Joined: 05 Dec 2007
|Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:23 pm Post subject: Choosing Your Next Side-by-Side Utility Vehicle
|Choosing Your Next Side-by-Side Utility Vehicle
Side-by-side utility vehicles have become a popular choice for multi-acreage homeowners, farmers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts. Their cargo boxes, high payloads and towing capacities, coupled with seating for several people, and some vehicles with top speeds of more than 50 miles-per-hour, make them a versatile vehicle that can work and play.
The side-by-side utility vehicle market has more than doubled in the past five years. With manufacturers introducing a variety of new models, choosing a utility vehicle can be a difficult endeavor. Here are a few things to consider when making your next side-by-side utility vehicle purchase.
Engine size is always a consideration when choosing a utility vehicle. Most manufacturers offer utility side-by-sides in the 500 to 700 cubic centimeters range. For lighter jobs not requiring heavy towing and hauling, a 500 cc vehicle would suffice but for heavier applications, a vehicle with 700 cc gives you more available power to muscle through the toughest work. Also consider if the engine is carbureted or electronic fuel injected. Electronic fuel injection offers reliable starts at extreme temperatures and no power loss in altitude changes.
Using a vehicle for work should not be hard on the driver. Considerations such as suspension type, travel, and ground clearance should be noted when looking for your next workhorse. Independent rear suspension offers a smoother ride over a straight axle and more ground clearance and suspension travel. Many of the utility side-by-sides available offer IRS; and this year, manufacturer Polaris Industries is offering exclusive Adjustable Dual A-Arm front suspension on its new Polaris Ranger models for the maintenance of ground clearance when carrying heavier loads and using accessories such as plows, cabs, or sprayers. For even heavier work applications, along with the new Dual A-arm front suspension, Polaris is offering the first-ever self-leveling rear suspension on their Ranger HD model allowing the vehicle to carry heavy loads and maintain the same ground clearance.
Utility side-by-sides tend to be big, which can be a hindrance on small work sites, farmyards, or in the woods. Be sure to test drive the vehicle through tight areas to check steering ease and ability to maneuver in tight areas. Some vehicles, such as the new 2009 Polaris RANGER are operable with one hand and the RANGER HD offers variable assist power steering to ensure easy maneuvering and the elimination of feedback.
Since you'll probably be spending a lot of time in your new utility side-by-side, you'll want to ensure you can work long days in comfort. Ensure that seat and leg space, seat comfort, and placement of gauges, levers, and pedals suit the driver. Go to the dealership dressed in work clothes, including gloves, hat, and boots, to ensure the vehicle is easy to operate while wearing work gear.
When driving around your property, on the work site, or while hunting, there's always a need for storage for everything from towropes to work supplies. Be sure to take into consideration that if you are hauling a load in the dump box, you'll need room to store your supplies elsewhere. Most utility vehicles offer some compartments either in the cab, under the hood, or under the seats. The more storage, the better.
Along with understanding the features of each utility vehicle, it's important to understand the accessories available for each model. Accessories offered through a model's manufacturer are built for that specific machine and can help you get the most out of your new purchase. Accessories such as cabs, plows, cargo boxes, and winches can make work easier and quicker. Installation of accessories also should be a consideration. Some manufacturers offer accessories that easily latch on and off their vehicles; while others have quite a bit of installation time before they can be used. A broad line of accessory offerings can go a long way.
Keeping these simple things in mind can help you through the wide variety of utility side-by-sides available and ensure you get the right vehicle for the job.
This article is courtesy of ARAContent - www.aracontent.com