PHOTO: Photo by Kevin Wing
Hobby Farms Editors
May 23, 2014
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing

As hobby farmers, we can be hesitant to invest in large-scale equipment—this is true for both new and experienced farmers alike. The expense of a new tractorUTV or ATV can weigh heavily on our already tight budgets, the upkeep of larger machinery is often outside our expertise and time allowances, and sometimes just knowing where to start can be completely overwhelming.

However, there comes a point when some of us are ready to take the plunge. In order to grow our gardens, increase the head-count in our herds or start turning a profit on our former “hobby,” we need to have the necessary tools at the ready. For those of you who are near that tipping point, you’re in luck!

This summer, Honda will release its Pioneer 500, a compact side-by-side that can handle your farm’s heavy lifting and still have some oomph leftover for a pleasure ride. The main aspect that drew me into this model is the price point—an MSRP of $8,499. This price is highly reasonable if you’re not quite ready to take on a compact tractor, which can easily start in the $10,000 range.

Plus, if you’re new to outdoor power equipment, the Pioneer 500 has a range of features that will make you feel at ease in your new wheels:  Full-time 2WD/4WD, automatic clutch, and a 5-speed, electric transmission with paddle shifters located by the steering wheel for smooth acceleration. I could go on about the other specs, but you can check those out for yourself on the Honda Powersports website). However, I do want to touch on the compactness of this vehicle.

If you’re set on buying your first piece of large-scale farm equipment, there’s a chance you’ve given some thought as to where you’d store such a machine. Perhaps your barn is cleared and ready for your new arrival, but maybe you’ve put off your purchase because of your lack of space. Fortunately, the Pioneer 500 was designed with storage restraints in mind. At 50 inches wide and 102.5 inches long, it will take up less room in the garage, barn or shed (whatever it is you have available), fits on a full-sized pickup truck for easy towing, and easily maneuvers through tight spaces.

Now, if you’re like me, you might be wondering if a vehicle this small is good for anything but a trail ride. Let me assure you it is. With 1,000 pound towing capacity; large-capacity cargo bed; and more than 46 accessories, including a winch, plow blade and cargo tray, it can be customized to suit whatever farm chores are on the day’s schedule, from toting in boxes of root crops, to setting up fencing, to rotating the cattle’s grazing grounds.

I had a blast trying out this model, so if you’re in the market for your farm’s first UTV, I encourage you to check it out. The Pioneer 500 hits the market in July 2014.

Take a peek at the photos from my test ride below.

Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing
Pioneer 500: Fun, Compact and Ready Your Farm's Heavy Lifting
Photo by Kevin Wing

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