4 Features To Consider In An ATV/UTV Cargo Bed

A key feature of any UTV is its cargo bed. If you’re currently shopping for a UTV, here are four UTV cargo bed features to keep in mind and/or pursue.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: M Outdoors/Shutterstock

Looking for a small and convenient, yet versatile and capable farm vehicle suitable for handling a wide variety of tasks? You may need an UTV. When enhanced with attachments and implements, a heavy-duty UTV can fill in for a tractor on many farming projects. And one of the key features of any UTV is its cargo bed.

A cargo bed is designed for hauling supplies and materials through challenging conditions.

It’s a feature farmers can easily put to good use. So if you’re currently shopping for a UTV, keep these four UTV cargo bed features in mind.

How big is the bed?

Let’s start with the dimensions of the bed. You can use the width, length and depth to determine its volume, often measured in cubic feet.

Knowing the cubic capacity of a bed is useful if you intend to haul loose materials (like dirt, sand, compost, etc.). But it’s just as important to also know the length and width of the bed.

Will a hay bale measuring 18 inches wide by 40 inches long fit comfortably in the bed? Can you fit two side by side?

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Consider the items and supplies you would like to carry in the back of your UTV, including tools like shovels and rakes. Determine if they’ll fit suitably. If not, you might need a bigger bed.

Read more: Check out these 13 steps to prepare your ATV or UTV for spring.

What is the payload capacity?

Just as important as the dimensions of a bed is its payload capacity.That’s the amount of weight it’s rated to carry.

In most cases, you probably won’t come close to overloading a heavy-duty UTV. Some are rated to haul more than 1,000 pounds. But if moving a big load of rocks/bricks/etc., you’ll want to stay careful not to overload the bed and damage your machine.

Is it a hydraulic dumping bed?

Sometimes you may need to quickly empty the cargo bed. If you’re transporting loose materials like manure or compost, it’s nice to have the option to back right up to the desired location (a manure pile, a garden bed, etc.) and dump the load exactly where you want. That way, you don’t have to do any shoveling by hand!

If this sounds appealing, you’ll want a UTV with a hydraulic dump bed, which makes it easy—effortless, even—to quickly empty the bed while letting the machine do the work.

Read more: An ATV or UTV can help with a number of small-farm tasks!

Can you convert it into a flatbed?

A deep bed with sides comes in handy for keeping loose material and random tools contained. It can prevent them from spilling out as you drive.

But sometimes, the items you want to haul (say, lumber for building raised garden beds) are too long or unusually shaped to fit conveniently in a typical bed. In this instance, it’s helpful if your UTV allows you to fold down the sides of the bed. You can easily convert it into a flatbed better suited to hauling oversized items.

In short, if you can find a large, hydraulic dumping bed with a lofty payload capacity and the ability to convert into a flatbed … congratulations! You’ve hit the jackpot of UTV dump beds. You should be ready for just about anything.

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