Even though Side By Sides, also known as UTVs, have recently got on the spotlight because of their great offroading capabilities and nimbleness, their primary use historically has been that of that work tool, especially on farms. UTVs have been used in US fields and farms since the 60s, and with good reason: not only are they very useful for hauling different types of products or moving around fertilizer, but they will also do that work without breaking a sweat, without being very expensive or hard to live with. they are also extensively used on farms because of its offroading and 4WD capabilities.
And having said that, maybe you are looking at this article because you are looking for a side by side to assist you with farm work. And when it comes to that there are several good choices to choose from as of 2019. Below I provide a list of the best work UTVs available, considering several factors including price, hauling & towing capacity, among others. Other things that I considered include availability, fuel economy, reliability, and comfort. I also talk about other things such as what you should be looking for on a UTV, and how to improve the work capability of a side by side. please enjoy!
What To Look For In A Work UTV
First of all, we need to talk about what you should be looking for on a utility UTV. And the first thing to be on the lookout for is how comfortable you feel and the ease of use of the machine. if you are going to buy a UTV because of work reasons, they chances are that you are going to be exposed to the sun, the wind and other environmental factors for several hours, and so, you want to be as comfortable as possible. if you are going to be buying the machine at a dealership, I would advise that you ask for a test ride or at least try to sit on it. make sure the UTVs size is appropriate for your frame. other things to look for in a work UTV include:
- Get Electric Power Steering (EPS): The first thing that I would advise that you get is Electric Power Steering. EPS has been a godsend for both farmers and recreational riders alike. in short, EPS is a system that assists you with turning the wheels of your UTV. if you have ridden on rough or uneven terrain, you know how hard it can be to move the steering wheel fluidly. EPS will make sure your arms do not fall off by the end of the day
- Make sure the ground clearance is appropriate for work: One of the first things that you must look for is a UTV that has appropriate levels of ground clearance for the activity that you are going to be doing. If you are going to be working on the fields, there is always the chance of having to ride through rocky or uneven terrain, which not all side by sides will be able to go through. If this is your case, then make sure to look for something that provides decent amounts of ground clearance, like for example a Polaris Ranger.
- Look for 4WD if necessary: If you are going to be riding on muddy conditions, then getting a UTV with 4WD is going to be a necessity. you definitely don’t want to be bogged down when you are in the middle of transporting stuff from 1 place to another. getting 4WD will make sure that you can go ahead and work without worrying about traction issues.
- Comfort Is Very Important: Last but not least: make sure you feel comfortable when hopping on the machine! this can look obvious but many people do overlook this a lot and buy something that doesn’t fit their body frame. make sure you try the seats out and ride for a few minutes before you purchase anything. this way you can make sure that the seats have proper lumbar support and aren’t very hard.
Best UTVs Available For Farm Work
- Polaris Ranger 500 – The Best: The Polaris Ranger is the best Work UTV available as of 2019. and this is mainly because this baby is the complete package. Polaris has always provided well-rounded ATVs that can perform well on every terrain and when it comes to it’s bigger brother the UTV, it’s no different. the base Ranger is well equipped from the factory, with an AWD system, a 1,500 lb towing capacity, and plenty of storage space inside the cabin. the AWD system is going to be sufficient for 95% of folks, assisting riders in uneven surfaces and making sure that you don’t become bogged down on muddy terrain. Many Ranger owners have also pointed out how rugged the it feels. the moment you sit on it you get this feeling of quality and ruggedness which is really appreciated. and this feeling of quality isn’t just an impression. actually, the Polaris Ranger has long been considered one of the most reliable UTVs available, which is something that many consumers look for on a utility side by side. when it comes to the cons, the Ranger sadly doesn’t come with an Electric Power Steering system, meaning that you are going to dealing with a stiff steering wheel all the time. there are some dealerships that offer it add-on as an accessory though. when you factor everything, this is the best work UTV that you can get as of 2019.
- Honda Pioneer 500 – Sturdy & Reliable: If you look for the word reliable on the dictionary, chances are that you are going to find a Honda logo as the attached picture. Everybody knows how rugged Honda products can be. So if you are looking for a machine that is not going to be a headache and is always going to be working on even the harshest conditions, then this is your ride. I recommend that you go for the more premium Pioneer 1000 though, it’s the one that has the more desirable features, including Electric Power Steering and a fully auto DCT transmission. Something else that I like about the Honda Pioneer is how well it rides. As I mentioned, Honda has developed this reputation of being reliable, but also of being rough and unrefined. and I’m happy to report that that is not the case with the Pioneer. the suspension feels very comfortable, soft even, without feeling like you are floating on a cloud. folks who are going to be using the UTV for long hours are definitely going to appreciate this. one of the main cons of the Pioneer is its engine. even though the 475cc motor found on the 500 is pretty bulletproof, it sounds really fuzzy and loud and that might be a dealbreaker for some. but to summarize, if you are looking for a small, reliable work UTV that won’t break the bank, then put the Pioneer at the top of your shopping list.
- Kawasaki Mule – Most Affordable: Even though the Polaris and the Honda that I talked about are the best choices for a work UTV, they aren’t exactly super cheap. maybe you are somebody on a budget that simply can’t afford them, and if that is your case, then take a look at the Kawasaki Mule. The best word used to describe the Mule is appliance. while the Honda and Polaris that I mentioned above can also be used for faster riding, this ride has no performance pedigree. where the Mule shines though is in its dimensions and utility. the base Mule is going to fit in most pick up truck beds, which makes it very mobile and practical. also, even though it’s quite small, the Mule is amazing for hauling stuff on the back, all while being less than 7 grand. don’t expect this Side By Side to be very refined though. the quality of the materials and the ride quality ain’t the best, and considering how small this UTV is, the fuel economy leaves something to be desired. I highly recommend the Mule if you are only looking for a UTV for its utility, if you are on a budget, or both! but if you are looking for a more premium UTV, it might be wise to look elsewhere.
- Textron Prowler 500 – Darkhorse Candidate: Ah Arctic Cat. While this isn’t exactly their finest hour, they are still a serious contender when it comes to utility UTVs. While the Prowler is outclassed by the Pioneer and the Ranger when it comes to tech features and even AWD capability, one of its main pros comes in the form of pricing. this is a UTV that can be had quite cheaply when you factor in rebates and discounts. something else to mention is that Textron machines are also quite stylish if you ask me. something else that I noticed when I first started riding this UTV is how sporty it feels. It kind of took me by surprise but I’m happy to report that this utility UTV handles like a sport model, with little body lean when cornering and a very smooth and gradual power delivery. the Prowler is a great choice for somebody that needs a side by side to work but also needs something that feels rather athletic and nimble. If you have Textron seller nearby, I recommend that you take the Prowler for a test ride, you might be surprised!
Improving The Work Capabilities Of Your UTV
Now that I have talked about the best work side by sides, what if you already have a UTV and want to improve it’s work capabilities. many people reading this article might want a new UTV but aren’t willing to pay the price and that’s why I wrote this part of the article. there are some ways to make your UTV better for hauling or towing. some of these tips include:
Improve your UTVs cargo volume: Some UTV dealerships sell accessories that allow you to effectively improve your UTVs cargo volume. If you are interested in that, call your dealership and ask them for cargo add-ons. If your dealership doesn’t have any addons, then you are going to have to go to the aftermarket route. Not only can go look for more cargo volume, but you can also go ahead and look for boxes and other storage tools that might be useful if you are going to be working on a farm
Improve the ground clearance: maybe your UTV isn’t as offroad capable as you might want. maybe you are going on muddy conditions and need something that will not lose traction in that kind of terrain. if that is the case, then improving your machines ground clearance is your best bet. and there are several ways to do this. the first option is to get yourself a new suspension setup. and the other way is to get yourself tires with a bigger outside diameter.