Years before the advent of the four wheel drive ATV there was another All Terrain Vehicle and it was the MAX ATV a six wheel drive totally amphibious ATV. It has been going through or up & over, swamps, rivers, rocks, logs, sand, snow, ice, mud, steep hills and well almost any terrain you can think of since 1969 when it first appeared.
These 6x6 ATV's have been used in every conceivable place on Earth for over forty years. Some of the places where they have been utilized are for trail riding, hunting expeditions, agriculture, land search and rescue, oil exploration, Antarctica exploration, jungle exploration it has even had military use along with countless other applications.
Below is one of the latest versions of the MAX ATV, it is the Argo 6x6. A nice feature is that it is fitted with a front winch, useful for pulling yourself out of the mud if you get stuck!
The Company that manufactures these 6x6 ATV's is called Recreative Industries Inc and they are based in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. They distribute them all over the world.
With the latest edition of rubber tracks that fit snugly around the six drive wheels, the versatility of the MAX has been increased a hundred fold as the traction is now even better.
Its almost like driving a miniature tank and is fantastically manoeuvrable, whereas before it could turn on a dime now it can turn on half a dime!
The latest tracks are made of solid high grade rubber and simply fit around the wheels with little or no adjustment at all to the ATV. They are very thick and very hard wearing, they also protect the tires from getting punctures as well as offering maximum traction. There is nothing better for an off road vehicle than to have the ability to lay its own road down, which is what caterpillar tracks in affect actually do.
This is what a MAX has to offer over standard four wheel drive ATV's...maximum traction. Six wheel drive, offering the best traction and totally Amphibious. All MAX ATV's swim in water like a duck with no modification at all except perhaps for a plug in the drain hole in the hull. They travel at about six knots in water and are simply powered by the tires revolutions.
They have what's known as a Zero Turning Radius or ZTR. This system is actually patented by Recreative Industries Inc as the T-20 Skid Steer Transmission. This works by applying the brakes to one side whilst the other side still drives, hence it can turn within its own length...forward or reverse.
Below is a YouTube video of a little kid driving though really thick and slushy mud, where other vehicles would become bogged down, the Argo 6x6 MAX ATV just keeps on going...
When fully loaded the ground pressure is actually less than three pounds p.s.i. It has been calculated that a man exerts eight pounds per square inch, whilst a 4x4 Landrover about twentyeight pounds per square inch.
So with the MAX's extremely low ground pressure, it wont get bogged down into wet deep mud. With the tracks added then this drops even more to a staggering one pound per square inch. The MAX ATV has the ability to climb inclines at 45 degrees which exceeds that of the four wheel drive ATV which would tip over.
The MAX ATV does not have a differential, instead each side drives one
independently and delivers a better power transfer to all six of its drive
Also the occupants sit inside it and not on it, as quad bike ATV's only offers. Of course its each to his own and whatever application you wish to use your particular ATV for. For example, a quad bike ATV is suitable for driving on the public highway, whereas the MAX ATV 6x6 hasn't got the speed to keep up with the traffic.
A quad bike ATV might be faster and have great off road capability but unlike the MAX ATV 6x6...it isn't amphibious. The MAX ATV 6x6 is also a lot more versatile as an owner driver recently related to me, see below...
One of my viewers Kevin, who owns one of these ATV's has kindly responded to my request for an owners review and indeed sent in a great review, as read below...
" I use my ATV Buffalo for lots of things, I haul rocks and logs with it, I check my moorings out in the lake with it, I also mount tracks on it in the winter and run it on the snowmobile trails and I plow snow with its six and a half foot blade...an image of the blade is seen below...
It pulls a trailer, built by Ohio Steel, that floats, even with over two hundred pounds in it. I've also used its winch to pull fairly large boats up on the beach prior to a hurricane.
The beach had to be accessed by water, so the fact that the Buffalo is amphibious was important. I also use it to maintain the local snowmobile trails in the fall. It' will haul all of my tools, including chainsaws and ropes. I've even pulled a jeep off a collapsed bridge with it. With its tracks on, the Buffalo's footprint on thin ice is less than that of a person, so it can go some pretty scary places in relative safety.
The Buffalo isn't built for speed though...Top speed is eighteen m.p.h on land, three m.p.h on water. With its tracks on, it's just wide enough to qualify as a snowmobile trail groomer. I have someone working on building a drag for it.
Below is seen Kevins ATV Buffalo, loaded up with logs and ready to go back to base with its heavy haul...
Specifications: Length 99" height 52" width 57" wheelbase 58" bed length 53" bed width 51" bed height 10" seating capacity 2 fuel capacity 5 gal, basic weight (w/ 21" tires) and no accessories 1135 lbs, max vehicle weight 2135 lbs, max vehicle weight in water 1635 lbs (I have exceeded this and it hasn't sunk yet! ) max trailer capacity 1000 lbs. It'll run for days on 5 gal.
While Max has sold a lot of ATV's worldwide, the Buffalo isn't that popular, except for specialty applications. I think mine may be the only one in Maine. I know that there is an older one in New Hampshire. It's relatively low popularity is probably because its base price is around $17,000, far more money than the other models.
Also, it's slower and heavier, so it's not as "seaworthy" as the other two models. That said, this machine is a workhorse as well as a fun machine. It's perfect for my needs. I haul it on an extra wide aluminum Worthington flat bed trailer behind a 2002 Mercedes E320 station wagon. The combined weight is very close to the 2000 lb receiver weight limit of the vehicle, so I must be a bit careful on the highway. " Thanks for a great review Kevin, much appreciated and I'm sure it will be of benefit to any would be purchasers of this great All Terrain Vehicle!
Below is illustrated one of the latest MAX ATV's, the MAX 4. It has a twentyseven horse power Kawasaki Engine, super quiet exhaust and full roll cage.
Generally the MAX ATV 6x6 is a true 100% All Terrain Vehicle and one that is much safer. It may not have the sporty looks and may not be as fast as a four wheel drive ATV and may cost a lot more but if you want to go where no ATV has or can go before, then this is the vehicle for you.
The Argo 8x8 700HD eight wheel drive ATV is the latest development of the MAX ATV range of off road, all terrain vehicles. First impressions of it are that it looks cool and is quite a sleak looking buggy. I bet this thing could climb Mount Everest if it wanted too!
The eight wheel drive Argo offers fantastic traction, extreme control and reliability over any terrain whatsoever. If you thought that the 6x6 ATV was great then the 8x8 is sure to better it in every way. It is also much larger than the standard 6x6, for obvious reasons...it has eight wheels.
The eight wheel drive Argo has an overhead valve V-Twin, liquid cooled 647cc engine that produces twentysix horse power. The Kohler Aegis LH690 engine is fitted with electronic ignition and also has a solenoid shift starter.
Below is a plan view of the Argo 8x8 and at first glance it is apparent that there is a lot of room in there for extra stowage or extra passengers.
People who like extreme off road driving are now looking at this eight wheel drive vehicle as an alternative to the MAX ATV 6x6.
It has to be agreed that when we are talking about off road driving then the more traction you have the better and if eight wheel drive is not enough for you then maybe you should consider a different pastime.
Eight wheel drive will be the maximum amount of wheels ever manufactured for the MAX ATV. There are no development ideas for a ten wheel drive, or any higher amount, as the vehicle would then become too big. If it was too big then it would lose its attraction as a small off roader that is able to negotiate any difficult terrain, mainly due to its size alone in many instances.
Of course if you want to put tracks, an electronic winch, satellite navigation and a seven horse power outboard motor onto your Argo 8x8 then that is entirely up to you!
Updated December 23rd 2012