Ask the Editors: Is All Sand Created Equal?

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Dear ATVC:

I was prepping my ATV for sand use when a friend of mine said certain components are designed to be effective in certain type of sand. I’ve never heard of this before and noticed that nowhere on manufacturer info does it say what products work with what kind of sand. Is there any truth to this or is sand sand?

Believe it or not, your friend is right on this one. Although in all fairness, sand classification isn’t usually as cut and dry (no pun intended) as to demand different strength sand-resisting components.

If you’re wondering about the science behind this- it’s as simple as this: Sand is simply rock that’s been worn down by the elements (mostly by water) over time. Since not all rock is equally hard, neither is all sand equally abrasive. In that line of thinking, it’s probably a good thing there aren’t enough diamonds in the world to create entire deserts worth of dust.

While manufacturers typically don’t go through the effort of developing components designed for various grades of sand harshness, they do typically build gear to resist a wide variety of sand types to compensate. Generally speaking, the harder the sand particles, the quicker the wear rate.

Bonus fact: Some of the hardest sand on earth is found in the Australian outback.

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