A conventional ATV, UTV, Side-by-Side, or 4×4 vehicle will often flounder when encountering water obstacles such as
- Ponds and lakes
- Creeks, streams
- Slow-moving rivers
- Lagoons and bayous
- Marsh and swamp
- Stormwater basins/retention ponds
- Flooded roadways and tracks
Agile amphibious capabilities allow such obstacles to be crossed routinely; the vehicles are naturally amphibious and self-propel afloat using tyres or tracks. Likewise swamp, marsh and mixed deep-water stretches, where inherently low ground pressure and good approach-departure angles make the best of soft terrain and allows the vehicle to transition seamlessly between and over firm, soft and water obstacles.
The fully encased and sealed lower structure characteristic of our amphibious vehicles has an important secondary function; sealing out contamination and protecting the drivetrain – greatly decreasing maintenance while concurrently increasing durability.
In short, the naturally amphibious Agile vehicle offers a tremendous advantage in freedom of off-road mobility compared to most other vehicles, and with few compromises.
The vehicle hull with standard tyres is designed to displace 2 cubic metres of water, and with a fully rimmed upper, a further 0.87 cubic metres can be displaced. This amounts to a minimum displacement of 2000kg and a maximum displacement of 2870kg. However displacement is only part of the story, the vehicle has an inherently low centre of gravity, which is essential to assure stability on land and afloat.
The vehicle is capable of propelling itself at up to to 5 knots in water using wheels or tracks, until the point at which the wheels become totally submerged and tractive ‘paddle’ effect is lost. For a vehicle with standard 26x12x14″ Aggressor tyres and no flotation this will typically happen at about 1900kg all-up mass, beyond which either additional flotation (for instance bigger tyres or flotation bags) or secondary propulsion (for instance outboard motor) is required.
Good watermanship principles apply when working on water; waves and other disturbances will reduce effective freeboard, speed of currents and wind should be taken into account, loads should be stowed and secured so as to retain stability, passengers should remain under control, safety equipment should always be carried, life preservers should be worn, seat belts should not be worn and the vehicle should only be operated by experienced personnel, properly briefed for the task in hand.