In a congested market of all-terrain vehicles, the Argo is one of the most unique and versatile de-signs available to hunters and producers. When it comes to real world off-road capability, this vehicle can handle it all.
Ontario Drive & Gear Ltd. built the first Argo in 1967. It is manufactured in New Hamburg, Ont.
Increased hunting pressure in the front country of certain areas has steadily forced game into more remote regions. Although side-by-side ATVs and quads can access moderately difficult terrain, only the Argo can penetrate really challenging areas.
Based on a six or eight all-wheel design, the Argo can traverse almost any terrain in any season. Optional tracks that mount around the wheels provide even greater terrain capacity, including deep sand and snow.
The Argo is also amphibious, which allows drivers to easily cross water-damaged roads, lakes, rivers and swamps using only the turning wheels for propulsion. An outboard motor up to 9.9 horsepower can also be mounted for faster water travel.
Amphibious cargo trailers are also available.
On land, an Argo can reach speeds of up to 29 to 37 km-h. For long-distance travel, it may be transported in an eight-foot-long pickup truck box. It can also be carried in a standard sized trailer.
Modern models use unleaded gasoline for up to eight hours of operation on a single tank. Optional holders for external gas cans may extend the range even further.
Seat comfort was a previous problem. The lack of suspension and hard seats made rough terrain uncomfortable to traverse. Fortunately, suspension seats are now available on some models to reduce discomfort. Other options include heaters and roofs to reduce the impact of poor weather.
The Argo has optional bilge pumps, brush guards, extra lighting, roll bars, skid plates, winch systems and windshield accessories to protect the machine and passengers.
It also offers gun racks and cargo tie-down rings. Hunters can choose the right model to match the weight requirements of the biggest game animal they intend to hunt. A properly configured unit could be used for camping, fishing, hunting and outfitting.
Argo offers spraying equipment for some models, which may allow greater insect and weed control in hard to reach places.
It also makes fence maintenance, livestock management, and micro-farming easier.
The weight displacement over a large area means the vehicles do less environmental damage to field and country than other ATVs. Their weight is distributed to have a low-pressure footprint on ground foliage.
Argo has come a long way since the 1960s and has a proven track record around the world.
It’s not as flashy as modern quads or side-by-side ATVs, but it can handle difficult terrain that the other designs can’t.
Few things are as impressive as a tracked tank properly equipped to tackle hard tasks.
Prices for base models are $15,000 to $22,000, depending on the features selected.
It seems to be a pretty good deal for a vehicle that is a deep-country ATV, boat, snow machine and tractor.
For more information, visit www.argoatv.com.
Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at email@example.com.