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Picking a "ranch" utv

Discussion in 'General Side X Side Discussions' started by r2d3, May 4, 2019.

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  1. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    I tend to over-analyze things, so I'm just going to post some of my thoughts, probably in a long, rambling post. I've got a 900 acre ranch, mostly very small hills with some flat. I'm in Nebraska, so it's currently extremely muddy. I've had my large tractor (not a lawn tractor, a 6 ton tractor tractor) stuck multiple times this year. Can't get to the highway without a 4wd vehicle, many neighbors using atv/utv to go down the road with all the road damage, culverts, bridges out. All the mud kick-started my thinking about this again.

    My last atv was a Honda 250 big red 3 wheeler, almost 20 years ago, not kidding. I have hand/arm issues, couldn't hold the throttle beyond a minute or two there at the last, with the spring adjusted very loose. Tried a twist type throttle (I "made" it, just for testing) and extension at the time, but, just gave up. I had surgery finally last fall on both hands and an arm, but still not good of course, otherwise I'd get along with a plain atv, don't need passenger room, could just hook up a trailer, etc. The only other recent atv I've driven or been on is a '12 Grizzly, I didn't care for it much, but wasn't on it long (it was almost new, didn't like the cvt, but I'd get used to it).

    Criteria, fun is irrelevant, it will be used in pasture 99% of the time, possibly low most of the time, checking cows, hauling out cake, salt, getting in baby calves if needed, fencing, some light spraying, dragging cedars/trees away from the fence so the tractor can get to them (or in where it can't fit), etc. People use them on the road all the time here, but I'd just go between pastures most of the time, less than a couple miles. Diesel is in consideration, as I have it delivered (free for 150 gallon minimum). I usually keep only a couple gallons of gas around. Probably wouldn't need that much gas around, but it would be brought in by me. Gas station is a 30 mile round trip. Cab, ok, but probably not, so not really a factor. I'm used to not having a cab on a tractor (though I do on the big ones). Spent most winters and summers haying with no cab, doesn't bother me, -20 with blizzard or +100, plus, I could make a good enough windbreak myself for one if I wanted to.

    Power, I'd get by with anything, but if I spend "an amount", might as well get some power for work duty. Unless I decide on something cheaper.

    Models I'm considering, most of this is based on what I see on paper. What they sound like and minor differences in handling/ride are irrelevant.

    Gator, 60 mile round trip to the dealer, closest town (not a village). Mainly considering because I know they'd treat me right, and they look "ok". Textron is north of that town a bit, there are some Cats around the area, not really looked at anything there.

    Mule Pro, 80 mile round trip, no supply shopping in that town other than groceries (for warranty work, if I'd wait around, trips to that town would be for atv work only, don't really like wasting time not doing anything, for very long). Big "issue" is no front diff lock. And I have mud going through pretty much every gate. I like them though, warranty looks good.

    Viking, 100 mile round trip, no shopping there either. I know it would work ok, lots of them around. Wolverine, bed isn't ideal, hate the center console, never driven any of these, but engine/gearing makes me think it might work and ride decent in the pasture. Hate the stupid center console, wasted space, and the way the engine is under it (so, probably not, other than thinking the drivetrain might work).

    "The rest", 150 mile round trip, with the closest Walmart and actual decent lumber yard, so, things to do in that town if I need to go there for "stuff". Ranger, some people have them here, most have ...issues, though I know some get along, neighbor has an xp1000. Defender, kinda my "favorite", as far as how it's set up. It's the only one I've sat in. Maintenance looks fairly easy, the seats flipping up would be handy to throw a calf in, or other stuff like buckets. Pioneer, looks ok, other neighbor has the 1000, 700 before that. Don't care for the motor/heat stuff I hear under the seat, transmission is a bit "complex" longer term. I know the earlier ones were a bit more problematic at slow speed (clutch slips below a certain speed). P700, no low, guessing others near that price ride better and more practical with a low. Kubota, not really interested in, more tractor like, and I already have a couple. Diesel models of some of the above would be a bit faster, better for chasing things.

    Accessories, don't care, I'd not buy anything, would fabricate anything I can think of that I'd get.

    MPG, more efficient would be better. Not buying this as a toy, so stopping less often to fill up is handier. Also, general maintenance, if something is significantly easier/quicker or less often, that would be nice. Not much I can't do, but, ...less to do less often is better.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks if you've read this far.
     
  2. wgarcar1

    wgarcar1 ron SXS Nation Team Leader

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    2016 polaris ranger 570 XP

    Welcome to the forum [emoji106]
    Just a few suggestions:
    Specs: 2018 Polaris RANGER Diesel - Sage Green | Polaris RANGER

    Or maybe an older 6x6 diesel, 25 MPH max speed and you can't kill them.
    The mule diesel is very heavy and too big.
    I know that many farmers have the Polaris ranger 570 (2 seater) and very happy but I think that diesel will be more convenient for you.
    This craigslist guy says that he'll deliver, you never know.
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  3. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Ron Moderator

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    Welcome to the Nation r2d3 !
     
  4. Pede

    Pede SXS Nation Expert

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    09 700 Ranger

    Sounds to me like you need something green with yellow wheels.....friend of mine has 3 and although I wouldn't recommend them to anyone the diesel is indestructible, the rest not so much and I have to work on them all the time. Now with that said, his are older and I'm hearing better things about the newer models and the dealer network is second to none but those guy's with green paint tend to be a bit bios.
     
  5. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    Thanks. Kinda looks like people like Polaris around here. :) My neighbor had a 900xp before he got this 1000, so he must like them, I didn't ask "specifics" yet, didn't say I was looking. He did mention with the new one he was pulling a drag to level the road, and the belt went out. I haven't seen the drag, I know it was probably heavy, but like everyone he has tractors, and actual road equipment for that matter (actual road grader to use, dozer, etc.), so I don't think it was anything too crazy being used with the atv (and I'd think he was using low...). If I'd see something close like what you mentioned used, I'd look at it, but I'd have to look. Used stuff around here typically has well over 1000 hours and several thousand miles (average mileage is higher because they see more/faster road use average I'd guess than some places), and not much of a discount, better off just spending a bit extra on new with a warranty.

    Mule, heavy plus no front diff., my main issues with it, the size I wouldn't have an issue, narrower and shorter than my smallest tractor anyway, they look "solid" though. I had also kicked around the idea of smaller like you mentioned, even going the cheap route. Pioneer 500 is out, kinda better options with cvt, more tow rating, etc. There have been leftover Prowler 500s (I know Kymco uxv450), what reading I did said they were "ok", and about $7k. Ranger 570 mid or full, might look at. Smaller would be a bit more ~nimble, easier to back around, might not sink into the mud as deep, etc. ...cheaper, but not quite as much bed and towing capacity.

    Even thought about the Polaris Ace, but I know the neighbors never got along as well with their atvs vs. the Rangers. Plus, the thing costs enough, not much reason to not spend a bit more on a utv.

    Thanks.

    I see several around here. They have about 3 used in town. 1000 to 2000 hrs. or so, not cheap. The dealer is the main reason they are a bit higher on the "look at list", what reading I did said the newer ones are "ok". The guys up there remember me, if you go in more than a time or two once in a while, they remember, know where you live, etc. I skipped about a year once, went in, and yep, remembered. I do have some Deere stuff, but not all, mainly because of the dealer (same as the atv stuff, other brands are more miles for parts). I can have stuff delivered here, or have a neighbor pick stuff up for me, etc. with that route. But, I'm not Deere blind by any means. Not stuck on many brands of anything, at one time I had a Chevy, Dodge, and Ford at the same time.

    I'll probably get something around summer, might see if there's info on the new models, discounts, etc. I'll know more after I can get some time to drive something too, and check into the dealers.
     
  6. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Welcome to the forum.

    To tell you a little about myself, I also ranch. We run Polaris rangers and cover a large acreage. Just finishing up calving now.

    We have run Polaris rangers for about 10 years now, and it's pretty much revolutionized how we work.

    For you, I get making your trips "make sense" we are also about 110 miles round trip from the closest town where we can also get other supplies/parts/groceries.

    That is also part of why we run polaris. We have a great dealer there that handles Polaris and Kawasaki.

    So with that said, I have a little experience with other brands, but not much. Just what I've been around, and what I've learned from my dealer.

    My top brands to suggest to you based on dealer/parts availability, durability, and re-sale would be

    Polaris, Deere, Kawasaki, and Can- Am

    Right now I will tell you that repair parts for anything other than a polaris is going to be higher, especially the can-am.

    Deere's warranty in my opinion isn't as good as what polaris and Kawasaki offer (talking about extended coverage here). Not sure what can-am offers.

    I've driven the Mule Pro FX, and I really like the way they ride, they are a nice machine, and they're built pretty beefy. One of the reasons I'm not running them is because their cab system isn't as good as polaris, and also their accessories are much higher priced and access to the powertrain is worse.

    My local Can Am dealer is farther away, and I just don't like the higher prices they're sporting.... I haven't seen any drastic reliability difference with them either from what I've heard from the neighbors.

    The JD gators have improved over the years, and their newest ones are really trying their best to copy Polaris's ranger. Their cabs are now bigger, have bench seating, and a bigger foot well... also a console shift.

    I'd say the Gators and the Kawasaki have a more durable chassis than some of the others.

    For us, We have always been running polaris full size machines, and when we sold our three ranger 800s 1.5 years back, we kept the cabs, which will go right onto the ranger 570 full size (looks like a ranger 800 with round roll cage). So that saved us some good money. They are lighter machines, which you notice going across the pasture, but not gutless. Just enough power to do most things, chase cows, put out mineral, spray weeds, fix fence, ect ect. One thing about them though is that they do not come with power steering. I had to put on an aftermarket one on these from Super ATV.

    When we purchased these we paid $9100 when we bought them on rebate in the fall (previous years model). It was a no brainer for us. So far we've had a couple issues, nothing major or out of the ordinary for having between 700 and 1300 hours on them each. So far the lighter chassis has held up to the abuse, but the A arms up front are a little cheezy.

    If your weed sprayer is over 50 gallon, I'd suggest you go with a ranger 900 or 1000.

    If you like your local JD dealer, I'd probably shop them pretty hard and it would be hard to not buy one of those if you spend alot of time in that town. They are good machines.... JD is pretty proud of some of their parts/service though.

    My next suggestions would be Polaris Ranger, and Kawasaki Mule pro fx.

    I'm not steering you away from any other brands, but there are some that IMO, just don't have enough dealer support, ride, or durability to make my list.

    I'm going to post up a couple videos I did on our 570s awhile back, just so you can kind of see what I'm talking about.

    If I can help you with anything else, just ask, I'd do what I can!

    There are a couple others on this site who use their rangers for ranch use, I'll have to see if I can drum them up.



     
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  7. wgarcar1

    wgarcar1 ron SXS Nation Team Leader

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  8. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    Thanks. I watched your videos, and I'll get through some of your others too. An actual, useful review is helpful, compared to someone driving one in circles, and complaining about the color on a bumper. They do look, "simple", enough that they'd be easy to work on, but I see those little "what were they thinking" issues that would be simple enough for them to have right in the first place with a lot of things. That price is sure hard to beat too. I know when I sat in a Defender a while back, I looked at the Rangers they had there. My main thought was the space between the seat and dash was a fair bit shorter than the Defender (of the ones they had there), which is why I sat in the Defender (easier to get out quickly if needed), and no I don't recall the Ranger's size they had around the Defenders. I had about 5 minutes, so I didn't look much, talked briefly to sales and got a card, that was it. Online, they have in stock a couple HD8 XTs, one HD10 XT, no other lower trims, but several XP1000, and a few other models including 570 mid. So, several more Polaris in stock.

    Mud is sometimes an issue, but it is much worse now. If there would be a whatever you'd call normal year, it isn't usually that big of deal, though "mud mods" would be helpful all the time to get to some places (all the road ditches drain across my property, so a corner and sometimes a gate doesn't have good access at times). Probably not something I'd pay "a lot" for, if things would straighten out. I have the hills, and the yard, they stay ok usually so I can usually get around the low spots. This year, most of the state was declared a disaster area, including where I am. I was stuck more than once, neighbors got their tractors stuck, pickups got stuck on the actual road, people couldn't/can't get out for weeks, etc. It's a bit ridiculous, but getting better, BUT, more rain coming tonight and tomorrow, maybe. The way it is now, much of the pasture is sort of like walking on a wet, soft mattress, at best, where there's grass. No way that a 4wd tractor would get through without making deep tracks, and probably getting stuck, kinda think a utv/atv would just sink and bottom out in a lot of it anyway. I lost several cows in mud, so did neighbors. At least I'm not by a river, I know people that are. The low ground is what they call sub-irrigated here, and I have areas where I could put in flowing wells (I don't have one, but across the fence and several around the area).

    I was thinking about a radiator relocation for some stuff, if practical. My cousins, where I rode the '12 Grizzly, got a new '14 Viking. About 500 miles, just using it to check pivots, driving down the road, radiator mudded up, no light, overheated. Motor needed work, and the dealer got some of that under warranty I guess. Other neighbor got a used Viking, his fan quit, didn't see that, so that happened to him too, not warranted. I saw a Defender review, rancher/farmer mentioned the rad. plugging with grass seed. A person could put a screen for easier cleanup, but, things like that, or fan stopping, I'd think up higher would help.

    ----

    Haven't looked at a Prowler Pro like I said, don't know how their quality is now. There are some older ones around. But I looked a little online now. I don't think they have a diff lock in front, maybe. They are using that 3 cyl. Chery motor like Kawa. and JD. Passenger seats remove completely. And, price is cheaper, one was listed for under $10k on ebay, but I don't know about fees. I just mention it because it's the other dealer in the closest town, some of the way it looks, as far as setup, looks "ok". I've never thought of the old Cat as a quality brand I guess.

    Gators do look kinda high for what they are, so I don't know. I see Defenders have some rebates, and Polaris is flexible with pricing, don't know about Kawa. I'll see if I can find out with neighbors how heavier ones work with the ground around here, if lighter might be better.
     
  9. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I've seen some of the pictures from what you guys went through down there with the flooding, and it looks devastating.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Administrator

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    Great advice from Adam, he has a lot of experience with your situation!
     
  11. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    I don't have it "that" bad here, not by a long shot, just the mud and water (and it's been raining all day). Thankfully no crops to plant, just a bit worried about putting up hay, had to leave a lot last year too, that I couldn't get at. Still getting calves is the only thing going on. Like I said, I'm just glad I'm not too close to a river, and not too far off the highway. A girl I went to school with, like three years younger, her husband is a nephew of the guy that's missing from by the dam that failed (it's about an hour away). I think they live about 6 miles downstream, maybe. The husband's father is near them, he had about 65 acres of a large ice field surrounding his place (I think they said that amount of ground, but I could be inaccurate), like car, truck sized+, multiple ton pieces. Lost a bunch of stuff, equipment, vehicles, and cows. She put up pictures and a little video of some of that, a little from the search helicopters they rode in too.

    I don't think I'm that worried about Ranger quality now, other than the little things. I know when I was hearing issues it was mostly ATVs, a while back. I'll see about dealers probably, when (maybe if...) I get time, later. Closer is a lot handier for me, but I'll see, I'd maybe pay a little premium for it, but not that much for something similar. Kinda doubt I'd get much haggling done with the Green stuff. I'm thinking any of the main picks will be "ok", so I'll just have to look them over, decide on diesel or not, etc. Price of the 570, if the dealer would offer close to that, is kinda hard to pass up though, even if something else might or might not be marginally better.
     
  12. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Ranger is not a perfect product, but I haven't found one out there yet that is... But there are definitely some that are better than others.

    The Defenders sound like solid machines, but you just don't see them out in this are much... Just not much in terms of support/dealers for Can am out here. Also their high price tag drives alot of folks to polaris.

    The 570 full size Rangers are a great bang for the buck, not without a few drawbacks, but nothing major yet. They are lighter on their feet than a standard ranger by about 200 lbs give or take, yet only have about 200lb less load carrying capacity in the bed... around 800 lbs I think. I would never own a sxs without a cab, but it sounds like you're not to worried about it. There isn't much offered in terms of cabs from polaris, I think they sell a canvas type cab, but nothing hard. You can still buy steel ranger 800 cabs(that will fit the 570 FS) from places like sxsstuff.com that will put a new cab on the 570 for about $2500-

    As I said before, they also don't have power steering, but you can get a kit from Super ATV for about $600 that works great on them. I'm assuming with the surgery you mentioned you'lll be wanting power steering?

    Even without the power steer, these are the best manual steering machines I've found. I think it has alot to do with their lighter weight.

    Don't know what the 570s are costing these days, but I think they're still around that $9500 mark- So take that with the power steering kit and it puts you a little over 10K for a new machine. With the cab call it $13,000.... pretty darn reasonable when you consider the other options out there with starting prices around that amount, and no accessories.

    You did mention you might prefer diesel, Ranger does make a diesel, but you'll pay more for it. I'd have to imagine by now they have them pretty well figured out, but it will be a heavier machine with that engine, and it will come on the bigger 1000 chassis I believe. Also, it will be pretty gutless- only 25hp.

    I haven't found much wiggle room on price with my polaris dealers, they actually don't make very much on a sale. maybe $500- They actually make more selling their trade ins. I would imagine that dealing with John deere would be a similar experience.

    Edit- You did mention you were wanting a quieter machine... The 570 isn't very quiet since it's a single cylinder. I thought it might be a problem for our cows, but actually it has been a complete non issue. They were used to it right away.... Only problem now is they hear me coming a little earlier and they have a head start at running off!
     
  13. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    Polaris and Can Am is the same dealer, so I was thinking I could talk to the service guys there. Outside quick impression the Can Ams "looked" a little more solid, but like I said, didn't have time. I haven't seen any Defenders around, but I have seen/know of lots of older ~400 Can Am atvs. Rough estimating, most people seem to have Vikings, second seems to be Honda (lots of 700s), then Polaris around that too, close, just going by what I know people have in the area. Arctic Cat is in there too, and Deere, haven't seen any Kawasaki though either.

    Cabs, when I was a kid, never had a cab on the loader tractor, you could see what angle the bucket was tipped on the ground. Only tractor that had a cab was the hay mover, not used in the field. When I bought the place from my mom, I kept using that loader tractor, until about '06 (it was a 630 JD, don't laugh, I miss using it). I got a 4240 with a loader, I prefer using that with the door tied open, including baling (I go through my baler myself, replace bearings before season, with the door open I can hear it while running, and smell them, I've caught two that way). ...anyway, I don't really get cold, it doesn't bother me (or hot), don't care about damp much either. I might do windshield, maybe roof (but I could make that), and for windbreaks I could make doors of sorts, or get soft ones that I could take off. Just looking around at things, I get pretty annoyed looking through glass for some reason, even if it's wide open, clear.

    Noise, not a big deal. Quiet, my cows would run at me if they heard it, it would be easier getting through gates that I wanted if they didn't hear. Plus, if it's really quiet, I could hear "something wrong" by trees, etc. But, some of the puttering around, I'd rather have a diesel, I have to walk through some areas to check anyway, so hearing isn't that important either. So, again, noise isn't that important. My ground is all together, not that much land anyway, and the road cuts through the middle, most gates aren't far from the driveway, "fast" would very rarely be used or needed, 25/30 is enough.
     
  14. nsbohn

    nsbohn Nicholas SXS Nation Rookie

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    Shopping for a SXS, Currently have Yamaha Kodiak 700 and Sunseeker C-Class RV

    What about a Kubota? They make a 900 diesel, an 1100 diesel, and an 850 gas that uses a Subaru engine (and goes 45 mph).

    You have to have a Kubota dealer within a decent distance I would think, and they are work vehicles, not overgrown ATV's with a bed and hitch.
     
  15. r2d3

    r2d3 A SXS Nation Rookie

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    Kubota dealer is 150 mile round trip. Diesel is slower than competitor diesels (I know why). I know it's likely more reliable, neighbor about 5 miles away has one, but it wouldn't work as well for chasing cows around (that's just my thought). He has a very bad heart and got a program of some sort to pay for it, he's disabled basically, can't do much of anything. He likes it, uses it most of the time because he can't walk around much. I will probably look at them. If the diesel ones are slower like a tractor, sort of, I'd almost consider a small compact tractor instead, if that speed would work.... Odd thought I know, different suspension, but at slow speeds and the way my pastures are, not a big deal. I guess I'd have to test drive one and simulate herding....

    My aunt was put in a home for a while, so I was driving by the Kawasaki dealer anyway. 5 minutes, again, wish I had time. Salesman/owner/mechanic, probably the same guy, was in back working so I didn't talk to anyone. They had one FXT, one MX, and one FXR, that took up the "showroom". They look VERY solid and "nice".

    I also stopped at the Textron dealer. Same deal, 5 minutes. Looked "ok", actually not bad. I like the seats, I could just leave them completely out all the time, the access panel to get at the filter, removable wheel wells, etc., looks kinda like they paid attention to some details a little bit.... And, they seem cheaper than the competition. Probably for a reason, but "ok" might be good enough, if cheap enough, because they are a close dealer.

    I see some 2020s are being announced.
     
  16. Farmfuel

    Farmfuel Wade SXS Nation Rookie

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    Jd gator

    I’ve got a jd gator 825i and it’s been great, I know there is a diesel variation, but I don’t have any experience with it. The gator has been very trouble free and great for working. I haven’t figured my fuel range but it does have a smallish tank, just over 5 gallons if I remember correctly.
     
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