Get paid to ATV—yes, it happens

Riding an ATV doesn’t have to be something you do only after you punch out at work

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Trina Tosh wears a safety vest while sitting on a red ATV on a trail

Trina Tosh rides various kinds of ATVs for her work as woodlands operational supervisor at Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd. — Photo courtesy Trina Tosh

For most riders, ATVing is the activity to look forward to after work or on the weekend. Sure, getting paid to ride ATV would be nice, but it’s not realistic, is it? For Trina Tosh, woodlands operational supervisor at Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd. in Peace River, Alberta, ATVs are her day job and post-work pastime.

“I enjoy having a job that is a combination of office and field work,” she said. “The seat of an ATV is a nice office and I get to enjoy the forest with my job.”

For Tosh’s job, she develops and gets approvals for timber harvest areas for Mercer, including the field work needed to plan which timber will be harvested and then plan the road systems to haul the timber out. This involves a combination of driving, quadding and walking through the bush. Most of the terrain she rides is flat to rolling hills with a mixture of dry, wet and muskeg areas. It’s certainly more varied than a day at the office.

“Being out in the field keeps me active, and I am able to see all the small wonders and varying landscapes that you do not see from the highway,” she said.

That being said, Tosh’s workday isn’t all panoramic views and wide-open throttle riding.

“Being on the ATV all day can make for a long hard day depending on where you are,” said Tosh. “The downed trees and overgrown and beaver-flooded areas can make getting into where you have to be hard. We do not have the luxury of being on open trails a lot of the time.”

Because of the difficult terrain she traverses at work, Tosh prefers smoother trails when recreating with her family.

“We tend to go where we know there are open trails and places that have trail networks that we have not seen before,” she said.

Tosh is an example of how ATV enthusiasts can get paid to ride for a living. Just be aware that there will be a few bumps in the career change trail. 

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