All Spares ATV, Ballygawley - Polaris ATV Northern Ireland Track

Polaris ATV Ireland

Polaris / August 18, 2020

Manufacturers have started a debate with customers about the merits of ATV versus UTV options

The UTV has advantages in terms of safety and comfort, but costs a little more.The classic ATV offers great accessibility and towing capacity.

    Would your farm be better served by an ATV or a side by side Utility Vehicle? Are you looking for a fast, efficient off-roader to get around the land, tow a trailer and carry some equipment?

Would your farm be better served by an ATV or a side by side Utility Vehicle? Are you looking for a fast, efficient off-roader to get around the land, tow a trailer and carry some equipment?

Or do you want to carry passengers, larger loads and have the benefit of all-weather protection?

It may seem unusual for a manufacturer to start a debate about the virtues of its own side by side utility vehicle versus the ubiquitous quad bike or ride-on ATV.

And yet Polaris have done just that on the grounds of 'horses for courses' and, they point out, if you're in the market for a new UTV the price gap with an equivalent powered ATV is closing all the time.

The classic ride-on ATV had agricultural beginnings, offering an eager, go anywhere vehicle purpose built to serve the needs of the farmer.

Subsequently the quad became the vehicle of choice as well for groundsmen, landscapers, foresters and anyone needing to go places off road where their 4x4 pick up would damage the ground and come to a halt.

For hauling small amounts of equipment, towing trailers or herding livestock, the quad offers nimble handling, tight turning circles and plenty of ground clearance.

It also has the power to haul you and your kit into otherwise inaccessible areas.

When used properly today's ATV is a sophisticated and no less capable mode of 4x4 transport, performing its daily tasks to the satisfaction of the millions whose work calls for its off-road capabilities.

Then along came the side by side or UTV, a utility vehicle to facilitate carrying passengers in relative comfort while offering similar off-road capabilities to its ATV cousins.

In the case of Polaris, its Ranger UTV features independent rear suspension coupled with better ride and handling capabilities with plenty of suspension travel and pulling power.

And there doesn't tend to be a whole lot of difference on price these days, either.

For example the Polaris Ranger UTV comes with a starting price of around €10, 500 plus VAT.

This wouldn't be all that far off many of the equivalent sized ATVs on the market in terms of cost and power, as well as class leading towing and payload capacities.

On the Ranger a 31hp engine with electronic fuel injection provides fuel economy with 680kg towing capacity.

It has a 454kg payload capacity and a rear box with gas-assisted dumping that carries up to 227kg of materials or equipment.

This makes it ideal for a two person team to get about the park or estate with everything they need on board.

There are the safety and comfort advantages to be considered when looking at a UTV as well.

A rollover protection system for safety protection is a key difference, while the ability to fit a cab to a UTV provides a degree of comfort simply not available with an ATV.

It is still true that the UTV costs more to buy than most ATVs, and farmers no doubt like the compact size and easy get-on-and-off nature of a quad bike for performing many of their daily duties.

But on a productivity basis, the UTV takes some beating. For one thing, these vehicles can take at least one passenger in addition to the driver, while also providing a more secure perch for the dog.

At the same time, driver and passenger can take along the materials they need to complete tasks from feeding stock to fencing paddocks.