An eye for a second-hand quad bargain
Finding a well-maintained ATV can be a tricky undertaking, so Bruce Lett delved into what to look for when buying from one careful owner
Published 02/11/2010 | 05:00
One of the most useful modern tools for livestock farmers is the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) -- or quad, as they are sometimes called. These are the modern day, mechanical equivalent of the horse -- only better.
An enormous amount of farming equipment has been built and developed around this versatile little machine, from a basic trailer to a mulching mower. In our recent Ploughing Championships report, we featured all manner of ATV kit, from Premech's new Multi-Purpose-Trailer to Quad-X's prototype trailed hedgecutter and Allingham's Quadcrate and fencing systems.
While they are extremely useful, new ATVs are quite expensive, which often puts off potential users before they even realise their usefulness. The alternative is a second- hand machine, but it can be pretty tricky to establish what is good and what is not so good.
So with a little help from the experts -- in this case Southeast Quads Centre just outside of Clonroche, Co Wexford -- the following guide to buying a second-hand ATV should help weed out the bad machines.
Southeast Quad Centre (www.quadattack.ie) was established about 13 years ago by farmer and contractor John Cullen and his wife, Eileen. It runs alongside their quad adventure facility, Quad Attack, and employs sons Paudie and Johnny, and long-term staff member Derek.
John has used most of the big names in ATV manufacturing at one stage or another in the adventure side of the business, so there's no better man to know his way around the machines.
The first bit of advice John offers is: "Buy a genuine make; an established brand such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Polaris, etc. Something that is being advertised with a Honda or Yamaha engine, chances are it is an older engine built under licence usually in China," John said.
"If you are buying a second-hand quad, buy it off someone you can come back to if you have a problem with it. Buy it with a three-month warranty."