As a small-farm land manager and country homeowner with more chores and pet projects than weekends available to accomplish them, I think an ATV is primarily a utility tool that needs to be available to work whenever it’s called on, whatever the conditions. Unflinching reliability and versatility are key, as is user-friendliness for the wide variety of riders I may need to enlist to help perform work and get tasks accomplished safely and efficiently. In my world, a strong, dependable ATV is a true force multiplier, while a misguided choice in quads can leave you frustrated and exasperated—and I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum.
This past winter I set out to build the ideal four-wheel work companion to handle five primary home and ranch jobs: snow plowing, field fertilizing and spraying, hauling, and towing. Given the tasks of plowing heavy, wet snow; pushing dirt, rock, and animal refuse; hauling heavy loads on the racks; and towing gear across hill and dale, I decided my base platform should have four-wheel-drive capability and a 600cc engine at the minimum.
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