Swamp buggies include a wide variety of custom-designed and -built vehicles that are specifically engineered to operate in muggy, boggy and swampy environments. They are usually equipped with large tires that allow them to travel high off the ground. They look like pick up trucks and track vehicles on steroids.
Because many of these vehicles are custom built or otherwise modified road machines, they vary widely in their design. They may have multiple axles, four, six or even eight wheels, and a variety of frames. The National Park Service estimates that the average swamp buggy weighs nearly two tons with larger versions exceeding three and a half tons.
These vehicles cause soil erosion and sedimentation by cutting deep ruts in environments subject to periodic heavy rainfall. They kill vegetation and alter the natural flow of water across the landscape.
In Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, these machines have created about 23,000 miles of unauthorized routes that have chopped up wildlife habitat.