Utility Vehicle Q&A: Is a Utility Vehicle the Right Solution?

Published on September 22, 2015

There’s a lot to consider before you take the plunge to purchase a utility vehicle. Ask yourself these questions to help make the decision easier.

Q: How can a utility vehicle make life easier?
A: Utility vehicles are great for a variety of tasks and needs — no matter your job or lifestyle. You can use them to travel around large jobsites, campuses or acreages; tow trailers and light implements; transport people and cargo; and reduce manual labor by adding attachments to select models.

Q: Do you walk longer distances in order to save fuel and avoid short trips in your pickup? Or do you start and stop your pickup 20 or 30 times throughout the day?
A: Those short trips can cause extreme wear on your truck engine and increase your maintenance costs. Utility vehicles are designed to start and stop often, making short trips less of a concern. Utility vehicles also use less fuel than the average pickup and can maneuver easily in small spaces.

Q: Do you carry heavy tools, feed buckets, landscaping supplies or other materials by hand because it's too much hassle to start a vehicle? Or do you tackle those tough jobs using an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)?
A: ATVs were never meant to haul large cargo loads. These tasks cause undue equipment wear, and the manual labor of carrying heavy loads yourself can impact your body over time. The right utility vehicle can take away some of that stress, haul your cargo and save time, too.

Q: Do you need a vehicle to do more than just haul things or get from here to there?
A: Some utility vehicles accommodate attachments for mowing, removing snow, transporting cargo, moving pallets, sweeping and other tasks. Front-mounted attachment capabilities add a new level of versatility and make many jobs easier. Additional accessories, such as spreaders and sprayers, may be available for placement in the utility vehicle’s cargo box.

Q: What are your cargo needs?
A: A utility vehicle is an ideal choice if you need more space and load capacity than ATVs. Utility vehicles are equipped with manual, lift-assisted or powered cargo boxes. The lift-assisted or powered lift makes unloading a simple dump maneuver, rather than shoveling material by hand.

Q: Who will travel with you? Do you need to transport co-workers, guests, family members or other occupants?
A: Utility vehicles offer two-, four- and even six-occupant models. If you plan to transport people, forward-facing and cushioned seats offer the most comfortable ride.

You'll find that seat entry and exit is much easier compared to ATVs, making for a more comfortable ride.

Q: What about safety?
A: If you go off-road often, look for models equipped with rollover protective structures (ROPS) for the driver and passenger. Falling object protective structures (FOPS) can protect the driver and passenger if an object falls on the vehicle. Some models have three-point seat belts or lap belts to keep you secured in the seat.

Q: Which options and accessories should you consider?
A: Optional features and accessories can make your work easier and more comfortable. Think about your needs today, but try to anticipate your future needs so you can maximize your long-term return on investment. Look at each manufacturer’s options and decide which ones fit with your needs.

Common options include:

  • Modular or steel cab
  • Heat and air conditioning
  • Accessory systems
  • Running boards
  • Turf, mud and all-terrain tires
  • Factory-installed accessory packages with a brush guard, powered lift, stylish rims and other popular choices
  • Alternate color schemes for hunters
  • Worksite accessories including lighting options, turn signals and backup alarms