Welcome to our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide. We review ATV, Quad, Four-wheeler choices, unique side-by-side and UTV off-road machines and definitions of an ATV/side-by-side vehicle/UTV. We prepare you for severe winter & snow, hunting, tracking, harvesting even on the farm… we got you!
Buying an ATV or four-wheeler can be confusing, and the dizzying array of choices and options available can be both exciting and confusing. Luckily, this guide will help you sort out differences easily, so whether you want to buy an ATV to work, play, or both, we’ll get you from point A to point B on your buying journey.
Between models, options, purpose, pricing, and financing options, there’s a load of things to consider when shopping for an ATV. This guide will start by helping you choose the ATV right for your lifestyle, show you how to choose which options are right for you, and, most importantly, show you how to find the most affordable payment option for your budget. Let’s get you in the rider’s seat!
If you’ve been itching to see what the fuss about the side-by-side (SxS) is, there’s never been a better time to read our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide. Their popularity has leaped with no surprise thanks to their toughness, versatility, and smile-inducing handling. They’re also useful tools that are at home in many applications. If you’re curious about the SxS phenomenon for work or play, this buyer’s guide will help you navigate the path to getting the model that makes the most sense for you.
There’s a load of things to consider when shopping for a SxS or UTV. Between models, options, purpose, pricing, and financing options, it can be easy to get stuck in the decision mud. Thankfully, our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide will get you moving by helping you choose the right model for your lifestyle and needs, show you which options are right for you, and, most importantly, how to find the most affordable payment option for your budget. Let’s get you on the trail!
Hunting – If you’re planning on hunting in areas with dense timber and brush or that require passing through unpredictable terrain, a four-wheeler is your ride of choice.
Farming – There is always use for an off-road vehicle on a farm. An ATV and SxS/UTV are great utility options for this type of work environment
Family riding – If you plan on taking an off-road ride with family or a group of friends, a side-by-side vehicle is what you want to aim for. Its ability to carry up to six passengers and multiple safety features not only makes it an optimal choice, but a safe one too.
Trail riding – If hard-to-reach areas with narrow gates and obstacles are more up your alley
Plowing snow and winter riding – No matter what vehicle you decide to get, you’ll want to go out into the snow much more often. Both ATVs and SxS/UTVs are awesome tools to use in the winter season. They’re fun and powerful, have great traction and definitely get jobs done.
Craving desert and dune riding – Ready to devour some sand and mud? It’s the ultimate factory rock-crawling side-by-side vehicle for leaving rivals at the bottom of the hill.
So Dig in to our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide and Shift into first gear.
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ATV, QUAD, FOUR-WHEELER CHOICES!
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
WHAT’S AN ATV?
An All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) refers to a type of popular four-wheeled off-road vehicles designed to take on rough, rugged terrain with ease. Adept in both work and recreational environments, they typically feature low-pressure all-terrain tires, lots of ground clearance, and tough suspension. This means they can easily handle rough ground, go through deep water or mud, and scurry up inclines with ease. With great hauling and towing capacities, some are invaluable companions in hard-working environments such as farms, while others can be lighter and faster with recreational thrills in mind. Basically, with a variety of models and options, it’s possible to find an ATV that’ll do almost whatever you throw at it.
SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ATV, A QUAD, AND A FOUR-WHEELER?
Our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide will help you here. Since three-wheeled ATVs have largely made way for the four-wheeled variety, these terms have pretty much become synonymous. But while a two-wheel-drive vehicle can be referred to as an ATV or quad, a four-wheeler generally means an all-terrain vehicle with four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive only.
GETTING STARTED: DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
The best place to start is to decide what you need your ATV to do. Do you need to haul or tow loads on the job site? Are you taking it hunting? Planning to do some trail riding with the family? Has the excitement of ATV sports caught your eye? Maybe a flexible model that can do a bit of everything? Regardless of what your answer is, this is the starting point to determine what sort of ATV you should be shopping for.
Now that you’ve got a rough idea of what you plan to use your ATV for, let’s look at the main categories.
TYPES OF ATVS
Firstly, ATVs vary according to their engine size. The size of most engines is measured in cubic centimeters, or “cc.” Some youth ATVs are as small as 70 cc, with hard-working utility ATVs and sportier quads ranging from 450 cc up to 1000 cc. Let’s take a closer look at these categories in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide:
Performance is the name of the game here. Sport ATVs are lightweight and have deep suspension to handle big jumps, hard bumps and quick turns. Their race-proven power makes them much speedier than their Utility cousins and riders enjoy modifying them with endless accessory options.
Designed for working and hunting, these ATVs feature short travel suspension, a big motor and accessories designed to help get jobs done. They’re the most popular type of ATV thanks to their hauling and towing capability, but also their tendency to put a smile on a face when off duty.
The all-purpose member of the ATV family, these are ready for adventurous trail-riding, camping, mudding or hunting. They offer a great balance between work and play.
Youth ATVs are sized right for age and ability, with engines between 70 cc and 250 cc. Their safety features and easy automatic transmissions are perfect for younger riders eager for a taste of the off-road experience.
Performance is the name of the game here. Built for speed, tight cornering, and nimble handling, these are for thrill seekers who want to finish the day with bugs splattered on their helmet. With powerful engines, long travel suspension, and excellent handling, Sport ATVs offer an exhilarating experience on conditions from desert trails to deep mud.
These are the most popular type of ATV, feature short travel suspensions, big motors and loads of accessories geared towards working or hunting. They’re reliable workhorses in industries like agriculture, where their hauling and towing capabilities become invaluable. Hunters prize utility ATVs for traversing rugged terrain and lugging big cargo. They’re often used a tool but are also too fun to leave alone, so they end up doubling as recreational vehicles. Its LinQ™ quick-attach accessory system is the perfect high-strength, multifunction rack system needed to get jobs done.
These ATVs share several traits with utility models, but are a better balance between getting jobs done and cruising the trails. For most ATV buyers, they fit right in that perfect space between the full-strength functionality of utility models and the hair-raising performance of sport vehicles. They’re the Goldilocks choice of ATV categories with just the right amount of both work and play capabilities. The Can-Am Outlander Mossy Oak Edition fits snugly into this dream category, with exclusive Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camouflage, and factory-installed hunting accessories.
Offered in different sizes and power options, youth ATVs are a safe and fun way to introduce younger riders to the excitement of the trail. Safety and convenience features like electric start, built-in speed-limiting options and confidence-inspiring handling give young riders a perfect introduction to the world of off-road fun.
WHAT SPECS ARE IMPORTANT FOR AN ATV/FOUR-WHEELER?
When it comes to ATVs, the most important specs to consider are the engine, vehicle capabilities, equipment and technologies. Paying close attention to your needs while you consider these options will make sure you check all your boxes.
The amount of power you want or need depends on how you want to use your vehicle, what kind of rider you are, your budget, and whether you’re a rookie or veteran off-road rider. Luckily you have a lot of options when it comes to power. If hauling big cargo or towing heavy loads is on your job list, or if you’re a performance-oriented rider who craves speed, a higher-displacement—remember cubic centimeters?—and higher-horsepower ATV is probably the way to go. A smaller-displacement engine is probably the better choice for those riders more concerned about price or rideability for less experienced off-roaders.
VEHICLE CAPACITIES AND DIMENSIONS
ATVs that need to work hard every day in industries such as agriculture need to be able to tow and haul heavy loads. If your ATV is going to experience long and hard work days, be sure to prioritize towing capacity, but also storage and fuel capacity. You don’t want to run out of room or have to spend your day refueling.
The right selection of optional equipment will be key to making sure all your ATV needs are met. Tackling rough terrain? Be sure to prioritize suspension to smooth out those bumps. A winch can save the day over and over again in both steep and boggy conditions. Big meaty treads can offer increased traction in those same conditions but lower-profile treads can provide more comfort when trekking with the family or on casual recreation days. Comfort can mean everything both during long work days and dawn to dusk days on the trail, so features such as power steering and throttle control can soak up loads of fatigue. Can-Am offers an almost endless number of features and options, so be sure to have a good think about your needs and match them with the extras you choose for your ATV.
Just like cars and trucks, new ATVs offer the latest exciting technologies. Among many, Can-Am offers these advanced features on its ATV models such as Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) for easy, direct speed-sensitive steering assistance, with more power at lower speeds to reduce steering effort and less at higher speeds for maximum feel for the rider.
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO SPEND FOR AN ATV?
As we’ve already seen, ATVs vary widely in size, capabilities and features. Accordingly, the price varies with these as well with full-size ATVs generally costing anywhere between $6,000 and $16,000 (USD). Some of the most popular, best-selling and still very capable utility ATVs can be found for under $8,000. Youth ATVs are less expensive from about $2,000 to $5,000. The two most significant factors that determine how much an ATV costs are its engine size and its features and accessories.
Financing can be a great option when purchasing an ATV and can be a more affordable option to consider. Manufacturers like Can-Am offer accessible ways to get on an off-road vehicle like low interest rates and other incentives. Financing makes off-roading possible and affordable for more people and it often gives you the opportunity to upgrade to a more powerful ATV that’s decked out in lots of useful features. Can-Am has easy tools available to estimate monthly payments so you can find the best ATV for your budget.
As you can see, there are about as many different options when it comes to ATVs as trails to ride them on. Deciding what’s best for you is all about starting by carefully considering your needs and doing your homework. From trail riding, to utility and hunting, and recreation and performance, there’s an ATV available that’ll check all your boxes. It’s just a matter of preparing well for your hunt. But you already knew that as you have been reading the Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
Keep reading… UNIQUE SIDE-BY-SIDE and UTV OFF-ROAD MACHINES is coming up next in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
UNIQUE SIDE-BY-SIDE and UTV OFF-ROAD MACHINES
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
If you’ve been itching to see what the fuss about the side-by-side (SxS) is, there’s never been a better time. Their popularity has leaped with no surprise thanks to their toughness, versatility, and smile-inducing handling. They’re also useful tools that are at home in many applications. If you’re curious about the SxS phenomenon for work or play, this buyer’s guide will help you navigate the path to getting the model that makes the most sense for you.
There’s a load of things to consider when shopping for a SxS or UTV. Between models, options, purpose, pricing, and financing options, it can be easy to get stuck in the decision mud. Thankfully, this buyer’s guide will get you moving by helping you choose the right model for your lifestyle and needs, show you which options are right for you, and, most importantly, how to find the most affordable payment option for your budget. Let’s get you on the trail!
WHAT IS A SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE (SXS) OR UTV?
A side-by-side vehicle (SxS) or utility task vehicle (UTV) is a four- to six-wheeled off-road vehicle with side-by-side bucket seats—hence their name—and a steering wheel much like you’d see in a car. They also pack many features you’ll see in a car like seatbelts, foot gas and brake pedals, and roll bars or cages. Their rough-and-tumble capabilities make them popular as recreational off-road vehicles, but they’ve become more and more useful as work vehicles to those living in rural areas or on farms, where hauling and towing are a daily job. Basically, with a variety of models and options, it’s possible to find a SxS that’ll do almost whatever you throw at it.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER A SXS OR UTV?
SxSs sit in a sweet spot between a traditional ATV and a full-sized vehicle like a truck. While being just as quick and nimble as an ATV, a SxS can carry more, have more power, and is far more durable than a conventional truck. They can handle tough days with no scratched paint, broken glass or dented panels to lose sleep over. With a lower center of gravity, these vehicles have unrivalled maneuverability in challenging off-road settings.
SIDE-BY-SIDE OR ATV? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
An all-terrain vehicle (ATV), also known as four-wheeler or quad, is an off-road vehicle with straddle seating and handlebar steering much like a motorcycle. Many comfortable two-person ATV models are out there, but most work best for a single rider. On the other hand, SxSs or UTVs are designed to carry more people—at least two passengers and up to six—and are controlled by a steering wheel and gas and brake pedals as opposed to handlebars. SxSs have a bigger payload capacity than ATVs, meaning they can tow larger loads for those wanting to tow equipment around the ranch or farm.
WHAT TYPE OF SXS OR UTV IS BEST FOR ME?
The best place to start is to decide what your needs are. When deciding between an ATV, SxS or UTV, keep in mind that one isn’t necessarily better than the other, and when it comes to different riding conditions, activities and job-site requirements, each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
A SxS or UTV will be best for you if you’re a less experienced rider who will be more comfortable with familiar car-like operating controls, prefer a less physically demanding style of riding required by an ATV, want to carry passengers, or for whom safety is a top priority and would like seatbelts and a roll cage. Due to their design and lower center of gravity, SxSs are also more stable and easier to control than a typical ATV.
WHAT TYPES OF SIDE-BY-SIDES AND UTVS ARE OUT THERE?
Most SxSs or UTVs can be divided into these main categories:
These are performance-first vehicles with power, suspension and handling designed to be quick. Their race-proven power makes them much speedier than their Utility cousins, and riders enjoy modifying them with endless accessory options.
Designed for farm work and commercial-related applications, these vehicles have amazing towing and hauling capability. They’re also a generally versatile vehicle for navigating large areas of rough land.
The all-purpose member of the SxS family, these are ready for adventurous trail-riding, mudding or hunting. They offer a great balance between work and play.
These are the fastest-growing category in the SxS market for good reason. With powerful engines for maximum horsepower, innovative suspension setups, and excellent traction systems.
Craving desert and dune riding? Look for high suspensions t hat are built for rock crawling and with up to 24 in. (61 cm) of suspension travel, it’s the ultimate factory rock-crawling side-by-side vehicle for leaving rivals at the bottom of the hill.
These are the fastest-growing category in the SxS market for good reason. With powerful engines for maximum horsepower, innovative suspension setups, and excellent traction systems, there are Can-Am models of Sport SxSs that are designed for any condition on your adventure menu.
With key features like great towing capacity, large cargo boxes for maximum storage space, and winches, this workhorse category is where it all started. These are designed to work hard with higher payload and towing capacities. Some feature 3-person wide bench seating in both the front and rear to carry up to six people and can often accommodate all sorts of additional equipment, from completely enclosed cabs with glass windows, heating and air conditioning, to snow plows.
They fit in the sweet spot; the Can-Am Defender is a prime example of an SxS that is not classed as a commercial UTV but it boasts an industry-leading 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) towing rating and is used by owners to work long days on their land, but functions as a recreational vehicle on days off.
Primarily used for hunting, trail-riding and family activities. Ground clearance is vital in trail-riding, and recreational SxSs have it in spades, making handling deep mud or rocky uneven terrain a cinch.
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO SPEND FOR A SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV?
As we’ve already seen, SxSs and UTVs vary widely in size, capabilities and features. Accordingly, the price varies with these as well with full-size side-by-side vehicles generally costing anywhere between $10,000 and $32,000 (USD). The most significant factors that determine how much a SxS costs are its engine size, suspension, features and accessories.
Financing can be a great option to consider when purchasing a side-by-side vehicle. With manufacturers like Can-Am offering low interest rates and other incentives, you may find financing is a more affordable option to consider. Financing not only makes the ownership experience affordable to more people, it gives you the opportunity to upgrade to a more powerful SxS that’s decked out in lots of useful features.
As you’ve seen, there are about as many SxS and UTV options and configurations as there are trails to ride them. You won’t go wrong by doing your homework and beginning by carefully considering your needs. There’s a SxS available that’ll check all your boxes and get the job done, whether it’s for trail riding, utility and hunting, or recreation and performance. But you’re an outdoors enthusiast, so we don’t need to tell you about preparation.
Keep reading… PRACTICAL DEFINITIONS OF AN ATV AND A SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE/UTV is coming up next in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
PRACTICAL DEFINITIONS OF AN ATV AND A SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE/UTV
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
Starting off with clear definitions of each vehicle is the best way to get things rolling.
WHAT IS AN ATV?
“ATV” is short for all-terrain vehicle. Designed for going off-road, ATVs, also known as “quads” or “four wheelers”, typically have four wheels, a straddle seating position and handlebars for steering. Rough paths, narrow trails, deep mud and steep inclines are usual terrain for many ATV riders. These vehicles are built to handle it all with low-pressure tires, tough suspension, the ability to maneuver through tight turns and increase to high speeds. ATVs have proven very useful in both work and recreational environments. They are capable of towing big loads for heavy-duty farm work and provide all the thrills you might expect when you let loose with it in nature. These versatile vehicles are available in a variety of models and can be customized to your liking.
WHAT IS A SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE OR UTV?
A side-by-side vehicle (SxS) is an off-road vehicle recognized by its 4-to-6 wheel design, its unique side-by-side bucket seat set-up (hence its name), and its steering-wheel and foot-pedal driving system. It often comes with similar features to a car like a roll bar or cage, and wind protection that creates an enclosed look. Designed with a sturdy protective exterior, these vehicles are a top choice for recreational adventuring outdoors; however, they have proven to be equally dependable when on the job. That’s why they’re also referred to as UTVs (utility task vehicles), which are technically designed for accomplishing work tasks. Today, farmers, ranchers and hunters make the most of a side-by-side’s ability to haul big loads and carry impressive amounts of cargo from one destination to the next.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF AN ATV?
ATVs and SxS/UTVs both offer incredible value. Here are the main benefits that an ATV may have compared to a side-by-side vehicle.
Compared to a SxS/UTV, an ATV is much more maneuverable due to its small size and ability to make nimble movements. With most of the models no bigger than 50 inches wide, they are the perfect vehicle to face narrow spaces and extremely tight turns often found on off-road trails. If you expect to adventure through dense forests, a quad is your best pick.
When on a budget, an ATV is the right choice. At its most basic level, a SxS/UTV is more costly due to the safety features included in its design. Plus, when it comes to customizing the side-by-side vehicle, the variety of modifications possible—such as audio system and LED lighting—increases the price tag significantly.
The beauty of an ATV is that it’s small enough to bring along with you, anywhere you go. No need for large trailers, here! You can effortlessly set it up in the bed of a pickup truck and store it away just as easily.
Light as a feather
In terms of weight, an ATV is lighter than a SxS/UTV. This makes all the difference when it comes to the type of turf you plan on riding on. If you’re riding on a strong turf, both vehicles run great. But when it comes to soft turf, you’ll maybe want to have a vehicle like an ATV, which has a little bit less of an impact on the terrain below it.
An ATV’s size and design make it easy to hop on and off. This is super handy when it comes to doing tasks that require you to stop and go often. Compared to a SxS/UTV, where you need to set yourself up before rolling out, a four-wheeler takes no time to get on and get moving.
In short, if you want a ride that’s active and affordable, that can be enjoyed solo, and that is versatile enough for a variety of terrain and activities, an ATV is your answer.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF A SXS/UTV?
Now let’s bring out the main benefits of side-by-side vehicles and UTVs.
Cargo and storage space are a big advantage for side-by-side vehicles. Though an ATV can also carry its share of a load, SxS/UTVs are designed with compartments all over the vehicle, such as under the seats and in the cargo bed. That’s even before all of the modifications you can add to the vehicle to create extra storage space.
Room for friends and family
Compared to an ATV’s one-to-two seating capacity, SxS/UTVs are designed to have more people along for the ride. With its side-by-side seating, it allows for two to three passengers at the front, and depending on the model, a couple more in the back thanks to a second row of seats.
Due to its large size and bigger engine, side-by-side vehicles have a heavier payload capacity, which allows these rides to carry not only more equipment, but bigger and heavier ones as well. Depending on your use of the vehicle, having a ride like the Can-Am Defender that has a towing rating of 3,000 lb can be a game changer.
If you plan on making modifications to your off-road vehicle, the side-by-side vehicle is the way to go. Not only does its design make it easy to add on more accessories, but there is much more of a selection of customizations available for this type of vehicle. Many SxS/UTV riders spend a great deal of cash on ways to personalize their ride and enhance its performance to their liking.
If you have safety at the top of mind, then a SxS/UTV is what you want. Compared to an ATV’s open design, side-by-side vehicles are more closed with a barrier. SxS/UTV are also commonly known to have features like a roll cage, seat belts and windscreen that protect riders and passengers from the elements. Plus, you can add on many more safety customizations that match your comfort level.
A SxS/UTV’s car-like design and driving controls make it a comfortable choice that caters to all riders, no matter the skill set or body capability. Quads, on the other hand, are more physically demanding to drive and require a lot of balance to control the vehicle. If comfort is an issue for you, then it’s a side-by-side vehicle all the way.
Basically, if you’re looking to have a vehicle that you can personalize, with which you can explore the outdoors comfortably and safely, and that allows you to bring along as much equipment or passengers as you want, a SxS/UTV is made for you like our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
ATV VS SXS/UTV: THE BEST RIDE FOR EACH USE
Now that you know the definition of an ATV and side-by-side vehicle and understand the main benefits that set them apart, let’s figure out which of these off-road vehicles is best for certain uses. Is an ATV better than a SxS/UTV for hunting? For family riding? Here is what we think!
ATVs and side-by-side vehicles are both useful hunting vehicles for different reasons. It all depends on the terrain and the type of hunting you expect to be doing. If you’re planning on hunting in areas with dense timber and brush or that require passing through unpredictable terrain, a four-wheeler is your ride of choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking to hunt big game with a group of people and need to lug around equipment, a SxS/UTV is much more suitable.
There is always use for an off-road vehicle on a farm. An ATV and SxS/UTV are great utility options for this type of work environment. But depending on the situation, one proves to be more practical than the other. For example, if you need to carry along large cargo, haul equipment or tow heavy loads like trailers, a side-by-side vehicle is definitely the way to go. If your idea of farm work is moving around from one job to the next with minimal cargo in tow, a quad will do the job nicely.
If you plan on taking an off-road ride with family or a group of friends, a side-by-side vehicle is what you want to aim for. Its ability to carry up to six passengers and multiple safety features not only makes it an optimal choice, but a safe one too. Even older adults can join in on the fun! SxS/UTVs definitely make it possible to share outdoor adventures with others.
Both vehicles are designed to ride off the beaten path, so trail riding is no issue. It just depends on what kind of trail you expect to ride on. If hard-to-reach areas with narrow gates and obstacles are more up your alley, then an ATV would be best. If you’re into adventuring in the wild more comfortably with equipment and any other objects you might need, you’ll find that a side-by-side vehicle is better suited to your needs.
Plowing snow and winter riding
No matter what vehicle you decide to get, you’ll want to go out into the snow much more often. Both ATVs and SxS/UTVs are awesome tools to use in the winter season. They’re fun and powerful, have great traction and definitely get jobs done. If you’re not a fan of the cold, a side-by-side vehicle like the Can-Am Defender Limited may be more your style, as its cab enclosure can shelter you from frigid wind and snow. If you don’t mind the outdoor elements one bit, then an four-wheeler will do you just fine. Learn how to choose the best ATV or SxS/UTV for plowing snow and winter riding.
Dune riding and rock crawling
If you want to feel the thrill by riding in some deserts or rocky hills, you’ll want an off-road vehicle that can handle it. Side-by-side sports models are designed for these types of terrain as they have powerful engines and innovative suspension.
It’s plain to see that ATVs and SxS/UTVs can be designed and customized to the activity and environment you have in mind. There are definitely plenty of models and accessories to do so. Some vehicles specialize in both work and play, so you can get the best of both worlds!
ATV VS SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV? ONLY YOU HAVE THE ANSWER!
When debating whether to get an ATV or a SxS/UTV, know that they’re both great vehicles to have. They each have their own pros and cons depending on a variety of factors like environment, activities and logistics. So at the end of the day, it’s all up to you. Your ride, your decision. Many people decide to own them both, which covers all of their bases. There’s no harm in skipping the decision process and doing the same!
Keep reading…PREP FOR SEVERE WINTER & SNOW is coming up next in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
PREP FOR SEVERE WINTER & SNOW
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
To paraphrase an old saying: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad tires. There’s a reason they’re called all-terrain vehicles, and there’s a strong case for calling them all-season vehicles. Designed for all types of terrain, from mud to sand and rocks, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles (SxS) are also conquerors of everything winter can throw at them. With a little preparation, your off-road vehicle can become a master of deep snow and severe winter conditions and can even help keep you warm during those cold days on the trail.
In this article, we’ll remind you why your ATV or SxS is an indispensable tool for plowing and other winter tasks, as well as a super fun cold weather recreational vehicle.
WHY YOUR ATV OR SXS IS PERFECT FOR WINTER
Whether it’s weekend trail adventures with the family, hunting trips with friends, or hard work on the farm, your ATV or SxS gives you a ton of fun and utility. So why not take advantage of your vehicle all year round and enjoy it just as much in the winter? Your vehicle takes on all sorts of deep sand and mud, and snow is no different. An off-road vehicle can be extremely useful in winter to easily remove snow in your driveway, and once neighbors see what you’re up to, you might even become the most popular person in your neighborhood. Work quickly turns to fun when the job’s done since snow-covered trails make for some pretty epic days. The key is preparing your vehicle well and having the right equipment that’ll help you enjoy winter. Think of the extra time you get to spend on your favourite ATV or SxS instead of letting it hibernate in your garage.
USING YOUR ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV AS A PLOW
Shovelling and clearing snow isn’t exactly everyone’s favourite pastime. But when you’ve go the right tools, it can certainly become much easier. It’s also a bit of a secret in the off-road vehicle world that it can actually get downright fun. We can’t promise anything, but you might start getting neighbors knocking at your door, presenting gifts or promising favors in return for a hand with their snow clearing.
Attaching a plow to your ATV or SxS makes clearing large volumes of snow much quicker and easier than other methods, and the nimble maneuverability of these vehicles enables them to get into tight spots where larger plowing vehicles could never fit. With terrific traction and ample power, clearing even the deepest snow gets much easier. In fact, many people who live in places where winters are more severe purchase these vehicles expressly for this purpose.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A ATV OR SXS FOR PLOWING SNOW
Let’s take a look at some of the features and accessories that’ll make plowing snow easy with your off-road vehicle:
Four-wheel drive (4WD) system
Arguably the most important feature. Obviously, snow and ice are slippery and affect traction, making it trickier to maneuver. There’s nothing more frustrating than spinning your tires in half a foot of sticky snow because of traction issues, but with 4WD that’s not an issue. Basically, the deeper the snow gets where you live, the more important four-wheel drive is and it’s a game-changer in terms of winter traction.
It’s especially important to have an ATV or SxS with ample torque if you are going to be plowing significant amounts of snow. The general rule is the more engine power the better, but that doesn’t mean a smaller, less powerful engine can’t cope. In fact, they can handle big plowing jobs, but it’ll take more time and they’ll just need several passes to get a clean surface.
It’s cold out there and plowing can often mean throwing on all manner of coats, boots, gloves, etc. But what if you could make it a little bit more toasty? Off-road vehicles have loads of cold weather options like a closed cab with heating and defrosted windows in the case of side-by-side vehicles like the Can-Am Defender PRO, and some ATVs have heated grips to keep your hands warm. Doesn’t that sound comfy?
Snow is heavy and plowing can really test a machine’s limits. Many off-road vehicles have an increased risk of failure if plowing snow for extended amounts of time, so you should be looking for utility models that can really withstand many hours of plowing without giving up. Fortunately, Can-Am vehicles are robustly designed with the best possible materials and have a proven ability cope to with any task, and are depended on worldwide in tough day-to-day work situations.
If your ATV or side-by-side vehicle contains these four elements, you’ll be ready to tackle winter and plow snow free from trouble thanks to the information from our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE PLOWING SNOW?
Ok, so you know what to look for in a hardworking winter machine, but how should you prepare before doing any plowing?
Maintenance and preparation
Nobody wants to be fixing their vehicle in the howling wind and snow. Before setting foot outside, or before the temperatures dip, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and in optimal running condition. Change the oil, check electrical wiring, and ensure all elements are debris-free and working properly on your ATV or SxS. Double check your tire pressure and inspect the tread for excessive wear. If your machine is liquid-cooled, it’s super important to inspect your cooling fluid levels since plowing snow is demanding on an engine and can cause it to heat up fast.
Check the depth and angle of your plow
It’s vital to set the plow depth deep enough to clear the snow, but high enough to avoid scraping the surface underneath. Scraping can not only damage paved surfaces, but creates more work for your vehicle, potentially overloading its capabilities. Plow depth can vary for different surfaces and with varying depths of snow, so it should be something you do before every job. The proper angle of the plow depends on the driveway, surface that is being plowed, and where you want the snow to end up. Getting the angle set right will mean fewer passes and will make the plowing effort much easier and cleaner.
Clean up your vehicle after the job’s done
It’s important to clean all of the dirt and snow off your ATV or side-by-side vehicle and plow blade after plowing. Failing to remove the snow, ice and dirt clumps while they’re fresh can mean a frozen, rock-hard mess later. A clean plow blade sheds snow easier and is necessary for a good job. Not to mention salt, which can wreak havoc on the plow and vehicle surfaces very quickly. Avoid corrosion and clean your plow and vehicle after every use.
Remember that clearing snow is a big job not only for you, but for your vehicle as well. It can be one of the most demanding things you ask of your ATV or SxS, and that’s why preparing it and taking the time to clean it is going to minimize the impact and extend the life of your vehicle.
WINTER FUN ON YOUR ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE
It’s time to stop thinking about your ATV or SxS as a purely fair-weather fun machine. Winter presents all sorts of recreational opportunities when you’ve got an off-road vehicle that’s ready for cold weather challenges. Besides being super floaty and fun, snow makes everything seem new and fresh—even those old trails you’ve been down countless times. Winter is also the perfect opportunity to improve your off-road skills with slipperier conditions that can be perfect for learning drifting, loose surface climbing, and more. Winter offers a unique trail riding experience that shouldn’t be missed and, as long as you do it safely, can provide some pretty epic moments.
But you need to prepare your ATV and SxS for winter, and certain terrains can be a challenge if your vehicle isn’t equipped with the right gear. A snow track system for your vehicle is a massive upgrade, turning it essentially into a completely new kind of ride and provides it the traction and flotation your vehicle needs to perform.
As we saw above, your vehicle is likely already pretty well equipped to handle winter, and some upgrades can make it better and more comfy in the cold months. But some off road vehicles are born with winter DNA, like the Can-Am Outlander North Edition, which comes with a windshield, heated grips and visor outlet, factory-installed winch, and extra-low gearing ideal for plowing.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR ATV OR SXS FOR WINTER RIDING?
Before stepping out into the cold, you obviously need to bundle up with warm clothing and protective gear, but what else should you do to get your vehicle ready for winter riding? Aside from your routine maintenance, here are some things to consider:
Add fuel stabilizer
Moisture in the tank or fuel lines is bad news for your vehicle. This is a common issue in the cold because as temperatures swing, water in the form of condensation can form inside the tank. Water or moisture in your fuel will prevent the engine from starting, and water can freeze in your fuel lines and prevent gas from getting to the engine, causing your vehicle’s engine to struggle or not even start at all. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening and keep your gas fresh and your engine running smoothly.
Change your spark plugs
Fresh spark plugs keep your engine running and idling smoothly, and make cold engines snap to life in the winter. While you don’t need to change them every year, winter can be a good time to do it, especially since you don’t want any surprises when the temperature drops.
Clean your air filter
After months of dusty summer riding, it’s normal for your air filter to be clogged with debris. When the snow’s flying on the trail and gets sucked into the engine, it’ll turn into water, and water plus dust equals — you guessed it — mud. A mud-clogged filter will suffocate your engine from the air flow it needs to stay running smoothly. Prior to winter, a quick blow out of the filter is all it takes and will save you a huge headache later. Just like spark plugs, this can also be a good time to swap out your filter for a new one if you haven’t done that in a while.
Keep your oil fresh
Oil keeps your vehicle running smoothly, and rough starts, and a drop in power usually is a sign that your oil needs a topping up or a change. If you already do regular oil changes, then you’re probably fine as long as you make sure the oil level is good, and you’ve been changing the oil filter regularly. Again, if you need a reminder to do it, make it part of a yearly maintenance ritual along with your plugs and air filter.
ESSENTIAL ATV & SXS/UTV WINTER ACCESSORIES
Winter riding requires a little more gear and accessories than other seasons to keep you safe and warm while out plowing or hitting the trail. It’s vital you and your vehicle are protected in case of anything that can go wrong, so being well prepared is the key. Another great accessory to read each year is the Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide!
TRACK SYSTEMS FOR ATV & SXS/UTV
As we said before, a track kit can transform your ATV or SxS into a completely new vehicle. These kits replace your tires with a track system resembling those found on snowmobiles and offer incredible performance in deep snow and rough terrain. They’ll outperform pretty much any tire in those conditions and can make the impossible possible. Normally with tires, you’d avoid snow deeper than your vehicle’s ground clearance since digging in will leave you stuck, but tracks give you the ability to float on deeper snow and make winter conditions a breeze. The improved traction also makes towing and plowing jobs much easier, and tracks can make hauling in slippery conditions easy, even up steep hills.
PLOWS FOR ATV & SXS/UTV
If you’re interested in using your off-road vehicle for snow removal, a plow is an obvious must. There are seemingly endless options on the market with some using the existing winch mechanism to lift the plow blade. Taking the time to find the compatible system is important, and Can-Am makes it easy with their ProMount plow system. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start plowing and you’ll be certain it’s compatible with your vehicle.
CAB ENCLOSURES FOR SIDE-BY-SIDE VEHICLE/UTV
Staying warm and comfortable is obviously one of the biggest keys to off-road winter fun. Choosing water- and wind-proof clothing is essential, but there are some accessories that can make your vehicle a warm and toasty shelter from the cold. A cab enclosure for your SxS/UTV is a terrific way to shield you and your passengers from the elements, and can make it possible to spend entire days out on the trail in even the coldest months. Some Can-Am models like the Defender Limited and the Defender PRO Limited have a temperature control system included, which allows heating in the vehicle.
HEATED ACCESSORIES FOR ATV & SXS/UTV
Other accessories can also be very useful if you are looking for more comfort in cold weather. Some ATV and SxS models offer heated seats, which can be your best friends on long cold rides. If it’s your hands that need some love, then Can-Am offers the possibility of adding a Heated Steering Wheel to your side-by-side or Heated Grips to your ATV. These accessories are just as amazing as they sound and you might thank yourself each and every time you switch them on.
They are true day extenders, and most heated grips and seats are relatively simple to install, fit a a variety of models and come with wire harnesses that make them essentially a one-step install. If you’re out in freezing temperatures, these can help keep your fingers from losing dexterity and give you a more safe and comfortable ride.
TIME TO ENJOY THE SNOW!
If you’ve never experienced winter off-roading, then some preparation and accessories can turn your summer trails into a winter wonderland and your snow clearing chores into a secretly fun task. There’s a world of track kits, plows, and accessories that’ll transform your off-road vehicle into an all-season, do-it-all machine. Perhaps you’ll make hibernating a thing of the past.
Keep reading…HUNTING, TRACKING, HARVESTING… WE GOT YOU is coming up next in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
HUNTING, TRACKING, HARVESTING… WE GOT YOU!
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
Hunting is one of the most ancient and beloved pastimes in the world. For outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists, the tracking, hunting and harvesting of prey offers an incredible connection to nature and one’s self-sufficiency.
While hunting is as old as humans are, the inclusion of off-road vehicles is only recent. Much like horses did in the past, ATVs and side-by-sides (SxS or UTV) allow hunters to cover larger areas and bring along more gear and supplies than they could ever manage on foot, allowing them to reach remoter locations and bring back larger prey to camp or home.
Here, we’ll help you decide which ATV or SxS/UTV is best for your hunting adventures, what you should be aware of while shopping, and what you need to consider before expanding your hunting universe with an off-road vehicle.
WHY CHOOSE AN ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV FOR HUNTING? You are in good hands with our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
There are seemingly endless choices when it comes to ATVs and side-by-side vehicles, with uses ranging from recreation to hard-working utility models. People in every corner of the world use ATVs as their primary source of outdoor recreation or even transportation, whether it’s speeding along dunes, conquering forest trails, or trekking in deep mud. Farmers find dependable companions in off-road vehicles, using them to haul feed and cargo and easily get around large swaths of property. Construction and landscape professionals use them to haul and tow materials and plants. Of course, most of the functions you find on these types of ATVs and side-by-sides translate perfectly to hunting in a couple of big ways:
Access to hard-to-reach places
Hunting often demands covering great distances, and ATVs and SxSs are suited for rolling over whatever you may come across while out in the wilderness. With great fuel economy, these vehicles can travel far on a tank of fuel, letting hunters easily get to where their prey is.
Carrying hunting gear
A day out on the hunt can require lots of gear and equipment. Whether it’s supplies, camping gear or food, an ATV or SxS/UTV will carry a lot when outfitted with cargo beds or racks. Towing a trailer boosts carrying capacity even more. For big-game hunters, a capable off-road vehicle is a game changer, allowing them to haul a prize deer, elk or large wild hog out of the bush and back to their truck.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN BUYING AN ATV OR SXS/UTV FOR HUNTING
WHERE ARE YOU HUNTING?
You’ll want to begin by thinking about where you’ll take your off-road vehicle. While pretty much any ATV or SxS/UTV can handle compact dirt, you might need a more robust setup to safely take on deeper and looser surfaces such as sand or mud. Really challenging terrain might mean you’d like lots of ground clearance, a winch and aggressive tires like those found on the mud-specialized Can-Am Defender X mr. Keep in mind there are loads of accessories to choose from to tailor your off-road vehicle to your needs, so if a ready-made model isn’t exactly what you need, you can easily make it perfect. If you’ll be hitting trails with width restrictions, you might want to look at more compact vehicles to be able to explore those areas.
COLOURS AND ACCESSORIES
Recreational riders sometimes enjoy a bit of flash and bright colours on their ATV or side-by-side; but when it comes to hunting, you’ll probably want something a lot more subtle. Look for neutral-coloured vehicles in earth tones like olive greens, greys or blacks to better match surroundings. Some Can-Am models, like the Outlander ATV or Defender side-by-side are offered in exclusive patterns such as Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo. Also, specific accessories can dramatically improve your time on the trail. Some vehicles are already designed for hunting with accessories that enhance the experience for a hunter, and we’ll be sure to get into specifics about these essential accessories later.
ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV: WHICH IS BEST FOR HUNTING?
While hunters are known to enjoy both ATVs and SxSs as trusty companions on their adventures, choosing which type of vehicle is best for you can be a tough call. Both offer tremendous benefits to the hunter, so it really comes down to your own needs and wants. Let us help you narrow it down.
CARGO AND STORAGE: SXS/UTV
When comparing ATVs and side-by-sides for hunting, the latter comes out on top when it comes to storage. While a four-wheeler like the Can-Am Outlander can certainly carry its fair share with multifunction racks and a bevy of attachable accessories, an SxS—much like a car or truck—has storage in countless places, like under the seats, in the cargo bed and in other pockets and nooks all over the vehicle. For example, just the cargo box on a Can-Am Defender side-by-side will carry up to a 1,000 pounds. Add to that a waterproof toolbox, dash and under-dash storage, and a lower box… you see our point. This means you have loads of places to store hunting, camping, and survival gear, not to mention the ability to haul home hides, racks, and meat.
ATVs, meanwhile, have far more limited storage, with rear and front racks to hold around 300 pounds combined. While this might be plenty for some, hunters after big game tend to go for a SxS when it comes to storage. That said, the mighty Can-Am Outlander MAX 6×6 DPS is an exception with its ability to carry up to 700 pounds in its racks.
When it comes to maneuverability, it’s the ATV’s turn to shine. If the side-by-side wins on cargo capacity, the ATV is far more nimble than its bigger, wider cousin. With most ATVs being no wider than 50 inches, you can squeeze through gaps where larger vehicles fear to tread, while also being able to fit in the bed of a truck for easier long-distance transport.
Basically, the capabilities of a 4WD or 6WD SxS make it ideal for wider open country, while ATVs dominate in the deep woods and tight spaces. With a smoother suspension, the SxS is appreciated over longer roads especially with the comfort of traditional seats. Overall, when it comes to hunting, the choice between the two is comfort versus agility.
PASSENGER CAPACITY: SXS/UTV
Since ATVs are generally one-seaters, they have limited passenger-carrying capability than an SxS which can comfortably sit three adults. If your hunting trips include friends or family members, then a side-by-side might be a better choice. Some SxS vehicles can transport up to six people, allowing you to bring along a sizeable hunting party. The Can-Am Defender MAX XT is one of many models from our 4-seater and 6-seater side-by-side lineup that is perfect to bring your crew to your hunting trip.
A larger 2-up ATV can accommodate a second passenger, and some are designed with a good deal of passenger comfort in mind.
One of the big differences in comparing ATVs and side-by-side vehicles is cost. All that increased storage, size and comfort come at a price; it’s a much larger vehicle after all. Comparable base models, such as the 2021 Can-Am Outlander 450/570 ATV and 2021 Can-Am Defender SxS, come in at about US$6,299 and US$10,399 respectively. As you can see, if cost is a concern, then the ATV comes out ahead in that regard.
Don’t forget that financing makes vehicles more affordable than you think, with manufacturers like Can-Am offering low interest rates and other incentives. Financing makes ownership more affordable to more people and gives you the opportunity to get the vehicle that best suits your hunting needs, rather than being bound by cost. It’s also a great way to afford the accessories and add-ons that really dial in your vehicle and tailor it to your style of hunting.
The long and short of it is that both ATVs and SxSs make outstanding hunting rigs and will open enormous possibilities for your adventures. It’s just a matter of figuring out which style of vehicle matches your set of criteria.
WHAT ARE THE BEST HUNTING ACCESSORIES FOR ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV?
As we’ve seen, both ATVs and SxSs have their own advantages when it comes to hunting, but it’s in the accessories where the fun really begins. Outfitting your off-road vehicle with accessories and add-ons tailored to your needs is how it transforms into an all-out hunting machine. The selection of quality off-road accessories offered is almost endless, so let’s take a look at which ones might be especially useful for hunting.
GUN/BOW RACKS AND HOLDERS
A top priority when hunting is the safe and legal transportation of your firearm or bow. Thankfully, Can-Am has a complete assortment of gun racks as well as gun holders and boots that integrate seamlessly with its ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. A gun boot, such as the Gun Boot 6.0 Impact by Kolpin, is a great example of a fully enclosed storage solution that keeps your gun safe until it’s time to put it to use. Again, the type of accessory you choose will depend on the type of firearm or bow you use on your hunt and your vehicle.
Many experienced hunters will tell you that the most important accessory you can attach to your ATV or side-by-side is a winch. A winch is indispensable to get you out of tough situations when travelling over rough terrain or soft surfaces like mud, snow or sand. When that moment arrives and you finally get stuck, a winch will undoubtedly save the day. A winch is also great for hoisting large, heavy animals to dress them in the field, making it easier to bring home the spoils of your hunt. In fact, most Can-Am Outlander or Defender series vehicles come with a factory-installed winch with a 3,500 lb capacity.
If you’re planning to carry heavy loads aboard your SxS, a headache rack is a must. A heavy load can easily slide forward, and a headache rack protects the cab and occupants. An excellent example is the Deluxe Headache rack for the Defender, which is also compatible with the Gear Rail for attaching a multitude of other hunting accessories to your vehicle.
A successful hunt can often depend on having the right gear. The more you can bring along, the better prepared you’ll be for your hunt. Extra storage makes it easier to carry essentials, with this being especially true with ATVs. Storage boxes and bags such as the LinQ Premium Storage Bag by Ogio improve your storage capacity and fit in the bed of ATVs. The LinQ 8 gal (30 L) Cooler Box can make hunts all the more enjoyable by keeping your food and drinks fresh all day long. Coolers are also indispensable when transporting meat back from the field.
IT’S HUNTING TIME
Whether you go for an ATV or SxS, both types of off-road vehicles will take your hunting to the next level. Whether it’s covering greater distances, accessing hard-to-reach areas, transporting more gear and companions, or bringing home more meat from the hunt, you’ll find these vehicles indispensable. With an endless array of accessories to outfit your vehicle for exactly your needs, it’ll surely become your most trusted hunting companion.
Keep reading…THE FARM’S MOST VERSATILE AND POWERFUL TOOL is coming up next in our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide.
THE FARM’S MOST VERSATILE AND POWERFUL TOOL.
Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide
Farming is serious business and requires quality dependable tools. With no time to waste, equipment needs to work right every time, and hard-working off-road farm vehicles like ATVs and side-by-sides (SxS/UTV) are no exception. With their cargo capacity, engine reliability and towing performance, these vehicles are indispensable tools. So what should a farmer look for in a vehicle of this type? Let’s have a look at the important factors anyone working in agriculture should consider when buying an off-road vehicle to work alongside them.
WHY CHOOSE AN ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV FOR FARM WORK?
Farming in the modern age doesn’t resemble its ancestral roots in many ways. You’d be hard-pressed to see a team of oxen pulling a plow today, and much more likely to see large powerful tractors and machinery doing the big work. But what about the everyday tasks like hauling equipment and feed around and towing fence posts to a far corner of the field? It’s in these jobs that ATVs and SxSs/UTVs are the true task masters. Able to accomplish an astonishing variety of jobs, they see constant use in farm settings. Let’s take a look at features in these off-road vehicles that are essential for modern farm work.
TRANSPORTING SUPPLIES AROUND THE PROPERTY
Probably the biggest help an ATV or side-by-side/UTV can be around a farm is in quickly and easily moving supplies around the property. A large off-road vehicle can easily carry hundreds of pounds of supplies day after day and simplifies an enormous amount of hauling jobs around the farm. Between trailers, racks and beds, off-road vehicles have plenty of options for carrying loads and are a huge time and fuel saver by allowing you to skip firing up a large tractor.
PLOWING AND TILLING THE FARM’S LAND
By adding a chisel or disc plow attachment to the back of a capable off-road vehicle, your ATV or side-by-side becomes a miniature tractor. When a larger piece of machinery is either too large to fit in a space, or simply overkill, this mini tractor setup can be a handy tool for both crops and landscaping.
CARRYING FIREWOOD TO THE FARM
Harvesting and transporting firewood is often a big task on most farms, and many farmers will tell you it can be downright impossible to get a large piece of machinery into dense woods. That’s when ATVs and SxSs/UTVs come to the rescue: by getting through tight, rough terrain, they can easily haul load after load of firewood to where you need it.
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE
ATVs and side-by-side vehicles are a veritable Swiss Army knife when it comes to tasks, jobs and projects around the farm. With accessories and add-ons, their potential is seemingly endless with jobs like spreading grass seeds, raking leaves, debris or gravel, or hauling building materials around the property.
ATV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE/UTV: WHICH IS BEST FOR FARM WORK?
By now it’s obvious that these types of off-road vehicles are dependable daily tools in an agricultural context, and many farmers will tell you they’ve redefined their day-to-day jobs. But choosing whether an ATV or SxS is best for your farm is a tougher call. Both are excellent farming rigs, no doubt, but examining your personal needs and circumstances will help you pick the perfect vehicle for your farm. Let’s begin by comparing their advantages.
CARGO AND HAULING CAPACITY: SXS/UTV
When it comes to an ATV vs. SxS/UTV on the farm, the superior storage of the side-by-side is a significant advantage. While a quad model such as the Can-Am Outlander offers outstanding storage with its high-strength multifunction racks with LinQ™ quick-attach accessory system, side-by-sides have that much more space with their cargo bed, under-seat alcoves and other nooks and crannies. The cargo box on a Can-Am Defender PRO DPS measures 72 x 54.5 x 10 inches and will hold up to 1,000 pounds. And that’s just the box. It also has a 94-gallon (356-liter) storage capacity, with dash, under-dash and lower-box storage as well as a removable water-resistant toolbox. This gives it the versatile ability to carry all manner of supplies, whether it’s a bed full of feed or boxes of tools and supplies in the cabin.
Storage on most ATV racks is more limited, with the rear rack able to hold around 200 pounds of gear and the front usually coming in around 100 pounds. There are exceptions.
SIZE AND MANOEUVRABILITY: ATV
While side-by-sides/UTVs win in storage, ATVs rule in maneuverability. If you anticipate navigating dense woods or other tight spaces, an ATV might be the tool you’d prefer with its ability to make tight turns. It’s also great to consider that an ATV can fit in the bed of a truck, making it easily transportable. A smaller frame vs. a SxS makes ATVs much easier to store as well.
PASSENGERS AND SAFETY: SXS/UTV
A side-by-side vehicle, like a car or truck, means the driver can have a passenger beside them, hence its name. If passengers are a regular part of your day-to-day team on the farm, a SxS like the Can-Am Defender can sit three adults, with the MAX version seating up to six. ATVs with their maximum configuration on the other hand, sit two adults at the most, much like a motorcycle. While passengers might not be a daily requirement, this capacity also expands the utility of your side-by-side vehicle to those rare days off when the entire family can pile into the vehicle for an adventure.
With regard to safety, SxSs/UTVs will also have the advantage because of their rollover safety enclosure with seat belts and side webbing.
We know that farms are tightly run financial ships, and one of the big differences in comparing ATVs and SxSs is cost. All that increased storage, size and comfort comes at a price; it’s a much larger vehicle after all. Comparable base models, such as the 2021 Can-Am Outlander 450/570 ATV and the 2021 Can-Am Defender side-by-side, come in at about US$6,299 and US$10,399 respectively.
Financing makes your off-road farm vehicle more affordable than you think, with manufacturers like Can-Am offering low interest rates and other incentives. Financing makes ownership more affordable to more people and gives you the opportunity to get the vehicle that best suits your farming needs, rather than being bound by cost. It’s also a great way to afford the accessories and add-ons that really equip your vehicle for the demands of your farm.
DAYS OFF: BOTH
On days off, the ATV and side-by-side have one thing in common: in addition to having excellent abilities to help with endless amounts of farm work, they can be used for recreational purposes to have fun on the trails.
The long and short of it is that both ATVs and side-by-sides/UTVs make outstanding farm utility vehicles and will both open enormous possibilities for what you can get done. It’s just a matter of figuring out which style of vehicle matches your needs.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT SPECS TO LOOK FOR IN AN ATV OR SXS/UTV FOR FARM USE? Our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide will help!
If you’re deciding between an ATV or a side-by-side/UTV for your farm, then there are a few of important things to check off your list: cargo capacity, towing performance and engine reliability.
Plainly and simply, cargo capacity is how much the bed of a SxS/UTV is capable of holding. It’s an important consideration when hauling stuff like gravel, manure or other supplies around the farm, and the larger the bed, the more useful it’ll be. Farming use demands a high amount of capacity for this reason, and your vehicle needs to be able to deal with both quantity and weight.
Towing is a common job on a farm, and a trailer makes your ATV or SxS a highly capable puller. With HD8 and HD10 engines, Can-Am Defender side-by-sides can tow up to 2,500 lb (1,134 kg), and the Defender 6×6 boasts an industry-leading 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) towing rating. The Can-Am Outlander ATV is no slouch either, as it’s capable of hauling an impressive 1,650 lb (750 kg), another industry-leading capacity.
Farm work demands a quality engine that can take a beating. In comparison with other uses for ATVs and SxSs, farm work puts a lot of strain on a vehicle’s engine with day-in day-out hauling and towing—much more than recreational uses, naturally. Hardworking Rotax HD10, HD8 and HD5 engines are the perfect mix of fun and function for the Can-Am Defender family, and class-leading Rotax V-Twin engines with 91 hp (1000R), 78 hp (850) and 62 hp (650) make Can-Am Outlander ATVs an agricultural work beast.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ATV OR SXS/UTV ACCESSORIES FOR FARM USE?
As we’ve seen, both ATVs and SxSs have their own advantages when it comes to farming, but it’s in the accessories where the function really takes off. Outfitting your off-road vehicle with accessories and add-ons tailored to your needs is how it transforms into a do-everything farming machine. The selection of quality off-road accessories offered by Can-Am is almost endless, so let’s take a look at which ones might be especially useful for farming.
EXTRA PROTECTION AT THE FARM
The farm is a tough environment. Extra protection in the form of front and rear bumpers can get a lot of jobs done and extend the life of your vehicle. Front and Rear Bumpers for ATVs and SxSs to allow you to securely use your vehicle within cattle herds and guard the safety of both the vehicle and the animals, letting you do everything from gently prodding cattle to pushing a gate closed. A headache rack is a must since a heavy load can easily slide forward, and these racks protect the cab and occupants. An excellent example is the Deluxe Headache rack for the Defender.
EXTRA STORAGE FOR BIG JOBS
Multiple trips take time, and time means money on the farm. Plenty of storage is vital when moving large loads of gravel, feed, tools or hay. This is especially the case for an ATV, which has less space than a side-by-side vehicle. Accessory additions like the LinQ heavy-duty basket for your ATV allow you to greatly extend your cargo capacity. Storage accessories can also be very useful for a SxS/UTV to improve the bed capacity. Among other things, Bed Wall Extender for its Defender vehicles, which are foldable panels adjusted to full or half height to load the bed to the max.
A WINCH FOR TOUGH SITUATIONS
Many farmers will tell you that one of the most important accessories you can attach to your ATV or SxS is a winch. A winch is indispensable to get you out of tough situations when travelling over rough terrain or soft surfaces like mud, snow or sand. When that moment arrives and you finally get stuck, a winch will undoubtedly save the day. A winch is also great for hoisting large, heavy loads, or pulling and clearing debris.
READY TO WORK HARD ON THE FARM?
Whether your farm demands an ATV or SxS, both types of off-road vehicles will simplify many daily jobs. Whether it’s covering greater distances, accessing hard-to-reach areas, transporting feed, gear and workers, or hauling and towing big loads, you’ll find these vehicles indispensable. With an endless array of accessories to outfit your vehicle for exactly your farming needs, it’ll surely become your most trusted modern farming companion.
We hope you enjoyed our Total ATV/Quad/UTV/SxS/Four Wheeler Rider Guide! See all our other guides for great tips, review and so much more.