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How to Install Ski Guides on a Snowmobile Trailer Deck


Keep your snowmobiles in prime condition and make your loading process as smooth as possible by properly installing ski guides onto your trailer deck. Designed to reduce friction on the skis as you load them on or off your trailer, these crucial trailer accessories can make all the difference come snowmobile season.

Two sled open trailer deck with installed ski guides
Two sled open trailer deck with installed ski guides

Measure your trailer properly

“Measure twice, cut once.” Even better, measure twice, then load your snowmobile up into the trailer and measure again just to be safe. If you already have guides on hand, place them into position and measure again before you start to install them. Better to measure multiple times than redo 100 screws.

Choose quality materials/products

Certain types of plastics will crack or become brittle over time, whereas more durable products will hold up under the pressure of the guides and snowmobile throughout the harsh temperatures and conditions of the winter season.

Shiny galvanized self-tapping screws
Shiny galvanized self-tapping screws with countersunk head and external thread

Use appropriate hardware

If your ski guides came with hardware, you’re golden. If they didn’t, choose hardware designed specifically for outdoor use that won’t corrode with winter road salt. Stainless steel is always a safe bet, and zinc-coated deck screws might be a good choice in a pinch as they’re designed to be used outside year-round in all weather conditions.

Black Ice 5' ski guides with oval mounting holes
Black Ice 5' ski guides with oval mounting holes

Account for shifting temperatures and don’t overtighten

Depending on your location, the daily temperature can fluctuate enormously; not to mention the wild swing from the winter season into summer. Up here in Wisconsin, for instance, the transition from winter to spring sees months of brutal cold winds but blinding sunlight, followed by frigid mornings with highs sometimes in the 70s as the weather drunkenly stumbles into appropriately mild, albeit wet weather in the lead-up to summer.

Those changes in temperature mean that plastic or poly-based ski guides will be expanding and contracting with the ebb and flow of the ambient temperature. If they’re screwed down too tightly, with no wiggle room at all, they are more prone to cracking or warping.

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