ATV for Farm Stuff - need direction from y'all

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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I've never bought an ATV and I've ridden one maybe 10 times total, but I think getting one to use for my work would be good and reduce my leaning on my garden tractor so much, which would also allow me to at some point sell my rider and get a zero turn mower with a wider deck, which would also reduce the time it takes me to actually mow, which is currently around 3 hours o_O

Anyways, I've never bought one so have no idea what to look for (1) as a minimum feature set, (2) size of engine, (3) what price point I need to be willing to hit to get quality, (4) things to absolutely sure it does NOT have, (?) ...

Uses:
  • Hauling trailers around full of 5 gal buckets of trees, manure, water, dirt, ....
  • Winch for potentially pulling crap trees out of the ground or hauling some downed stuff
  • If it had a blade I'd use it for snow plowing
  • Be able to just get somewhere faster than on the mower
  • I have 5 kids, so one that at least someone else could jump on it with me would be goo
Reducing mowing time and increased transport speed overall would help with spending more time with my kids and wife :)

I'm not going to buy new as spending 8k on this is not appropriate given everything else in my life, but I could see spending 1200 (do I need to be willing to go up from that?). Auctions certainly can get you a deal, but are we in an age now where auctions are so well marketed that you might as well just go CL or FB Marketplace and skip the whole auction process and timeline as you aren't going to save enough $$?

Thanks for whatever help or thoughts you can provide.
 

wyoDreamer

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We have Polaris Sportsman ATV's.
Our first one was a workhorse - 6-wheels, 4'x4' dump bed on the back, part of the dump bed could be changed into a seat for a second rider. Oh, and it had 4 wheel drive and Turf mode. It could carry a second rider and a couple of coolers for trail riding, or 800 lbs on the back for packing out an elk. Problem was that it was not fuel injected, so driving it the mountains was not good - the poor carberater couldn't breath. so we traded it in towards a Polaris 700 with fuel injection.

WE now have 2 of htem, a 700 and a 800. Both have 2-up, winch and dump bed.

For a workhorse that will double for fun, I highly recommend these.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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We have Polaris Sportsman ATV's.
Our first one was a workhorse - 6-wheels, 4'x4' dump bed on the back, part of the dump bed could be changed into a seat for a second rider. Oh, and it had 4 wheel drive and Turf mode. It could carry a second rider and a couple of coolers for trail riding, or 800 lbs on the back for packing out an elk. Problem was that it was not fuel injected, so driving it the mountains was not good - the poor carberater couldn't breath. so we traded it in towards a Polaris 700 with fuel injection.

WE now have 2 of htem, a 700 and a 800. Both have 2-up, winch and dump bed.

For a workhorse that will double for fun, I highly recommend these.
Something like this: https://atv.polaris.com/en-us/sportsman-6x6-570/

Seems like a JD Gator, but a bit different. Maybe a bit more back country versatile
 

wyoDreamer

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Yes, that is it. It was about 13 years ago that we bought our first one, so it was sorta simliar to that but they have changed it up alot I see.

We were so disappointed to have to trade it in because it was so useful, but if it couldn't run at our new place which was at 7200 feet, then we really couldn't use it where we hunted and cut firewood, which was closer to 9000 feet..

The Sportsman that we have now are regular 4 wheeled ATV's.

The Gator is a bench seat UTV, isn't it? so sitting side-by-side instead of sitting behind the driver like the sportsman..
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Yes, that is it. It was about 13 years ago that we bought our first one, so it was sorta simliar to that but they have changed it up alot I see.

We were so disappointed to have to trade it in because it was so useful, but if it couldn't run at our new place which was at 7200 feet, then we really couldn't use it where we hunted and cut firewood, which was closer to 9000 feet..

The Sportsman that we have now are regular 4 wheeled ATV's.

The Gator is a bench seat UTV, isn't it? so sitting side-by-side instead of sitting behind the driver like the sportsman..
Damn I miss the mountains. Went to my first three years of highschool in western Montana.
 

the_whingnut

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i've used and worked with both ATVs and UTVs i would highly recommend going with a UTV and you can find good ones used if you can bump your price up another 750 it makes a difference on whats available plus there is always room for negoiations with cash in hand. ATVs are great if you are doing light work but they lack a bed and seating is sparse. UTV are also good for light to medium work (snow plowing) they tend to be heavier, have a bed, bench seat and a canopy (very nice add on). i used a polaris 400 in mid 90s to work on my Dads farm while it work well sometimes it just sucked pulling a trailer with up the hills (steep) and the truck couldn't get there either. while stationed in MS i used UTVs (cushmans) for equipment and ppl transport from the repair facility to the ships at the piers and we dogged these machines and they held up to Navy abuse well. for a while golfcarts were the thing to have on base but the UTVs have just out worked them (we killed the golfcarts). YMMV we have had Polaris, cushman, Gators, and Mules.
 

Beekissed

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Go to YT and look up top ten four wheelers and you'll glean a lot of good info on features, the differences, what year to look for or avoid in any given model, etc.

We picked up a 2003 Honda Foreman 4x4 automatic, electric start(but also has pull start option on it) on FB Marketplace for 2K and I've since seen the same year or newer for less, but we needed one then and that was the best one we had looked at. There are literally scads of them for sale on there but those in the $1200 range were all 2WD and we wanted 4WD only.

We don't put a lot of wear and tear on a work vehicle but enough that we wanted to get something sturdy and good for a farm as opposed to a sport or muddin' ATV. Everything I read or saw of other farmers, most of them had Honda Foreman or Honda Ranchers, so that's what I started looking for...helped me narrow down all the many choices out there.

Here's a handy vid to show you how to shop for used ATVs:
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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i've used and worked with both ATVs and UTVs i would highly recommend going with a UTV and you can find good ones used if you can bump your price up another 750 it makes a difference on whats available plus there is always room for negoiations with cash in hand. ATVs are great if you are doing light work but they lack a bed and seating is sparse. UTV are also good for light to medium work (snow plowing) they tend to be heavier, have a bed, bench seat and a canopy (very nice add on). i used a polaris 400 in mid 90s to work on my Dads farm while it work well sometimes it just sucked pulling a trailer with up the hills (steep) and the truck couldn't get there either. while stationed in MS i used UTVs (cushmans) for equipment and ppl transport from the repair facility to the ships at the piers and we dogged these machines and they held up to Navy abuse well. for a while golfcarts were the thing to have on base but the UTVs have just out worked them (we killed the golfcarts). YMMV we have had Polaris, cushman, Gators, and Mules.
My neighbor bought a Polaris Ranger. It is nice and the bed is actually bigger than it looks, but it seems a bit beefy for what I need, plus it's not exactly small or even mid-sized. I feel if I was going that route I should just go look for an old Willy's, especially considering the price. He said the base was 11k or 12k and then after adding on everything he wanted it was another 11 or 12k, so at that point you're buying a damn car.

I've used Gators before when I worked at a campground, and they're good for general hauling of people or tools and using a harrow, but yeah, I wouldn't think to take them into any truly bumpy terrain or attach a blade or whatever to them.

It's sad that vehicles (cars and trucks) and these smaller vehicles have all gotten so sporty and feature driven that they get stupid expensive. I saw this ATV listed on k-bid a week or so ago when it was still under 1k and laughed thinking "oh, that's nice, but it's going to jump to at least 5k"

Anyways, guess I have more homework to do. Maybe this is a "pay off debt and then maybe next year you can think about this" type of thing.
 

Mini Horses

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For me, it never gets past thinking "that would be nice" stage. Instead, I crank up the tractor and load the FEL with tools. But no mountains, rocks, heavy issues. I've even use the mower & wagon to transport around sometimes. Depends on job & power I need.

A few years ago I made the decision to buy into a compact tractor. It has a backhoe attachment. I have other pieces for disc, grade, bushhog. I've always been happy with the decision. A lot depends on your own needs and work to do at your farm. One size doesn't fit al. LOL A UTV wouldn't work enough for me. Would be nice but no $$ for both.
 
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SprigOfTheLivingDead

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For me, it never gets past thinking "that would be nice" stage. Instead, I crank up the tractor and load the FEL with tools. But no mountains, rocks, heavy issues. I've even use the mower & wagon to transport around sometimes. Depends on job & power I need.
No tractor here. All I have is my mower (garden tractor) and a trailer that can fit 10 5 gal buckets. It would just be nice to get an ATV or something to use and then get a zero-turn mower with a wider deck than 48" so my mowing could take less than 3 hours :/

Also, an ATV would be faster than a mower, so I'd save some time there.
 
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