Once upon a time, the typical farmer needed little more than a single, trusty tractor to handle most of the jobs and tasks on a farm. Tractors are still the go-to machine when you need power for big projects, but for many modern-day tasks, tractors are giving way to two surprising challengers: ATVs and UTVs.
While ATVs and UTVs can’t match the strength of a tractor, their smaller sizes and versatility allow farmers to easily travel across many acres and accomplish a wide variety of jobs. Check out these 10 ways that you can use your ATV or UTV for farm work.
1. Transporting Supplies
Perhaps the biggest advantage offered by ATVs and UTVs is their ability to quickly and easily transport supplies across your farm. A large UTV can carry hundreds of pounds of supplies, so whether you’re towing a small trailer of hay or carrying feedbags on the rack or in the bed, an ATV or UTV simplifies all sorts of transportation tasks, saving you from firing up your tractor to simply move a few small bales of hay.
2. Plowing Fields
If you want to turn your ATV or UTV into a miniature tractor, add a chisel plow or disc plow attachment to the rear of the machine. It will let you start cultivating your fields to prepare them for planting crops or a garden.
Just as an ATV or UTV can be used to plow, a rake attachment allows these machines to clean up all sorts of debris. Depending on the number of tines and the spacing, which are adjustable on some attachments, you can use your ATV or UTV to rake leaves, pine needles, brush, tree debris and more. You name it!
4. Harrowing Fields
Take the next step toward preparing your fields for crops with a harrow attachment. Depending on your goals, you can get a disc harrow, a drag harrow or even both for your ATV or UTV, allowing your machine to accomplish whatever you might need.
5. Plowing Snow
If you live in an area that receives winter snowfall, your ATV or UTV might be able to help you keep your driveway clear. With a plow attachment and the right accessories, such as tire chains, wheel weights and sandbags, an ATV or UTV can be surprisingly effective at plowing snow. That said, these machines are at their best when the snow is light and fluffy rather than wet and heavy.
6. Mowing Grass
Move over, riding mower: ATVs and UTVs are entering the lawn care market. With the addition of
a mower deck attachment or a pull-behind mower—plus a switch to lawn-friendly tires—ATVs and UTVs can make serviceable lawn mowers.
7. Building Fences
An ATV or UTV can be a big help with fencing projects. In addition to helping you cart supplies and tools to and from the building site, if you’re installing wire fencing, you can use a rear-mounted wire unroller to let your ATV or UTV unwind the wire with little effort.
8. Spreading Seeds
With a spreader attachment mounted on the rear of your ATV or UTV, you can make quick work of distributing seeds, such as grass seed, across your fields. In addition to seeds, spreaders can handle other materials as well, such as fertilizer or sand.
9. Catching Calves
If you want to simplify the process of catching young cattle for tagging, vaccinating and so on, your ATV or UTV might be able to help. Using a specially designed attachment—essentially a large, side-mounted metal enclosure with user-controlled gates—some people literally “catch” young calves so that they can be temporarily separated from their mothers and cared for with less effort and greater safety.
10. Carrying Firewood
If you harvest firewood from your farm, you know that it can be difficult (or impossible) to get any sort of large tractor or trailer through dense woods. However, the small size of ATVs and UTVs lets them venture where large machines can never go, simplifying the process of hauling firewood out of the forest.
For the modern farmer, a quality ATV or UTV is an invaluable machine that can accomplish a lot of work for its size. In addition, they can be quite fun to drive.