Have you ever dreamed of owning your own tank? Of course you have. Anybody cool enough to be clutching this holy tome has in weak moments pondered tearing about the countryside in his or her own personal tracked vehicle. Lord knows I have. The MuddTrax is kind of that — let me explain.
Uncle Sam has a few. Since 1980, American manufacturers have churned out some 10,288 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. Adjusted for inflation, those puppies run $8.92 million apiece. I tried to figure out how much one of those 138,000-pound beasts costs to operate. The answer: A lot. However, thanks to the Utah-based LiteTrax company, you can get into your very own amphibious, go-anywhere tracked vehicle starting at around $18,900. My personal favorite is called the MuddTrax MTX, and it just drips pure, unfiltered awesome.
Looking at the LiteTrax MuddTrax
The MuddTrax is officially titled an “extreme terrain vehicle,” and it comes in two broad flavors: The MTX-R is the recreational version, and the MTX-C is the commercial variant. The former runs on a Kohler 38-horsepower gas engine. LiteTraxx designed it for elevations of less than 6,000 feet. The MTX-C comes with either a 74-horsepower turbodiesel or 75-horsepower gas-fed engine. The MTX-C could likely ferry you up to the International Space Station should the need arise.
The options obviously determine the sticker price. Either vehicle can be configured to accommodate two or four passengers. The MTX-R is available with a soft cab. The heavier MTX-C has a hard cab option. Winches, front push guards, skid plates, flat beds, heaters and cold-weather packages populate the menu. Call up LiteTrax with a healthy credit card in hand, and the company will build you the individualized tracked vehicle of your dreams.
The MuddTrax vehicles will also float, and their awesome rubber tracks offer ridiculously low ground pressure ratings. The MTX-R base model weighs 1,950 pounds and features a ground pressure of 0.79 psi. The 2,600-pound MTX-C version only ups that number to 0.81 psi. By contrast, a human male puts out around 8 psi, while that M1 Abrams is at 15 psi.
The MTX-R has a 15-inch ground clearance and a max speed of 13 mph. The commercial version clears another inch and tops out at 18 mph. Both vehicles feature front LED light bars and two LED taillights. They also include four convenient lift points if you’d like to sling-load your MTX into the hinterlands underneath your personal Black Hawk helicopter.
Both MTX models also feature two-speed transmissions and hydrostatic joystick controls. A cool 4.3-inch color display keeps track of all the important stuff. The MTX-R carries 12 gallons of fuel, while the MTX-C packs 20.
Aside from just cruising around in your own little mini-tank being awesome, what else is there to do? LiteTrax offers an optional all-terrain firefighting package, a spray setup, a rear jib boom and a mower attachment should you wish to be the coolest guy on your cul-de-sac. The MTX-C is perfect for mosquito-abatement operations as well.
For the normal dude with a little extra cash, the MTX-R will take you most anywhere. Snow, swamp, lake, stream or desert, the MTX-R doesn’t much care. The only thing better for accessing remote cabins or secluded hunting spots would require a pilot’s license.
Ice fishing, farm utility chores, winter sports, search and rescue operations and maintaining remote sites are all in this vehicle’s bailiwick. In fact, LiteTrax’s motto is “Roads Optional!” and these guys clearly mean it. The MTX would get you most anyplace other than a South Seas island and make you look good doing it.
No, you probably won’t be called upon to rescue a lonely Dallas Cowboys cheerleader from a desolate swamp or a forsaken mountain hideaway. However, if you do get that call, an MTX will get you there and back. Cool, tough, versatile and unique, the MTX is the all-terrain machine for the rugged individualist of distinction.
The only way to make the MTX better would be to add a turret. When I pointed that out to my buddy Greg at LiteTrax, he said simply, “Yeah, we get that a lot.” For even more info, please visit litetrax.com.
The LiteTrax ‘Mini Tank’ That Can Tackle Any Terrain – Ballistic Magazine is written by Will Dabbs MD for www.ballisticmag.com