By Kevin Lund
From trucks to zero-turn mowers, professional landscape contractors equip their fleets with a variety of equipment so they can tackle any job at hand. But many may be overlooking one hardworking machine: the utility vehicle (UTV). Boasting a lot of power in a small package, utility vehicles offer numerous benefits on a jobsite. From its ability to travel on difficult terrain to a load capacity that allows you to carry whatever you need, UTVs provide landscape contractors with a productive tool that can help them complete jobs efficiently.
UTVs offer a lot of value in a compact unit. Unlike large trucks, UTVs are able to travel on almost any terrain, including sand, turf, dirt and mud, getting a crew, their tools and loose material, such as mulch or gravel, to the work site. This enables contractors to be more productive on the jobsite, increasing the amount of work that can be completed in a day.
Additionally, a UTV can be equipped with hundreds of available attachments for a wide variety of jobs, from snow removal and salt spreading to spraying roadsides, ditch banks or large turf areas.
Thinking of purchasing a utility vehicle? With so many models and types of vehicles available on the market, it can be difficult to find the one that’s best for you. As a first step, consider these five factors to narrow down which model is best for your business:
- How much will you need to carry in the cargo box?
- Where do you need to travel?
- How many people do you need to carry?
- How fast do you want the vehicle to go?
- What type of fuel do you want to use?
When you meet with your dealer, make sure you know the answers to these questions to help them recommend the model that best fits your needs. Utility vehicles are designed for a variety of applications – some are equipped to power through rugged, rough terrain, while others are designed with the basic features for turf areas.
If you have long distances to travel off-road, you may lean toward a four-wheel drive utility vehicle that can travel at speeds greater than 40 mph. Depending on the size of your crew, you can select a model that can carry up to four passengers.
The dealer will help you navigate your way through all available options and select the model that is right for you.
Once you have identified a model, think about those additional add-ons that will help you on the jobsite. As mentioned above, there are a variety of attachments available that can transform your UTV. From sprayers and spreaders to blades and tool carriers, attachments can help landscape contractors be more efficient while completing daily jobs.
Also consider any design upgrades. If you know you will be working in winter weather removing snow, equip your UTV with a cab for protection against the elements.
Your dealer can serve as a resource throughout the entire selection and purchase process. The dealer can help you identify if it is best to purchase or finance your new UTV, depending on business needs and cash flow. After the purchase, work with your dealer to perform any regular service. Your dealer can be a trusted long-term partner, helping your business stay up and running.
Often overlooked, utility vehicles offer a variety of solutions for challenges faced on the job. From traveling on rugged terrains that trucks cannot maneuver to enabling contractors to carry tools and materials efficiently from jobsite to jobsite, UTVs provide a variety of benefits in a compact, powerful package.
Kevin Lund is John Deere product line marketing manager for utility vehicles.