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I'm a newbie. Need an ATV for ranch work (800 acres in the U.S. south). Where is the best place to find reviews and recommendations for which model to buy? Interested in something sturdy that will last. Thanks for your assistance. BD33 in Memphis, Tenn.
Honda rancher or foreman series (including the Honda "Foreman" Rubicon). These are the toughest ATVs out there. The Rubicon has a solid rear axle, high and low range, with a liquid cooled 500 cc engine. I ride Polaris, but for farm work and pulling, I dont think you can beat a Honda.
I will second the Arctic Cat. A 500cc Cat will pull the bumpers off a 72 Buick. All kidding aside, I use mine for work as well as play. The 500 Cat has 12" of ground clearance (best in class) Hi and Lo with 2wd and 4wd and a locking differential. You can go with the auto or the 5 speed, but the auto better suits my needs pulling a trailer full of wood or a 5ft mower deck. It will plow a foot of snow without breaking a sweat. It's water cooled so you don't need to worry about the hot weather. It will pull 1050lbs, and you can throw 300lbs on the racks. For utility work no other machine can touch it. I've owned the other machines so I speak from experience. Honda and the Kawi are good and I won't deny that, but for what you want the Cat is the sturdiest Ute on the market. It's a big machine and not made for taking trail turns at 55mph without being a little tippy due to it's height, but good 6 ply tires or a sway bar corrects those issues. If you want to compare capabilities I ride with several friends on everything from a 250 Bayou to the 800 Renegade and they all agree the Cat is an absolute mule. Again you want a work horse and not a leisure trail rider so I would say get a Cat. The 6 1/2 gallon tank will take you well over 100 miles before needing to gas up.
06 Arctic Cat 500i auto
2500lb Warn winch
ITP series 5b rock crusher rims
ITP Terracross tires
60" Eagle plow
60" Mow Deck
i agree with the arctic cat. the 500 is liquid cooled with a fan,
highest rack capacity (100lbs front,200lbs rear)
standard 2" reciever
low gearing for hauling(auto or manual)
highest ground clearence (12")
large fuel tanks
2 WD/4 WD /diff lock.
and it has the M.R.P (muti-purpose rack system)
...just my 2 cents.
lol. well sat 4314 beat me to it.
Thanks to everyone for their comments. I'll look at these units and make a choice. You all have saved me a tremendous amount of research time, which I very much appreciate. (There are way too many models out there!) - Brian in Memphis (a newbie)
Let me add a third for the Cat 500. Bought mine back in 2002, and it has been a real trooper. Trouble free for almost five years. Worst mechanical problem I've had was a fouled spark plug.
Settled on the Cat (owned a Big Bear previously) because...
GC - my farm is as rough as a cob, mostly hills, lots of limestone rocks, large creek right through the middle, and the big Cat crawls anywhere. After sticking the bear in the middle of a creek on a hidden rock, ground clearance was high on my list.
Manual transmission - just didn't trust those rubber band things, and I haul a lot of wood with mine. Maybe a CVT would have been okay, but I can guarantee the 5 spd manual won't slip a belt in water. And... it gives you a low gear in reverse. That has come in handy for backing out of a bad situation.
Plush ride. Compared to my old bear, the Cat is a Cadillac. Doesn't rattle your kidneys around on the trail. If you're going to spend any amount of time on it, that makes a difference.
Okay, appearance. I looked at a lot of big quads, and the Cat just looked like the stoutest. No nonsense construction, high snorkel, not a lot of electronic gizmos to go wrong.
im gunna have to say the bombardier traxter 500cc. these things pull just as good as the 800outlander. they are the stepside atv's. look kind of wierd but my grandpa has one that he uses to pull a huge trailor for putting up fences around the farm.
even the john deer buck is a nice quad. i reall dont think you can go wrong, just get an artic cat or bombardier atleast 400ccs and i think you should be fine.
I'm gonna have to put a word in for the Vinson 500, pulls whatever I hitch up to it in rough or smooth terrain, adjustable shocks are good too incase you want to add some weight to the racks for extra traction.
i gotta give another vote for the cat. we have about a 500 acre farm and mine takes the toughests of challenges with ease. we also have a 450 honda foreman which does a very good job with pulling and everything but the independent rear suspension and the weight and diff lock means the cat can do everything just that much better. we also have 50 head of cattle so in the spring of the year when they are calving the 450 foreman will get hung up easier then the cat of corse and they both have the same tires. and i dunno what your cash flow is for one but i would check out the arctic cat prowler for farm work. that is what i am gonna be purchasing this spring. don't wanna see the cat go beings it has given me over 2000 miles of trouble free fun and work but i think i am gonna really enjoy the prowler.
2012 HDX arctic cat prowler
08 700 efi arctic cat, Sold!!!!
04 650 V2 arctic cat, THE WIFE STOLE IT FROM ME!! SOLD!!!! WIFE IS P.O.ED