What Is an ATV Rear Rack?

Lori Kilchermann

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rear rack is a metal rack that mounts behind the operator's seat on the vehicle. Used to carry gear, tools and other supplies, the ATV rear rack is a versatile accessory and is typically an often-used component on an ATV. Usually constructed from light-duty, mild steel or aluminum, the ATV rear rack is often powder-coated black or painted the body color of the ATV. The rack is typically a factory-included option on most styles of ATV. Several manufacturers market accessories that are designed to mount onto the rack, thereby adding even more versatility and convenience to the vehicle.

An ATV rear rack is often positioned directly over the rear tires of the ATV.
An ATV rear rack is often positioned directly over the rear tires of the ATV.

Most all-terrain vehicles are usually difficult to safely operate using only one hand, even when equipped with power-assisted steering. The rider typically needs to keep both hands on the controls at all times while the vehicle is in motion. This makes an ATV rear rack a near necessity when transporting supplies, tools and hunting or fishing gear. The rack is designed to allow items to be secured to the metal framework by straps. The ATV rear rack is not typically designed or intended to be used as a passenger riding position.

An ATV is a vehicle designed for driving on all types of terrain, including grass and dirt.
An ATV is a vehicle designed for driving on all types of terrain, including grass and dirt.

In most cases, the ATV rear rack is positioned directly over the rear tires of the ATV, providing added traction to the tires when loaded. Hunters often use this rack to transport big game harvests out of the wilderness, while farmers commonly use the rack to transport heavy bags of animal feed and other materials to remote locations of a farm. Camping supplies, repair materials and even hunting dogs can be easily transported into difficult-to-reach locations by using an ATV rear rack. The typical rack is stamped with a maximum load rating and should never be overloaded since this could damage the ATV.

Many accessories are marketed to increase the functionality of an ATV by bolting different devices to the ATV rear rack. Some of the optional tools for the rack are designed for assisting the working rider. Chain saw carriers, fence post holders and spools to hold wire fence are just some of the optional equipment designed for the ATV. Hunting accessories consist of gun and bow and arrow holders, hunting stand carriers as well as hunting dog boxes to transport dogs safely into and out of woods and swamps. Winches, sprayers and liquid supply tanks are also designed to mount onto the ATV rear rack to assist groundskeepers of both large and small properties.

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Discussion Comments


When I was in college, I used to strap my textbooks to the rear rack of my ATV and head out to a peaceful spot to study. I think I learned more out there by the lake than I would have cramped up inside a library.

I was in school to be a pharmacist. I had a lot of material to memorize, and I needed to be as far away from the noise of my house and street as possible. I knew that the lake two miles south of my house would be the perfect study spot, but it would have taken too long to walk there, and my load would have been too heavy.

So, I put my books and notebook in a backpack and strapped it securely to the ATV rack. I brought along a bag containing a small thermos filled with water and a granola bar as well. It’s great what all I can fit on the rack.


Kids do dangerous things on ATVs. On my county road, I have seen many of them piled up on one, with two of them sharing the rear rack as a seat.

I heard about an accident on a trail through the woods nearby involving an ATV. Two teenage girls were sitting on the rear rack while a guy drove dangerously, showing out for them. He turned a curve too suddenly and flipped the ATV.

The girls went flying through the air. One landed on the ground and broke her tailbone. The other hit a tree and had a concussion. The driver broke his leg.


We don’t hunt, but my boyfriend and I use the rear rack for all kinds of things. On days with good weather, we go out to a nearby pond on his ATV. We strap a picnic basket to the rear rack, and it is big enough to hold a lot of food. There is also room on the rack for a small cooler.

While we were out there one day, I saw some flowers growing wild that I would have loved to have in my yard. So, the next time we came, we strapped a garden shovel and a bucket to the rear rack. We scooped up some flowers and brought them home to transplant.


Dogs should always be transported in cages. My friend’s stepdad decided it would be fun to take his chihuahua for a ride on his ATV, and all he did was wrap its leash around the rear rack.

When he got up to regular speed, the dog got excited and started jumping around. Somehow, it wiggled the leash loose and fell out onto the pavement.

The little dog survived, but he is not quite right in the head now. It was a really bad idea to leash him loosely to the rack. The man should have known the potential danger of this.

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