How to choose the best utility vehicle for your smallholding
Utility vehicles – also known as UTV’s – are a must-have piece of equipment for farms, small holdings or any other outdoor industry. They can make managing a piece of land, estate or business much easier and more efficient, helping to speed up and simplify tasks that would otherwise be difficult or time consuming.
Finding an utility vehicle for your small holding requires you to consider a range of different variables. Because no smallholding is the same, it’s essential that you choose a vehicle that is right for you and your requirements.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Utility Vehicle For a Small Holding
Like any purchase, you should think about how your utility vehicle will be used once purchased. Consider its use, the size and steepness of your working area and the surface of your land, as well as the budget you have available.
Size and Terrain of the Property
UTV’s are fantastic tools because they are so versatile. Regardless of whether you need one for a smallholding, golf course, livestock farm or garden, there is something available for you.
Think about the size of the land you will use your utility vehicle on – maybe you only need one for a driving range to move equipment, or you might need one to help tend a larger smallholding plot with many different terrain types. The flatness or steepness of your land will also determine which UTV you choose and more powerful engines will be required to deal with larger hills.
Terrain types will play a part in the decision process as well. Land made up of loose surfacing or wet, muddy areas will require something more powerful and with better traction. If you’re planning on using your utility vehicle on a lawn and want to limit any damage to the surface, a lightweight vehicle with a less prominent tire tread would be preferred.
Intended use of the vehicle
The purchase of your utility vehicle should be directly informed by its intended use. You may want a vehicle to help carry small tools, animal feeds or fertilisers around your smallholding, meaning a smaller, less powerful vehicle would probably be sufficient. Alternatively, you may need a UTV for hauling heavy farm equipment, fencing materials or loads of firewood. This would require something bigger and more powerful to get the job done safely and efficiently.
Just as any agricultural machinery comes with plenty of options, utility vehicles are the same and can be as expensive as you want them to be. The newest models that feature the latest technology will of course be more costly than older models. You need to determine whether or not you really require this though as you may be adding extra cost where it’s not needed.
Even with a smaller budget, there is lots of choice available and you might end up getting a machine that ticks all your boxes at a lower price. Budget is often stretched on a small holding as animals, general maintenance of land, fuels and equipment will all increase your outgoings.
Different types of utility vehicles
When choosing a utility vehicle, one of the first things you will have to decide is whether you require a 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive machine. Both have their pros and cons and it makes sense to have a clear idea of what you want from your utility vehicle beforehand. It’s important to note that some UTV’s such as the John Deere HPX Diesel 4WD Gator have selectable 2 or 4WD options.
A 2-wheel drive vehicle is enough if you only require a compact tractor to help with basic transportation tasks such as carrying single hay bales, tools and other animal feeds. These machines are generally much lighter and smaller than 4 and 6-wheel models and can be easily transported via trailers if necessary. A 2-wheel drive vehicle will also be cheaper to buy and to run.
For a more powerful machine that can deal with tougher surfaces and more rigorous use, a 4-wheel drive vehicle may be the right option. These vehicles are often preferred for use in areas with uneven, wet and muddy ground, or for areas with steep land.
4-wheel drive vehicles have more powerful engines combined with a lower gear ratio. They are less likely to lose traction because of this which is what makes them so effective when used on slippery or loose surfaces. This also means they are comfortable when carrying heavy loads or for towing equipment.
Implements and accessories for utility vehicles
One of the most common uses for a UTV is pulling a trailer or other farming agricultural equipment such as sprayers or fertilisers. A tow ball is required for this and is fitted securely to the chassis of your utility vehicle. Always bear in mind that all machines will have a different tow limit.
A snow plough is a useful tool if you live in an area that experiences regular cold, icy conditions. They are used to quickly clear snow from surfaces such as driveways, roads or parking areas.
A sprayer or fertiliser is an effective tool for spreading large amounts of fertilisers or pesticides across your land quickly. A tractor can do this but a UTV offers a much quicker, more efficient solution for smaller areas.
Cabs offer you added protection from the elements and will ensure a far more comfortable ride during cold or wet weather days. They also help to protect you from any mud or dirt that may get splashed when driving. For most UTV owners in the UK, cab is an absolute essential.
Transporting dirt or other loose materials will be made much easier with the use of a dump bed. This simple tool can either be manually or hydraulically operated and is useful for basic farming and landscaping tasks.
We can provide you with a great utility vehicle!
Blactrac provides a wide range of agricultural machinery to suit a selection of different needs, including utility vehicles such as the John Deere HPX Diesel 4WD Gator. Our products will always be in great condition and our friendly team will be on hand to help you select the right vehicle for the job.
Contact Blacktrac today to find out more about our range of utility vehicles.