...The Midwest 4 Wheel Drive
Association was founded on May 27, 1972. It is
comprised of concerned 4 WHEEL DRIVE CLUBS,
INDIVIDUALS, and BUSINESS FIRMS untied for the
betterment of four-wheeling...
The Midwest 4 Wheel Drive Association (MW4WDA)
covers a 7 state area with approximately 30 member
clubs ranging in size from 10 to 100 family
memberships. On the logo those states are:
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska,
North Dakota and South Dakota. There currently are
no member clubs in North Dakota, South Dakota or
Nebraska. With the area boundaries of the MW4WDA
being so large, states involved have found it
necessary to form "Associations within the
Association" to more effectively deal with
problems that can only be handled on a state
WHY WAS THE MW4WDA FOUNDED?
- To accomplish through a united effort, the
- Promote a more responsible attitude toward
the vehicle use of public lands.
- Prevent legislation which would impose undue
restrictions on off-road use.
- Institute programs of conservation,
education, and safety.
- To encourage State and Federal land managing
agencies to develop areas and trails for outdoor
- To disseminate information of interest to
vehicle orientated recreationalists.
- To promote statewide activities for the
enjoyment of the members.
Unlike our friends in the west, Midwest four
wheelers do not have access to the vast areas of
public land in which to enjoy our sport. Undaunted
by these problems, clubs have found unique
solutions which allow them access to private land.
It's no surprise then, that many clubs are very
secretive about the areas they use. Most clubs will
deal with a private landowner on a trade-off
system. If an individual or company owns a tract of
land, the club will attempt to trade services for
the use of that land. These may include repair or
WHAT HAS THE MW4WDA
- Gained the recognition and respect of State
and Federal agencies.
- Promoted legislation beneficial to vehicle
- Obtained more realistic and workable
regulations reguarding vehicle use.
- Detoured many unwanted and unjustified land
- Represented not only vehicle recreationalists
but all outdoor recreation at public hearings and
meetings reguarding wilderness areas, county
ordinances, Vehicle Control areas and all matters
pertaining to outdoor recreation.
The Midwest, like all other areas in the United
States suffered during the early eighties. Club
memberships dropped drastically due mainly to the
economy. The clubs who remained active during those
lean years have noticed the beginning of a
recovery. Many clubs in high unemployment areas
have found that the four wheel drive vehicle was
temporarily replaced by an energy efficient model,
at least for street use. To alleviate this problem,
some clubs changed their by-laws to admit persons
who didn't own a four wheel drive vehicle. In
those clubs, long time members tried to keep the
social aspect of the sport alive until better days
came along. The clubs that took these steps are the
ones who are now experiencing a rebirth.
The MW4WDA holds two full delegate meetings each
calendar year. The spring convention is hosted by a
Midwest club or a group of clubs in the city of
their choice. There is a strong emphasis on family
involvement at that convention. Although no four
wheeling actually takes place clubs will plan
skating parties, movies, and luncheons for the kids
while their parents are involved in the meetings.
One club simply hired a lifeguard for the pool. The
kids had a great time, even though they looked like
prunes by the end of the weekend.
The Midwest Fall Meeting is mainly devoted to
rule changes for the following year's rule book
and state level meetings. The delegate's still
get together on the Sunday of that weekend to
conduct the business of the association. The Fall
meeting is also the annual Awards Banquet. Top
Eliminators are honored while individual awards are
also presented, including the coveted Four Wheeler
of the Year Award. Top Eliminators are the
competitors who've earned points based on their
finishing position at each Midwest sanctioned race
during the previous summer. Those who received the
most points in each class are given an award to
honor their achievement.
Unlike other associations in United, Midwest
does not actually conduct these events that take
place during the summer. The clubs handle this on
their own. To hold a sanctioned event, the club
must agree to follow Midwest camping, safety, and
competitive rules to the letter. They are also
responsible for tabulating points for the
competitors in each event. In exchange for these
agreements, sanctioned events are able to purchase
event insurance at a reasonable group rate, plus
experience a large draw of competitors and their
families hope to accumulate those all important
points toward the top eliminator trophy.
Clubs themselves decide which of many events
they want to offer, which may include sand drag
racing, mud runs on up drags, hill climbing,
enduro, obstacle, rallies, or trail riding, in any
combination. The location of the event is at the
discretion of the club, usually in an area near
their home town.
Sanctioning levels vary depending on the needs
of the hosting clubs. A club wishing to host a
trail ride can apply for an "A" event
simply for the purpose of obtaining insurance. Most
clubs holding a competitive event will purchase the
"AA" sanctioning package. With this type,
competitors are guaranteed double points and a
guaranteed amount of money in the pay back schedule
for each event offered.
When not trail riding or racing in the winter,
clubs choose this time to get involved with local
disaster service agencies. Most of these services
are needed in the winter months during snow
emergencies. Food is delivered to shut-ins, doctors
and nurses are transported to and from hospitals
and stranded motorists are delivered to safe havens
until the weather clears up. During the summer
months, clubs have been involved in search and
rescue operations during plane crashes. Clean-up
projects following tornadoes also brings the clubs
out in force, while other clubs have aided in
finding children lost in forest areas. Each club
chooses which agency it wants to affiliate with.
The Red Cross, Civil Defense, State Patrol, and DNR
have all benefited from the four wheeler's
The association's greatest achievement was
earning the Jack Edward's Award in Ouray
Colorado. Four Wheelers as a group never look for
much in the way of recognition for the work they
do. When that recognition does come, they simply
walk a little taller for a while.