How to select the best UTV for your business

Photo: John DeerePhoto: John Deere

As a professional landscape contractor, arming your fleet with the best, most efficient equipment is a top priority. From stand-on mowers to blowers, string trimmers to trucks, it’s important that your operation is equipped to handle any job that may arise.

A piece of equipment that far too often flies under the radar for most fleet managers is the utility task vehicle (UTV). Packing tons of power in a small, compact machine, UTVs have the ability to maximize your productivity and play a crucial role in even the toughest of jobs – all while maintaining extreme agility. The versatility of these machines adds great value to your business by increasing the capabilities and services that you have to offer.

Maneuverability is ultimately what sets the UTV apart from the pack. Different from trucks and other heavy-duty pieces of equipment in your fleet, UTVs are capable of traveling on a multitude of different terrains, including mud, sand, dirt and rocky surfaces. Additionally, UTVs serve as an excellent mode of transportation when on the job site. Using these machines to transport loose materials such as bark, mulch or gravel allows for contractors to efficiently manage time spent on the job and enhance overall productivity.

Photo: John DeerePhoto: John Deere

Alongside maneuverability, another added benefit of a UTV is the variety of attachments that can be added to assist just about any job you could imagine. Whether you’re in need of a tool rack, snowplow or spreader, there are hundreds of attachments available that can make an immediate impact on your landscape business.

When first considering a UTV for your business, it can be overwhelming to sift through the hundreds of options. With a variety of different UTVs available on the market, it’s important to factor in your day-to-day tasks when making your selection. Working with your local dealer, start by answering the following questions to determine which machine would be best suited for your business:

  1. How much will you need to haul?
  2. What kind of terrain will you be working with?
  3. How fast are you looking to travel?
  4. How many people will be in the vehicle at once?
  5. What type of fuel would you like to use?

Consulting a dealer is highly recommended when going through the decision-making process, as the dealer will be able to understand your equipment needs and help to determine which machine will be ideal for your business.

While some UTVs are designed to withstand the tough terrain, others flourish in more turf-oriented settings. If your line of work demands that you travel long distances at the job site and requires you to be in frequent off-road settings, a UTV featuring four-wheel drive capabilities and cab with heat and air conditioning is highly recommended.

Other options provide a more stable experience ideal for consistent surfaces and transporting multiple crew members at once. Your dealer will be able to assist you in exploring different machine options.

Photo: John DeerePhoto: John Deere

When you’ve finally come to a decision that satisfies all of your operational needs, you may want to consider potential upgrades. When working in situations with flying debris or extreme weather conditions, adding a cab for protection would be a highly effective solution.

Your dealer can serve as a dependable resource throughout the entire selection process. Not only can your dealer recommend the best machine for the job, but they can assist in coordinating finance options that best suit your business structure and cash flow.

Some manufacturers, like John Deere, offer financing to help streamline the process. Make sure to discuss including attachments in your financing package, as many financial institutions, like John Deere Financial, allow you to include attachments and service as a part of your package, helping to streamline costs.

After your purchase has been made, continue working with your dealer to ensure that you’re keeping up with regular machine service intervals. Your dealer should serve as an extension of your business, providing the resources needed to maintain productivity and minimize down time as much as possible.

From enhanced maneuverability to efficiently transporting crew members, equipment and materials, UTVs have the ability to enhance your job site and increase productivity. Additionally, these machines allow landscapers to diversify their service offerings while enabling them to get the job done like never before.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Justin VanderHeyden, product line marketing manager, utility vehicles for John Deere.

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