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I’m seeing more and more of these utility vehicles around lately. They’re made by companies like John Deere, Kawasaki, and Cub Cadet. Here in the commonwealth we don’t have as many farms as we used to, and I’m wondering why people own them.

I could totally see owning one if you had 3000 acres in Wyoming, but then again that’s what what pick-ups and tractors are for, right? The do look cool with their knobby tires, fancy independent suspensions, and roll cages, but does anyone really use them as serious work vehicles or are they mostly the toys of people with too much money?
So what’s your opinion? Useful as heck or over-hyped golf cart? Let us know in the comments.

 

18 Responses to Hot or Not: Utility Vehicles

  1. Scraper says:

    I would say a little of both. A friend just bought the Kubota version. Their 4-wheeler was stolen and they thought this would be a more useful replacement. They could survive without it, but it is a handy way to work the vineyard without dragging out the big truck or tractor.

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Hot, If you work in the woods. Just like a small truck. Turns much tighter, Fits in between trees that you’d never get a truck through. capable of going through some pretty scary terrain. makes better time through tight trails/woods. Much better gas mileage. Light footprint, not much environmental damage. Great for carrying a few saws gas can and toolbox. Or couple rolls of barbed wire and your fencing tools. Almost as much fun to drive as a motorcycle. Now how do I shoe horn that 140 horse power snowmobile engine in it?

    I wish I had bobcats version.

    http://www.bobcat.com/utility_machines/products

  3. Michael W. says:

    Hot, at least here in rural NY. My father-in-law has one and he uses the heck out of it. Handy for fire wood, etc. We’re thinking of getting one to aid in the gathering of sap for our mini maple syrup production.

  4. N4NLN says:

    Hot! We have a Kawaski Mule with the diesel engine and dump bed. it is easily the most frequently-used equipment on the farm, including the two tractors. With a water tank in the back, they can fill troughs, and with a portable genset in the back, they can do almost any job anywhere on the farm. We’d be lost without it and we are contemplating a second one.

  5. Bobk says:

    Hot. We’ve never had any actual fights over the use of ours, but we have had some fairly spirited footraces under the premise that possession means right of first use.

    bobk

  6. Ola Senor says:

    Now that pickups will run you $20k, have limited visibilty and are two nice to run on a farm, these are ideal.

    these are perfect for a small farm or horse barn. My neighbor uses his to haul hay around, cart fence posts, has a small grader on the back to regrade the road, and has a smoother (piece of chain link) for the horse arena. It will fit in the small barn, and is maneuverable as heck.

    You can get them in 6 wd, with a variety of options. Purpose built with a lot of utility, very handy.

  7. Mike says:

    I dont know about the fancy suspentions and knobby tires but the maintenence crews at the differen apartment complexes around here have them. Maybe the cheaper lighter terain kind more like golf carts with a bed behind. They drive around and can haul stuff across the complex. They arent stuck to the road but can go up sidewalks avoidt trafic and can drive between buildings over hill and across lawns. The visiabilty is better and their cheaper. Most of these places dont need a deicated pickup truck.

  8. PutnamEco says:

    How about mini trucks? They are starting to catch on around here (N. central FL.)

    http://www.americasminitruckcenter.com/japanese-mini-trucks.cfm

    the Suzuki seem to be the most favored.

    http://www.americasminitruckcenter.com/suzuki-japanese-mini-trucks.cfm

  9. Fzzt says:

    Cheaper than a Hummer©,
    Safer than an ATV,
    Lot of fun to drive.

  10. KaiserM715 says:

    Not. Get a Suzuki Samurai. Less investment (about $4k vs about $9k) and can be driven on the road (a good in-town commuter w/ a thrifty 4 cyl). Height, width and length are similar.

  11. Jonathan T. says:

    HOT!
    When you run grounds on a 47 acre city cemetery, these things are glorious. You can carry way more sod than a wheelbarrow, carry a dozen string trimmers, and half a dozen warm bodies, gas cans, you name it. The ATV tires are much easier on headstones than say, a full ton truck tire. Not enough power for summer employees to really get into trouble, but enough to pull a custom trailer with all the equipment you need for a burial. Load up a 30 gal tank for spraying weeds on the fences, or just use the bed for trash & litter duty. A little chilly in the winter (and missing a sound system), but very dependable overall. A good companion to a stout truck, but not a replacement.

  12. Dave says:

    They’re hot. When I was working for Six Flags they had a bunch of them that the mechanics used to get to the different rides. They’re pretty awesome for getting around at work. The auto shop put governors on them after someone rolled theirs. They move pretty fast without it. I can’t see owning one for home use right now, but if I bought 30 acres or something, then I would definitely have use for it. It’s better than a field car because it’s lighter and therefore won’t get stuck as easily. It also hauls a lot more stuff than an ATV.

  13. Eli says:

    Hot. As a grip I’ve driven the Gator and the Mule. The Mule is faster and more powerful. They were lifesavers in New Orleans on “Dukes of Hazzard”. You could load half the forty footer on two or three of these and drill across a medium sized farm in a few minutes. We were running back and forth with three, and if we’d had more guys, we could have used three more. We even mounted the camera on them for a couple of shots. Fastest way to get to the caterer for lunch.

  14. Matt says:

    My father-in-law uses a small golfcart w/ a dump bed on it. less than 15 acres but it works for them. Plus battery charged so no gas bill and usually easy to fix.

  15. Eric Dykstra says:

    Hey Rick,

    I live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  16. Andrew says:

    i was interested in a Jap. mini pickup many companies make them do a google search, like a atv cart but a heated enclosed cab.

  17. Elijah says:

    I’ve wanted a Electric Golf Cart for some time – now I have enough info to purchase one!

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