TRAIL SAFETY TIPS

The OFSC proudly welcomes the Safety Partners below to share their safety tips on a variety of relevant snowmobiling related topics for both beginner and avid riders alike.

New partners and tips will be added weekly in October and November so be sure to come back for more important and helpful information!

BITEHARDER

Helmet Safety Light

We’ve all been there. Suddenly, the rider ahead disappears in snow dust, becomes less visible in the late afternoon dusk, or can’t be seen at all after dark. Not being able to follow the sled ahead on the trail is not only scary for you and everyone behind you, it may also cause riders in your group to get separated from each other. But most of all, it just plain isn’t safe.

Now, thanks to the Biteharder Snowmobile Helmet Safety Light, you’ll never again lose sight of the person ahead in any trail riding conditions. Whether you’re very experienced or a total newbie, you’ll ride safer, with more confidence and enjoy your trail riding more, with Biteharder Snowmobile Helmet Safety Lights. Want to know more? View real use photos & review.

The Biteharder Snowmobile Helmet Safety Light is inexpensive, high quality, easy to install and comes in a variety of colours. Its super bright LED technology provides up to 200 lumens of light, so the back of your helmet literally shines like the sun. Best of all, you and your family or riding companions can get free shipping through the OFSC Rider Advantage program!

Check out this helpful video from Sledaddicz.

Carbide & Stud Sharpener

Carbides and studs are indispensable traction products for enhancing rider safety, confidence and comfort on the trails. When your carbides and studs are new, they optimize sled performance, handling, control, and grip on icy surfaces.

But traction products lose their edge or sharpness over time thanks to wear and tear contact with rocks, bare spots, pavement crossings, gas station asphalt, and even the cement floor in your own garage. Typically, this degrading process happens gradually over many miles and often goes unnoticed, until one day you realize your sled’s not reacting as it used to. At that point, it’s not as safe to ride as it once was either.

Sure you can buy new carbides and replace all your studs. But why go to all that unnecessary expense and work when you can simply resharpen them while they’re still on your sled? In fact, why even wait until they’re dull, when BITEHARDER Carbide & Stud Sharpeners can always keep them as good as new?

BITEHARDER Carbide & Stud Sharpeners are fast and easy to use with a cordless drill. Not only do they provide the sharpest edge and points possible on every ride, they also save you money by extending the life of your traction products. BITEHARDER even has a portable 12-Volt Carbide Grinder that runs off your sled battery that’s small enough to be stowed in your on-sled tool kit for use on tour.

With patented AdvantEdge™ Technology, BITEHARDER delivers all the performance your snowmobile has to offer for your safest ride on snow! Check out this review and save receive FREE SHIPPING on your BITEHARDER Carbide & Stud Sharpeners today by purchasing through the OFSC Rider Advantage program.

INTOUCH VP GPS TRACKER BY PASSTIME GPS

Every snowmobiler should have a safety plan that includes wearing the right gear, being prepared for trail emergencies, and keeping equipment well-maintained. If you’ve ever worried about where your loved ones are on the trails and wondered if they’re safe, a GPS tracking device may be the perfect solution for worry-free trail riding. But what about your sleds?

It’s also important to protect your sled against theft, because continuing shortages of new and used sleds make your snowmobile more valuable to you – and your winter fun — than ever before. A tracking device provides the peace of mind of knowing where your snowmobile is at all times, whether it’s on the trail, on the road, parked overnight at your lodgings, or in storage. So including a GPS tracking device in your safety plan is doubly a smart choice.

That’s why savvy snowmobilers are relying on a PassTime’s InTouch VP GPS tracking unit. This device includes its own internal, advanced lithium power technology that provides battery life of up to 4+ years without ever needing to be recharged or draining your sled’s battery. Each sleek, self-contained and weather resistant unit in its rugged, magnetic case is about the size of a deck of cards and takes less than a minute to install. Plus, InTouch VP’s leading edge, GPS and BeyondGPS™ indoor and outdoor asset tracking technology offers dual location data even when GPS isn’t available.

With InTouch VP you get freedom from wires, flexible functionality and go-anywhere technology – what more could you want?

With the safety of riders and their sleds on and off the trails being number one priority for everyone, PassTime is providing Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permit holders a 15% discount on the InTouch VP only through the OFSC Rider Advantage program. PassTime InTouch VP sales also contributes to the ongoing development and maintenance of the OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trail system. It’s a great deal all around, so act now to protect your sled and your winter with InTouch VP!

Be sure to check out more helpful Trail Safety Tips and great Rider Advantage offers,

CARBIDE RUNNERS BY QUALIPIECES

Any snowmobile can have difficulty getting a grip on treacherous surfaces like snow and ice. The frozen hard pack of a groomed trail also presents traction challenges, especially in corners and hills, or after an ice storm or freezing rain. Any of these conditions can cause front end slipping, sliding, poor handling and loss of control when you need it most, jeopardizing your safety and that of others on the trail.

The wear bars attached to bottom of many stock skis help protect their bottoms from premature damage, but don’t provide much steering control. That task is best managed by a sharp, high quality set of carbide runners. But choosing the right carbides is not as simple as it sounds.

For safety’s sake, you need to consider factors like track length, lug depth and number of studs, plus your suspension settings. Each of these affects how your front end behaves. Rider style and preference, and riding terrain also plays a key role is how aggressive your carbides should be.

Looking for a more predictable trail riding experience? Qualipieces has identified three key dynamic rider behaviors and developed a carbide runner selector to sort and compare carbides based on the needs of both rider and snowmobile.

So if you want better front end control and overall handling, along with a greater margin of safety in every condition on the trails, this 25-year old Quebec company provides a selection of durable, high performance carbide runners that are certain to work for you!

Read more about carbide safety and runners from Qualipieces here.

GET THE RIGHT GEAR AT ROYAL DISTRIBUTING

Typically, when we consider factors involved in snowmobile safety, it’s about trail riding with care and control, within your capabilities. But it’s also a reality that your safety includes being properly geared up to avoid being distracted by being cold, feeling restricted or being uncomfortable. What you’re wearing on a ride will not only protect you from moisture penetration, windchill, frostbite and hypothermia, but also help you survive if you’re stranded.

Getting the right gear means wearing an integrated system of inner and outer wear where each compatible item adds to the warmth, dryness and overall riding comfort of the others. This approach starts with layering properly, then selecting the right snowmobile outwear, including your suitboots and gloves. It also means selecting gear that’s bright and reflective so you’re highly visible to other riders and first responders.

Wearing a purpose-built snowmobile helmet is a legal requirement for operating a snowmobile in Ontario. Your helmet safeguards your head against injury, helps conserve body warmth and protects your eyes and face. So choosing the right helmet is imperative, and so is getting one whose visor won’t fog up so you can’t see clearly.

Final tip: Even with the right gear, selecting the right windshield for your sled can make the difference between a comfortable ride all day and freezing your buns off.

Getting the right gear should involve a lot of comparison shopping and try-ons. One popular and time saving way to make your best gear choices for the coming winter is Royal Distributing. This Ontario-based company’s wide selection of brands, colours and sizes make it your one-stop shop for all things snowmobiling. Check them out their virtual catalogue online, then visit one of their retail locations in GuelphInnisfilKanataSudbury and Whitby.

TEKVEST

You never know what’s going to happen next. That’s why riding OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails is so enjoyable, exciting and memorable. But occasionally, a nerve-wracking moment can happen. If it does, your TekVest can make the difference between good memories and bad ones.

Hand-crafted in Canada since 1996, TekVest is a lightweight body armour system that protects your vulnerable upper torso, including industry-best lower side coverage. It even provides multiple pockets for your digital devices.

Available in a range of styles and colours, including custom options, TekVest is amazingly comfortable and totally unrestricting to wear under your snowmobile jacket. In fact, you won’t even notice your TekVest – until it protects you from being seriously injured or saves your life. Check out TekVest review.

TekVest is like a helmet for your upper body, durable personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s equally important for your safety and peace of mind for your loved ones. So never hit the trail without your TekVest. As their motto says: “If you have somewhere to be Monday morning, shouldn’t you be wearing a TekVest?”

Get your TekVest before the snow flies and save 10% through the OFSC Rider Advantage program!

ULTIMAX PERFORMANCE BELTS BY TIMKEN

As high tech as today’s snowmobiles are, a broken drive belt can bring your sled to a dead stop, often in the middle of a trail ride and at an inconvenient time or unsafe place.

Many factors can cause belt failure, starting with buying a cheap one or the wrong size belt for your sled. Other contributing factors include incorrect installation, not breaking in your new belt properly, not warming up a cold engine and belt before departing, or trying to take off when your track’s frozen in place. Damage can also happen to your belt when towing anything heavy like another sled, an ice hut or a loaded caboose. So for safety’s sake, carry a spare belt and the necessary tools to change one.

These are all good reasons to inspect your belt before each ride, to replace old or worn belts immediately, and to go with a top quality, dependable brand name like Ultimax. Durable Ultimax Snowmobile Belts can not only boost your sled’s performance, their proven reliability also enhances the enjoyment and safety of your trail riding.

As a leading manufacturer specializing exclusively in drive belt technology, Ultimax provides the info you need to find the right Ultimax belt part number for any brand of sled, and helpful tips like the video above for optimum belt life. So get your Ultimax belt before the snow flies!

Click here for more belt safety and installation tips.

WOODY'S STUDS

Snowmobiles operate on snow and ice, both inherently slippery and unpredictable surfaces. So it’s not unusual for your sled’s back end to slip sideways on a corner. Or for your track to spin when you hit the throttle. Or for your machine to slide as you try to ascend or descend a steep hill. And what about sudden hard braking when your sled won’t stop fast enough? To say nothing of trying to maintain control on a glare ice crossing or after an ice storm hits the trails.

All of these scenarios involve traction, and lack of it can compromise your trail safety. After all, the largest area of your sled that’s in constant contact with whatever surface you’re riding on is your track – and as tracks get longer every year, making sure yours always gets a good grip is even more important.

Sure, you may have sharp carbides on your skis to help with handling & steering control, but only balanced traction front and back optimizes your trail ride. So for safety’s sake and your own peace of mind, ride with good quality studs in your track.

Woody’s studs maximize your sled’s grip to prevent slipping, sliding and sudden loss of control. They can also be lifesavers on unexpected icy patches, especially in the corners. Woody’s also enable your sled to walk up or down a hill whose surface has been polished smooth by previous sleds. Bottom line, Woody’s studs provide that extra edge to make the way you already ride even safer – and make you a more confident trail rider. With 9 different choices, there’s always a Woody’s stud that’s just right for your sled.

Be sure to check out more helpful Trail Safety Tips and great Rider Advantage offers,

Do you have a product that fits perfectly with our Safety Partner Program? We’d love to hear from you!

Contact us at [email protected]