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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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!