How a UTV Or ATV Can Help With Dairy Farm Tasks | A Complete Guide

How a UTV Or ATV Can Help With Dairy Farm Tasks | A Complete Guide

By Dairy Farming Hut


Affiliate Disclaimer

Dairyfarminghut.com is an Associate Member in the several Affiliate Programs including Amazon Associates Program. We may earn a commission for qualified purchases through links on our site.

ATVs and UTVs are fantastic little vehicles with a wide variety of uses. They can get to places that standard vehicles cannot and can better perform many tasks around your farm. Once you start considering attachments, these machines get even more useful.

ATVs and UTVs help with a significant number of tasks, from transporting things around the farm to managing livestock. There are a wide variety of attachments available that expand their usefulness even further. After the day’s work is done, a UTV or ATV is fantastic for recreational fun.

If you are exhausting yourself with the “fetch and carry” tasks that are required on a farm but do not need full-sized machinery, it may be time to purchase one of these bad boys! Read on to learn about different tasks that ATVs and ORVs can help with and which types of terrain vehicles and attachments to purchase.

How Can All-Terrain Vehicles Help on Dairy Farms?

An All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is also commonly known as a quad or 4-wheeler. Both ATVs and UTVs are part of a vehicle class known as ORVs (off-road vehicles). These are used frequently for recreational purposes but are also great for easing the workload on a farm.

  • Since they are not full-sized vehicles, they do not require a driver’s license or license plate to operate.
  • If you plan to use them on public or state land, you will want an ORV sticker, which can be purchased at your local DMV or Secretary of State. No ORV sticker is needed if you use yours exclusively on your private land.
  • There are also some roadways that they are not allowed on at all, which vary by state. If your property is separated by any roadways, this is something you should check into before purchasing your ORV.
  • An ATV has a straddle seat similar to a motorcycle and is meant for one or two people, depending on the type.
  • They typically range in size from a 55cc engine designed for kids all the way up to an 800cc work vehicle.
  • Most ATVs run on minimum-octane gasoline as a fuel source, though there are other options. Since ATVs are not always road legal, a gas can will be needed to fill your gas tank.

When using an ATV for farm work, it is recommended that you have one that is at least 500ccs. Going up, it simply depends on what kind of work you are performing with it and what attachments you want to use.

Since they are smaller, ATVs are more maneuverable than UTVs. This comes at a cost, as you cannot haul as much as a UTV can, whether carrying people or cargo. Even so, the larger models still do pretty well with big loads.

Type I ATVs

Type I ATVs are generally smaller.

  • They are designed for a single passenger and have a straddle seat for the operator.
  • Most Type I ATVs tend to be midrange in engine size, though that is more of a generalization than a rule.
  • Some Type I ATVs are not compatible with attachments. If you are planning to use any of these, be sure that the model you purchase has the appropriate hitch and hauling ability.
class 1 ATV on a beach

While many people find it easy to perch a second person on the back of a Type I, this is not recommended by manufacturers.

In fact, the back of an ATV is designed so that it is easy to attach storage options or bungee down cargo.

Type II ATVs

Type II ATVs include a second seat behind the driver for a passenger. These two seats mimic a two-person motorcycle cruiser seat and will typically be one single piece rather than two separate seats.

Both seats are designed so that the riders straddle the seat, same as a Type I. There are often handles or straps for the passenger to use for stability, though not always.

type 2 ATV

Generally, Type II ATVs come in larger engine sizes, but you can find smaller ones if you look hard enough.

ATVs for Children

Believe it or not, they make real ATVs for the kids! These smaller youth models come with various safety features such as speed limitations and smaller engine sizes.

While youth ATVs are typically only used for recreational purposes, they can be great for teaching your child to help out around the farm in a safe way. Some youth ATVs are compatible with small attachments such as trailers, so a child can even do some tasks independently.

X-Pro makes some great youth models at both 110cc and 125cc. Many other brands also offer youth options.

How Can Utility Terrain Vehicles Help on Dairy Farms?

A Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) is a bulkier and more robust version of an ATV, also known as SxS (side by side). UTVs are particularly great for farms because of their strength and increased load capacity.

UTV on a dairy farm
  • They can seat at least two people side-by-side in more traditional seats as opposed to the standard straddle seat of an ATV. Some UTV models can seat four people.
  • They generally have a cage around the seating area for safety.
  • They are generally longer, wider, and taller than ATVs because of the seating style and cage. They cannot maneuver quite as well as their ATV counterparts. Even with these pitfalls, they can be the better choice if you have a larger farm or are looking for an ORV that can seat more people at a time.
  • They usually have more engine power for hauling than a regular ATV does. While UTVs are limited to 1000cc engines because of off-road vehicle limitations defined by the state, they tend to be on the higher end of these limitations.

Other than the overall size and seating differences, UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles) are comparable to ATVs in most other ways and are subject to the same ORV laws.

Types of UTVs and ATVs to Consider

A good rule of thumb to use when deciding which ORV to buy is that the bigger your farm is, the bigger your ATV or UTV should be. Larger farms often mean more oversized loads and longer jobs, which are more easily handled with a larger model.

  • You will want to consider how many people you want your ORV to carry. If you are just looking for something to get around on, an ATV will suit you nicely.
  • If you have a crew and need to move around your property together, a four-person UTV would be the better choice.
  • If you have enough of a workload to justify spending money on a few attachments, you will want a larger vehicle to accommodate the heavier attachments. Many of them typically have a minimum engine size recommendation.
types of UTV and ATV

If you are unsure of what attachments you will be using or how intensive your workload will grow to be, it is better to err on the side of caution and spend the money on a larger vehicle. Overkill is a much better problem to have than not having the power you need to get the job done.

ATV and UTV Uses on a Dairy Farm

There are almost limitless uses for an ATV or UTV on a dairy farm, making most jobs more manageable and less time-consuming.

With their smaller profiles and easier maneuverability, they are great for the in-between tasks that are too difficult or time-consuming for simple elbow grease, yet too small to require a full-sized truck.

The options below are only a few of the uses available to you with an ATV or UTV.

UTV uses on a dairy farm

Inspecting Your Property and Livestock

Dairy farms often sprawl over dozens or even hundreds of acres, given how much grazing room your cows need. Commercial dairy farms can get even larger. Getting around your farm can become time-consuming, whether you are:

  • Riding fences
  • Inspecting your livestock
  • Checking on crews

Because of this, both ATVs and UTVs are a great tool to have on the farm, as they make getting around much faster than being on foot. 

Since they can get into smaller and more rugged spaces than cars, the versatility will also increase your mobility.

Supervising Field Crews

Particularly with more extensive jobs, field crews often require a lot of communication. Many use handheld radios to accomplish this, but the good manager will be keeping a close eye on how things are progressing.

To achieve this, hop onto your ATV and quickly zip around your farm to check on your crews and work progression. After all, a job worth doing is worth doing right!

Transporting Various Materials Around the Farm

Transporting materials is a huge part of farm life, whether moving firewood, dirt, or manure. Various jobs can also require a lot of tools on site. A simple trailer on the back of your ATV will make life much easier.

While trucks are also a great tool to use for transporting materials, ATVs have the added bonus of squeezing into tight spaces and navigating rough terrain that a full-sized vehicle cannot necessarily reach.

They can also be easier on costs, as they do not require as much gas or upkeep as a truck.

Marking Timber for Clearing Land

Clearing land on your farm generally means marking what you want cleared for when either your farmhands or a professional company comes through to do the clearing. Marking trees involves quite a bit of moving around, so having an ATV or UTV to accomplish this will make the job much faster.

UTV for hauling timber

Mowing Grass or Plowing Snow

Farms can be large, and how much acreage you mow or plow will go a long way towards both the curb appeal and personal enjoyment of your property. A standard push mower or even a rider can both be time-consuming.

With the right attachment, you can mow or plow significantly more at a time. The wider your attachment, the quicker the job will be done.

Field Maintenance - Plowing, Planting, and Harvesting

There are many attachments for ATVs available for purchase that can help with farm tasks, especially relating to:

  • Plowing
  • Harrowing
  • Tilling

Most of these are tow-behind attachments. If you either have a smaller field meant only to sustain your farm or do not yet have the equity for machinery costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, an ATV or UTV may be the right choice for you.

Field attachments are typically mini versions of full-sized equipment. As such, they will do the work more slowly. This is still much faster than doing the work by hand, so it makes an excellent alternative.

Catching Calves

Assuming your livestock spends time in pastures, you will often have to catch up to your animals to check on them or herd them into your barn. ATVs have a great attachment available that makes catching calves simple and easy.

Even without this attachment, an ATV indeed makes it easier to catch up to these speedy little guys.

Driving Herds to Pastures or Barns

Sometimes, it is not just one calf you need to catch, but rather a whole herd you need to move. Whether you are going from one pasture to the other or bringing your herd in for milking, ATVs accomplish this task nicely.

ORVs can be a great alternative to horses.

  • They do not require feeding through the winter.
  • They do not get exhausted if you have a long day.
  • You will never need to worry about your ATV being in a bad mood.
  • It will not decide against doing what you ask of it.

They are also especially ideal for working with herding or work dogs, as the dog can more easily see you and hear your commands.

Irrigation Work and Digging

There is a reason many people hate digging irrigation ditches, and that is because it is hard, exhausting work!

With the right attachments, an ATV or UTV assumes most of the manual labor required for this job. Better to sit at the controls in a comfortable seat than to be waist deep in a ditch with a shovel, after all.

Of course, there are reasons to dig other than irrigation, and ORVs can help with most of those, too.

Looking for

Portable Milking Machine?

Best Attachments to Have for the Farm

There are a wide variety of attachments to choose from for both UTVs and ATVs, with many of them overlapping. Attachments vary significantly in their intended purpose, but many are specially designed for farms and property maintenance.

Many of these attachments have their own power source, whether by electricity or fuel. This makes them ideal for UTVs and ATVs, as the power supply of your ORV is limited by its size.

Dairy farms are unique because the farmer is typically dealing with livestock more than the crops. Even so, many will choose to grow their own hay or other foods to reduce the overhead costs of the farm.

This list of attachments has been curated with both objectives in mind.

Attachments

Details

Sickle Bar Mowers

These mowers are perfect for hayfields that often accompany dairy farms. They can more easily handle tall grasses than traditional mowers and cut the hay in a length that makes it easier to bale.

At 13.5 HP and with customizable height, this mower is a great option.

Trailer

Quite possibly one of the most versatile attachments to have, these can transport many different materials. A trailer is often considered a must-have for a farm ORV.

Rated for 1,500 pounds and with removable rails, this trailer can haul almost anything.

Hay Dolly

After mowing and allowing your hay to dry, you will have to move the bales. A hay dolly is perfect for this and can handle bales up to 1,000 pounds. It also helps with getting your hay bales out to pasture.

Backhoe

While obviously not as strong as a full-size backhoe, this attachment can make your life a lot easier if you do a lot of digging. This is generally one of the most expensive attachments available.

Plow

A plow is a great attachment to have for farmers in the north who get significant snowfalls. These plows make it easier to maintain paths throughout their farm, as well as keeping their driveway plowed in the winter.

With a 60” blade, this plow will work great.

Tumblebug

A tumblebug is a cheap attachment for moving various things, typically dirt. Even though it is a little outdated, this is a handy tool for a new farmer or one on a budget.

Field Prep

When planting a field, tillers and harrows make the job much easier. If you maintain a smaller field, getting these attachments for your ATV or UTV may be a better option than expensive farm machinery.

Brush Cutter

Brush is almost inevitable on larger plots of land, and this attachment will make clearing it much easier. Whether you are increasing pasture or field size or simply want your farm to look better, this will easily do the trick.

This universal mower will work with most ATVs and UTVs.

Power Loader

This is an attachment that lifts heavy loads for you, which are all too common on a farm. Do your back a favor and get one of these to help with loading.

This solid little power loader can lift up to 350 pounds at a time.

Auger

Dairy farms can mean a lot of fences to keep livestock contained, but digging fence posts is quite a chore. An auger will make this much easier and speedier.

Livestock Feeder

Feeding livestock can be tiresome and time-consuming, but this attachment will make quick work of the chore.

This dual feeder and seed spreader can hold 80 pounds at a time.

Beyond these more common attachments, there are so many others that benefit farmers and landowners alike. Spend some time looking up other attachments that can help decrease your workload.

Basic Accessories to Purchase With Your ATV or UTV

As with any other kind of machinery, there are many accessories out there that help with either the repair or use of your ATV or UTV, in addition to full attachments. 

Below are some of the essentials that you should have on hand.

A helmet is necessary for more dangerous work, especially if your farm is not flat and open. Since ATVs tip over far more easily than cars, you want to make sure your head is protected in the event of a crash or rollover.

Anyone who rides a motorcycle can tell you how easily wind can mess with your vision, especially when your eyes get dry or watery. Goggles are great for both wind and water, keeping your vision clear for the task at hand. They also protect your eyes from mud and dust.

Assuming you will need to transport your ATV at times, be sure to have some loading ramps on hand. If you choose a larger ATV or decide on a UTV, you may need a trailer, as well. Only the smaller models will fit comfortably in a truck bed.

There are many storage options out there for ATVs and UTVs, whether they sit behind your seat or mount like saddlebags. Regardless of which you choose, you will always have things you need to carry around. Best have somewhere to put them! You should also have a dry box for muddy or wet trips.

Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what tools are needed for basic repairs. It is a good idea to have a small toolbox on hand specifically for your ATV or UTV.

If you do not purchase a model that already has mirrors, you will want some. This is especially true if you use your ATV frequently around animals or other workers. Mirrors go a long way towards safety.

An extra tire plug kit that you can keep right on your ATV or UTV will help you out of a sticky situation sooner or later. No one wants to have to walk all the way to the barn to get the needed repair tools to fix the tire and get your ORV back home.

If your dog helps out on your farm in any way or you simply like to have them near you, there is a host of dog accessories and attachments for ATVs and UTVs. Man’s best friend deserves all of the best things, and that includes riding accessories for dogs!

There are quite literally hundreds more accessory options for ATVs and UTVs. Once you know what you will use yours for, it is good to do some research into accessories that will help you do your job efficiently.

There are also many attachments purely for fun that are great for the whole family! If you have a youth ATV for your child, it is a good idea to look into child-friendly accessories, as well.

check out

Our Buyers Guides

Our top picks for your Dairy Farming Needs

ATV and UTV Safety Considerations

Even though they are not full-sized vehicles, there are still safety measures that everyone who uses an ORV should take seriously.

  • Do not drive an ORV while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. It may seem like no big deal when you are just puttering around your farm, but it is still dangerous and can still seriously injure or even kill a rider or bystander.
  • Wear long pants while driving or riding on an ORV. The engine sides can heat up and burn your legs, as can other parts such as the tailpipe.
  • Do not neglect needed repairs. Many of them are safety hazards and can hurt you if left too long.
  • Be sure you have the proper lights on your ORV, particularly in the dark. This includes headlights, reflective stickers, running lights, etc.
  • Even if you have an ATV designed for youth, children should always be supervised while riding or driving an ATV. Additionally, it is not recommended for children to be riding with you while you are using attachments for work-related tasks, as these can be unpredictable.
  • Make sure you are seated properly when on an ATV or UTV. Do not let your feet drag on the ground, and keep good posture.
  • Follow all the laws that your state has enacted for ORV usage. They are there for a good reason!
  • No matter how tempting it is, do not try to carry more passengers than recommended for your model. This causes many safety issues and can even lead to injury or death.

Following safety measures can be irritating, and it is easy to convince yourself that you are proficient enough in its operation to ignore them.

You never know what will happen when driving around, so it is best always to follow safety recommendations.

Final Thoughts

With so many practical uses for ATVs and UTVs, it is easy to justify this purchase. Modern times have created so many shortcuts for laborers that result in a better work-life balance. Assuming your wallet can handle it, the benefits of having one of these bad boys on your farm are limited only by your imagination.

Plus, when you finish the workday, an ATV makes a fantastic recreational vehicle great for hours of fun! Whether you go mudding, trail riding, or just take the kids for a spin around the farm, it is sure to enrich both your professional life and your recreational enjoyment!



{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Related Posts

Rapid Exit Milking Parlor for Dairy Goats (Advantages and Disadvantages)
Top 10 Livestock Weighing Equipment for Dairy Farms: Find the Right Solution!

Tools and Equipment, Buyer's Guide

Best Sheep Shearing Machines Under $200

Best Sheep Shearing Machines Under $200

Buyer's Guide, Tools and Equipment

10 Best Electric Fence Chargers for Dairy Farms

10 Best Electric Fence Chargers for Dairy Farms