Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mule, Gator or Ranger?

"Been living last 6 years with two 4-wheelers-one (350 Bruin) work machine to spray and spread grass seed with, etc. One (550 Grizzly) we keep real nice just for play and scouting crops.

Borrowed neighbors gator a couple weeks ago and really liked it-bed is so much nicer than cart we drag around-and nice sitting side by side. Thinking of trading in Bruin on a used gator or mule or something.

Seems to be 3 price levels:
1) Basic slow <20mph 2wd 3k->5k
2) <20mph 4wd slow 5k->6k
3) Fast 4wd 6k->out of my budget

My farms at home are all within a mile-and don't see driving it to 25 mile away remote farms. Main uses will be wife around the yard, scouting crops with Dad, throwing a couple bags of seed or tools in to run out to field.

I am thinking 4wd slower version would do for me.

Can anyone talk me into spending more for the faster model, or talk me out of 4wd and saving some money? I have no experience with them other than one weekend-but I know a lot of people use them daily around the farm. Oh yea, no livestock here-just grain farm. Really like the bench seat ones so you can squeeze in 3.

Any input would be appreciated."

I thought Big Norsk gave an accurate reply from my experience:
"A lot of what works for you comes down to do you have the discipline not to drive into almost impossible situations and can you sometimes take an extra minute without having a heart attack.

First UTV I had was a mule and 25 mph wasn't all that bad except when doing longer road distances.

Have a 2 wheel Ranger. I get stuck a couple of times a year, I get my 4 wheeler stuck just about as often. I always carry a suitable anchor I can screw into the ground and both have winches and it's a few minute job to get out of any mistake. With the mule, I had put on a 3 inch lift kit and 27 inch mud tires and I never did dare drive into anything it didn't just drive right through.

Find the winch handy so I wouldn't want to be without one anyway and just carry the anchor with and it's really no big deal to me.

Kawasaki makes that small 4x4 I think it's called the 610 and it's a pretty good value. Limitation is I think two people is all.

For scouting, the big Rangers are actually kind of a pain due to the wheel spacing. If you go with what they now call a midsize, the same as my 2 wheel drive, then it's no big deal to drive 30 inch rows. I think a new midsize 4 by 4 can be found for just a bit over $7000. They don't sell well because people want whatever is most expensive. If you find a used midsize, you can often get a very good buy."

What UTV or 4 wheeler do you use?



  1. My old Honda trike gets the job done for me. Something as big as a Gator you might as well just drive a pickup truck.

  2. I thought about getting a Gater and decided on a 1942 willys MB. I paid about 3k for it. It will carry more, tow more, go much faster and just as slow, go places the ATV won't, and will always appreciate in value unlike an ATV. It is also plain fun to drive. It's also not much bigger than a Gater and a heck of a lot smaller than a pickup. I also have a CJ2-a. Same size but a lower gear. Either are easy to work on and parts are cheaper than anything JD makes. Did I mention they appreciate in value each year? I also have a 4x4 Coot amfib. Goes where ever the Jeeps or an ATV can't, and floats.

  3. We use to have new 4wheelers for awhile. They don't last....6000miles and no matter the band they crapped out. Neighbor went and found an old 300honda and paid new price for it because it will last.

    I had a new Polaris 850xp catch on fire in the belt case while I was on the machine. Put it out with my water jug. Polaris didnt want to warrenty it. I had to pressure the dealer toget it done. It took the. Over a month to get the parts. I brought it home and put the thing on Craigslist before it cost me any more money.

    Also the resale value pay 6-8k and a year later there worth 3-4k.

  4. Ed,

    I agree with your categories. Slow being an big issue. Some other things to think about. A front wind shield is very nice. Some of these boogers are very loud and it is hard to talk just riding in the front. If mom is going to use in yard there are a couple things I would consider. What I call turf mode where only one rear wheel drives. Takes the old posse track out so you do not turf up yard. Also the hydraulic bed option might be a good idea if mom is using around lawn and you do not want to be called all the time. We ended up with a polairs here recently. We wanted speed as we go 2-6 miles between pastures and do not like loading and unloading all time we just run this thing down road at say 50 and it is nice. We alos liked motor in back which quieted it down a bunch. 4x4 was a must for us as we can not always "be careful" when a momma cow decides to put a calf in the wrong spot on March 15 and the Mud is 1 ft deep and snow 6" on top of the Mud. At end of day we are very happy with Polaris. Cost is only bad part.

  5. Since I turned 60, slow is not an issue, especially with grand kids aboard!

    Loud I cannot stand, my hearing is the best sense I have left.

    I have never seen a Polaris without transmission work and that scares me away from it.


  6. We own a Ranger Crew, and a Kioti Mercron(I hope I spelled it right)

    My observation... Ranger is AWESOME if you have plenty of open space. We have small children and a dog that have to go everywhere the ranger goes. It is hard on gas and it more of a toy/get around vehicle than work horse.
    Kioti is a diesel, Great on fuel!!! Slow 20-25mph tops. 2yrs old seems to be bullet proof. Not as "user Friendly" as the ranger. Steel bed and hydraulic dump really make it nice.

    Gotta get a windshield!