Livestock farmers would be lost without their quad bikes and side-by-side all-terrain vehicles. New vehicle updates, reviews, press releases and where possible, comparative tests will help you choose the best for your farm. Quoted from ,,Farmers Weekly.
The big names in agricultural machinery also have a range in the ATV and UTV market, for example the John Deere Gator XUD, JCB Workmax, Kawasaki Mule and Kubota RTV. Other brands, such as Suzuki and Honda, which are more formally recognised for cars or motorcycles; therefore not usually associated with the agricultural sector are also big in the ATV slot.
ATVs in the UK are often put to use for a variation of different tasks. ATVs are an easy and economical way of getting around the farm to inspect crops, check on livestock or for transporting tools around.
Choosing a farm quad bike that is right for you depends on your average workday requirements. If all you are looking for is a quick way to get around the farm and check up on things, then there are lots of ATVs to choose from, with offerings from the top manufacturers: Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Polaris, CFMOTO, Quadzilla, Can-Am and Kawasaki. If you have any requirement to ferry passengers, you should check with the manufacturer if their quad bike is suitable. You might be better suited to choosing a 2 seater long wheel base ATV over a short wheel base; usually with only one seat. Most other manufacturers ATVs tend to be single-seat machines, so if you have requirements for passengers or loads then a UTV or side by side could be a better option for you. UTVs are often a more expensive option to a reasonably priced ATV.
There are useful accessories available to fit most farm quads – trailers, sprayers and cages. Trailers can boost your lugging capacity by double in some cases.
The likes of the side by sides or UTVs (as some call them), from John Deere and Kubota are built for slightly different uses and are far slower than ATV, but they are larger with comfortable passenger options and a bigger loading space included. UTVs with a second bench row of seats, although expensive, are an excellent option for carrying workers or visitors around the farm or land.
The loading space and towing capacity is obviously a key element to consider if you need to move livestock, crops, tools or feed. UTV models have tipping load sections or tipping bodies, which make unloading easy. There are a lot of different options available when it comes to loading space, for example you can get rear beds with fold-down sides to allow you to put longer, heavier or rough loads on. Make sure you let your ATV dealer know what you intend to carry or lug around the farm, and they will be able to help find something suitable.
Lots of UTV and ATV models are equipped with tow bars to allow them to hook-up and haul trailers when extra help is required. The CFMOTO range of ATVs and UTVs all come as standard with a front electric winch, tow bar and trailer hook-up. You will find most dealers will charge extra to fit these, because other manufacturers don’t have tow bars as standard specification.
Considering that you are looking for a farm ATV, you will definitely want a four-wheel drive or 4WD quad bike. Most of the manufacturers offer switchable two and four-wheel-drive settings, to help save on fuel when 4WD is not needed. Consider that a two-wheel drive ATV won’t help if you need to ride over difficult or muddy terrain.
A helpful tip is, if you carry tools, your lunch or treats for your sheepdog, you might want to look at a model with a lockable compartment to safely store them.
With all of these issues sorted, it is time to look at creature comforts. ATVs are open, no doors but you can get aftermarket options to convert it to a closed cab – again this is often an expensive add-on. If you will be spending a lot of time out on the farm in cold, rainy or even snowy weather, this might be a fair investment. That, or to consider a farm UTV to use as your everyday workhorse machinery. UTVs also provide a welcome break from the harsh weather you might have to endure at some point on the farm. Some models offer air conditioning and heaters. Power steering, meanwhile, can take much of the effort out of driving an ATV or UTV.
If you don’t already have one, a good ATV will significantly increase your productivity, also save money on fuel and save you time as you no longer need the tractor to get around. With specialist aftermarket ATV options to protect fine turf and prevent soil compaction, for instance this could be low-pressure off-road tyres or choosing a six-wheel vehicle, there will be suitable ATV out there ready to take on every operation.
For rules on ATVs, visit the gov.uk website here: Quad bikes: the rules.
Check with the manufacturer if your quad bike has been approved for road use, if you intend to go on the road with your ATV.