This safety alert covers the importance of checking and servicing quad bike drive belts.

What happened?

A farm manager died of injuries when the wheels of his quad bike suddenly locked, causing the machine to roll and crush the driver. He was herding cattle and was making a wide turn at the time. The quad bike was in four-wheel drive.

How did it happen?

A post-accident inspection showed the quad bike’s drive belt had broken.

Ordinarily when the drive belt breaks, the quad bike’s wheels would keep rolling whether or not they were in gear.

However, in this case the broken belt had become bound up in the gear pulley which prevented freewheeling and caused all four wheels to lock up.

The quad bike was in good condition and had regular maintenance that included visual inspection of the drive belt. The drive belt was due to be replaced at the next service.

What can be learnt from the incident?

  1. Quad bike drive belts have recommended service intervals of every 3000km.
  2. Quad bikes operate in environments – notably exposure to dirt and moisture – which can increase the wear of the drive belt. This increases the risk of the belt breaking.
  3. Owners, users and service agents of quad bikes are reminded that they should check the drive belts at least when recommended if not sooner.
  4. If you do your own servicing, you should be aware of the importance of visually checking the drive belt. This will involve removing the clutch cover. If this is not practicable, we recommend that you take it to a qualified service agent.

Where can you find information?

Safe use of quad bikes

For information on recommended servicing schedule for your quad bike, contact your bike’s manufacturer or a qualified service agent.


Safety alert: The importance of checking and servicing quad bike drive belts (PDF 150 KB)