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ATV, UTV, compact tractor, WTF?

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Licking Co.
#1
now that I have some property to maintain, I'm going to need something besides my nice Toyota truck to get off the beaten path with to reach firewood, do some mowing and such. hopefully fetch some dead deer, too. whatever I wind up with has to be portable. I cannot leave it on the property. the mowing I'll be doing is not substantial and I won't be cutting brush, just grass and some weeds. I'm about as ignorant about this type of equipment as a person can be as I've never had any interest in riding for the fun of it and never had any need for even a small tractor. having a hard time even knowing where to start to figure out what will serve my needs best, never mind specific brands or models of equipment. I'm definitely buying used. I'm more interested in utility than anything else to begin with. I need to start looking for SOMETHING asap. all recommendations/opinions welcome.
 

jagermeister

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#2
I think a lot would depend on how much you want to spend. The three types of "vehicles" you mentioned vary widely in price. And each have their own pros and cons. What one may be good for, another may not... And vice versa. I think an ATV with a small trailer would be the most versatile machine. And also the most cost effective. My dad and I each own Suzuki King Quads... His a 750 and mine a 500. Very nice machines.
 
Likes: bowhunter1023
#3
I’ve had a Polaris razor and only used it for one season then traded it in. It is a nice machine but the turning radius in the woods sucks and you need to clear a path wider than you would for an atv. I traded it in for a Polaris sportsmen. Very nice and maneuvers quite well in the woods. I use it to haul bait, recover deer, bring chainsaws, posted signs, mineral blocks, etc. into the woods. You can probably find a mower to tow behind for mowing trails. Either drive it up on the truck like I do and get a small cargo trailer for the mower, or get a bigger trailer and haul them both to your property. Good luck.
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1,269
358
46
Licking Co.
#4
I'm thinking $2-5K, buying used, but don't even know if that is reasonable. in my head, an ATV seems to make the most sense because it is more maneuverable and I don't need anything real heavy duty like a tractor with a PTO. how much can an average quad pull?
 

Bigslam51

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Stark County
#5
I'm thinking $2-5K, buying used, but don't even know if that is reasonable. in my head, an ATV seems to make the most sense because it is more maneuverable and I don't need anything real heavy duty like a tractor with a PTO. how much can an average quad pull?
You might as well buy a quad. You won't find a good reliable utv for less than 5k.
 
#6
I'm thinking $2-5K, buying used, but don't even know if that is reasonable. in my head, an ATV seems to make the most sense because it is more maneuverable and I don't need anything real heavy duty like a tractor with a PTO. how much can an average quad pull?
Not sure of the top load they can pull as some models are stronger than others but I don’t think any will have trouble pulling a mower behind it.
 
#7
I would probably get a UTV or ATV. UTV if you are likely to have a passenger part of the time. They can do the firewood and deer hauling. A trailer to haul as mentioned would be preferred. Trailer also comes in hand for hauling other things.

As far as mowing if it isn't that substantial then you don't need much. I use a push mower to mow frequently around the cabin, and then I use a good weedwhacker to mow the trails and food plots. Our ground is rough with a lot of stumps and rocks so the weedwhacker is actually easier. I bought a good one that takes the .105 string. It works really well. The nice thing about that is I don't have to take the trailer to mow since there isn't much to take.

A tractor is really handy as I have one at home, but if you aren't doing plowing and other more tractor activities then it is likely not necessary.

If you are looking at strictly utility UTV's, I would look at the JD TH6x4 Gator. It's not a recreational type vehicle as top speed is only about 18mph, but it is definitely a work horse.. I have actually thought of upgrading, but what I don't like about most of the new UTV's is that the bed is really high. The Gator's bed is really low.

Another consideration for mowing is that they make trail mowers in both rough cut and finish to pull behind an ATV/UTV. If you have decent laying ground then that may be an option.

Like Jager mentioned it is really hard because every situation and person is different. ALso if you can think about what you may want to do in 5 years. IF you plan on clearing some of the land and putting in food plots then a tractor may make more sense. You can still get one small enought to put on a trailer and pull with a half ton truck. When it comes to actual work like plowing, discing, bushhogging, etc a tractor will run circles around anything else.
 
Likes: Jamie
#10
for pulling, I'm more concerned with dragging logs, pulling a trailer or whatever than mowing.
Define Logs. LOL. If you start getting logs of any decent size any UTV/ATV will struggle. They just aren't that big of a machine when you start to pull and you have issues with the front end coming off the ground.

One advantage of a UTV is that you don't need a trailer to haul out firewood.
 

5Cent

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Huron County, OH
#11
With a budget of $2-5K, you are looking at a used ATV, or old tractor like Ford N series tractor or something bigger but 5,000+hrs on it and less reliability. You MIGHT get a combo older tractor and pto driven mower for that budget.

But, if you go non-pto route with atv/utv, then you are talking pull behind mower. Depending on needs, need to decide rough cut or finish. Swisher is cheapest make, DR is best.

My recommendation is no atv smaller than 500cc, 600+ is ideal and a tow behind mower. Issue is you are now moving 2pcs of equipment via trailer, requiring a larger trailer. A tractor is driveable down the road depending how far away. Or use ramps, load atv in truck and use small trailer for mower. But, you are now maintaining two motors vs 1 in a tractor.
 
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"J"

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#13
Mowing usually is only a couple times a year if not residing on the property. I’d look for a neighbor who’s able for a few bucks to swing by and cut it for you, that is if ones close enough around your property...
Solves one of your issues...
 
Likes: Sgt Fury
#14
Mowing usually is only a couple times a year if not residing on the property. I’d look for a neighbor who’s able for a few bucks to swing by and cut it for you, that is if ones close enough around your property...
Solves one of your issues...
Yes, my neighbor at camp puts up hay on the 1 acre field where our cabin is. This way I only have to mow right around the cabin.
 

"J"

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Columbiana County
#15
Yes, my neighbor at camp puts up hay on the 1 acre field where our cabin is. This way I only have to mow right around the cabin.
That's what happens on some of the properties I hunt, the one farmer will bail it and get the hay for cutting it for them. Not a whole lot of bails but neighbors helping neighbors...
 
1,269
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Licking Co.
#16
I'm mowing edges, a drivable access lane, established trails. I only need a finish mower a few times a year, like J said. In fact, I'm going to load up my Cub Cadet XT3(their biggest, bestest garden tractor) this weekend and try to mow with it. I think it will work fine, but I'll be mowing with some trepidation this first time. if it goes well, I may not even bother with a pull behind mower for a while. I have a commercial duty Stihl weed whacker that will take a saw blade and it will cut some serious brush if I need to clean up anything. I have a tandem axle trailer already that would probably fit ATV and pull behind mower if I go that route.

OK, ATV certainly is the consensus here and confirms my own intuition.

Next question, what to look for in a used ATV? I would not bother with anything less than 500cc, and will pony up the money for more power. more than $5 Gs if I need to. I'm not on a tight budget here, just trying to be frugal here, not cheap.
 

5Cent

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Huron County, OH
#17
Given what they are intended to do, buying used is buyer beware. Some dont ever see a mud puddle, others get buried like ours do at Mingo on a regular basis. That said as long as it is maintained, no problem buying used. I would definitely let it get up to operating temp, make sure every single feature/switch works, listen for unusual squeaks, feel for vibrations, check fluid levels /condition and do a compression check at minimum. If not me mechanically inclined then take a family member or friend who is or buy from a dealer with some type of coverage.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
#18
Ideally you find someone's garage queen but those are tough to come by in the ATV world. Craigslist and Facebook marketplace are likely the easiest resources to keep your eyes on for deals. Or a local consignment auction if you have any of those nearby. If I were looking for a used quad I think I'd pay particular attention to the exterior... A lot of scratches and dings are a good indicator that someone used it as a beater or potentially rolled it. A brand new 500+ cc quad is going to run you 8-11k... So I think if I were you I'd consider whether I wanted to gamble on a used one, or save a bit longer and go brand new with warranty. I got a great deal on a new one with winch and plow. It was a prior year's model and they were trying to move stagnant inventory.
 
Likes: Sgt Fury
#20
I'm mowing edges, a drivable access lane, established trails. I only need a finish mower a few times a year, like J said. In fact, I'm going to load up my Cub Cadet XT3(their biggest, bestest garden tractor) this weekend and try to mow with it. I think it will work fine, but I'll be mowing with some trepidation this first time. if it goes well, I may not even bother with a pull behind mower for a while. I have a commercial duty Stihl weed whacker that will take a saw blade and it will cut some serious brush if I need to clean up anything. I have a tandem axle trailer already that would probably fit ATV and pull behind mower if I go that route.

OK, ATV certainly is the consensus here and confirms my own intuition.

Next question, what to look for in a used ATV? I would not bother with anything less than 500cc, and will pony up the money for more power. more than $5 Gs if I need to. I'm not on a tight budget here, just trying to be frugal here, not cheap.

It sounds like for the mowing you already own everything you need for me. If it was me I would prefer to use your cub cadet vs a tow behind. The tow behinds are notorious for being rough on belts and they are harder to turn in tight areas. Not to mention you have 1 more engine and mower to maintain. I would just raise the deck up on your mower and go slow.

Pretty much if you buy an ATV it sounds to me like you are set to go.