The best homemade pneumatic all-terrain vehicles: which swamp vehicles and caracats on low-pressure tires you can make with your own hands

Homemade transport is common in Russia. Thanks to the imagination and skill of engineers and simple talented home-made workers, models appear that are not produced at large enterprises. The need for such machines arises in hard-to-reach areas; They are loved by hunters, fishermen and travelers. Particularly popular among them are homemade pneumatic all-terrain vehicles.

Types of caracat all-terrain vehicles

This is the name for a light off-road vehicle with a small cabin on 3 or 4 large low-pressure tires.

There are several types:

  1. Lightweight, made from motor vehicles.
  2. With a low-power engine on a simple frame and a small body. Engines from motorcycles and walk-behind tractors are used as components.
  3. The most expensive models are based on production cars. Often craftsmen install high-pressure tires from Niva or UAZ on them and rework their suspension.
  4. All-terrain vehicles built from scratch. They embody maximum creativity. Their creators make the frame, cabin, and body themselves, so it is impossible to find 2 identical samples in this category.

What are the options

Before you make a swamp vehicle with your own hands, you need some information and preparation. Technical knowledge will come in handy, as well as out-of-the-box thinking, but the result will allow you to truly conquer impassable places.

The banal fact of saving speaks in favor of self-made production; you can use used parts.

The most popular option is a car with low pressure tires

Most of the result will depend on them; it is important to think through the simplest possible design so that in the future you do not depend on complex parts in the event of a breakdown; A do-it-yourself swamp boat is even easier to make; it will allow you to move through flooded areas, it is suitable for shallow depths, but does not really like overgrown spaces; If there are a lot of thickets on the reservoir, it is best to take up a swamp vehicle on caterpillars. It is more difficult to do it with your own hands, but sometimes it is necessary.

It is important to buy a Tarpan walk-behind tractor with a Briggs Stratton or GCV-160 engine

Design features of the pneumatic duct

A distinctive feature of the SUV on pneumatic wheels is the frame with an articulated mechanism. This ensures that each wheel rotates at an angle to the others, increasing cross-country ability and the ability to move over obstacles.

According to their purpose, such caracats are divided into the following special equipment:

  • swamp walkers;
  • snowmobiles;
  • universal pneumatic ducts.

The principle of operation of an all-terrain vehicle on low-pressure tires

Overcoming obstacles and high maneuverability became possible due to the installation of large diameter wheels.

Among caracat manufacturers and buyers, such rollers are called pneumatic.

Their distinctive features:

  • special design for maximum contact with the ground;
  • low specific pressure inside, ensuring minimal load on the soil;
  • driving an all-terrain vehicle of this type only by a trained driver;
  • inability to travel on public roads.


Watch the report from the 12th minute on the capabilities of tubeless tires in overcoming water obstacles: (from about the 13th minute),

And a report on the quality and cross-country ability of tires (from about 5 minutes 40 seconds).

Let us briefly list the main features of products from TREKOL: • Guaranteed long-term operation and high return on investment. • Provides excellent performance on road surfaces. • Thanks to the high displacement of 650 liters, ensuring efficient crossing of water obstacles. • Thanks to the flexible and elastic surface, the tires have reliable protection against damage, unlike models with high pressure.

Tools and materials for building transport

Basically, pneumatic all-terrain vehicles are assembled with your own hands in the garage, using donors - old domestic cars.

The elements you can’t do without in your work are the following:

  • a suitable frame that can withstand a load of at least 200 kg;
  • rear axle for mounting wheels;
  • driver's seat with seat;
  • glazing or shields to protect it from moisture and dirt;
  • engine;
  • off-road prepared tires;
  • lighting devices for night driving.

Tools you will need:

  • welding machine;
  • angle grinder (grinder);
  • wrenches;
  • hammer, chisel;
  • files;
  • pliers;
  • electric drill;
  • ruler, caliper, tape measure;
  • knife;
  • winch.

Instructions for making an all-terrain vehicle

Before starting work, you need to study the drawings and begin creating the machine according to this plan:

  • weld a frame from a metal square or rectangular profile;
  • make a kingpin and independent suspension to assemble a breaking joint;
  • assemble the rear axle or take a ready-made one from an old car;
  • mount the suspension on shock absorbers;
  • install a suitable engine on the frame, for example from a walk-behind tractor;
  • secure the seat;
  • screw on plastic or metal protection;
  • put the wheels on;
  • connect lighting equipment.

The master selects brakes, fasteners for attachments and security systems individually for the project being implemented.

Difficult aspects of assembly

The most labor-intensive part of pneumatic tire production is the production of low-pressure tires.

They are made this way:

  • select an old truck tire with a low degree of wear;
  • clean it from dirt;
  • dismantle the wire through the cut over the entire area;
  • cut a rectangular window nearby;
  • securely fix the wheel;
  • tear off the outer layer of rubber;
  • weld a disk from scrap material;
  • They put the resulting camera on him.

What does a homemade product look like?

Each master sees the fruit of his labor in his own way. Most often, a homemade pneumatic duct is a small cabin with or without glazing, mounted on a breakable frame. This design moves on 3 or 4 large wheels.


Before you begin building a homemade all-terrain vehicle, you need to familiarize yourself with its structure in order to make the right choice of design components.

Engines, transmission

The power unit is usually selected depending on the price. Moreover, the simpler the design, the easier it will be to repair and configure. Most often, when building an all-terrain vehicle with your own hands, they use car engines.

It is noted that the diesel engine will provide low fuel consumption, and the gasoline engine will be easy to start even during severe frosts. It is worth thinking in advance about a forced cooling system for the vehicle and purchasing a pre-heater.

Frame, body

To create the frame you will need steel pipes with a square or round cross-section. Both welded and screw type connections are used. The option of using a monocoque body is rarely used, because it does not provide resistance to heavy loads

In addition to strength, it is worth paying attention to such a point as resistance to destruction by corrosion: for this, as well as to reduce weight, plastic or aluminum cladding is used. If the vehicle must be buoyant, the lower part of the hull must be sealed - the entry of water is limited to the place where the drive outlet is located, using seals

Tires, tracks

If necessary, by reducing the pressure, you can transform the wheel - thanks to the expansion of the support, you can significantly reduce the load on the road surface. It is worth remembering that a low distance from the bottom to the ground creates inconvenience when trying to overcome a high obstacle. When building a crawler all-terrain vehicle, spring steel rods can be used. Drum brakes are often replaced by planetary gears. There are times when there is no factory caterpillar available from any equipment, and then you can make it yourself.

You can add many important and useful details to the design:

  • windscreen wipers;
  • autonomous stoves;
  • rear view mirrors;
  • acoustics and music centers;
  • indicators and control devices;
  • electric seats;
  • lighting equipment and other additional elements.

Manufacturers of pneumatic all-terrain vehicles

Not only homemade products are popular among fishermen and hunters, but also factory-made equipment:

  1. The Max company supplies the two-seater Max 2, which is an amphibian with a speed of movement on water of up to 12 km/h. Max 4 for 6 people and Buffalo transport are available for sale.
  2. Argo offers the 8x8 OutFitter model with 8 wheels or tracks. The car drives through snow, swamps, rocks and overcomes water.
  3. The tracked Tinger is versatile and does not go fast: only 45 km/h on land and 4 km/h on water. The pressurized cabin comfortably accommodates 5 people.
  4. The domestically produced industrial all-terrain vehicle Transmash carries 10 people or other large cargo in a closed body. Track suspension is useful in snow, mud, and forest floors.
  5. The two-wheeled pneumatic vehicle Tarus 2X2 is a reliable single-seat two-wheeled vehicle for off-road travel. Thanks to its collapsible design, it can be transported in the trunk of a car.

For a person who is passionate about hiking in the wilds of the forest, to distant lakes, a pneumatic vehicle will become a faithful friend and assistant: it does not matter whether it is bought in a store or made with one’s own hands.

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