Go Cart Instructions & Safety

Mar 5 15:30 2005 Brannon Smith Print This Article

After receiving your go cart, ensuring its proper assembly, and completing the warranty process with the manufacturer, here are some important safety tips to help ensure a safe and fun go cart experience!

1. Rules of Operation

A go cart vehicle is not licensable. IT IS NOT TO BE OPERATED ON ANY PUBLIC ROAD ,Guest Posting STREET, HIGHWAY, PARKING LOT, SIDEWALK, OR ALLEY.

To do so would be in violation of local law. This vehicle may be operated only on private property and upon areas approved by local law. Avoid operating a go cart in any area with stationary objects that the vehicle could travel under. Do not ride in areas where other recreational vehicles are being operated. Be respectful of landowners and the environment.

2. Always perform a Pre-Ride Inspection

WARNING - Perform this pre-ride inspection prior to operating the vehicle. If not performed, serious damage to the vehicle or personal injury may result.

1. ENGINE OIL LEVEL - Add oil if required. Check for leaks. Tighten filler cap securely.

2. FUEL LEVEL - Add fuel as necessary. Do not overfill (no fuel in the filler neck). Replace cap tightly. Check for leaks. Do not mix oil with gas.

WARNING - Do not refill a go cart engine while it is hot. It is possible for spilled fuel to ignite resulting in a fire. Do not fill gas tank in a closed area such as a garage. After filling the tank move the vehicle at least 15 feet away from spot of filling before starting.

3. BRAKES - PERFORM A BRAKE TEST: Have the operator sit in the seat, then push the vehicle from behind. Once the vehicle is rolling, have the operator apply the brake pedal. The vehicle should come to a stop. WARNING- Do not operate a go cart unless the brake is working properly.

NOTE : Band brake systems typically require a short break-in period to operate at full efficiency. Some wear on the lining of the brake pads will increase the coefficient of friction and improve their effectiveness. That can be accomplished by making a series of gentle stops. Hard usage of the brakes without a break-in period can result in shortened brake pad life and decrease braking ability.

4. TIRES - Check condition and pressure.

5. DRIVE CHAIN - Check condition, tension, lubricate as necessary.

6. THROTTLE - CHECK FOR SMOOTH OPERATION. Assure throttle "snaps" back to idle. Also, check for frayed cable or damaged cable conduit. If either condition exists replace the cable assembly before riding.

7. TOGGLE KILL SWITCH - PERFORM THIS TEST (only for go cart models without electric starter): While the engine is running, move the toggle kill switch on the steering column to the "OFF" position. If this does not stop the engine, check to ensure that the toggle kill switch wire is attached to the terminal on the engine.

WARNING- DO NOT OPERATE A GO CART WITH A TOGGLE KILL SWITCH THAT IS NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY.

8. ALL NUTS, BOLTS, AND FASTENERS - Check wheels to see that all axle nuts and lug nuts are tightened properly. Check and tighten all other fasteners as necessary.

9. GUARDS - Ensure all protective guards are in place. NEVER OPERATE THIS VEHICLE WITHOUT ALL CHAIN, CLUTCH, OR DRIVE ASSEMBLY COVER GUARDS IN PLACE . Each of these covers have a protective purpose, if removed, could endanger the personal safety of the go cart operator or passenger (if any).

10. STEERING SYSTEM - Ensure that the go cart turns freely.

CORRECT any discrepancies according to your go cart Owner's Manual before riding. If a problem cannot be corrected, contact an authorized dealer/retailer for assistance.

3. Always use proper Safety Equipment

The operator and passenger (if any) of any go cart should always wear a helmet approved by agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT), Safety Helmet Council of America (SHCA), or Snell Memorial Foundation (SNELL). Most off-road vehicle accident fatalities are due to head injuries. The operator should also wear face shields or goggles, boots or closed-toe shoes, gloves, and other appropriate protective clothing.

LOOSE CLOTHING, LONG HAIR, OR ARTICLES WORN BY ANY OPERATOR OR PASSENGER MUST BE FULLY CONTAINED, OR COVERED TO PREVENT THEM FROM POSSIBLY BEING CAUGHT IN ROTATING PARTS OF THE VEHICLE OR THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT WHILE RIDING. FAILURE TO OBEY COULD ENDANGER THE PERSONAL SAFETY OF THE OPERATOR OR PASSENGER.

4. Driving Safety Tips

Every go cart operator and adult supervising children riding a go cart should be familiar with the operation and maneuverability of go carts. Again, always read the Owner's Manual specific to your go cart. Below are more tips compliments of Carter Brother to help educate you on the safety aspect of driving a go cart.

STARTING THE ENGINE

NOTE : Do not attempt to start or operate this machine without being completely familiar with all controls necessary to operate this vehicle safely. Do not start the engine before reading and understanding all the rules, warnings, and instructions in this manual, as well as the engine owner's manual. We strongly recommend that all supervisors, operators and passengers veiw the safety video prior to operation.

DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

TURNING MANEUVERS

A new operator must learn to shift his or her weight and control the throttle to allow the rear tires to negotiate the turn. This is the primary technique to be mastered in riding this vehicle. Practice turning at slow, constant speeds. Defer increased speeds until you are confident of your proficiency and are intimately familiar with the terrain.
Steer in the direction of the turn, and lean your body to the inside of the turn in order to maximize front tire traction. Use the throttle to maintain power throughout the turn.
Once this technique is learned, turning maneuvers can be performed within a relatively small area.
Incorrect turning techniques may cause the front wheels to slide straight ahead without affecting the vehicle's direction of travel. If this should occur, come to a stop, then resume the technique outlined above.
If the front wheels tend to skid in mud, sand, or snow, you may be able to improve control by releasing the throttle and allowing the vehicle to coast through the turn.
If the rear wheels inadvertently skid sideways, correct your slide by steering in the direction of the skid, if you have room to perform this maneuver safely. Avoid braking or accelerating until you have control.
To avoid skids while traveling on slippery terrain, the operator must exercise a high degree of caution. Turning maneuvers on slippery terrain are more hazardous than those performed under full traction and must be done slowly.
Surface composition is a major factor affecting skidding. It is easier to slide on packed snow than in deep sand. It is dangerous to skid on ice, because you may lose all directional control, and it is dangerous to skid on pavement, because you may regain traction suddenly and unexpectedly, which can cause the vehicle to overturn.

CLIMBING HILLS

Practice climbing on evenly surfaced slopes of less than 20 degrees. The vehicle's capability in climbing hills or traversing any specific terrain is dependent upon operator skill and vehicle load.
As you gain experience in handling this vehicle, and learn the hazards to be encountered and your own limitations you may then proceed to drive more challenging terrain. However, you must first be able to discern and avoid any hill or hazard that would cause this vehicle to overturn.
Take a running start, at the appropriate speed for the ascent, and climb at a steady rate of speed.

WARNING - Do not apply power suddenly by opening the throttle while ascending a hill or the front wheels may rise from the ground. If the front wheels lift, the operator's control will be lessened and the vehicle may overturn backwards.
If you should find that you have incorrectly estimated climbing capability and lack the power or traction to continue the ascent, if space permits, turn the vehicle around while you still have the forward speed to do so and descend. Avoid stalling part way up a hill, as maneuvering will then become more difficult.

CAUTION - Before attempting a turn on a hillside, the operator should first master turning technique on level ground.
If you do lose all forward speed, and can neither continue uphill nor maneuver the vehicle under its own power, turn off the engine, dismount, and physically turn the machine around.

CAUTION - To avoid overturning, the operator must exercise a high degree of caution when dismounting or moving this vehicle on a hillside.

DESCENDING HILLS

It is usually advisable to descend hills with the vehicle pointed directly downhill, avoiding angles that would cause the vehicle to lean sharply to one side. As you approach the point of descent, stop and survey the terrain below. Never drive headlong past your limit of visibility. When you have picked a safe path of descent, descend slowly with the throttle closed. Sit back on the seat, with arms extended and braced on the steering wheel.
When descending it is recommended that the operator apply the brakes intermittently to further reduce forward speed.
Braking effectiveness is reduced while descending any incline with a loose surface.

RIDING THROUGH WATER

Do not cross any stream with fast flowing water. The tires may float, making it difficult to maintain control. Do not drive the vehicle through water for prolonged periods.
The vehicle can cross water to a depth of approximately 4-6 inches, although the operator must be careful to avoid getting the spark plug or air cleaner wet.
When crossing shallow streams, choose a course where both banks have gradual inclines. Proceed at a slow, steady speed, and take care to avoid submerged obstacles and slippery rocks.
If loss of forward motion or pulling power is noticed when driving through water, it indicates the torque converter belt has become wet. When this occurs, the operator should immediately head toward shore at minimum throttle required to maintain motion.
Once on shore, the torque converter belt will dry quickly if operator will sit for a few moments with the engine idling.
After driving through water, the brakes may be less effective than normal. Test the brakes after traveling through any water, and if necessary, apply the brakes repeatedly until the heat of friction has dried them and the brakes retain their normal effectiveness.

WARNING - Do not operate vehicle at high speeds until brakes are dry and effective.

5. Additional Kid Safety Tips

  • Ensure child is competent and physically capable of operating the go cart.
  • Set clear boundaries in which the go cart is to be ridden.
  • Always provide close adult supervision and never leave children alone, even for a minute while a go cart is being used.
  • We suggest purchasing one of our child go cart models that come equipped with a training tether that allows an adult the opportunity to shut off the engine if needed.

Following these and your go cart manufacturer's Operating Manual will help you to maintain your go cart's performance and your safety. You're on your way to fun!

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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About Article Author

Brannon Smith
Brannon Smith

Brannon is an Affiliate Manager for Center Cube, Inc. Brannon rides his go carts on his family's farm in Texas. For a great go cart or power scooter visit http://www.gocart-scooterstore.com

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