As you probably know already, ATVs are very popular among farmers and ranchers for use as a general work tool. In fact, farmers make up a significant amount of ATV owners, and many of them do not really care about their sporty pretensions. They are more looking for things like 4X4 capability, dependability, and obviously some comfort to go with it. Given the fact that ATVs were first introduced as a work tool, manufacturers have consistently made models specifically catered to the farmers.
And this is where this article come in. I decided to make a list of the best ATVs for farm work so that you can be well informed if you are in the lookout for one. If you really need something to haul produce and do general farm work, you can’t go wrong with either the first or second choice on this list. I also talk a bit on the things that you should be looking for in a work/farm ATV. Please enjoy!
Things To Look For In A Farm ATV
So before looking for anything, I think it’s important for you to know what to look in a work ATV. This is something that is going to vary a lot between user, but I think we can make some generalizations.
- Comfort: I think the most important thing bar none is getting an ATV that is comfortable to operate and to sit on. This is pretty obvious but so many people overlook this for some reason. Work ATVs will be used for long periods of time, so it’s important that it’s not a pain to operate. The seat, in particular, should be comfy and ergonomic, and the electronics should be as intuitive as possible. Electronic Power Steering is a godsend in these types of ATVs.
- Dependability: This is also one key factor that a work ATV must-have. They need to be reliable and able to withstand hours of use, typically in hot weather. Thankfully, most manufacturers worry a lot about this in their utility ATVs. But still, you should really do your due diligence and check out of the model that you are buying has any factory problems that might give you issues in the field. Manufacturers like Honda, Polaris, and Yamaha tend to have the best reliability, so looking at those brands might be wise if you are really looking for something that won’t break.
- 4WD System: Another important consideration is if the quad has 4WD capability. In my opinion, if you have a work ATV, it must be ready for kind of terrain. And that’s where 4WD comes in. it’s going to ensure that you aren’t stopped by mud, snow, or any kind of uneven terrain that you might find yourself in. 4WD may or may not be an option on the following ATVs, but thankfully adding it is pretty cheap.
Honda Fourtrax Rancher – The Best For Farm Work!
When it comes to farm ATVs, you can’t go wrong with the Honda Fourtrax. In fact, it’s the best choice available in my opinion, and that is because you get everything that you look for in a work ATV: reliability, bang for your buck, and performance. This is a favorite among both farmers and enthusiasts alike, so if you are looking that will last you a long time while providing great utility for the price, this model should be on the top of your list.
The main pro about this model is the fact that it’s so dependable. Hondas have gained a reputation for being rugged workhorses, and the same holds true for this model. Expect this ATV to last you years without giving you any kind of issues, something that is very important for a utility model. Honda models tend to be quite reliable because they do not innovate as much as other brands, but this can be a con too, so don’t expect a cutting edge ATV on the Fourtrax.
Also, one of the other great things that I like about this model is the fact that it’s quite affordable for what you get. This model starts at about $4,500, which is very reasonable when considering what you get. Other options like EPS and 4×4 are very affordable, and this overall is a great value option for people on a budget. Now, if you are looking for something with a wide variety of options, it might be wise to look somewhere else.
Now as I said above, one of the main cons of this model is the fact that it’s not as technologically advanced as other utility models available. In fact, Honda has a few years already using several components on the Fourtrax, and while that helps with the reliability, it also affects the performance of the model. The same thing applies with the technology. The EPS of this model isn’t as smooth as the system found on Yamaha models for example.
Something else that I do not like about this model is the fact that it’s not the most comfortable option available. This Honda feels very rugged and the suspension feels kind of sporty sometimes, which might be fine for some people, but I’m sure that some folks might be uncomfortable after hours of riding. If you are looking for something with more give, checking out the Polaris Sportsman below might be recommended.
Yamaha Grizzly – 4-Wheeled Beast For Heavy Duty Work!
If you are looking for a serious heavy-duty workhorse that will also double as a fun recreational toy on the weekends, then take a look at the Yamaha Grizzly. This is one of the premier sports-utility ATVs on the market, and its combination of size, power, and offroading capability is a great choice for anybody doing heavy work on a farm setting. This is a pretty expensive model though. It might be wise to look for the Grizzly smaller brother the Kodiak if you are on a budget.
The first thing that I must mention about this ATV is the fact that it has so much torque. I had previously lauded this ATV for being a heck of a choice if you are going to be plowing with it, and that was because this baby has so much power on it. This is why it’s a great choice for recreational riding too. The big bulky frame is effortlessly moved by the motor, and overall this is a perfect choice for anybody looking to do some heavy plowing on this baby or even towing for that matter.
Also, if you are looking for a 4×4 setup that can go anywhere, the Grizzly won’t disappoint. I have ridden this ATV in several terrains, including heavy mud, and let me tell you, the 4WD system on this ATV is one of the best ones on the business, doing a great job of getting the wheels unstuck of even the stickiest of situations. Combine this with available EPS and you have a very capable ATV that can do it all while being very easy to operate and own. Also, the 4×4 system comes standard, unlike many other utility ATVs out there.
This is one of the reasons why this is one of the best choices for anybody looking for a sports utility quad. I personally know many people that could only buy 1 ATV, and they chose this due to the fact that this is such a versatile choice. This baby will accelerate almost as violently as a Raptor while being very comfortable and useful. Now, don’t expect sport ATV levels of handling, but it’s going to be good enough for most people.
But there’s one con that we must talk about: this is a pretty expensive ride. In fact, I think this is the most expensive choice in its class, and while it’s completely worth it in my opinion, not everybody is going to be able to pay $10,000 for a base grizzly. If you add options this ATV could easily top over 12 grand. If this is you, I would recommend that you check out the Grizzly smaller brother, the Kodiak.
Polaris Sportsman – Versatile, Comfortable, And Dependable!
Ah, Polaris. They are one of the oldest ATV brands available, and they have really cemented a reputation for producing technologically advanced ATVs that are easy to use and very comfortable. Their flagship ATV, the Sportsman, is a Sports utility ATV that features very smooth operation, a lot of versatility, and it’s pretty affordable if you ask me. Reliability is pretty good and resale values aren’t too bad either. If ease of use and comfort are of utmost importance on your ride, then you should check the Sportsman out.
The main selling point of the Sportsman is its ease of use. The Sportsman was one of the first ATVs to really introduce electronics on the frame, and you are going to notice that as soon as you hop onto one of these. The Sportsman comes standard with electronic fuel injection and rolled independent rear suspension, something that can’t be said for many of the ATVs on this list.
This is also a pretty affordable ATV for what you get. The Sportsman comes standard with a lot of features and this makes this a good value. Parts are also very easy to come by, so if you are on a budget but still want a new ATV, then this could be your best choice!
The Sportsman also has the added distinction of being a very comfortable ATV. Polaris has always featured well-damped shocks on their rides, and the same holds true for the Sportsman. If you suffer from a bad back or are going to be spending a lot of time sitting on the ATV, this could be a worthy option. The controls are very easy to use and ergonomic too, something that has always characterized Polaris models.
Can-Am Outlander – An Offroader’s Dream
One of the sickest Utility ATVs on the list, this is a great choice for anybody looking for a work ATV with great offroading capability. Also, this is one of the coolest looking ATVs I have seen, and so if style is something that you really value on your quad, you really need to check out this model. The only bad thing about this model is the fact that it’s not as reliable as the models that I mentioned above.
If you are looking for offroading performance, you really should look at the Outlander. This model has an excellent 11 inches of ground clearance on the base trim, and it’s rumored to be a few inches higher than that. The differentials do a great job of ensuring you maintain as much traction as possible, and so if you are going to do more hardcore offroading on heavy mudding conditions, crossing rivers, or plowing heavy amounts of snow, let me tell that you can’t you wrong with this.
The styling of Can-Am as also one of their biggest pros, at least in my book, and the same holds true with the Outlander. This model looks amazing, with a very edgy black frame accentuated with splashes of lime green throughout. There are several other color choices available and they all look great. In my opinion, this is the best looking Utility ATV on the market. It resembles more of a sports ATV than a utility one.
If there’s something that I do not like about this quad, it’s the fact that it’s not going to be as reliable as the other choices that I mentioned above. This has been a noted problem among Can-Am models, and while they have really improved on most of their model’s reliability, the truth is that they still have a long way to go. If you are looking for pure dependability, then take a look at the Honda above.
Kawasaki Brute Force 300 – Best For People On A Budget!
Kawasaki has been involved in the ATV game for several decades now, and recently they have really improved the quality and dependability of their products. The Kawasaki Brute Force has recently emerged as a viable option for anybody looking for a dependable work ATV at an accessible price point. Sadly, this ATV can be hard to find due to the fact that Kawasaki sellers are quite limited around the country. Still an ATV to consider though.
The main reason you want this is that it’s a great choice for people on a budget. This is perhaps the best bang for your buck ATV on this list, and while it’s going to miss a lot of bells and whistles that other ATVs will have, it will still get the job done without giving you issues. And can be just enough for many people. The Brute force kind of resembles old Honda ATVs in that it sometimes feels so visceral and mechanic, a far cry from today’s ATVs that are chock full of electrical components. Not that electronics are bad, but some people prefer a more back to basics setup on their quads.
Also, one of the other reasons you want this model is because it’s surprisingly reliable. Just like the Honda above, Kasawaki isn’t the kind of company to add new tech every year, and that means that they prefer to just perfect their products, making sure they have as few faults as possible. The engine on this ATV is a few years old now, and they have been using it with almost no modifications. This ensures the product maintains its dependability over the long term.
But one of the problems of Kawasaki as a brand is the fact that this ATV can be hard to find. There are rather few Kawasaki sellers, especially in smaller towns, so if this is your case, you may or may not be able to buy this in the first place. Parts are also pretty hard to find too.