• Steven E. Overmyer

Buying a UTV: Working vs. Recreational Vehicles

So, you’ve finally decided to treat yourself and buy a toy that’s both useful and fun: a UTV. Before you go shopping, though, consider how your new vehicle will be put to use. A side-by-side that’s used solely for recreational purposes will be totally different from one that’s used for working on your land. If you plan on using your new UTV out on the farm, features like four-wheel drive and a strong frame make a huge difference in optimizing your investment. Before you make the splurge, consider the following factors as you’re shopping around.

The engine

The size of your SxS’s engine will make a big difference depending on what you’re using it for. If your UTV is mostly being used for hauling and towing on the farm, you’ll want to go with the largest engine possible. A smaller engine is more suitable for trail riding and other recreational activities. While most engines run on gas, there are other options that may be better-suited to your needs. Are you an avid hunter? An electric SxS is quiet and stealthy. Will the UTV be staying on the farm? Diesels are great for towing, but they operate at lower speeds. Planning on sticking to the trails? Feel free to go with a gas model.

The frame and suspension

Be sure to lift the cargo box and take a look at the frame when you’re inspecting your next possible offroad vehicle. Again, consider what you’ll be doing with your UTV; if it’s a working vehicle, you’ll want a strong steel frame that can support hauling heavy loads. On the other hand, a stronger framer means a more weighted-down vehicle, so if you’re wanting something for the trails, opt for a SxS with a lighter frame.

As for the suspension, it’s important to take the vehicle out for a test ride to see if the suspension travel is suitable for your intended terrain. A self-leveling suspension or adjustable shocks will also come in handy if you’re using the UTV for a heavy-duty workload or traveling frequently on rough terrain.

The bed

The bed of your UTV is probably what will be utilized the most, so you don’t want to overlook it. Consider whether it will be large enough to service its intended purposes, like hauling wood and hay. Think about the tailgate and how much weight it can hold. If you plan on adding any accessories, make sure the bed can accommodate them.

The cab

While most UTV cabs offer some sort of cover and protection, if you’re going to be working out on the land quite a bit, you’ll probably want a little more than what’s standard - especially if you live in a climate with harsh conditions. Think about the rain, snow, dust, and heat you might be dealing with; doesn’t a full cab with heat and A/C sound nice? Also consider whether the cab or windows can be removed if needed.

And what about the seats inside of the cab? Comfort and support will make a huge difference during a long day of work. Adjustable seats are a plus, and they should be wide enough to be comfortable. Even if you’re just looking for a side-by-side for a few hours of trail-riding here and there, you don’t want your rear to be aching after all of that bouncing around.

There are also all kinds of accessories and gear that you can buy to suit your vehicle’s intended purpose - just make sure that your UTV will accommodate them. If you’re looking for a large selection of new and used offroad vehicles, look no further than Outdoor Powersports in Gainesville, TX - also proudly serving the Denton and Dallas areas.

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