Quad bikes rev rural economy
A 10.8 per cent increase in the sale of new quad bikes is strong indication that farmers are focussing on productive investment.
Yet, as Federated Farmers points out, not all quad bikes are destined for the farm
‘‘It is positive economic news that the Motor Industry Association reports the sales of quad bikes are up 10.9 per cent over 2010,’’ said Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers president.
‘‘Quad bikes take a pounding so is one asset we need to plan for periodic replacement. That explains why 6570 were sold in 2011. Let me put it this way, when compared to tractors, there’s very few ‘vintage’ quad bikes around.
‘‘Quad bikes are the farmer’s Swiss army knife but aren’t cheap. Without options, a new quad bike represents a five-figure investment. Any increase in sales, such as 645 more sold in 2011 over 2010, indicates that farmers are focused on productive investment.
‘‘A strong increase in sales may indicate greater confidence from the non-dairy sector especially.
‘‘Better returns are seeing farmers tackle deferred maintenance and that’s good.
‘‘It is also interesting to read that quad bike sales were some 70 per cent higher than the sales of road-going bikes over 50cc.
‘‘While there are more quad bikes, users need to understand that they are unforgiving if abused. Federated Farmers, Farmsafe, ACC and the Department of Labour all stress the need for users to be competent and trained.
‘‘That’s a message that the sizeable recreational market needs to heed. Casual and recreational users need to understand that quad bikes aren’t toys and training is essential,’’ Mr Wills said.