Why more farmers are making the switch to UTVs
Published 13/05/2015 | 02:30
We've looked at some of the implements now available for ATVs and they certainly help improve productivity.
However, many farmers still maintain that the quad bike has had its day when compared to the productivity of a UTV (utility all-terrain vehicle).
There is certainly something of a trend developing as the workhorse performance of the utility all-terrain vehicle (and its versatility in being able to carry passengers and materials safely) wins over more farmers.
UTVs are more expensive than all but the most expensive quads (you are looking at around €12,000 to €15,000).
And farmers no doubt like the compact size and easy get-on-and-off nature of a quad bike for performing many of their daily duties. But on a productivity basis, the UTV takes some beating.
These vehicles can take at least one passenger in addition to the driver. At the same time, driver and passenger can take along the materials they need to complete tasks from feeding stock to fencing paddocks.
They are also much safer due to the presence of a roll bar.
For a mix of practicality and recreational fun, a petrol-fuelled ATV will provide the more exhilarating performance.
But plenty of farmers are prepared to sacrifice outright speed for the more recent development of battery packs powering electric motors to drive the UTV.
But for fuelling convenience, economy and down-to-earth practicality, the now extensive choice of diesel-engined UTV makes and models available will suit most farm requirements.
Established machines like the John Deere Gator have been joined by a host of alternatives from some familiar names and some less well-known manufacturers in farming circles.
Kubota's offering is unique in having hydrostatic drive rather than a 'belt and pulley' type CVT or stepless transmission. It's a popular arrangement, judging by the popularity of the machine among rural users, that gives good speed control within a choice of three ranges.
Moreover, Kubota supplies its RTV900 with a choice of specification packages to suit different users, including the Worksite version with hydraulic cargo box tipping and front bull bars and a road legal variant.