UTV Ride https://utvride.com Off road knowledge Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:21:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://utvride.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cropped-utvride_white_favicon_512-1-32x32.png UTV Ride https://utvride.com 32 32 Polaris Ranger vs John Deere Gator https://utvride.com/ranger-vs-gator/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:21:22 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=494 At the moment, the UTV market is characterized by an abundance of manufacturers and models from all over the world – the US, Europe, Japan, China, and India. All of them are competing for their place under the sun and trying to position their product as the ultimate side-by-side. But, probably, none of them are […]

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At the moment, the UTV market is characterized by an abundance of manufacturers and models from all over the world – the US, Europe, Japan, China, and India. All of them are competing for their place under the sun and trying to position their product as the ultimate side-by-side. But, probably, none of them are more iconic, legendary, and synonymous with the utility vehicles as John Deere‘s Gator series and Polaris‘ Ranger lineup.

For over two decades these two brands stand at the very top of the industry, particularly when it comes to farming, hunting, construction, property management, or recreational riding. Both series boast a diverse stable of models capable of answering almost anything you may ask of your UTV. They are similar in many aspects but, at the same time, feature some significant differences. We’ll take a closer look at these Gator and Ranger lineups and compare them to see where each one excels.

Brief Overview and History of Polaris Ranger and John Deere Gator

The first Gator, TH model, was produced way back in 1992 and has marked the start of the revolution in the utility vehicle field. It provided not only perfect work effectiveness but also the durability and simplicity of use. This first model was primarily intended for landscaping chores, yard work, and golf course maintenance. The Gator TH is still in production, although with technological, capacity, and design improvements. Next to these traditional work vehicles, over the years, John Deere expanded the Gator lineup with crossover UTV’s – XUV models which added the off-road capabilities to work productivity. The crown jewels of Gator slate are the high-performance RSX models, geared toward recreational, sport, and trail riding, capable of conquering the toughest terrain and at the respectable speeds.

The Ranger was introduced in 1999, as a 6×6 off-road and utility vehicle, becoming the first side-by-side in Polaris portfolio, mostly known for snowmobiles and ATV’s up to that point. In the following years, Polaris heavily invested in the Ranger’s development, improving the powertrain, suspension, driveability, capacity, and ergonomics with each new model. The current lineup has over 15 different models, featuring compact two-seaters, full-size three-seaters, Crew versions for six passengers, and top of the line Special Edition Rangers for superb performance in extreme conditions.

Comparison: Polaris Ranger vs John Deere Gator

For purposes of this comparison, we divided Polaris Rangers and John Deere Gators into three categories: compact and mid-size; full-size, and high-performance special edition UTVs. We’ll go through all three groups of current 2020 models to see how they stack up against each other.

Compact and Mid-Size UTVs

Polaris Ranger Lineup: 500, 570 Premium, Ranger EV

John Deere Gator Lineup: XUV560E, XUV590E, XUV590M

While they can be used for fun and recreation, the main purpose of UTVs in this category is work. If your needs are hauling various equipment, wood, brush, or your workers from point A to point B, no matter the terrain in between, then these are the vehicles for you. As in the other classes, Polaris Ranger has more powerful engines than its counterpart and is a bit faster to get going, So it has a little more versatility, while John Deere Gator is more focused on tasks that need to be performed.

Power

John Deere Gator XUV560E features 16hp 570cc V-Twin OHV engine and is by far the weakest in this category. It’s more than enough for daily chores on a farm, but if you find yourself in a situation where you’ll need a little more punch and speed from your machine, you’ll probably be better off with some of the other models. Gator XUV590 comes with 32hp Inline Twin OHV engine and is, in that respect, comparable with Ranger 500 which also has 32hp in a somewhat smaller 500cc engine. Ranger 570 is the strongest in the group with its 44 hp 567 ccs single-cylinder engine and many of its owners use it freely for trail and riding through the forest. The only UTV with the electrical engine in this category is the Ranger EV with 30hp single 48-Volt AC-Induction motor.

Capacity

When it comes to carrying load capabilities all of the vehicles in this group are pretty similar. All six vehicles can handle 500 lbs of load in their cargo bed and tow up to 1500 lbs, which is rather decent for vehicles of this size. Still, Gator has a small advantage here due to the slightly wider of the cargo box, meaning that it can carry a more bulky load. All side-by-sides in this class have beds about 32 inches long and 11.5 inches deep, while the Gator’s box is 47.6 inches wide compared to only 42 inches with Ranger. Of course, capacity is not all about the load a vehicle can carry. Unlike Ranger UTV’s, all Gators in this category have both two and four-seater versions. With four-seaters, rear seats are convertible and that space can be used to provide extra load capacity

Price

The list of manufacturer’s suggested retail prices:

  • Polaris Ranger 500 – $9.499
  • Polaris Ranger 570 Premium – $11.899
  • Polaris Ranger Ranger EV $11.899
  • John Deere Gator XUV560E – $8.999
  • John Deere Gator XUV590E – $11.299
  • John Deere Gator XUV590M – $12.799 (the only difference between XUV590E and XUV590M is that the latter features Electric Power Steering)

Full-Size UTVs

Polaris Ranger Lineup: 570 Full-size, 1000, XP 1000 Premium, Crew 570-4, Crew 570-6, Crew 1000, Crew XP 1000 Premium

John Deere Gator Lineup: XUV825E, XUV825M, XUV855E, XUV855M, XUV835E, XUV835M, XUV835M HVAC, XUV865M, XUV865M HVAC

UTVs in this category are capable of both playing hard and working hard. Large storage capacity, ability to carry more people and towing power make them perfect workhorses that can deal with the toughest tasks you may put in front of them be it at the farm, construction site, or hauling full equipment for a hunting party. At the same time, high maneuverability, advanced handling, high ground clearance, and independent dual A-Arm adjustable suspension make the ride even on the most rugged trail and with a full load a comfortable experience. Moreover, Gator models XUV835M HVAC, XUV 865M HVAC include heating and air conditioning, a feature that Polaris Ranger has only on its Northstar models which we have placed in the next category.

Power

The clear advantage in this category is on the Ranger’s side. If the sheer power is what you want, then the Ranger XP 1000 Premium, both normal and Crew version will give you goosebumps. It carries a 999cc Twin-Cylinder engine with a staggering 82hp. Other RAngers are not too far behind. The 570, weakest of the Polaris UTVs here, has a 44hp 567cc Single-Cylinder motor, while regular Ranger 1000 comes with 61hp 999cc Single-Cylinder engine. the only Gators that come even close are XUV825E and XUV835E with 52 and 54hp respectively. On the other hand, unlike its rivals, Gator has some diesel models, namely XUV855 and XUV865 which both have 22.8hp diesel engines. This will provide more durability to your vehicle, but also comes with higher maintenance costs.

Capacity

Ranger 570 is the weakest link here. It can tow up to 1500lbs and its 800lbs bed load capacity shrinks to even smaller 500lbs with 4-seater version due to the shorter rear box. However, Ranger 1000 and XP 1000 Premium boasts more than a respectable 1000lbs bed and 2500 towing capacity. Gators are somewhere in the middle, with a standard 1000lbs bed load capacity and capability to tow 1500lbs with XUV825 and XUV855, while if you own XUV 835 or XUV865 you can load your trailer a bit more – 2000lbs. Gator three-seaters have extra 16 gallons of enclosed storage, while four-seaters have reversible seats to provide extra cargo room. Another ace up the Ranger’s sleeve is 6 passenger capacity of the Crew versions of Rangers 1000 and XP 1000. It’s perfect for driving workers from one site to another, larger hunting parties, or family trips.

Price

The list of manufacturer’s suggested retail prices:

  • Polaris Ranger 570 – $10.499
  • Polaris Ranger 1000 – $12.999
  • Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Premium – $16.899
  • Polaris Ranger Crew 570-4 – $11.399
  • Polaris Ranger Crew 570-6 – $12.199
  • Polaris Ranger Crew 1000 – $14.399
  • Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 Premium – $18.099
  • John Deere Gator XUV825 – $13.599
  • John Deere Gator XUV825M – $15.179
  • John Deere Gator XUV855E – $14.699
  • John Deere Gator XUV855M – $16.219
  • John Deere Gator XUV835E – $14.369
  • John Deere Gator XUV835M – $16.569
  • John Deere Gator XUV835 Cab – $21.949 (with factory-installed full cabin)
  • John Deere Gator XUV835 HVAC – $23.749
  • John Deere Gator XUV865E – $15.369
  • John Deere Gator XUV865M – $17.669
  • John Deere Gator XUV865M Cab – $23.149
  • John Deere Gator XUV865M HVAC – $24.949
  • John Deere Gator XUV825M S4 – $17.069
  • John Deere Gator XUV855M S4 – 18.119

High-Performance Special Edition UTVs

Polaris Ranger Lineup: XP 1000 Northstar, Crew XP 1000 Northstar, XP 1000 High Lifter Edition, XP 1000 Texas Edition

John Deere Gator Lineup: RSX860E, RSX860M

Vehicles in this category are all about performance and top-notch handling of whatever is in front of them. They are built for specific tasks and take no prisoners while fulfilling them. Ranger Northstar version, as its name suggests, excels in toughest conditions and successfully fends off weather elements. As we already mentioned, it features air conditioning, heat, and defrosting along with premium, practically indestructible cabin. The High lifter is specialized for extreme mud conditions and everything on it serves that purpose. including tires, mudding bumpers, powerful engines, and high ground clearance. Gators in this category are dedicated to speed and powering through the trails. With the top speed of 60 mph its capable of easily taking you wherever you want and fast.

Power

All of the Ranger models in this group feature the 999cc 82hp Twin-Cylinder engine. It’s the same one as on the Ranger XP 1000 Premium. It’s the heavy-duty engine that has proven itself time and time again. Gators have a 62hp 839cc V-Twin motor. The vehicle itself is lightweight compared to some of the competitors, making such high speed and spurt possible. Isolated engine mount limits vibration and noise contributing to the more comfortable ride.

Capacity

Every Ranger here is a hard laborer and each has 1000lbs rear bed capacity and ability to tow up to 2500lbs. Every one of them, except Ranger XP 1000 Northstar can also carry up to six persons, making cargo box capacity even more impressive. On the other side, Gators have kinda sacrificed payload capacity for the speed, and cargo box can carry only up to 500lbs. Still, a powerful engine ensures a towing capacity of up to 1500lbs. The sporty nature of these UTVs means that both of them are only two-seaters.

Price

The list of manufacturer’s suggested retail prices:

  • Polaris Ranger XP 1000 NorthStar – $23.999
  • Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 NorthStar – $26.299
  • Polaris Ranger XP 1000 High Lifter Edition – $20.599
  • Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Texas Edition – $18.899
  • John Deere Gator RSX860E – $11.699
  • John Deere Gator RSX860M – $12.899

Which One is the Right One for You?

Deciding which UTV is for you can be tricky, especially if you’re a first-time user. While all of the models above, both Ranger and Gator, are the very top in the UTV world, they don’t come cheap and you don’t want to make a decision you’ll later regret.

The official website for Polaris Ranger is https://ranger.polaris.com/en-us/,
and the website for John Deere gator is https://www.deere.com/en/gator-utility-vehicles/.

If you need a UTV strictly for work purposes, then John Deere is probably a way to go. A bit cheaper than similar Rangers, what they lack in the burst, power, and speed they more than make up for in load capacity, reliability, and ease of use. Gator offers a larger number of additional accessories, especially those that are useful to farmers, read more about affordable UTVs for farm use. Also, maintenance costs are lower, especially with the petrol engine. If besides work you plan to use your side-by-side for offroad adventures, hunting or fishing trips, trail riding with your family, then the Rangers’ versatility should sway you in that way. Unlike Gator, Ranger’s lineup even features a youth UTV model – 150EFI which is perfect for your kid’s first foray into the world of UTVs, read more about youth and kids UTVs.

Furthermore, if you like to look good in your vehicle, Ranger offers a far wider selection of designs and colorways, while all the Gator models are in their standard yellow and green pattern.

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6×6 UTVs – Six Wheel Side by Side https://utvride.com/6x6-utvs/ Thu, 25 Jun 2020 14:56:02 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=453 For long six wheels could only be seen on military or special purpose vehicles. Slowly, a 6×6 drive started to appear on pickup trucks and SUVs. Now there numerous vehicles off all types featuring six-wheel drive and UTV’s are no exception in joining this trend. What is a 6×6 UTV? The six-wheel-drive is the next […]

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For long six wheels could only be seen on military or special purpose vehicles. Slowly, a 6×6 drive started to appear on pickup trucks and SUVs. Now there numerous vehicles off all types featuring six-wheel drive and UTV’s are no exception in joining this trend.

What is a 6×6 UTV?

The six-wheel-drive is the next evolutionary step in the development of these UTVs. As side-by-sides have always been the vehicles mainly intended for recreational and commercial off-road purposes, it’s only normal that users want the exact thing that six-wheelers bring – more traction and more load handling ability. 6×6 UTVs, as their name says, have six wheels that are usually deployed on one forward and two rear axles.

Side-by-sides with three evenly spaced axles are practically non-existent. 6-wheel off-roaders were designed with the roughest terrain and toughest assignments on the mind. 6×6 drive is making them capable of handling the worst trail conditions. Also, their increased length and stability mean that they can carry the extremely heavy and robust load, making them especially useful for farmers, woodworkers, or on construction sites and surface mines.

Their ability to carry a significant load while being able to reach otherwise unapproachable areas make them a very useful vehicle for various public services. Many fire departments and emergency wards already use customized 6×6 UTVs.

The best 6×6 UTVs

Not all of the prominent UTV manufacturers have a 6×6 model in their line-up. The 6×6 drive is still a novelty in the UTV world. The demand for them is increasing and we will certainly see more of them.

The fact is that some of the major companies are yet to come out with models with six wheels. Especially Japanese and European factories, such as Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, or Husqvarna are lagging behind.

Still, there are some well-made and powerful vehicles to choose from. Some of them are modifications of the existing four-wheel versions. We’ll take a closer look at the ones we consider to be the top in this class.

Can-Am Defender 6×6 DPS

Based on the legendary 4×4 version of the Defender, Can-Am’s 6×6 vehicle gives you all the strength and traction you may want, while being surprisingly nimble, easy to handle, and comfortable for one of the largest UTVs.

Although based on it, 6×6 Defender is not just a four-wheeler with the extra axle added. The vehicle was given a complete makeover to make it easier to ride and add to durability. Part of the new look is the double-arched A-arms on the front axle with 11 inches of travel and a suspension sway bar at the back which adds to the stability.

It deals with the roughest trails without too much trouble satisfying the requirements of even the most demanding riders. At the same time, its load capacity and power make it a perfect workhorse for commercial use.

The third axle is responsible for excellent stability, even on the very uneven ground, and the traction way beyond what you can get with a four-wheeler. The extra axle enables the vehicle to have more frequent contact with the ground which provides a smoother ride.

The turn radius is the main issue people have with the 6×6 side-by-sides. Still, the Defender manages to minimize this issue and is capable of making rather tight turns, at least for the tree-axled vehicle of this size. It may not be as elegant and precise while turning as its 4×4 counterparts, but the sheer power of its HD10 82hp engine more than makes up for it.

Anyways, if you use it for work on the ranch or a farm, most of your driving will at slow speeds while carrying a heavy load or pulling a trailer. This is where the torque of 69 lbs-ft comes more than handy. Depending on your needs, you can select the four or six-wheel drive.

There are three driving modes to choose from: ECO – limiting torque and high speed, ECO off – unlimited “normal” ride, and WORK – for situations when you’re handling a particularly heavy load. The Defender 6×6 is unexpectedly agile and snappy on the first throttle getting even better at the mid-range.

6×6 Defender can tow up to 3000 lbs (an 500 lbs upgrade from the previous version) and has a cargo capacity of 1000 lbs, aided by a tailgate maximum load of 250 lbs. One of the main advantages of the 6×6 machine is a large cargo bed and this one is no different. At 6 feet of length, it almost doubles what you can get with similar vehicles.

The cargo bed has removable sides, so you can make it flat in case you have to transport a load that exceeds its dimensions. there are several attachment points for securing this kind of load. The best thing is that you can hardly feel all of this load while driving.

The cabin in this Defender is a three-seater, due to the space occupied by the cargo bed. Still, it’s very comfortable and equipped with VERSA-PRO seats, guaranteeing a ride as smooth as possible for a utility vehicle. Plenty of space and legroom also make tall people feel comfortable. Inside the cabin, there are all the usual accessories we are used to seeing with Can-Am. 4.5-inch display, tachometer, odometer, speedometer, hour, and trip meters, and there’s also an option of installing the additional accessories. The steering wheel is adjustable so the driver can get into a good position, but, unfortunately, this Defender has no adjustable seats. The cabin also features several additional storage spaces. Also, if you are not using the extra seats, you can simply flip them to get even more capacity. The engine is paced right behind the cabin, so it might get a little bit louder than you may have been used to with 4×4 UTVs.

Find out more at the Can-Am Defender website.

Specs

  • HD10 82 hp 976 cc V-twin engine
  • PRO-TORQ transmission
  • 4WD/6WD selectable drive
  • Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
  • Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires, 27×9-14 at the front, 27×11-14 at the rear
  • Overall dimensions: 153.4x64x78 inches
  • 1994.5 lbs dry weight
  • 155.5 in wheelbase
  • 1000+250 lbs cargo bed capacity
  • 3000 lbs towing capacity
  • 1700 lbs payload capacity
  • $17.999 MSRP

Polaris Ranger 6×6

Can-Am’s biggest competitor on the US market, Polaris, also boasts a high- quality heavy-duty 6×6 model. Ranger 6×6 is mainly geared towards contractors, farmers, municipalities, and emergency services, but due to its fantastic ability to handle almost any terrain, ith has found admirers among outdoorsmen and adventures. Quick, powerful, and mobile, it’s more than ready for any challenges you may put in front of it.

The Ranger 6×6 features CVT transmission with ah six-wheel shift drive. Electronic monitoring of all three pairs of wheels enables seamless power transfer between the front and the rear in case that any of the sets loses traction. This enables the UTV to move forward, even if all of the 4 rear wheels are slipping. In case you find yourself in very muddy or snowy conditions, the traction system will let the wheels slip more so they can sort of propel out that kind of situation. The Ranger’s system makes it really difficult to get stuck in the mud or snow, mean extremely useful feature if we know that a lot of its use is in those exact conditions.

Longer A-arms and greater wheel travel, made possible by longer chassis, make sure that the ride is comfortable as it can be, even on the rocky and uneven terrain. At the rear, the independent suspension makes it possible for each wheel to articulate separately, providing maximum traction and ground contact. Anti-kickback steering allows for one-hand steering and significantly reduces the wheel feedback you may feel when going over the bumps.

The Ranger’s cargo bed is a bit smaller than the one found on the Defender, but still at 54 inches width is more than enough for a normal shipping palette and can also be extended by lowering the tailgate. 15 cubic feet of cargo volume and 1250 lbs load capacity should do for most of your needs. The great thing, rarely seen at other similar vehicles, is that you can release the box for dumping on both sides of the vehicle.

The 6×6 Ranger, at first glance, looks rugged and robust, exuberating the strength beneath the hood. The armored front gives the vehicle sort of military look and protects the most vital and vulnerable components even during the roughest rides on the nastiest terrain. The extended chassis, besides more space for cargo, offers extra legroom in the cabin and more comfortability.

It has, also, enabled the placement of a truck-like toolbox between the cargo bed and the back of the seat. A large bench easily seats three people and is very easy on the body during longer rides. Under the seats, there are an extra 20 gallons of storage space. The dashboard includes a multifunctional panel, a cup holder, and a conveniently placed parking brake lever.

Find out more at ranger.polaris.com.

Specs

  • 760ccs 4-stroke 40 hp Twin-cylinder engine
  • Automatic PVT transmission
  • Polaris On-demand True 6WD/4WD drive
  • 25×10-12 front tires, 25×11-12 rear tires
  • 137x60x76 inches overall dimensions
  • 42.5x54x11 inches bed box
  • 1250 lbs bed capacity
  • 1551 lbs dry weight
  • 1750 lbs payload capacity
  • 12 inches ground clearance
  • 2000 lbs towing capacity
  • $12.599 MSRP

John Deere Gator TH Diesel

A long-time favorite among the US farmers, John Deere Gator 6×4 is a heavy-duty workhorse, with a diesel engine guaranteeing toughness and durability. Gator is more than prepared for anything you may throw at it and can withstand the touches work conditions without a hitch. Unlike the TVs we mentioned above, this vehicle features only a four-wheel-drive system, although it also has 6 wheels. The power from the engine is transmitted to the transaxle and further to the center axle. The rear axle is connected to the center axle and driven by a chain system connected on both sides. Roller chains are exposed and do require regular maintenance and cleaning. However, changing gears is very smooth and operated with the lever placed between the seats.

Gator 6×4 is powered by an 18.5 hp engine from Japanese manufacturer Yanmar. It provides more than enough power to smoothly run up the steep hills under the full load. Due to the absence of the roof and sidebars, Gator is significantly lighter than its Can-Am and Polaris relatives and the somewhat weaker engine handles its weight easily. High torque level makes all the difference. This UTV’s engine runs on diesel which is particularly convenient for farmers since most of the other agricultural machines use diesel too.

Since it’s a bit smaller than other six-wheel UTVs, the 6×4 gator does much better in the corners, It has a tight turning circle and coming up a particularly sharp corner you won’t feel much different then if you were driving a four-wheeled side-by-side. It sometimes oversteers around corners in wet conditions since the rear four wheels tent to push the whole vehicle toward a straight line.

The lower height of the Gator is very convenient when it comes to loading and unloading. Also, the tailgate can be lowered by 150 degrees making it even easier. The sides and tailgate of the spacious cargo bed are made of 15-percent polypropylene material that eliminates rust and makes maintenance no problem. 14 tie-down points make sure that your load is safe and secure at all times, even on bumpy terrain.

John Deere Gator 6×4 knows exactly what it is. An amazing vehicle for all of the daily chores at the farm or lumberyard. Hence the lower top speed of around 20 mph. This is not a UTV for acing or extreme trail riding, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be used for occasional recreational trail riding. Gator 6×4 is also available with the Kawasaki gs engine.

Find out more at the John Deere website.

Specs

  • 18.5 hp 993 cc 3-cylinder engine
  • 4WD drive
  • CVT transmission
  • 107x60x44 inches overall dimensions
  • 45x12x52 inches cargo bed
  • 1200 lbs cargo bed capacity
  • 1400 lbs towing capacity
  • 6.5 inches ground clearance
  • 5 gallons of fuel capacity
  • 1200 lbs weight
  • $13.449 MSRP

When do you need a six-wheel UTV?

As we all know, riding a UTV in adverse weather and terrain conditions is half of the fun. In addition, people using side-by-sides for work, like farmers, construction workers, or woodworkers really don’t have much say in what’s the weather gonna be like on any given day. And the work needs to be done and completed. The better traction provided by 6×6 UTVs provides more ground contact, prevents slippage, and makes it easier to get out of sticky situations when you find yourself stuck in the mud or snow. Furthermore, six wheels provide better overall weight distributions and leave a shallower track behind them. This is important when you have to drive over the grass or land and preserves your estate in better condition. On the other hand, more traction means more wear and tear for the tires, so make sure that you get a quality set if you plan on owning a 6×6 UTV.

Another important reason that may sway you in the direction of 6-wheeled side-by-side is larger load capacity. For many who use these vehicles for work, this may be the deciding factor. The 6-wheelers can handle more cargo than similar vehicles both in terms of weight and size. For example, Can-Am Defender 6×6 has almost twice a longer cargo bed than its 4×4 counterpart and can carry 1250 lbs compared to the 600 lbs for the regular Defender with HD5 engine. If you’re hauling wood, construction material, or various equipment every pond and inch can matter. You can even load an ATV or another smaller UTV onto the 6-wheeler’s cargo bed.

Six-wheel vs four-wheel UTVs

As we already mentioned, 6-wheeled UTV has some clear advantages over the 4-wheeled ones. Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks to owning a 6×6 side-by-side. We’ll go through some of the factors that can help you decide which one is the right one for you.

Price

The production costs of a 6×6 are logically higher than the cost of making a 4×4, so it’s normal that 6-wheelers are more expensive. Another factor that adds to the price of UTVs with six wheels is that they are not yet in very high demand so they are produced in much smaller series which is always more expensive. Again, we’ll use the two versions of Can-Am Defender for comparison. While the Defender 6×6 will set you back at least $17.999 for the basic model, you can get the Defender with four wheels for as low as $10.299. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if the price difference is worth it, and if the advantages that 6×6 bring are enough to justify the higher cost. If you plan to use six-wheeled UTV for work you can consider the difference in price as an investment into capacity, reliability, and durability.

Maintenance

Things are pretty simple here. 6x6s have six wheels, three axles, and a more complex drive and transmission system. It’s only logical that their maintenance will cost you more. When they are worn out there are two extra tires to replace. Also, this brings up a problem of the spare tire and the dilemma of how much you want to carry with you and occupy precious storage space, Besides, there are more things that can go wrong with a six-wheelers and spare parts are usually more expensive.

Cargo capacity

As we covered already 6×6 UTV has a serious advantage when it comes to carrying the load. The sheer width and length are something that four-wheelers can’t compare to. Also due to the third axle load capacity is way larger than with 4×4 equivalents. If this is the primary reason you’re purchasing a side-by-side, then the six-wheeler is definitely a way to go.

Fuel economy

While 4×4 UTV’s do generally get better mileage than six-wheelers, the difference is usually not that significant to make this a deciding factor. Of course, this also depends on the kind of load you’re carrying and the terrain you’re driving on. Also, if you’re worried about fuel costs, you can pick one of the 6x6s with smaller engines such as John Deere Gator 6×4.

Maneuverability

We already know that tight corners are the biggest enemy of 6×6 vehicles. Turn radius is much larger than that of 4×4 of 4×2 UTVs. Some models, like Defender, have managed to approach the maneuverability of four-wheelers by giving through steering wheel more opportunity to front axle to turn tighter. Still, the front end doesn’t push enough forward in the corners and perhaps a fully locked differential would help in this matter. On the other hand, 6×6 side-by-sides provide a much better break-over angle and more flotation, which is particularly useful on rough terrain.

Registration and insurance fees

Be aware that, in some states, the third axle can mean higher registrations fees. According to regulations in certain states a three-axle vehicle is considered a heavy truck, no matter the smaller size and load capacity. Make sure to check your local regulation before opting for a 6×6 UTV. Also, the insurance for six-wheeler will set you back a bit more. Read more about how UTV insurance work.

The future of 6×6 UTVs

Although they are still not taking the world by storm, the versatility, power, and capacity of 6×6 UTVs mean that they may very well be the future of this class of vehicles. Ability to carry big loads, excellent traction are a given, and with the latest models making significant improvements in terms of handling and speed, six-wheeled side-by-sides have a chance to become one of the rare vehicles that can fully answer the demands of the most diverse groups of users. They are already workhorses capable of performing the most difficult tasks on the highest levels. They found their use with emergency services, farmers, woodworkers, and any other business that requires heavy-duty reliable transporters. They are becoming increasingly popular with hunters and recreational riders. 6×6 UTVs have a chance to become a go-to for anyone looking to find a ride that can equally serve for work and fun.

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UTV Racing Series in USA https://utvride.com/utv-racing-series-in-usa/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 19:08:54 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=444 Once just a side-show at the off-road racing circuit, UTV racing has grown into series of well organized and popular events featuring fierce competition and passionate fans. Desert racing, short and long-distance, and cross-country events have taken the US and the whole planet by storm. Since 2003, when Cory Sappington was the first to use […]

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Once just a side-show at the off-road racing circuit, UTV racing has grown into series of well organized and popular events featuring fierce competition and passionate fans. Desert racing, short and long-distance, and cross-country events have taken the US and the whole planet by storm. Since 2003, when Cory Sappington was the first to use UTV as a racing machine, SxS races have developed into attractive and exciting competition series with its own set of rules, vehicle classes, and dedicated fanbase.

The Appeal of UTV Racing

The camaraderie and team spirit, uncharacteristic for many other competitive events, are the first thing that draws people to this kind of racing. Most competitors have a team around them consisting of mostly friends and family making every race an opportunity for bonding and making new friends among like-minded people. The rules are set in a way that enables riders to prepare their vehicles in their own garages, eliminating the need for big corporate team sponsors that often take the soul and joy out of similar competitions. With some minor safety modifications, you can take the vehicle almost straight from the dealer to the track and experience adrenaline rush that only these races can provide.

A Guide to UTV Racing in the USA

Nowadays, there are UTV competitive events across the whole of the USA, Canada, and Mexico. They include races for different age groups and skill levels, making it possible for almost anyone to be part of the racing adventure. Race series that include UTV’s are being held from coast to coast so you’ll probably be able to find one near your home or you can choose to take it up a notch and spend some time touring the country taking part in the circuit. Some events have television coverage and huge prize funds, while others are more low-profile and geared towards recreational competitors.

Desert races are the challenging and exciting events in the world of UTV competitions. But, at the same time the most expensive when it comes to preparing your vehicle for entry. These events are long and successful participation requires top-notch skills from the rider. Short courses are much more accessible for newbies, both in terms of money investment needed and the skill level and experience. They can serve as a great entry-point to the world of UTV racing.

When it comes to manufacturers who dominate the tracks in the US, it’s difficult to name the one brand that is best suited for racing. Different types of events demand different vehicle features so, while perfect on one track, one car UTV may not be the best for the other. If we are talking pure numbers, it’s easily noticeable that the Polaris RZR platform is the most represented racing SxS on the racing events. Not just in the US but across the globe. Can-Am and Arctic Cat have also very competitive racing models which are the favorite of the many. And, lately, Yamaha is stepping up and returning to the old glory. Other Japanese manufacturers are, also, not far behind.

Simply having a UTV vehicle is not enough to just go out and take part in a racing series. Each organization behind a certain series usually has its own set of rules that your vehicle will need to adhere to. For this reason, preparing your SxS for two different events in a short span of time can be a pain in the neck. Safety rules at one event may be looser than at the other. Especially since may of the regulations in the rulebooks are open to interpretation. Some of them can be bent a bit and some completely avoided, which is, of course, still not recommended. Bearing in mind how much of an investment turning your UTV into a racing machine can be, it’s probably best that you always contact event organizers and clear any dilemmas you may have regarding what’s allowed and what’s not.

UTV Racing Series in the USA – The List

Below are some of the most attractive and well-organized SxS race events in the US, both for competitors and fans. They range from the highly technical trail and rock challenges to full-on dirt speed racing. The number of events grows each year, so be sure to check online for any new events that may be worth your attention.

Best in the Desert Series

Website: https://bitd.com

At the moment, the Best in the Desert Series is probably the best run and versatile off-road racing series in the world. Founded over 30 years ago, BITD included the UTV World championship to its schedule six years ago. They now host six UTV races in Nevada and Arizona.Besides UTV WC, they are best known for Mint 400 and Vegas to Reno races. Their courses include graded roads, desolate desert, rocky mountain terrain, and run through some of the most breath-taking sites you can find in North America. There are three classes available for UTVers, from entry to pro-level.

World Off-Road Championships Series

Website: https://worcsracing.com

World Off-road Championship events were one of the first to embrace UTV riders. Based mostly on the West Coast, they have events in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Washington Over 11 thousand racers of various backgrounds, skill levels, and experience take part in the WORC events each year. And with their fan-friendly courses, they draw more than 50,000 people just to watch the races. Every event in the WORC series features Pro and Amateur UTV classes, attracting some of the finest UTV riders from all over the country. Safety requirements for entering their UTV events are not as strict as with some other series, so many novice riders chose WORC as their first try with racing.

Lucas Oil Off-Road Series

Website: https://lucasoiloffroad.com
Regional website: http://www.lucasoilregional.com

Lucas Oil Off-road series has featured UTV races at their regional events for a while, and now they also have Pro-UTV class for 1000cc and turbo vehicles as part of their main competition. Lucas Oil events are best known for their short-course off-road tracks that bring exciting and competitive racing that draws competitors and fans from all over the world. With no natural obstacles, such as trees or rocks, this series is about the basics – speeding at the breakneck seed across the dirt. Custom build race tracks can accommodate thousands of fans who always create a unique atmosphere that these events are known for.

SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series

Website: http://score-international.com

Score International’s Baja 1000, Baja 500, and San Felipe 250 are considered the most dangerous and challenging but at the same time the most rewarding and exciting race tracks in Nort America. Naja 100 is the longest-running desert event in the world and in that time it has gained the reputation for the immaculate organization, plenty of excitement around the tracks, and unforgettable experience it delivers to racers and fans. Winning in Baja brings bragging rights that can be compared only to winning in Dakar events. Of course, race this challenging is also the most difficult and expensive to prepare for.

GNNC Series

Website: https://gnccracing.com

The Grand National Cross Country series is one of the favorite events for UTV riders. With six out of thirteen rounds of competition featuring UTV races, it’s was one of the first series that recognized the potential of SxS events. What distinct GNNC from other similar series is the versatility and beauty of riding areas. Riders get the chance to ride the combination of trails through the woods, open grass areas, and dirt tracks. Tracks are 6 to 8 miles long, and races take up to three hours to complete. Each year GNNC events draw around 2,500 racers coming from all parts of the world; from Japan and New Zealand to Both American continents. The Grand National Cross Country series is also known for being engaged with local communities everywhere the races take place.

VORRA Series

Website: https://vorra.net

The Valley Off-Road Racing Association series has been held in Nevada and California for over 40 years. As a family-run organization, VORRA puts the spirit of racing and camaraderie above the fierce competitiveness of some other events. They believe that every racing vehicle should be prepared in the rider’s own garage and are strong advocates for bringing racing back to its roots. This is the main reason why entry fees for these events have been kept at a minimum all these years. Of, course, this doesn’t mean that their events are not challenging and exciting, Some of the VORRA organized races, such as the USA 500 and 24-hour endurance race, are among the toughest on the continent.

King of the Hammers Racing Event

Website: https://www.ultra4racing.com

King of the Hammers event is held every February in Johnson Valley California. A combination of rock climbing and desert racing, KOH races are one of the most difficult one-day events you can be a part of. Just finishing the race is a success on its own. It’s no wonder that these events now feature more than 300 teams and draw crowds of over 35,000, with many more watching online. The organization behind King of the Hammers is also known for its film production and has released several full-length features on the KOH events. They also have an impressive live production of their races, bringing more and more fans each year.

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UTV Camping https://utvride.com/utv-camping/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 14:28:08 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=438 Most of the UTV-ers are also huge nature enthusiasts. It’ only logical. Utv riding and camping, fishing, hunting, or hiking go hand in hand. They are connected by the sense of adventure and thrills of outdoor life. A lot of side-by-side riders plan their trail routes according to available camping spots along the ride. Whether […]

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Most of the UTV-ers are also huge nature enthusiasts. It’ only logical. Utv riding and camping, fishing, hunting, or hiking go hand in hand. They are connected by the sense of adventure and thrills of outdoor life. A lot of side-by-side riders plan their trail routes according to available camping spots along the ride. Whether they go alone, with a group of friends, or organize a family trip, it gives them a chance to put together two of their biggest passions: power riding and getting in touch with nature.

Of course, going camping with your UTV is very different than just hopping to the nearest trail or hauling your UTV to the off-road spot with the sole purpose of riding. If you decide on going camping with your side-by-side, be ready for some extra preparations. It’s necessary to make sure that everything goes without a hitch and that you can fully commit yourself to joys and exploration of the great outdoors. Here are some tips on how to make your UTV camping trip the smoothest experience possible.

Be Certain of What Kind of Camping Trip You Want

Before you even start your preparations and start looking for destinations, you need to be sure that you know exactly what kind of trip you want. Ask yourself who are you going with, where do you want to go, what do you plan to do when you get to the destination?

Planning for camping with your family is very different than for going on a trip with your friends, UTVs or not. Also, be clear about planned activities. Are you going to spend the whole day on a trail and use the camp just for a sleepover, or do you want to go hiking, bike riding, fishing? Maybe you’re the kind of person that enjoys comfort and perks of modern camping sites, such as electricity, Wi-Fi, and running water. Or, perhaps, you just like picking the spot in the wild and setting the camp there.

Only when you’re certain of these thing you can start seriously planning your trip.

Plan Ahead

Off-road camping requires a great deal of planning. Find the map of your desired destination and search the internet for reviews and experiences of people who have previously camped there. Explore the route you’ll need to go through to get there. If you’re towing your UTV, there’s a possibility that you won’t be able to drive comfortably through some of the backroads to the camp.

Get your machine prepared and serviced if needed. Check engine oil, air filter, fuel system, CVT drive belt, brakes, shocks, tires, and wheels. This way you’ll avoid getting to your dream destination and not being able to use your ride or spending half a trip at the repair shop. Even worse, your UTV may break down and leave you stranded in the wilderness. The wisest thing to do is to draw-up a check-list and gradually complete tasks on it.

Carefully Pick a Destination

As we already mentioned, not all destinations will provide the perfect experience. First of all, make sure that you’re allowed to ride off-road vehicles at your chosen destination. Some camping sites or wildlife areas have strict regulations against the use of ATVs, UTVs, or dirtbikes. If you are going on a family camping trip check that there are some cool hiking, fishing, or swimming areas near your camping site. And that you can get to those using UTV, of course. See if there are any interesting attractions to visit, along the road or near the camping site.

You also, may wanna choose the camping ground with laundromat options and a general store. While it takes some of the wildlife camping edge, laundromat will be more than useful knowing how covered in dirt you’ll be after a full day of riding. A store where you can get some supplies will help you pack lighter for the trip.

If you’re going with a group of friends, make sure that everyone is on board with the proposed trip plan. Some people like rougher and more natural experience, while others prefer comfort and are just there to hang with their buddies.

How to Pack

Besides the stuff you always need to carry on your UTV, camping trips will require some extra items. While packing light is recommended, there are some things that are essential. Depending on where you’re going, it’s possible that you won’t see civilization for a couple of days. In addition to a regular first-aid kit, make sure to pack medicaments that you or any of your fellow campers may use on a regular basis. It’s always a good idea to have some wide-range antibiotics and something to treat potential insect and animal bites. Although you want to get as close to nature as possible, don’t forget personal toiletry items.

The amount and the kind of food and cooking supplies you’ll need mostly depends on who you’re going with. If you’re going with your buddies, simple meals will probably do. Freeze-dried meals, snacks, instant oatmeal, and canned food are all easily prepared over the fire and don’t need refrigeration. They also make cleaning after yourself a piece of cake. If you’re going on a family UTV camping trip consider bringing some cooking equipment and some healthier food items for the kids.

It goes without saying, that you’ll also need standard camping equipment. Sleeping bags, a tent, warm clothing, and cooler. Mind the season when your camping trip will take place. Camping in the cold weather will require more supplies than going on a trip during summer.

Packing all of these items is not going to be easy, especially if you’re not using the trailer to haul your UTV. The space in your vehicle is usually very limited. Make use of travel size boxes to pack as much stuff as you can. If your side-by-side has extra storage options, fill them up – roof racks, toolboxes, under-seat storages, rear storage racks.

Extra Vehicle Accessories

Many UTV manufacturers and aftermarket companies produce vehicle accessories that are specifically intended for use when camping. These are quite useful and handy when you find yourself in the wilderness.

The rooftop tent can be particularly useful for camping trips. It’s installed at the roof of your UTV and occupies much less space than the regular tent. It’s easy to set up and since you’ll be sleeping several feet above the ground, it provides great protection against animals and insects.

Spare tire carrier is another attachment that can save you a lot of storage space. Besides spare tire, it can hold some of your other gear or tools while keeping your rear bed accessible.

The emergency winch will be more than helpful if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but better safe than sorry.

Adding a LED light bar to your UTV is not only handy for night riding but can provide some extra light for your camping site. It easy to install and doesn’t occupy any storage space. At the same time, it eliminates the need for propane lamps or other light sources.

What Not to Do

When going UTV campaign, make sure that you always respect nature, fellow campers, and the authorities in the camping area you’re visiting. Even though you’ve run away from civilization to the wilderness, you’re not alone there. If there’s the assigned trail system, respect it. Stranding around to the private trails can cause damage to the fields, roads and destroy someone’s hard work.

Wherever you ride be careful. When you go to the dunes or your usual riding areas people around are aware of what’s going on and act accordingly. In the woods, you may run into hikers or bikers using the same trail. You never know what’s behind the corner. Plus, there’s is always a danger of wild animals running onto the trail.

Many people go to the wilderness looking for peace and some quiet time. So, no matter how much you enjoy the sound of your engine don’t unnecessarily rev it. It will also disturb and frighten any wild animals around. You are their guest after all, not the other way around.

If you’re camping in an organized campground, follow the house rules of the site. Respect other people in the camp and don’t let anyone who asks ride your vehicle.

Adhering to these rules helps keep these trails open. Running wild in the woods and creating unbearable noise is the surest way to get UTVs banned from a certain area and ruin it for all of the other side-by-side enthusiasts.

The Best UTV Campsites

While some of the sites have imposed restrictions, there are plenty of wonderful camping areas in the US that are UTV-friendly. We gathered the list of the most attractive ones, but feel free to explore for yourself and find the perfect spot for you and your UTV.

  • Windrock Park, Oliver Springs, Tennessee
  • Circle Pines, Williams, Arizona
  • Hidden Falls Adventure Park, Marble Falls, Texas
  • Oregon Dunes, Coosbay, Oregon
  • Twin Hollow Campground, Gilbert, West Virginia
  • Lake Oklawaha, Ft McCoy, Florida
  • Pirate Cove Resort, Needles, California
  • Craters of the Moon, Arco, Idaho
  • Laughlin, Nevada
  • Custer, South Dakota
  • Fillmore, Utah
  • Salome, Arizona
  • Trinity Lake, California
  • Calico, Barstow, California

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How to Keep Sand and Dust Out of Your UTV https://utvride.com/keep-sand-and-dust-out/ Thu, 28 May 2020 15:54:27 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=430 It is always an exciting time for enthusiasts and off-roaders when it is the sand season in Southern California. Incidentally, this place is where the biggest sand dunes are located right at the heart of the Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area, also known as Glamis. Along with the usual safety precautions that we do whenever […]

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It is always an exciting time for enthusiasts and off-roaders when it is the sand season in Southern California. Incidentally, this place is where the biggest sand dunes are located right at the heart of the Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area, also known as Glamis. Along with the usual safety precautions that we do whenever riding off-road vehicles, is the question of how we can keep the sand out of the cab of our UTV, as well as keeping it out of our faces.

What Makes Dust and Sand Swirl Inside Your Cab?

There are Two Things that makes for a dusty swirly cabin:

• Open Sides
no doors, or partial doors

• Airflow
Swirling dust and sand largely depends on the strength of the airflow inside the cab. Furthermore, airflow is also dependent on the windshield if any, that is installed. How we manage to disrupt the airflow is the key to keeping dust out of your cab.

First, let us look into how a type of windshield or no windshield can drastically change the airflow that is coming into your UTV.

No Windshield

In this case, we will be talking about no windshield from both front and back. There are also no lower door inserts to plug the holes right below the partial doors. What happens is that a UTV with no windshield will cause the airflow to go straight into the cab and exit straight out of the back as well.

Since the air is free to flow in and out of the cab, having no windshield is perfect for a UTV that is cruising at a good speed. The thing is, whenever the vehicle slows down or stops, dust can become a cloud that settles inside of your cab. Other than that, this set up is okay for drivers who would rather have the wind in their faces, as they tend to appreciate the outdoors better with an unimpeded view. Don’t forget to put on a pair of goggles for eye protection.

Goggles

This type of protection is highly recommended regardless of what type of solution you are going to use. With either a windshield or no windshield situation, you will need goggles to protect your eyes from dust and sand. Tiny specks are no fun to remove if it gets in your eyes. It is painful too.

For the moment there is no substitute for a pair of trusty goggles, not even your favorite sunglasses. There are too many spaces in between them that you will still get sand in your eyes. Take care to buy not just the regular ones but choose the special sand goggles.

Sand goggles contain extra foam or have smaller foam cells to prevent tiny sand particles from getting through it. A good reason to choose sand goggles is when you are riding your UTV and cresting peaks, you will have the sun coming down on your face in awkward angles. Without sand goggles, dust and squinting may severely affect your vision.

It would also be good to have two sets of sand goggles, tinted and non-tinted. For protection from glare.

Scott Goggles suitable for dusty UTV rides

Goggles combined with dust mask

Some goggles are combined with a face mask to protect you from dust and sand. Check out the Wolfsnout Dust Masks & Goggles.

Dust Mask

Before donning on goggles you might want to put on a face mask. A face mask could be anything from a simple t-shirt to a specially manufactured contraption that easily looks like a mask that covers both the nose and the mouth. It is then securely strapped all the way to the back of the head.

A professional dust mask may contain a pair of filters that will ultimately keep out 99% of dust particles. The cloth itself is made of stretchable material that will fit various head sizes. Other than the state of California, some other states do allow just a combination of dust masks and goggles.

You can also wear a dust mask right inside your dirt-bike style helmet whenever required. One other thing you can wear is a Motley Tube, a breathable, moisture-wicking polyester that you can wear any day at any time. It’s a versatile cloth that you can wear as a dust mask covering your mouth nose, and ears. You can also wear it for other purposes like a scarf, neck warmer, etc.

Simple and efficent scarf as face mask

Half a Windshield

Using half a windshield is an effective way of avoiding wind from hitting your chest and your face. Half means just a portion of the lower part of the frame of your UTV is covered. Most of the airflow blows right over your head and even affords you some protection from the nippy air on colder days.

What happens is that the airflow along with the dust blows overhead and continues on all the way to the back. The dust doesn’t settle inside the cab, instead, it shoots all the way to the back and outside of the vehicle. Since half of the front is already covered, it then creates a partial vacuum pulling in air from both the sides and back of the UTV.

What it does is create a partial swirl that would probably bother some drivers and some that wouldn’. In any case, a half a windshield would be a great idea for warmer months wherein a breeze would feel warm and welcoming.

Since this solution is only half a windshield, airflow blows right over the head of the driver and blows right through to the rear passenger. Not really a good option for colder climates. The rear passenger might freeze because of the cold wind.

This type of windshield is also great for 2 seater UTVs. If the holes below the partial doors aren’t plugged in, chances are dust will enter the cab and even a partial or a full windshield won’t even matter. So, take the time to cover those holes and you will want to supply helmets to your passengers sitting at the back whenever you are driving a 4 seater.

This is so that you could have them protected from drafts or even from dust landing on the head.

Helmet

It is important to note that in the great state of California, any passenger who rides in any SXS will have to wear a helmet. This is especially when driving on public lands. That goes for everyone who is looking to drive a UTV in any of the states, Look into the requirements first and make sure that it is DOT approved.

A helmet not only protects a driver or passenger in accidents but it can also be a direct cover from dust and sand. It could be a dirt-bike style helmet or any other style as long as it covers most parts of your head.

Full Windshield

It would make sense to assume that a full windshield since it blocks all the airflow, will keep you warm. After all, any four-wheeled vehicle like a regular car can benefit from being covered by a full windshield. And we think that the same principle would apply to a UTV. Unfortunately, it is not the case with your open-air UTV.

You see, when you fully block the airflow from the front by putting a barrier like a windshield, it creates a strong vacuum, pulling the air from all sides of the open UTV. In fact, it is attracting at the strongest instance of dust and sand from the open sides, even all the way to the back. You can almost expect to be covered with sand by the time you arrive at your destination.

We can conclude that full windshield is the least effective solution in avoiding dust and sand from accumulating inside your cab. In fact, you can expect your cab to look like a dustbin if you go this route.

Flip-Up Windshield With a Rear Window Panel

Using this solution is by far the best you can do to your UTV and yourself. Finally, you get to solve the problem of dust and sand accumulating inside your cab. It features a combination of a flip-up front windshield together with a rear panel that covers the whole of the back of the vehicle. Picture this: you have a windshield that is propped up and forward by sturdy gas hydraulics. At the same time, a rear panel is covering the back of the UTV.

It creates a repelling airflow pushing the air away from the cab and going out from the sides of the vehicle. So instead of attracting dust and sand, it lets it escape out from the sides of the vehicle. This is not a perfect set up as some dust may still get in. But by far, this the most effective at repelling more dust and sand than all the other alternatives we mentioned above.

Bottom line, dust, and sand are part of the off-roading lifestyle that can be for everyone, or maybe not everyone. Some trails may be more difficult than others, some a little bit dustier, and the main point is you are safe and protected with the application of the solutions in this article. That means you can gear up and have fun while minimizing the risk maximizing the benefits of protecting yourself and your family.

More importantly, you can adjust your windshield according to what position it is best for the day. A fully propped-up windshield could mean a dusty trip, or just a little adjustment of the flip-up windshield to cool off on a hot day. Drive safe, be comfortable, and don’t let it get into your eyes.

You can check out more info about fun in the article sand dune and desert riding tips.

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Different Types of UTV Tires https://utvride.com/different-types-of-utv-tires/ Thu, 28 May 2020 09:40:25 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=419 Most of the time, when you buy a new UTV, it comes with tires meant for all-terrain or general-purpose use. Such tire types are better equipped for handling different kinds of terrain and obstacles, which are not aggressive. For instance, for the 1000cc sports models, most of them, when bought, sport the all-terrain or general-purpose […]

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Most of the time, when you buy a new UTV, it comes with tires meant for all-terrain or general-purpose use.

Such tire types are better equipped for handling different kinds of terrain and obstacles, which are not aggressive.

For instance, for the 1000cc sports models, most of them, when bought, sport the all-terrain or general-purpose tire. I am talking about the likes of Can-Am Maverick and Polaris RZR XP 1000.

In contrast, some UTV comes with tires only useful for a particular terrain type. Such as the UTV model Can-Am Maverick X-mr has deep lugged tires, and together with other particular components, it is capable of plowing through muddy bogs.

Why Choose the Right Type of UTV Tire

The general-purpose UTV tire has the capability of allowing you to have lots of fun driving and cover a lot of ground.

However, if you happen to take plenty of time driving on a particular terrain type, then it is only right that you use specifically designed tires.

Using the wrong tire for a terrain can:
• Slow you down
• Cause excessive wear and tear of the UTV
• Accelerate tread wear
• Lead to tread and or tire damage
• Make you spend a lot of time trying to get your UTV out of messy situations.
• Pose danger to your health.

For achieving the most fun driving experience, it is strongly recommended you only use side-by-side UTV tires appropriately suitable for the terrain type mostly used.

Consequently, below are the main different tire types for UTV.

All-Terrain/General-Purpose Tires

The tires are great for those who ride on different terrain types regularly.

For getting a great all-terrain tire, better than the one a new UTV comes with, you will need to do some shopping.

General-purpose tires feature a typically aggressive design with its thick, rugged lugs, even though mud tires benefit from a more aggressive look.

The lugs are spaced apart, essential for providing a better grip, mainly when dealing with rocks and logs.

The spacing of the lugs is also beneficial in providing traction in different terrains like snow and self-cleaning against rocks and sticks.

As well, the general-purpose tire makes use of sturdy sidewalls to resist potential puncture from rocks and sticks.

Some examples of all-terrain UTV tires, they include the Maxxis Bighorn, TM-440, 350 Super Mag, and Pro Terrain.

Maxxis Bighorn Radial Rear Tire – 29x11R14

Pros
• Can handle being driven in terrains an average user uses.
• The tire type is universal, meaning you can choose from a vast selection of brands.

Cons
• Not the best tire for the most aggressive terrains like mud and snow.
• Some people may find them a bit noisy when used on dirt roads.

Mud Tires

If you spend most of your driving time on muddy, sloppy, and wet terrain, then mud tires are the best fit for your UTV.

Mud tires have aggressive tread patterns, with large, wide-spaced lugs. The result of such a design is better gripping, enabling plowing through any tricky and muddy situation. As the tire rotates, the soft mud can easily slip right out.

The mud tires also implement the directional design useful in delivering superior wet traction and efficient self-cleaning.

With the self-cleaning design, as the tires rotate, the gravel, mud, or dirt under action is quickly cleared to provide a new grip surface.

Some examples of UTV mud tires include the Ocelot P341, Big Foot, Sedona Mudda Inlaw and Maxxis Zilla.

Maxxis MU01 Zilla Tire

Pros
• It provides superior wet traction.

Cons
• Not great for hard terrains driving not only because of the loud and rough ride but also the UTV may be difficult to handle, and tires may suffer from damage.

Sand Tires

UTV sand tires, just like mud tires, come with pronounced paddles, giving them a distinct look. The uniquely shaped tread design is excellent as it is effective in “scooping” the sand on the terrain when driving.

And it is not only the tread pattern that makes sand tires unique. As well, they specifically involve the use of a rear tread style, which is entirely different from the front tires.

The design style of the sand rear tires is broader and lighter weight for producing the ability to literally “float” on the sandy terrain. You will not get stuck when driving across the sand.

Also known as paddle tires, sand tires have deep treads or large scoops, which deliver the right level of traction and control.

The paddles operate like rotating shovels, making it possible for the tire digging into the sand and, as a result, propel your UTV forward.

Moreover, because all the traction emanates from the paddles, between them is bare, helpful in keeping the weight down.

For the front sand tires, usually, there is different styles implementation such as:

a. Ribbed with particles– The design is useful in making the UTV front carve into turns and hence, gives you more control and better front end feel. Nonetheless, the main problem you may encounter is the tires throwing up plenty of sand possible to reach the driver and passenger.

b. Spiked– As the name suggests, they tend to be similar to ribbed UTV tires, and have rubber spikes, resembling the spine of a dragon, wrapping around the tire.

c. Completely smooth- Better for high-performance UTVs. Smooth tires are suitable for a driver engaging in plenty of straight uphill climbing or drag racing and, thus, desire a lighter tire.

Examples of the rear sand tire and front sand tire are the GMZ Sand Stripper HP Full Paddle Tire and STI Sand Wedge Front Tire, respectively.

Besides, remember that before you go for a driving action with your UTV, equip yourself with the appropriate desert and sand dune riding tips. That you do for safety, security, and enjoyment.

Sedona Cyclone Rib Sand Front Tire

Sedona Cyclone Sand Paddle Rear Tire

Pros
• Uniquely shaped tread for both the rear and front tires to offer better maneuverability.

Cons
• Because there is scooping of sand, the driver and the passenger may receive their share.

Snow and Ice Tires

The tire design offers deep snow traction, great for those in areas experiencing a lot of winter conditions. As a result, you can stay afloat on the snow surface top. There is no digging into the snow terrain by the wheels.

Snow tires are wider and have tread paddles, or radially running independent blocks across the tread. You will be just skidding over the snow and ice terrain, and there is no causing of snow to fly everywhere.

Tires made for winter condition are generally made of softer rubber compound to create better grip in cold weather where the rubber gets harder due to the cold.

Before going for a drive, make sure you familiarize yourself with the UTV winter driving tips. You have to winterize the vehicle and take the necessary precautions to have an excellent snow driving experience.

Pros
• It makes your winter ride more joyful because of the significantly improved traction and control.

Cons
• Maybe more expensive compared with other types of UTV tires.

Racing Tires

These types of UTV tires are different since the specific design incorporated is for delivery of robust and constant response in grip and steering on trails and harder terrains. Accordingly, typically, the racing tire comes with sharp-edged tread patterns.

The design for the tires is great for competitive (not recreational) use in racing compacted surfaces.

In terms of the tread pattern design, they tend to vary according to the particular racing terrain. If you are an experienced racer, you will know the specific tires to choose from.

Some examples of UTV racing tires include the Trail Warrior and OTR HP-009.

Pros
• Because the tire is lightweight, the vehicle moves faster.
• Most tire brands are DOT-rated; therefore, you can also employ their use on highway or street.

Cons
• Since there is the use of different tread designs, depending on the racing surface, you must be a racer with experience to know what you should buy.

When Should You Replace UTV Tires?

Before you go for any UTV ride, confirm if there are cracks between treads or the sidewall. Furthermore, check for missing/worn tread lugs, bald spots, uneven wear, and rubber punctures.

All of the above signs indicate when replacing the UTV tires becomes necessary.

Do You Balance UTV Tires?

Whether your UTV tires need balancing or not depend on the riding surface/conditions, the riding type, and tire in use.

It may be an excellent idea for balancing your UTV tires when:
• Riding on paved roads and smooth trails and at speeds beyond 30 MPH.
• Using on-road or smooth tread pattern tires.

On the other hand, you may not require the balancing of your UTV tires when:
• Most of the time, you are riding on rocks, debris, and mud.
• Riding off-road with below 30 MPH speeds.

Are UTV And ATV Tires The Same? What Is The Difference?

When looking at the tires of the two outdoor vehicles, you will see that they appear strikingly similar, which is not really the case.

ATV tires are generally smaller when you compare them to UTV tires since they are meant for use by a single rider or two riders.

The Right UTV Tire Pressure

Regularly checking and taking care of your UTV tire pressure can help in boosting its functionality and lifespan.

The right UTV tire pressure should be as recommended by the manufacturer. Likewise, the terrain and load size are two other essential factors to consider.

For instance, for achieving optimal performance with a single rider and zero loads, use the recommendation of the manufacturer. In contrast, if carrying extra load such as camping gear, you have to increase a bit the tire pressure.

Why UTV Front UTV Tires are smaller

As I had touched on this a bit in the sand UTV tires section, smaller front UTV tires serve the purpose of giving you more responsive steering and better maneuverability.

Final Thoughts

Ensure that the type of UTV tire you are using is equipped to hand the driving terrain type. Only use all-terrain tires if you do not ride on more aggressive surfaces needing specialized, the right size, and correct tread pattern tires.

For more UTV tire basic information from a company that I have used many times in the past, check out the video below. Also you can order UTV tires from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC.

The post Different Types of UTV Tires appeared first on UTV Ride.

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How to Jack Up a UTV: In a Garage or Out on the Trails https://utvride.com/how-to-jack-up-a-utv/ Wed, 27 May 2020 08:42:20 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=406 Keep Safety in Mind When doing any kind of vehicle maintenance either on the road or in your garage, it is crucial to be sure to follow safety guidelines. When not done properly, it can be easy to get seriously injured when using a jack. First and foremost, you want to check and be sure […]

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Keep Safety in Mind

When doing any kind of vehicle maintenance either on the road or in your garage, it is crucial to be sure to follow safety guidelines. When not done properly, it can be easy to get seriously injured when using a jack.

First and foremost, you want to check and be sure that everything is balanced stably. Each jack device will have its own safety guidelines, so make sure you are aware of them before you try and use it to lift your off-roader. We will cover the basics of most commonly used jacks and how they can best be used on UTVs.

Never rest the entire weight of your UTV on a single point. This increases the chance that it will topple over and cause injury. There are several ways to secure it. You can use multiple jacks or use materials like cinder blocks under the frame as an anchor point.

Before ever getting under your vehicle, give it a little shake. If you see significant movement, then do more to secure it. A good rule of thumb is that the lift should have one and a half times the weight capacity of your ride’s weight. Follow any instructions provided with the jack you end up using.

UTV Jack Options

Hydraulic Floor Jacks

These are long-lasting and are well worth the cost if you plan to do routine maintenance on your UTV. They are usually priced around $130 though there are a few brands that have solid cheaper options for UTVs.

Scissor Jacks

Scissor jacks are one of the most affordable options. You can get a whole kit for only $59.99, or you can purchase only the jack for less than $30. Also, this type of lift works well with UTV frames and is more likely to be stable and user friendly. The downside is that they do take slightly longer and more energy to use as the lead screw needs to be turned a lot to reach a significant height.

Scissor Jack 3,000 Lb (1.5 Ton)

UTV Jack

These are heavy-duty options that have add-ons, which make them perfect for use with UTVs. While they are more expensive, ranging up to $85.99 before adding on mount prices, they are also long-lasting and excellent quality. You can add a UTV mount for around $64.99.

Quick Jack

These are easily stored being only 13 pounds and able to lift a UTV three feet with a 2,000-pound capacity. They work best by anchoring to the front bumper or frame. The cost is a little higher at $89.95.

Table Jack

If you only want a lift for general checkup and maintenance, then this might be a bit too expensive with prices starting around $700. They are tables that lift the entire vehicle so that you can work at eye height, which is very useful for installing aftermarket additions and accessories.

Bottle Jacks

These lifts are the cheapest that you will find. The cost-saving does come with some downsides, though. They do not lift as high and require more significant space. However, for a quick tire change, they get the job done, and you can find them under $20 online.

Hydralic Bottle Jack 4,000 Lb (2 Ton)

Mini Ramps

Although you cannot do tire maintenance with these, they do allow you to lift the front or back of your vehicle so that you can fix other issues. You simply drive up the ramp, and it will enable for clearance for you to reach whatever needs to be repaired. There are many various materials and sizes to choose from for ramps, so their price can range from $39 to over $300 for a set of two.

Vehicle Mini Ramps 12,000 Lb (6 Ton)

Which Jacks are Best for UTVs

One of the lowest cost options that also happens to be the safest to use with UTVs is a scissor lift. This lift works very well with off-roading vehicles and is easy to transport with you on the trail though you will have to find a firm, even area of ground, to use it safely. Some of them also come with wheels for easy maneuvering.

UTV jacks are also ideal but tend to work better in controlled environments like a garage. A quick lift jack can also be useful if you have limited storage space on your UTV and want to bring something with you for longer trips. They are small, only weigh around 13 pounds, and are easy to use.

How to Position a Jack

When you go to lift your UTV, it will be relevant where you place the jack, especially if you are using cement blocks, a car jack, or jack stands. You want to make sure that there is not too much pressure put onto weaker areas of the UTV. When using a scissor lift or UTV jack, the connection points are not as important because there is a lower chance of damage. Below we have listed some jack positioning do’s and don’ts for you to follow.

Do

  • Find an area of the frame that is appropriately balanced for use as a jack point. Another good anchor point is under the front bumper or on the axle near your UTVs rear tires. If you are using a regular car jack, it is especially important to make sure that the jack is positioned under the frame; otherwise you may significantly damage the vehicle.

Do Not

  • When using a jack not designed explicitly for UTVs, avoid points on the A-Arms, rear sprockets, bottom of the engine, or rotors.

How to Jack Up Your UTV

You want always to follow instructions for your specific list make, model, and brand in regards to your vehicle because there can be some significant differences in placement, and you want to make sure it is secure. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s guidelines online. Below we have step by step instructions for some more common lifts.

Scissor Lift/Hydraulic UTV Lifts

  1. Place lift under UTV. Make sure you read the instructions to make sure you have it in the right position. Each lift will be slightly different, but generally, it will be in the center of the vehicle under the frame.
  2. Hook up compressed air to the hose on the lift.
  3. This will raise the lift.
  4. Shake to make sure it is steady before working.

Quick Lift

  1. Position the jack on flat, even surface, and pull up to a height just under the front bumper and insert the pin.
  2. Make sure the arm is in place to lift the bumper or back axle.
  3. Use a drill or hand crank to raise the shaft to whatever height you need.
  4. To remove, reverse drill, or crank to lower the lift.

Protips for Jacking Up a UTV on the Trail

When you are out on the road and have a tire go out or some other maintenance issue that requires that you lift your UTV, it is essential to make sure you are on level ground. This can be hard to come across in certain terrains, but you do not want to compromise the stability of the vehicle when it is raised. A portable jack is a must-have for anyone that uses their UTV off-road in rough terrain or on long trips. For more information on portable lifts and what other items will come in handy on longer trips, check out our article What should I carry in my UTV.

Look for a stretch of flat, hard ground where your jack will not sink in once it takes the full weight of the vehicle. Then carefully set up your jack and make sure that everything is balanced and steady before attempting any maintenance.

Tricks for When You Have No Jack on the Trail

Sometimes flat tires happen when you are nowhere near a jack or any way to get assistance. Here are some tricks for how to expose the tire so it can be changed without the use of any devices.

Never attempt this if it appears unstable or if there is no safe space available. Safety is even more vital when you are traveling solo or are very far away from anyone who can help you if you get hurt by accident. It can help to practice these in controlled settings so that when you are required to use these methods, they will be familiar.

  • Use a large rock or boulder
  • Carefully roll your front tire up onto the rock keeping your back tires firmly on level ground.
  • Put on a parking brake and use wood or other materials as chocks to keep it from rolling if the brake fails.
  • Make sure everything is stable before attempting any kind of tire change.
  • Use loose ground
  • Drive the tire that needs changing over a plot of very loose soil.
  • Place heavy-duty wood or blocks under the axle so that it will support the vehicle’s weight.
  • Dig the soil out from under the tire to give you access.
  • Check stability before attempting a tire change.
  • Replace the soil when you are done.

The best thing to do is not to get caught without a portable jack.

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How to haul your UTV – Can you tow a UTV? https://utvride.com/tow-and-haul-a-utv/ Tue, 26 May 2020 18:53:30 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=399 The best part of owning a UTV is riding trails, racing across the desert, or climbing the dunes. But, for those of us not lucky enough to live on a ranch or have a riding area at the doorstep, driving our side-by-side to the trail is not an option, especially since their riding on the […]

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The best part of owning a UTV is riding trails, racing across the desert, or climbing the dunes. But, for those of us not lucky enough to live on a ranch or have a riding area at the doorstep, driving our side-by-side to the trail is not an option, especially since their riding on the streets is illegal in most of the states. Fun only starts after we haul our vehicle to the desired destination.

Transporting a UTV is not an overly complicated task, but if not done right, it may cost you a whole day of enjoying the ride. Even worse, improper hauling can endanger your safety and lead to serious damage to your UTV or towing vehicle. Particularly since transporting your vehicle can sometimes mean spending days on the road during an across the country trip to cross up some of the distant riding trails off of your bucket list.

The Options for Hauling your UTV

SxS owners have many means available when it comes to transporting their four-wheeler. Some toss it up on their pick-up truck, others use different kinds of trailers or Toy Haulers. The choice depends on several factors. First and foremost, the size of UTV, and then your budget, intended use, and personal preference. Each way has its benefits and drawbacks, so think carefully before deciding on one of them.

Is Flat Towing an Option?

Towing a UTV can be done, especially for shorter distances, flat towing your UTV is not recommended. First of all, to do this, your vehicle needs to be street legal and registered with your state’s BMV, which most of UTVs, particularly straight from the factory, are not. Among other things, most of them are equipped with off-road “dirt” tires which are not street legal.

Besides, you don’t want to put unnecessary strain and mileage on your vehicle or your tires. Driving on a pavement with a speed of around 70 Mph will cause your stock tires to burn up and melt. Unlike cars or jeeps, UTVs do not have a tow bar option, so the alignment with the towing vehicle would be all screwed up. Adjusting alignment for towing means that once you reach your destination, you’ll have to readjust your vehicle all over again and repeat the process for a trip back home. Definitely not worth the effort.

Hauling Your UTV in a Truck

Even though they are smaller than cars or jeeps, UTVs still have bigger dimensions than ATVs or motorbikes that we usually see hauled at the back of the pick-up truck. Still some of the models, such as youth side-by-sides and those that don’t exceed 50 inches in width and 90-100 inches in length, can be loaded up on a truck bed and hauled around. If you plan to use this mode of transportation, make sure that the size of the UTV you are thinking of buying fits the size of your truck bed. Consider that you will probably need some extra space on the truck for other machines, various equipment, and supplies.

In case you have a truck that can fit your UTV, there are a few things worth paying attention to. Loading your SxS onto a truck will require a loading ramp. Make sure that the ramp you use can support the weight of your UTV and properly connected to the bed of a truck. Hook it with a tie strap to the hitch on the back of a truck to prevent them from moving during the loading process. It’s clear how damaging and dangerous ramp sliding of a truck can be.

Once you get your vehicle onto a truck be careful not to get to close to the back window since any sudden forward surge during the drive may damage it. Secure your side-by-side in place using ratchet tie-downs or tire bonnets. This is crucial since you’ll probably have to ride with your tailgate open and you don’t want your expensive toy falling out during the transport. If you are worried about your tailgate holding up, you can use attachments known as gate savers which use the hitch on the back of the truck to support the UTV’s tires to spare the tailgate from the extra load.

If you are hell-bent on using your truck for hauling even if your SxS doesn’t fit in the bed, maybe you can try using UTV truck racks. They are attached to the truck bed and UTV sits on top of them. Some longer models even stretch beyond the cabin. Besides enabling you to transport longer UTV models, racks are also convenient because of the space left beneath them. You can use this extras space for storage of equipment and supplies. The drawback is that they are not that cheap and you will also have to use different, longer ramps.

Car trailer under snow

Hauling with Open Trailers

Using open-air utility trailers is the most common way to haul your UTV. There’s a variety of models available on the market and they are convenient, easy to use, practical, and not as expensive as other means of transportation. There are some UTV owners that even use modified boat trailers. The weight and size of a trailer mean that you can tow it when fully-loaded even with the less powerful towing vehicle.

Whichever trailer you use, make sure that it can fit your four-wheeler and support its weight. Depending on a UTV’s dimensions and the weight you may go for trailer with a single or double axle. Loading and securing your vehicle is essential for safe hauling. It’s important, especially with single axle models, that you place your ride properly on the trailer deck and distribute the weight so it doesn’t jeopardize stability. Secure the UTV using four straps with ratchet tie-downs.

The main disadvantage of an open trailer is that it’s, perhaps, not the best choice for long trips. The fact that it is open means that your UTV will be vulnerable to weather elements and rocks and debris flying off the road. Also, if you’re spending the more days on your travel or at the riding trail, the open trailer may be an unsafe way to leave your UTV overnight. Although it’s not that easy to haul and get away wit he vehicle, the trailer’s openness will surely attract thieves. For short trips, though, it’s probably the best way to haul your machine.

Transport in Enclosed Cargo Trailers

More expensive than open-air utility trailers, but cheaper than Toy Haulers, enclosed cargo trailers are not the most popular means of transportation among the UTVers. Still, they have some advantages and deserve a look. Compared to open counterparts, enclosed trailers are a much safer way to haul your machine. They will keep your vehicle safe from weather elements and secure during overnight stays. You will be able to have peace of mind while driving and not think about your UTV’s security. Besides, they are generally larger than open trailers and offer more storage space.

On the minus side there is their limited height. Same as with other means of transportation would have to take into account your UTV’s fit. Only here, unlike loading your UTV on a truck or an open trial, you also have to think about height fit. They also weigh more, meaning you’ll need a more powerful towing vehicle.

Using Toy Haulers

Toy Haulers, mostly because of their size, are popular among UTVers who own larger and longer vehicles. Some toy haulers, such as Genesis Supreme 40-SRSS6 or Gargezilla 4620W can even carry two side-by-sides. Another reason for going with this means of transportation is that it is suitable for longer multiple days drives and provides the perfect accommodation for several days you may spend at one destination. In the long run, it’s a cheaper and more convenient option than renting a motel room or a cabin. It’s basically home on wheels with the extra garage space.

Of course, all these perks mean that Toy Haulers carry a hefty price. Most people find it too pricey, especially after they’ve already splurged on the UTV of choice. In fact, most of Toy Haulers are more expensive than even top of the line UTV’s. Besides, they weigh a lot, especially loaded, so you’ll need a large and powerful vehicle to tow it.

ATVs on trailer

Hauling Safety Tips

  • Give your prospect route a test drive, especially if it’s the one you’ll use often. Driving and handling while towing another vehicle is not that simple. Turning angles will change Get to know the corners and road specifics and drive defensively
  • Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front while driving. You are much heavier with another vehicle hooked up in the back so it will take longer to stop
  • Trailer, particularly enclosed ones will increase blind spots so be careful when changing lanes
  • Strap on a helmet while loading and unloading.
  • Always check your straps to see if they are tightened properly. Securing the load is essential for a safe drive
  • During longer trips pull over on every hour and use fuel stops to check the gear and your UTV’s security
  • Do the research and make sure that your selected means of transportation can handle UTV’s weight and size
  • Make sure to bring a spare tire and a jack if you’re using a trailer
  • Check the trailer tire pressure before every trip
  • If there’s any extra equipment being towed along with the UTV, make sure it’s also properly secured
  • Find a parking space with as much space as possible

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How to Load a UTV (or ATV) on a Trailer and How to Strap It Down https://utvride.com/load-and-strap-utv-on-trailer/ Mon, 25 May 2020 15:12:08 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=392 The trailer needs to be proper attached to the car before loading the UTV on to the trailer. The cars parking brake should be engaged.  Use loading ramps and drive carefully up on the trailer. Make sure to put the straps thru solid places like the frame. Do not put straps around the suspension or […]

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The trailer needs to be proper attached to the car before loading the UTV on to the trailer. The cars parking brake should be engaged.  Use loading ramps and drive carefully up on the trailer. Make sure to put the straps thru solid places like the frame. Do not put straps around the suspension or drive axels due to the risk of damaging the vehicle.

Different UTV users have different ways of getting their vehicles from one place to another. However, it seems that most of the side-by-sides you see transported on the highways and streets are mounted onto a trailer. Using a trailer for UTV transportation is probably the most convenient and least expensive way of getting your UTV from your home to your riding spot.

But, before you get on the road, UTV needs to be loaded and properly secured. Although this seems like a simple task at first glance, loading your ride has to be handled with utmost attention and care. This is important due to your own safety and, also, for the protection of your investment. While you drive to your desired destination, it’s more than likely that you will face road bumps and unpredicted traffic situations. If your side-by-side is not secured in the right way, it may be seriously damaged. And, as we all know, UTV’s are not exactly the cheapest toys out there.

Loading a UTV on a Trailer

Selecting the Trailer

Plenty of newer UTV models are too large to be mounted on pickup trucks so the trailer is probably the best solution for their transport. Choosing the right trailer can make all the difference when it comes to the vehicle’s security and the ease of loading. Of course if you don’t need to transport your SxS that often, renting a trailer is also an option.

Take into account the dimensions and weight of your UTV when shopping for a trailer. The weight of the vehicle plays the biggest role when deciding between a single or double axle trailer. Tandem axle designs can handle more weight and are sturdier and stable, but single axle ones are significantly cheaper and can do just fine if you own one of the smaller UTV models. This also plays a part in properly placing a vehicle on the trailer’s surface. Another factor that plays here is that many people travel with more than one UTV or haul an ATV also.

On the other hand, the overall dimensions of your four-wheeler will influence whether you get the enclosed or open trailer. Enclosed models will provide better protection from natural elements and road debris, but you may have some trouble loading and fitting larger vehicles into them.

It’s a good idea to get a trailer with a built-in easy-access ramp gate. There are plenty of available models on the market. This will make the loading easier and you won’t need to drag the loading ramps everywhere you go.

Loading Ramps

If you don’t own a trailer that has one built-in, then you’ll also need to acquire a loading ramp. The main factor to be aware of when deciding on a ramp is your UTV’s weight. Make sure you get a heavy-duty ramp that can fully support the wet weight of the vehicle. Pay attention that the ramp you end up with can be attached to your trailer. Depending on the trailer’s height and width, you can go with a single ramp or a dual runner, If you’re short on storage space, look into one of the foldable models.

Before Loading

Before loading a vehicle, there are a couple of things you need to check on. First of all, make sure you’re on a flat and even surface and keep the vehicle and trailer as level as possible. If one of the tires is not touching the ground, do not load the UTV and find the surface with no grade. The towing vehicle parking brake should be engaged.

Then connect the trailer tongue to a tow vehicle hitch. Hook up safety chains and wires and verify that they are secure and properly connected. Under the tongue, cross the safety chains in an “X” formation. Prior to loading, test electrical connections, and brake harness. this is much easier to do with an empty trailer.

The majority of riders don’t do this when loading up but put on a helmet. You will be driving a short distance at an extremely slow speed, but accidents still can happen and at least you want your head protected. Better safe than sorry.

Driving Up and Placing a UTV on a Trailer

After all the preparation, you’re ready to load up your UTV on a trailer. Line up the wheels of your side-by-side dead straight with the towing vehicle’s center. Place the UTV in the lowest possible gear and activate four-wheel-drive mode if you have it. In this case slow and steady wins the race. You want low speed, but also more torque. This will also prevent the SxS from making sudden jerk movements in case you press the gas too much. Gently apply the gas and creep slowly up the ramp. Try to do this in one continuous movement and avoid stopping and starting. If you feel you’ve pushed the throttle too much, it’s best to back up to the flat ground and start over.

When you crest over the ramp and reach the trailer’s deck, slowly move towards the front and gently brake to stop the UTV. Shut down the engine and put the vehicle in park and engage the parking brake. Depending on your UTVs type of transmission, some UTV users prefer to leave the vehicle in gear, but experience tells that this is a much safer option. Make sure not to forget to remove the key from the ignition.

The placement of the UTV on the deck will depend on the trailer’s design but, in general, the weight should be distributed towards the front side. Parking closer to the rear may cause problems with handling while driving. Apply the “60/40” rule, meaning that roughly 60 percent of the weight should be in the front half.

Polaris RZR 1000 4 seater

Securing and Strapping Down a UTV

Once your UTV is on the trailer, you need to secure it and make sure it stays safe in place for the duration of the transport. This can be achieved with several anchoring options. While some still use plain old chains and rope, now there are much more modern and safer options available.

Ratchet Tie-Downs

The most common method of securing the UTV on a trailer is by using ratchet straps to anchor them to the deck. There is a variety of straps available on the market, ranging in price and quality. This is not where you should prefer budget options and think about saving money. Find quality straps that can withstand the weight of your side-by-side that are durable and can resist weather conditions.

Although some people are using two straps to tie down their vehicle, the safer and recommended option is using four. One at the driver’s side in the front and one at the rear. The same goes for the passenger’s side. You need to identify the best tie-down attachment points on your UTV. The best points are at the frame of your vehicle because it’s the hardest and sturdiest part of the UTV. You can also use the front bumper if its firmly welded to the frame or the hitch for back straps. Always try to look for the lowest possible points of attachment. Straps should be set at an angle sharper than 45 degrees. Avoid strapping to the suspension or axles because it can cause damage to your vehicle. Also, check if strap goes over any sharp edges because in time it will wear down and break.

After you’ve attached straps to the vehicle, you need to anchor them to the deck. Once the strap is hooked up to the frame, roll out the other end to a tie-down spot on the trailer and tighten it using the ratchet. Do this for all four straps. You should anchor the straps to the furthermore points on the trailer. When you finish, inspect the straps to see if they are properly tightened.

Using this method compresses the suspension to some point. The lower attachment points on the vehicle are, the suspension will be less compressed and it will allow your UTV to bounce a little bit. Although the compressed suspension is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the manufacturers themselves ship the vehicles this way.

Tire Bonnets

Another popular method is using tire bonnets or wheel baskets. These are specifically arranged straps that go over each wheel creating sort of a basket for the tire. They are secured to the deck behind the wheel. The downside of this method is that bonnets must have tie-down points directly behind and in front of the wheels. Although very safe, this system needs to be very precise and can be somewhat complicated and time-consuming. Also not every trailer is compatible with this anchoring approach.

Wheel Chock

You can also use a wheel chock to hold your UTV in place. It’s the system that employs plates that you bolt down to your deck and use to align tires between them and then strap the wheels with webbing wraps. The metal brackets on each wheel prevent them from moving. These straps are usually adjustable and can be used on a number of types and sizes of tires. Some UTV owners use more traditional chocks without the straps.

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How to secure your UTV – Keep it from being stolen https://utvride.com/how-to-secure-your-utv/ Mon, 25 May 2020 10:03:04 +0000 https://utvride.com/?p=387 You should always lock your UTV with an extra lock to keep it safe and from being stolen. Also, you can install an alarm and GPS tracker, and make sure you have a good insurance. If your side by side is loaded on a trailer, make sure the trailer is secured and locked to. Your […]

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You should always lock your UTV with an extra lock to keep it safe and from being stolen. Also, you can install an alarm and GPS tracker, and make sure you have a good insurance. If your side by side is loaded on a trailer, make sure the trailer is secured and locked to.

Your UTV is a valuable piece of equipment in more ways than one. For you, it is a major investment and probably a vital tool for the work you do on your land. Even if you only use the UTV for recreational purposes, there is still deep value on an emotional level for the experiences you gain. But, for thieves, the value of a UTV comes primarily from the monetary value. This is a vehicle they can sell on with ease, especially with relaxed laws about registration, and many will try. If they know that you have one on your property, they will look for a way to get hold of it.

The best thing you can do is to minimize their chance of finding the UTV and getting it away from your property. Below, we will look at some of the different locks and tools that you can use to secure your UTV and deter thieves. In addition to this, we will consider other tips and important information about keeping your vehicle safe. This also includes ways to get it back again and reclaim some losses.

Lock up your UTV with the best possible locks

It might sound like a simplistic suggestion to say that you need to keep your UTV locked up, but you would be surprised at how many don’t. When you go about locking up your side by side vehicle, there are different measures you can take. You might find that it is beneficial to implement more than one of these. It might take a little while to set up. But, the more a thief has to deal with, the greater the chance of them giving up or being caught in the act.

Chains and locks

A chain and padlock are the most simple, accessible, and affordable options here. While some would criticize this approach because it is easy to break, it could help to slow thieve or put them off a little. The impact of the chain and the lock depends on the material and design. A basic metal chain with flimsy links isn’t going to last that long. A tougher braided cable could be a much better choice.

Wheel clamps

Wheels clamps might seem like a drastic option. You typically only seen this when your car is in some sort of parking violation. But, they don’t just have to be used to stop drivers from moving vehicles. You can also get wheel clamps that you can fit onto your UTV to stop thieves. Basically, if they can’t move the wheels, they can’t push the machine in any direction. They are stuck. It would take some heavy-duty tech to get the clamp off. Be careful when choosing one of these clamps to make sure that it is compatible for the wheels of your vehicle. Also, be aware that this isn’t always the cheapest option.

Brake locks

Some people will use a padlock on the brake rotors of their UTV instead. Again, this is a simple solution that requires minimal effort. You can take the padlock with you wherever you go, attach it to the brake and then leave it. It is much easier than running cables and chains through the wheels and axles. However, there are some people that warn about the risk of damage. This isn’t going to work for everyone.

Don’t forget about the trailer

While locking up your UTV with all the right features, don’t forget about the trailer. You might think that this isn’t as important. But, it depends on what is still inside and how much thieve might sell it for. There is sure to be a market for it. It wouldn’t take much to unhitch it and tow it away, perhaps with a bonus bounty of equipment in there. Lock the trailer too. There are two options here. You can put a tongue lock on to stop criminals from hooking the trailer to their own vehicle. Or, you could put some chains or cable locks through the axle and wheels. Or both, if you want to play it safe.

Other considerations to keep your vehicle safe

Locks are a great idea because they provide the most secure solution for your vehicle. But, there are other precautions that you can take to make your side by side vehicle even more secure. You might want to use some of these for extra security.

Where do you leave the vehicle at night?

If you leave a UTV exposed and inviting people to come and get it, you are obviously asking for trouble. When possible, try and make a point of leaving your vehicle indoors. A garage or outbuilding with its own security system adds that additional barrier. If you can’t do this, try and leave it insight of your home, with a tarpaulin and a security light. The tarp should offer some camouflage. But, keen thieves may still realize what is under there. So, a motion sensor security light might scare them off and alert you to their presence.

Could you chain it up?

Locks are great because they will physically stop anyone from starting the vehicle and getting away with it. A chain serves two purposes. First of all, it gives them a barrier, another obstacle to overcome. There is a chance that you might catch them in the act cutting the chain before they touch the UTV. The second purpose is to act as a deterrent. Even if the chain isn’t that strong, it might put some thieves off. Chain the UTV up to a fence, tree, or other solid structure if you can’t leave it indoors.

Could you simply cut the power?

This is a trick that could work well and doesn’t require too much effort. The side by side vehicle needs the power to start, or else thieves aren’t going to make a quick getaway. So, some UTV owners simply take the fuse out for the starting motor. The culprit will sit in the seat, ready to go and wonder why nothing happens. This could result in them giving up entirely because they think the machine doesn’t work, or because there is now too much effort to steal it. But determined criminals could still and figure out away. This will buy you time at least.

Have you fitted an alarm?

Car alarms are something we rarely think about as an additional tool for our cars. If anyone bumps into them on the street or starts prying at the doors, we can instantly get that alert from that obnoxious beeping. It is an unpleasant noise that wakes everyone – but that’s the point. If you don’t see the thief in action then someone else might.

It is possible to fit an alarm to your UTV as well. These systems should detect any unwanted behavior and alert you straight away. The loud noise is great if the UTV isn’t directly outside your home and it is sure to scare anyone but the most determined thief.

What can you do to protect yourself and property if this fails?

There is always the chance that a determined thief will break all the locks and manage to get away with your UTV. Don’t assume that every plan is foolproof. Instead, make plans just in case the worst happens.

Fit a GPS tracker to the UTV and trailer

GPS tracking systems are simple, discrete, and more affordable than you might think. These devices offer a GPS location on the vehicle and relay that to your phone. This means that if you are robbed, you can report it to the police and show them exactly where the UTV is. This will significantly increase your chances of getting it back. Do the same for your trailer.

Get the right insurance for your side by side vehicle

Your UTV is a valuable, essential vehicle that needs the same level of protection as any car. So, it is important that you get some UTV insurance too. While it isn’t a requirement, you can still benefit from protection against loss, theft, and damage. Clearly, we never want to have to rely on this to protect ourselves, but it provides a nice safety night, especially if there is also damage to the vehicle. You can learn more on the subject here.

Find the best option for you to keep your UTV safe

Some ideas will work better than others. It all depends on where you keep your UTV, how much work you are prepared to do to protect it, and the likelihood of theft in the first place. Locks and chains are a great starting point because of the protection and visual deterrent. But, some of the other tools like removing the fuse or adding an alarm could help too.

Find what makes the most sense for your UTV, get a strong lock that works, and make sure you are consistent and attentive. After all, there would be nothing worse than paying out for all these measures to protect your side by side vehicles and losing it because you forgot to use them.

The post How to secure your UTV – Keep it from being stolen appeared first on UTV Ride.

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