Can-Am Traxter 6×6 UTV is clumsy but offers plenty of grip

Four-wheel drive has most of the bases covered when it comes to off-road driving, but there are a few renegades out there that think six will do the job better.

One of these is Canadian outfit Can-Am, which has recently grafted an extra section of chassis and another pair of wheels onto its Traxter UTV.

The result is a near 4m-long juggernaut, complete with a double-sized tipping bed and the ability to carry and tow slightly heavier loads.

See also: Video: Can-Am Outlander 450 on test

Can-Am Traxter 6×6 DPS HD10

  • Engine 976cc Rotax V-twin
  • Power/torque 82hp/94Nm
  • Transmission Two-range belt CVT
  • Drivetrain Switchable four- and six-wheel drive
  • Cargo bed capacity 454kg
  • Towing capacity 1,360kg
  • Starting price £24,099

Extra traction and load-lugging ability is all positive stuff for a working vehicle, but the question is whether all this added complexity, bulk and cost is worth it. And who is going to benefit from the upgrade?

Our test vehicle arrived from Powys dealer Mike Pryce Machinery in the firm’s top HD10 spec, which is the only option for the 6×6.

Like its four-wheeled kinsmen, this comes with a 976cc Rotax V-twin engine that develops a generous 82hp and 94Nm torque, along with a two-range belt CVT transmission and an auto-locking front differential.

But the addition of another pair of wheels means the back-end configuration is completely different.

Power is always sent to the mid differential, meaning the default setting is four-wheel drive, and there’s another driveshaft that sends power to the rear when the driver flicks a switch on the dash.

What’s it like to drive?

The 6×6 is undeniably clumsy compared with a four-wheeler but, considering its prodigious length, it is surprisingly easy to manoeuvre.

Part of this is down to the light power steering and tight steering angle, but it’s also something to do with the clever way Can-Am has set up the drivetrain, which results in surprisingly little tyre scrabbling.

Can-Am Traxter 6x6 rear frame

© James Andrews

Performance from the V-Twin petrol engine – there’s no diesel option, I’m afraid – is also impressive, with rapid acceleration, good pulling power and a heady top speed of about 60mph.

It’s stable on fast-paced tarmac jaunts too, so much so that it’s easy to forget there are extra wheels in play.

But it is challenging off-road conditions where the third axle comes into its own.

Not only does it give the chassis added stability when crossing rough terrain, but the extra 50% grip gives it a noticeable edge when clambering up loose and slippery ground.

At the time of testing, the surface was fairly dry, but there’s little doubt that the six-wheel-drive setup will also give it a helping hand in wet conditions – ideal for anyone that needs to traverse boggy moorland.

Can-Am Traxter 6x6 rear wheels

© James Andrews

Independent suspension with gas-charged shocks is fitted on all corners and this does an admirable job of soaking up bumps, even when barrelling along rutted tracks and rough patches of ground.

With almost 30cm of travel it can also absorb some fairly bit hits.

It generally goes without saying these days, but it also has hydraulic disc brakes on all wheels which anchor it up reassuringly quickly.

How much can it carry and tow?

The 6×6’s extended wheelbase has made room for a huge 1,845mm-long load bed, which is almost twice the length of the one fitted on the four-wheel Traxter.

This sounds useful but, with just a 454kg load rating, operators need to very be careful not to overload it.

Those that do push it could run the risk of doing serious damage as, in a bid to keep weight down, Can-Am has kept the chassis fairly lightweight.

Can-Am Traxter tipping

© James Andrews

There’s also no option of an electronic tipping ram, so overzealous loaders only have the assistance of a couple of gas struts to get heavy cargo back out again.

Towing capacity is shade higher than the conventional Traxter – up 224kg to 1,360kg – and the additional grip will no doubt help when hauling big loads in tough conditions.

Is the cab comfortable?

In typical UTV fashion, the Traxter 6×6 has a modular cab setup, meaning buyers can opt for anything from an open roll-over frame with roof panel to a fully enclosed workspace featuring solid doors with electric windows and a flip-up windscreen.

Scores of options are on offer too, including a defrost, heat and ventilation system, heated seats and steering wheel, and an audio system.

Our test vehicle was fitted with the slightly cheaper Rigid Clear Cab, which has full-length glass doors with sliding windows.

These aren’t as handy as wind-down affairs, as you can’t lean out or cruise around with your arm propped on the door top.

But the couple of grand saving over the top-spec version means it’s a popular choice.

Can-Am Traxter 6x6 cab

© James Andrews

Inside, the 6×6 is identical to a conventional Traxter, with seating for three, a gear selector with park position (so there’s no need for a hand brake) and a simple set of switches.

It’s one of the better-appointed UTV interiors out there but, like all these vehicles, there is an abundance of slightly cheap-looking black plastic.

At low engine speeds, the Traxter is considerably quieter than most diesels so it’s relatively pleasant when cruising around at a leisurely pace.

But the din increases considerably at full chat, meaning occupants have to holler fairly loudly at each other to have a conversation.

Cab insulation kits are listed in the brochure, which might make a difference. But it’s unlikely to get it to the level of John Deere’s top-spec Gator, which has car-like levels of hush.

Is it high maintenance?

All Can-Am vehicles are fairly labour intensive on the maintenance front, and the 6×6’s extra set of wheels and suspension has only added to the workload.

On the suspension assemblies alone, there are 24 grease nipples that are supposed to have a shot every 100 hours when worked hard.

The rest of it is fairly standard stuff, such as engine oil and filters and the occasional transmission belt.


It is fair to say that the Traxter 6×6 is a niche vehicle. Most agricultural buyers can get everywhere they need with a regular four-wheeler, so it’s only those working in extreme conditions that will see a marked benefit.

For these users it acts as a sort of halfway house between a regular UTV and the amphibious Argocat, transporting three people and plenty of useful stuff in relative comfort.

It’s quick too, so there’s no need to load it onto a trailer to access your patch of wilderness 10 miles down the road.

The extra load area is another bonus, but the fact that it has limited weight capacity means it’s only useful for light, bulky materials.

And, if traction isn’t a problem, Can-Am’s Traxter Pro provides similar load-lugging abilities on just two axles.

Like all Can-Ams, the 6×6 is only available with a petrol engine, but the payoff is lively performance and a fast top speed, meaning there’s little hardship in running to the pumps to refuel.

Plus, there’s also the option of fitting it with an LPG conversion, which should make it comparable, if not cheaper, to run than a diesel.

Likes and gripes

✔ Six wheels give plenty of grip and stability

✔ Gutsy engine

✔ Large load area

✘ Clumsier than four-wheel equivalents

✘ Easy to overload the chassis

✘ Extra wheels mean more maintenance

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