ATV carts are accessories designed for use with an all-terrain vehicle. These accessories attach to a trailer hitch system mounted on the ATV, and they are used to haul materials or items behind the ATV. Several types of ATV carts exist. The most common differentiation among them is the material used to construct the cart bed; metal is commonly used, and steel and aluminum are the most commonly used metals. High-grade plastic can also be used, as can wood in some circumstances, though wood carts are less common than other materials.
A metal cart will usually be the most durable option, though it can be heavier and more expensive than other options. Plastic ATV carts are suitable for yard work and other light-duty applications, and they tend to be less expensive than metal carts. A wood cart can be a good choice if the user builds the cart himself; this material is easy to manipulate, and it is easily replaceable, but it will be more susceptible to rot and other damage. The frames of just about all ATV carts are made of metal for durability and safety; other materials will be far too susceptible to damage from impacts.
Some ATV carts are designed with material dumping in mind. The cart bed can be designed to tip backward so materials can be dumped easily without having to detach the entire cart from the ATV; when the bed is returned to the horizontal position, it is locked in place using an easy-to-access latch system. Some more expensive and advanced models may feature a handle that extends from the cart to the cockpit of the ATV, thereby allowing the user to dump the materials from the bed without leaving the ATV. Other models may feature an electric switch that can be activated to tip the bed.
The number of axles featured on the ATV carts can also affect the usefulness of each model. Single axle models will feature two wheels and will generally be less stable and often smaller than models that feature two axles and four wheels. Dual axle carts are also useful if the user needs to detach the cart for any reason without spilling the materials contained therein; a single axle trailer will tip forward and rest on the tow bar, thereby potentially allowing materials to fall from the cart bed. The size of the wheels and tires can also affect the cart's usefulness; larger tires are usually more suitable for off-road use, while smaller tires will be less expensive and suitable for light-duty applications.