By Travis Dotson
OK – super simple deal here. Go look under your UTV, specifically look between the skid plate and the floorboard. Chances are there is a bunch of grass and sticks and stuff packed in that little space. It’s probably all dried out and primed to ignite – all it needs is a heat source – and we drive these things around in one big heat source.
Don’t think it’s possible? Tell that to the folks who have had it happen to them. Thankfully, some of those folks took pictures and wrote up the event and shared it with us here at the Lessons Learned Center – now we can tell you to go clean your UTV up so it doesn’t catch on fire while you’re driving it!
Here are some quotes from the reports:
“…vegetation lodged between skid plate and underbody ignited, burning a hole through floorboard…”
“Firefighter noticed flames protruding through the floorboard. A shovel with sand and the UTV fire extinguisher were used to suppress the flames.”
“Described as looking ‘like a hay bale,’ the material—packed in tightly—completely filled the compartment.”
“While using a 2016 Polaris 6×6 UTV on a prescribed fire, an accumulation of fine fuels located in an enclosed compartment under the UTV’s floorboard and above the skid plate ignited.”
“This fire melted a four-foot hole in the skid plate and floorboard and caused extensive damage to wiring and the gear selector cable.”
You get the picture – now go check your UTV.