Using All-Terrain Utility Vehicles on the Farm

Multi-purpose all-terrain utility vehicles can help take you to out of reach places to complete difficult farm tasks, includes information on labor savings and specialty ATV attachments and accessories.

| April/May 2003

Learn about the benefits of using all-terrain utility vehicles on the farm.

These multipurpose four-wheelers can take you and your tools where your pickup can't.

More energy-efficient than a truck and fun to drive, all-terrain utility vehicles (ATVs) are perfect machines for farm, garden and small-scale forestry work.

Just ask Lyle Hagerman, a dairy farmer and market gardener, of Picton. Ontario. "It's maneuverable, compact and powerful. The ATV's fat tires allow it to be driven over most terrain. We use ours to round up cattle, harvest vegetables and seed pastures. The new ones handle as well as a car, making them suited to anyone regardless of physical abilities."

When the ATV was first introduced in the early 1960s it was designed just for transportation. Models had only three wheels, were unstable on rough terrain and not suited to heavy work. But in 1984 when the first four- and six-wheelers hit the ground it was obvious that the heavy work of farming, gardening and forestry could be a lot easier. Most of the new machines have engine displacements of 250 to 700 cubic centimeters (cc), can pull a load of up to half a ton and reach speeds of up to 50 mph. In addition, the many attachments that can be added to the front and back of an ATV allow it to be a multi-use utility vehicle. Prices range from $2,700 to $10,000, depending on engine size, number of wheels, four-wheel-drive capability and accessories.

All-Terrain Utility Vehicles as Labor Saver

The most valuable labor-saving ATV activity is hauling. Several new models, notably the John Deere Gator and Kawasaki's Mule have dump boxes located behind the driver's seat. They are both well-suited to the homestead, built for work and should last a long time.

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