ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE?

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Tips & Tricks -

An­other good ques­tion. A side-by-side or util­ity task ve­hi­cle (UTV) is larger than a quad, and typ­i­cally ac­com­mo­dates three oc­cu­pants on a sin­gle-bench seat (some mod­els can take up to six peo­ple, but these are usu­ally em­ployed on commercial rather than farm­ing en­ter­prises). Here’s a break­down of why many be­lieve UTVs are bet­ter than ATVs:

• Be­cause they’re larger and more com­pli­cated, side-by-sides are more ex­pen­sive than the av­er­age 4x4 ATV. But they can do a lot more. They have a large ute-type tray in the back so they can carry big­ger loads. Some will take a full-size pal­let. They also have more oc­ca­sional stor­age space

• UTVs are more car­like in their con­trols. They have a foot brake, an ac­cel­er­a­tor, and a steer­ing wheel, so those who would be in­tim­i­dated by a large ATV will feel more con­fi­dent in a side-by-side

• Side-by-sides have an in­te­gral roll­bar, known as a rollover pro­tec­tion struc­ture (ROPS), which makes the UTV safer in an ac­ci­dent. You’re not as prone in a UTV as you are on an ATV.

All the new mod­els have seat belts as well

• Be­cause of the roll­bar, a UTV can be fit­ted with doors, a roof, and a wind­screen. In other words, it can be weath­er­proofed, and that could be cru­cial if you live and work in a place like Tas­ma­nia where what­ever you touch is ei­ther cold or get­ting colder

• For those who live in a hot cli­mate (ev­ery­where but Tas­ma­nia), a roof pro­tects them from the sun.

The roof can also be used as a mount­ing point for a ra­dio, speak­ers and com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment

• You can’t put two peo­ple on a sin­gle-seater quad.

Well, you can if you’re stupid, but you can eas­ily fit three peo­ple in most UTVs, while some are built to take four or five pas­sen­gers

• Deal­ers tell us there’s been a no­tice­able swing away from ATVs and to­wards UTVs for all the above rea­sons.

Side-by-sides are more prac­ti­cal than nor­mal sin­gle-seater ATVs and can do a lot more. The only thing they can’t do is squeeze through tight spa­ces. But they’re safer when things go wrong way up.

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