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Are Snow Trackers Dangerous

Are Snow Trackers Dangerous?

Do you wonder why your snowmobile wants to dart and track while riding? This annoying problem often becomes a nightmare for the beginner who hops onto a sled with preconceived notions of what to expect.

Although darting and tracking sometimes go by different names, all drivers need to learn how to control their vehicles in the snow.

When you learn how darting is preventable, it’ll make being on a snowmobile safer and more predictable. You’ll improve the overall experience from the first moment you sit on your ride with this knowledge.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to stop darting is to install snow trackers on your vehicle.

Are Snow Trackers Dangerous?

When you want to improve your control on a sled, snow trackers are an option to consider. They eliminate the zig-zagging problems that happen on icy trails while controlling the darting and turning mechanisms. Different aggressiveness options are available, which means the wrong setup could be dangerous.

Lots of people add snow trackers to their sleds because they have darting problems to manage.

Snowmobile darting occurs when the steering responds to the direction of a small rut in the trail. Even though you’re giving the vehicle input, the sled refuses to respond to your controls. When you encounter new channels, the shifts can become unpredictable as you move from side-to-side.

Snow trackers are one way to stop darting and tracking problems. If you have trouble going around turns with stock skis, this investment can improve the overall ride.

Darting is one of the top reasons why new snowmobilers decide to give up a sport that they think they’ll love. It’s discouraging when it feels like you’re unable to maintain control on a trail, especially if it is a well-used one.

This issue isn’t the same as drifting and pushing, although some snowmobilers use the terms interchangeably. This problem happens when your sleds turn on a corner while the skis fail to maintain their contact point.

It means your tracks are connecting to the snow appropriately.

Although some tracking problems are suspension-related on a few makes and models, most problems occur because of traction problems. Your carbide runners might not be good enough, or your studs are simply worn out.

By investing in snow trackers, you can solve that problem. It also means you could be creating a new one to take its place.

Testing the Snow Tracker While Staying Safe

If you’re like me, you love to blast down some trails when the snowpack is fresh. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon outside when the weather is cold, and everything is quiet.

When you have fresh powder to use for your skis, snow trackers aren’t necessary. Your stock setup will take care of you without much of a problem.

If you find some icy curves on your favorite trails or the ruts have frozen over, the stock skis won’t provide the control you need to be safe. That’s when snow trackers are a great option to consider for your ride.

It only takes a few minutes to install the anti-darting device on most vehicles. You don’t need to be an experienced mechanic to complete the work. Although there is some variety in size and shape between the different models, you can typically pick up a set for under $300.

You’ll need to find the appropriate product for your brand and model of snowmobile to stay safe.

Once you have them installed, it doesn’t matter how packed the winter surface is on your snowmobile. It can dig into deep snow, ice, and more without requiring your efforts to make good things happen. You’ll find it works at slow or fast speeds, ensuring that you can get to your intended destination safely.

The aggressive model provides longer carbide runners and stabilizing keels with a design that keeps the stabilizer’s height lower than that of the runners. This idea ensures that only the runners wear out.

For many riders, the inclusion of snow trackers creates a significant improvement in their snowmobiling excitement. If you’re too aggressive with your setup and don’t know how to control the extra bite, the riding experience could be potentially dangerous.

How to Deal with Darting and Tracking Without Snow Trackers

Although snow trackers are a fantastic investment to consider when trying to solve a darting problem, it isn’t the only way that you can create a more enjoyable ride for yourself on your vehicle.

You don’t always need expensive repairs or replacements to have a smooth vehicle. A few simple adjustments can often help you have a better experience without much of a time or cost problem to manage.

  • If your skis aren’t aligned correctly, it could be why you experience snowmobile darting. Correcting this situation can improve the ride without needing to install snow trackers.
  • If the skis are toe-in or beyond the 12.5% margin (or what your manufacturer recommends), you can end up with a plowing effect that causes driving or steering to become unpredictable.
  • A leveraged toe-out causes the steering to become more predictable at the cost of responsibleness.
  • If your tie rod ends are loose, you’ll notice an immediate effect on your darting and tracking experience.

When you can determine that your skis are correctly aligned and darting still occurs, another solution can help you achieve the ride you want.

Suspension errors cause most darting problems if they don’t involve the skis. When too much pressure is placed on that area, you’ll notice extra skidding because of the added force. This issue causes the runners to bite more, causing them to dart on their own.

You can release the pressure by making a structural load adjustment on the rear suspension. It helps to start at the pre-clad load on the center shock first before progressing out to the other potential adjustments you might need to make.

It might also help to lengthen the limiter strap for your snowmobile if you have trouble adjusting the pre-clad load or can’t make definitive adjustments in other areas.

◼️ Troubleshooting the Darting Experience

When you’re stumped on the reasons why your snowmobile starts darting, it might be necessary to troubleshoot your sled.

Instead of bringing it to your dealer for an expensive evaluation, you can review these common problems first to see if a possible solution can be found.

Rear End Lifts and Lowers Easily• If you experience rear sagging with your sled, it’s usually caused by geometrical issues.
• Your torque arm limited strap might pull in, or you might not be on flat land.
• When the shock fails, you’ll get a lot more of this problem, so always check your ride for optimal height settings.
Skis Lift During Corner Acceleration• If your skis lift while you accelerate out of the corner, you need to change your ride height.
• It also helps to check that your front-to-rear balance is where it should be.
• Since weight transfer is subjective, you’ll need to examine the reasons that trigger your problems.
Sled Has Heavy Steering• When the rear suspension gets adjusted, the steering can become heavy or unresponsive.
• Check the rear torsion settings for stock skis with the problem, keeping the spring preload between 5-10mm for the best results.
• When you have snow trackers installed, you might need to lighten the load in other ways.
Diving Into Corners or Rolling• Preload in the front spring can help with this problem.
• It’s harder to make adjustments if you have a progressively wound spring, but it isn’t impossible.
• The wound-up rate might be impacting your experience, which means a single- or dual-rate product might be a better investment.
Skis Lift While Tipping into Corners• Snowmobiles often lift in corners because of an unbalanced roll center.
• You can adjust this problem by lowering the ride height in the front.
• When you have a lower center of gravity, you’ll notice performance enhancements in the sharp corners.
• Most tipping incidents occur because of overload due to increases in bottoming resistance.

◼️ Make the Darting Problem Go Away!

Snow trackers are a practical solution when the other attempts at removing darting issues won’t work.

Although it takes time to progress through the various steps, it is also essential to remember that you should be having fun with your snowmobiling experience.

I know it isn’t easy to ignore darting or tracking when riding, especially when the sled feels like it is fighting you the entire way. When you understand the reasons why it happens to your vehicle, it’s much easier to find an appropriate solution.

I’ve found that being proactive with my carbides has helped me immensely when dealing with packed snow and ice over multiple runs. That’s why I use protector guides for transporting my ride.

Although different sizes are sometimes necessary, I love this set from the Ice Black Store. They’re made of HDPE, so they haven’t chipped or cracked on me yet. The mounting holes made installation easy, and the guide mounts directly to your truck or trailer.

It’s the little things that matter when you drive a sled. Sometimes that means getting snow trackers, but it also could mean glide protectors are a better investment.

Always Make Small Incremental Adjustments to your Vehicle

If you decide to adjust your suspension before trying snow trackers to improve your ride, it helps to do the work in small increments. Keep testing the sled after each change to see if you’ve achieved the results you want to have in your anti-darting quest.

When you make changes without testing, you could end up lowering the ski pressure too much. As this issue reaches an unsustainable amount, your snowmobile could end up pushing on corners or lock it from a turn.

Since your wear bars have a carbide covering, it also helps to think about how much power you’re putting into that area.

Overpowering carbides are another common cause of snowmobile darting problems. It helps to check how worn they are since the front and rear can have different patterns.

Having too much on the front without backup traction in the back can lead to skis jumping and more bite than you need.

Even with all those adjustments made, it’s crucial to remember that one solution doesn’t usually solve all your problems. Your riding style, weight, and form must harmonize with the machine’s height, strength, and structure to produce positive results.

It is up to you to decide how easy or challenging the trip should be. Snow trackers are a reasonable investment to consider when you always seem to encounter ice or a hard snowpack.


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