Pandemic fuel demand surges for all-terrain vehicles


One evening in March, people talked about all vehicles except all-terrain vehicles at the Hawkins Equipment sales office in Fredericton.

When people wanted to sort out the machine before the weather got warmer, the phone steadily stopped at the parts counter.

According to Shawn Bordage, sales manager of Hawkins Equipment, ATV retailers usually see an increase in sales each spring, but they have felt that way every month recently.

He said: “The only way to get things right now is to order them from the factory, select them, and deposit them. [down] And said, “You will be you in a month or two,” Bordage said in an interview in March.

As people look for safe outdoor activities for COVID, ATV sales have surged across the country.

It left some injury prevention experts, and even ATV rider groups, all of them worried about inexperienced riders going on the road this summer.

Since 2018, at least 555 Canadians have died on ATVs or snowmobiles across Canada. CBC News investigation found. From stricter safety rules to design changes designed to make machines less prone to tipping or tipping over, tolls have been arousing appeals.

Sales of new ATVs are up 30% from 2019

According to data provided by the Canadian Off-Highway Automobile Distributors Council, which represents manufacturers and distributors, a total of 56,789 new ATVs will be sold across Canada by 2020.

The data shows that this is 30% higher than the total sales in 2019. In every province and region of Canada, sales of new ATVs are increasing.

Data shows that by the end of March this year, as of the end of March this year, a total of 13,582 new ATVs had been sold. This is slightly higher than twice the same period in 2020.

These figures do not capture new side-by-side sales, nor can they measure the used ATV market.

But Bodge’s Hawkins Equipment Company in Fredericton said he also saw an active second-hand market. People can trade with old ATVs in shops.

“For us to get here [that’s] When used, it is always 100% sold immediately. “Bordage said.

Shawn Bordage, sales manager at Hawkins Equipment, Fredericton, has been busy receiving calls from people who want to buy ATVs. (Ed Hunt/CBC)

He estimated that buyers have been divided into two categories by those who have bought ATVs before and those who ride for the first time.

Bordage believes that demand will not disappear anytime soon.

“Even if we all got us [COVID-19 vaccine] Shooting, everyone can fly safely, and there will still be a large number of people who refuse to fly, but this is too early,” he said.

“I think this will actually last a year or even two years. This is my guess.”

All-terrain vehicles are a backup for those who don’t take vacations

Bob Ramsay, chairman of the Canadian Off-Highway Automobile Distributors Council, said that the surge in interest in buying all-terrain vehicles has surprised manufacturers and distributors. Because people are unemployed, he is not sure how many people will be eager to buy a brand new ATV, which retails for thousands of dollars, depending on the model and brand.

But Ramsey said that some people find that ATV can be a great way to spend time with their families and enjoy outdoor activities.

“For people who can’t take vacations, people who have children and want to do things with them but can’t take them to Disneyland or grandparents, and those of this nature, they become a reserve position, Ramsey said.

Like Bordage, Ramsay has heard of two different types of buyers: people who are upgrading their machines, and people who are new to the sport.

Some people don’t understand “jargon and culture”

According to Wayne Daub, general manager of the Canadian Quartet Committee, it is the latter that has attracted the attention of some ATV driver federations. The council represents more than 100,000 riders from the provincial cycling organization, many of whom have reported new members.

Daub said: “This has caused a serious problem for the Drivers’ Federation, which is to get new drivers on the road. They don’t understand jargon and culture. This is a privilege for them.”

According to Wayne Daub, general manager of the Canadian Quartet Council, if certain ATV driver federations falter and do not understand the rules or culture, then new ATV drivers may be concerned. (Mike Heenan/CBC)

Many of the trails are on private land due to a land use agreement with the owner.

Daub said, for example, in early spring, because the ground is soft, trails are usually rarely opened, and if riders use trails too early, ATVs can cause damage.

“However, it is very difficult to convey information to newbies, because if you go to YouTube or other places, the ATV culture is to’bury it in the handlebars, and until now, it’s time you can do this in a year ,”He says.

“But that really isn’t the point of an organized ATV.”

Focus on novices and inexperienced drivers

Novice and inexperienced drivers on the track are also closely related to Pamela Fuselli, an injury prevention advocate in Toronto and former president and CEO of Canadian Parachute.

If the rider has not used an ATV before, they may be unfamiliar with common situations that can lead to injuries, such as when the vehicle skids.

“If they haven’t used these machines, I think they may not understand the power, how to operate them safely and understand the capabilities of the vehicle (ATV) and make sure they don’t push it to the limit. It’s the limit.” Fuselli said.

Most purchasers can take a brand new ATV home and ride it immediately without guidance or safety training on how to operate the machine.

This is because only one province (Nova Scotia) requires mandatory safety training for adult riders, and even this province has some exceptions.

Daub’s organization supports training for everyone, but due to the logistical challenges it may bring, it has not stopped the mandatory training.

According to the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Dealers Council, new ATV buyers should pay attention to the manufacturer’s warning labels. (Ed Hunt/CBC)

Ramsay said that in addition to training, novices should also pay attention to the warning labels and user manuals of their machines. The Canadian Council of Off-Highway Vehicle Dealers provides additional educational materials for riders on its website.

Back at Hawkins Equipment in Fredericton, young riders under the age of 16 are required by law to receive safety training in New Brunswick. According to the sales manager, the store also provided these riders with a CD with training videos.

Bordage has been riding on off-road vehicles for nearly 30 years. He said that safety starts with training young people so that they can develop good habits as soon as possible.

For adult riders, people who spend some time on the machine and follow the rules (such as wearing a helmet) should be fine, Bordage said, noting that many customers already have experience using ATVs.

But you cannot control the behavior of people when they leave the store.

He said: “This is no different from selling real premium cars.”

“You can’t provide them with driving directions. They buy it there, then sell it, and do their best to sell the right machine to the right person.”



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