Multiple Leduc businesses and industry powerhouses, along with UTV Canada in Leduc, have combined efforts to create the Expedition Build project.
Expedition Build is an enclosed, four-seater ATV prototype that will be traveling to Tennessee for the international Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) Can-AM dealer convention later this year.
“Our machine will be one of the prototype machines on display there,” explained UTV Canada owner Reid Nehring.
“The Expedition Build is a four-seater Can-Am BRP,” he added.
Nehring was approached last fall at the Toronto International Snowmobile and ATV show by Terra-Tech Off Road director and principal trainer Mike Bennett with the concept for the machine.
Bennett re-approached UTV Canada this spring with a plan to develop the prototype, sponsors in place and Dirt Trax Television on board to provide international media coverage with a three-part series on the construction of the machine and a magazine feature.
“The unique thing we have going here is we’ve been able to get some of the other local businesses involved,” said Nehring. Gee and Gee Racing Inc. and DC Signs and Designs are two of the businesses lending their expertise and products to the project.
“I’m please and proud we’ve been able to take a bunch of Leduc talent and showcase it internationally,” said Nehring.
With the Expedition Build four people will be able to travel into the wilderness on the machine, which is self-sustaining for 72 hours. It includes a refrigeration unit, hydration, extra fuel, cooking abilities and a roof rack to carry camping gear in waterproof duffle bags donated to the project.
“It’ll have a military-grade vehicle tracking system in it,” said Nehring.
“It’s built to withstand the rugged trails, anything we can throw at it,” he added.
With the help of other “industry giants” such as Dragon Fire, Lowrance GPS, S3 Power Sports and SSV Works, the Expedition Build boasts features such as four-way communication using microphones and helmets. “And also car-to-car (communication) if you’re traveling with another group of people,” said Nehring.
The actual construction of the machine began in July and it must be done by the end of August in order to be ready for BRP Can-AM convention.
Nehring says when Bennett with approached him with the project he was skeptical. “It was ‘okay, you’ve got people approaching you with these projects . . . put it on paper, show us something that’s real’.”
“When he approached us this spring with a plan . . . it was ‘wow, we’d be crazy not to get on board’,” he added.
Nehring says co-coordinating transportation of the parts, since many are coming from the United States, has been one of the project’s biggest challenges. One of the mechanical difficulties has been the suspension of the vehicle. With all the attributes the Expedition Build has Nehring says the machine has an added 750 pounds. “We’ve got a lot of unsprung weight we’ve had to deal with.”
Wiring the machine with all it different systems has also proved challenging. “We’ve had so many different electrical systems come together. We’re taxing out electrical experts to the bone,” said Nehring.
With the international coverage the project is poised to receive Nehring hopes the Expedition Build has a strong future in the industry. “Our hope is we’re going to attract custom builds from (the) industry, also from military and law enforcement.”