Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses are using gas and electric carts and UTV’s at a growing rate
If you operate a business that is located on large parcels of land, using a golf cart or other low speed vehicle to get around from one part of the facility to another is likely part of your business. Let’s look at carts for agriculture in more detail.
But more people in the farming, ranching, nursery, grove, or other agricultural concerns are realizing that today’s electric and gas utility vehicles can accomplish much more than just transportation.
Utility Task Vehicles, or UTVs, are becoming almost a must-have when operating an agricultural business. Chores like hauling loads of materials or supplies, products like crops of fruits and vegetables, maintenance work around the grounds and covering large areas of land in the most efficient way mean the UTV is quickly becoming the logical choice for many smart business owners and managers.
Depending on your specific needs, you may consider an electric LSV for duties around the property, or maybe a more rugged, powerful UTV with a large flatbed and added cargo and towing capacity is better suited to the rough terrain of your property. No matter what type of work you’re intending for your cart or UTV, the options on the market today provide many types of vehicles specifically designed and built to get the job done.
Electric or Gas – Pick Your Power
There are some things to consider before buying a UTV or other type of cart for use on a ranch, farm, fruit grove or nursery. One of the key factors involves whether to go with an electric vehicle, or what was once considered the more traditional option of a gas-powered model.
Today’s electric carts may surprise you with the amount of power and torque they offer, rivaling that of many gas vehicles. There can be more long-term considerations, too, like maintenance and overall life of the vehicle.
Electric vehicles require almost no regular maintenance for day-to-day use, other than the need to recharge it at the end of each workday. A gas vehicle will need regular oil, filter and cooling system maintenance that needs to be factored into your costs of operation, not to mention the cost of gas.
A cart featuring lithium ion batteries may provide around 50 hours of operation before needing a charge, and the batteries are reported to last around 5 to 8 years. If you test the electric vehicles designed to do the types of jobs you require at your agricultural business and find the power, torque, and towing capacity to be suitable, this may make the best long-term choice.
There are several manufacturers making carts and UTVs designed specifically for use in agricultural applications like farming, ranching, nursery and grove businesses, and more.
Club Car makes the very popular Carryall series of work UTVs, and many are available in gas, diesel, or electric powered models. There are 4×2 and 4×4 models designed to stand up to the rugged terrain and continued use needed in an agricultural setting.
Club Car even will custom outfit your UTV with specific options and features to meet your exact needs, allowing you to order a custom vehicle equipped with every tool holder, configuration, cargo area and more that you require to get your work done.
Kubota makes the RTV-XG850 Sidekick, a true workhorse of a UTV with several features that make work on your property easier, like a cargo dump box that raises the cargo box with the touch of a button, making offloading heavy loads like rock an easy task. Kubota vehicles have a reputation for their durability under rugged conditions and a smooth ride.
One of the most popular brands of UTVs used in agricultural applications is the John Deere Gator line, available in a wide variety of power and configuration options, making it easy to build one to fit the work it will be used for.
Gators come in 2 and 4-wheel drive, and even a 6-wheel model for heavy work. They are available in gas, diesel, and electric versions, with cargo hauling capacities from 1,000 up to 5,000 pounds. Some full-sized Gator Crossover models even come with an enclosed cab with optional heat and air conditioning. Certain models offer a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, making transporting trailers or cargo carts around your property an easy task.
Bombardier Recreational Products has come out with their Can-Am Defender UTV and they are becoming very popular among people operating agricultural businesses. The Can-Am offers convenient features like a fold-down, full glass front windshield, a sliding panel in the rear window glass, tool holders in the cargo area and even a bright light in the cargo bed for when you get caught out in the field after dark. These vehicles are known for their impressive power delivered through very smooth shifting of the transmission.
Joshua Citrus is a 300-acre citrus grove business located in Arcadia, Florida, and the Shelfer family has been operating a successful grove operation there since patriarch James Shelfer settled the land in 1887. The grove uses utility vehicles to help run their business and they find them useful for several jobs.
“We use them to spray herbicides and nutrients on our trees, and to survey the groves to check that everything is as it should be every day,” said Olivia Meador, the daughter of James Shefler’s great-great grandson Kevin, who has been expanding the family business to include a retail store front and grove stand. “We also use the UTV’s to haul trailers to and from our U-Pick gardens for vegetables,” Ms. Meador said.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Today’s custom carts, transporters and utility vehicles can be one of the hardest working pieces of equipment you have on your agricultural property, allowing you and your employees to get more accomplished in the shortest amount of time. The cost efficiencies of utilizing UTV’s in handling your property’s most critical day-to-day tasks can mean a significant return to your bottom line.
Features like 4-wheel independent suspension, tires designed specifically for the type of terrain on your agricultural property, and custom options like multiple seating positions, passenger capacity for taking workers to a project site and a user experience much like that of riding in a passenger car can result in increased work product and reduced manufacturing costs.