Can’t Afford A Tractor? Use Your ATV/UTV To The Max

Let your off-road vehicle be your main workhorse until you’re ready to invest in larger farm equipment.

by Rick Sosebee

Getting all of the desired farming equipment you need to run acreage can be an expensive and daunting task. This is especially true if you’re just getting started on your own hobby farm. But if you own an ATV or UTV, you just might have the perfect rig to get your farm up and running faster than you might think.

These off-road vehicles are not just for leisure, and many are built with the ranch hand or farmer in mind. Many models will not only haul heavy loads but pull small plows, run ground turning equipment and can even be used to run fence lines. Lets look at how you can get the most use out of your ATV/UTV while saving for that next tractor or implement.

Hauling and Towing

UTV hauling wood

More prominent in the world of the side-by-side or UTV towing has become a game of rising total capacity numbers. Whether it be hauling supplies in the cargo bed of a UTV or on the racks of an ATV, moving weight around the farm is no longer an issue with these off-road vehicles. The latest recorded heavy-duty, factory-produced towing capacity is 2,000 pounds with a UTV or side-by-side machine. This is towing behind the vehicle with a trailer hooked to the rig via the 2-inch receiver hitch.

I’m not sure about you, but I can see a large fencing trailer or seed distribution set up being pulled across the land fairly easily. This is also a great way to move baled hay or lick barrels into the areas where some larger equipment cannot go. These vehicles are also a little more capable when you consider the 4WD and 4WD Differential lock options on both types of machine.

If hauling weight is your game, then you have a machine like the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX in gas or diesel burning format that can hold three people and haul 1,000 pounds in the cargo bed. If you have more people than cargo, a simple conversion of the bed will allow for a total of six passengers and still haul 300 pounds.

ATVs typically haul around 100 pounds on the front rack and 200 pounds on the rear, depending on the machine. An ATV will also tow in the area of 500 to 800 pounds, also depending on the displacement and manufacturer.

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harvesting into the UTV

So digging a little deeper (pun intended) with the use of an ATV or UTV on the farm is just as easy as searching for implements to attach to the front or rear of the machines. Turning ground is accomplished by using the receiver hitch and custom equipment specifically made for these vehicles to get these jobs completed. Most of these implements use the sheer weight of the vehicle to assist in cutting earth. There are products that range from cultipackers, aerators, dethatchers and disc harrows. Some of these usable implements come in packages combining two or more tools in one towable unit.

If you are using your ATV mostly, then you will find that brush or garden sprayers, snow plows, and even rock pickers or reel mowers are available. This makes your machine that much more valuable, and it can serve many purposes until you get that first tractor.

Moving People

man on ATV moving gate

One thing that many hobby farmers may take into consideration is the ease of getting you and your help (providing you have some) around the farm to complete chores. If you need two or more people to help run a fence line or maybe just to move cattle from lot to lot, you can get up to six friends into some UTVs and up to two individuals on the ATVs made for two-person riding, all while pulling that fencing trailer or hauling tools.

Let’s say you need to inspect a fence line or wrangle a lost head of cattle. The weather is or has been ugly, so the use of a UTV with a top will be very much appreciated when the job is done. Not only do these vehicles provide shelter from the elements but with the combination of 4WD and power steering, it may just make the working day a bit more enjoyable.

After Work

hauling bags along fenceline in UTV

I would venture to say that if you run a working hobby farm, then you’ll want to get away at some point and enjoy yourself. Owning a reliable ATV or UTV will make this entirely possible. When looking into spending your hard-earned cash, as well as being realistic with your budget, I would say a good off-road vehicle would be an excellent tool for your homestead.

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