpose tires or stock tires will not be as useful, unless the stock tires are mud tires. This is because the tread blocks are interlinked very closely to one another.

They will not be able to adequately throw out and clean the mud as the UTV moves through slushy and wet swathes of mud. These ordinary tires will see cakes of mud getting deposited and beyond a point the all purpose tires will not be suitable for mud riding.

Mud tires – Great for mudding

You must spend time choose and install dedicated mud tires. They do not have the above problems.

Mud tires are specially designed and come with tread patterns that are aggressive. The lugs are also spaced quite wide apart. This makes it easy to move the vehicles and the tires will also be able to clean the mud automatically as it rotates.

You should ideally choose lugs that have a measurement of around two inches. They will be able to easily claw and dig in their way even through thick chunks of mud and slush.

You will also have to do your research and choose the right mud tires. Quality mud tires have a wonderful track record and they are known to perform excellently in water and mud. They are also fairly heavy and therefore they are durable, long lasting apart from being able to offer the best value for money. If you are running a UTV or side-by-side vehicle with lower horsepower, you have to ensure that you spend money on choosing the right mud tires if mudding is your hobby.

MRT Mudd Monster Kevlar Race Tire

Install a winch

Normally you do not need a winch if you are traversing through sandy terrains or other places where the surface is loose and where the tires do not dig in.

However, you may have to look for winch in case you are travelling in extremely wet and dirty roads. Winches have a capacity of exerting pressure on an object. It helps to pull that object with another one.

It is done with the help of ropes and cables. There could be many situations, where your UTV may get stuck in deep and slushy mud. It may not move out even with the most powerful throttle or changing of gears or acceleration.

In such cases, the best way to get your UTV off the muddy terrain is to use a quality winch made from metal rather than ropes. You may need to attach the vehicle to a tree other such firm and tough object.

You can then make use of the winch to pull back your UTV back to safety. They are many resource materials available on the internet that could help you in your endeavor to choose the right winch.

Choose the right winch for your side by side


Prepare yourself for the mud

Many people often get into mudding because it is their gut feeling or sixth sense that motivates them to do so. This is not right because muddy terrains do not care too much about emotions gut feeling and knee-jerk reactions.

You must understand the importance of prudence over emotion. It calls for quite a bit of preparation and the gestation period must be gone through.

Think And Then Plunge

You may come across many videos or even live exhibitions of riding the UTV in thick mud. While it may look quite easy from the surface, doing it in a real-life situation is not a child’s play to say the least. Not everyone is cut out for mud riding. It certainly requires quite a bit of preparation.

To begin with, you must understand the difficulties and hazards with mud riding and only then should you take the plunge. You also must bear in mind that not all UTVs are designed to handle a combination of mud, slush and water. Though it is great fun, it also could be potentially expensive unless you are prepared adequately. It also could turn dangerous.

Watch Some Videos & Learn

It would always be better to have at least some theoretical experience before you actually get into riding with your side-by-side. You must pay attention to the various difficult spots like deep holes and other such bad stretches.

While these are navigable and experts doing it, you can learn how they do it before you actually get into it yourself. Watching the videos will ensure that you will be able to pick the right route or line. This could make the difference between getting stuck and moving ahead successfully.

It will take time and you may have to watch the whole thing quite a few times to get an idea about the exact spot where the obstacles and barriers are found.

Obviously, you should always choose a mud riding spot that has already been chosen, challenged and successfully finished by others. Stay away from heroics and avoid the tendency and the mindset to try and conquer a new mud route with your side by side. You will fail in many cases and this could dampen your spirits and attitude quite a bit.

What to do if my UTV gets stuck in the mud?

If your UTV is stuck in deep mud and dirt, you certainly have a slushy problem in hand.

Being proactive is better rather than being reactive. Never stop your vehicle when you are moving through thick mud and silt. Momentum is the best way forward.

However, in case you are stuck, you need to certainly put on your thinking cap and act after planning rather than acting and then planning.

Here are a few tips that could help you in removing your UTV if it is stuck on muddy surfaces:

  • Take the help of your friends. Usually you travel in groups of two or three and using a combination of three brawns and brains may do the trick. Pushing forward or backward may help you to lift the UTV tires off the mud.
  • Make use of a shovel. Shovel might look at bit obvious and even perhaps a naive suggestion. However, it does work especially if you only have this option available immediately. If the mud is not too deep or too runny, shovel can do wonderful tricks and your UTV tire may be out of the mud.
  • Winch without any doubt is the best option if you are stuck in mud. And if you are on a muddy trail, then you should certainly have a winch in hand. This should solve the problem and all you need is to identify a good and sturdy spot where the winch can be tied.


There is no denying the fact that mud riding with your side by side vehicle can indeed be a wonderful experience.

However, you must be prepared mentally, physically and also have the right resources and accessories before getting into such mudding trips. You should be informed and knowledgeable before taking the mud trails.

Sources and helpful links