where to find utility vehicle info?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by matt-max, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. matt-max

    matt-max LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    looking to purchase a gator, mule, ranger or workman or similar utility vehicle for next season and do not see any info on them on this site

    who has first or second hand knowledge of these pieces and can assist me in what to steer toward and away from?

    our needs: very hilly terrain, large properties (15 plus acre complexes), fairly tight quarters with a mix of turf, asphalt and concrete. will be used for mulching, pruning, weeding, spraying, planting, maybe landscaping as well.

    we currently use a skid loader and a jd4300 tractor but need something easier on the turf that can carry in and out loads and workers.

    has anyone used one for snow removal? maybe for sidewalks?

    suggestions on 4x4, 4 wheel vs 6wheel and gas vs diesel?
    so far i've heard that the basic gators are not tough enough but the commercial ones are good. also heard as a pro and a con that their frames are very stiff either making them strong or non-articulating so that wheels are airborne over rough terrain.

    don't know much about mules at all.....

    fairly impressed with the polaris ranger and the toro workman machines.....

  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,677

    Even going to the manufactures sites I find it hard to get any info on many of the brands out there. Its like if you do not know so and so makes one you will not find it by accident if you were researching them. I would like a real spec sheet for the top 20 or so brands as I have been toying with the idea of getting one myself.
  3. Lawn-N-Garden Guy

    Lawn-N-Garden Guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    If I were to get one I think it would be a Kabota
  4. a a green

    a a green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I have also been toying with the Idea of some kind of all purpose vehicle. I was actually looking at the Arctic cat 4 wheeler for plowing and it has a standard receiver , so I can take my hitch right out of my Yukon and put in the 4 wheeler.
  5. Cobra Jock

    Cobra Jock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    We use a Kubota diesel 4x4 at work. I have seen or used a lot of the others (Gator) etc, The Kubota is by far the toughest one. It has a high/low range which makes it great on hills. The only set back is that it is significantly larger than the other models. Also, you really need to get your wallet out, probably double the cost of the other ones, and well worth it.
  6. Nick911Racing

    Nick911Racing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I use on a daily basis the JD Gator 4x2 and diesel 6x4 and both are good machines. I have yet to get one stuck (and trust me there are times where I should have been stuck). The rear differential lock is a huge help in loose terrain and or heavy loads. The diesel 6x4 has alot of torque and can tow a lot, but with the centripedal clutch under heavy load it takes a while to get up to speed and go up hills. The power dump bed is a must, but I think every utility vehicle comes with that now. The disadvantagea that I see in the gator are: The plastic fenders, etc. crack easily, the top end speed is only about 16-18mph, there is no rear suspension, and some aspects are difficult to service due to tight spaces. Keep in mind though that where I work we have a lot of idiots using these machines so things like the cracked plastic are because of stupidity. Our 6x4 is , I think,about 10 years old and have also been through a couple floods, but it is still chugging on with the same motor and tranny. They are very durable machines.
    I have also operated the original Cub Cadet Big Country 6x4 and Kaw Mule. I liked the Big Country the best, but I do not believe they make them like they did when they first came out.

  7. My dad got a new Kawasaki mule about 2 yrs ago, diesel, Auto, heat and 4 x 4, seems really nice, and simple operation, he let's my 7 yr old son take off and ride it all day on some old logging roads. I think it was around 10K, If you will check with Cushman, I think they offer a more practical and economically sound product. draw back to the Kawasaki the dump bed will only hold about 500lbs if that much? and only 2 seats, you said something about transporting employees. Hope this helps
  8. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Well you first have to break these sort of things into "classes" if you will. There are so many different things out there it's incredible. I work on a golf course and use them all so feel free to ask any more questions if you have them

    Gators: I'm familiar with the 4x2 and they're so-so. Platform is cramped. Bed is speced to hold 500 lbs. Pretty fast and reliable, though. I would stay away from 6 wheel ones, they are harder on turf and there are better options once you get to that size. Price for 4x2 is around $5000 I think.

    Toro Worman Jr (Twister): A champ by far! More power than the gator, bigger bed capacity (about 800 lbs), more comfortable platform, nice cupholders. The poly bed does not rust or dent, too. For a little more money than the Gator you get much more machine.

    Kubota RTV: I think these fall into the $9000-$10,000 range. Of course you get a diesel engine, excellent tranny, 4x4, bed capacity of about 1000 lbs. This machine is by far the best diesel on the market. Do you need a diesel and 4x4? Do you want to pay for it?

    Kawasaki mules: A variety of choices of machines and sizes ranging from 500 to 1000 lbs bed capacity. Diesel is available in the bigger model. You can get 4x4's in smaller models, too. I think the small Mules are beaten by Gators and Workmen and the big ones are bested by the Kubota. You can get a sweet cab for them though, which is great for winter.

    Golf Carts (old reliable): The two main companys are Club Car and Ez-Go. I prefer Club Cars. They are really underrated when compared to some of the offerings out there. You can get the same hp and 300 lbs more bed capacity than the Gator 4x2 for less money. So the tires don't look as cool (but are cheaper). Hey, you actually get a suspension on a golf cart, too! All in all they are the best machine for your money.

    Cushmans, Workmen, ProGators: These are the big boys. All have bed capacites in the 1500-2000 lb range and big water cooled gas and diesel engines. You will also pay $16,000-$20,000 for one. But they have a real hydraulic system and loads of capacity. Great machines but probably too much for your needs.

    It's a little better to know what your budget is and how much you will actually use everything. Everything I listed can do the job. Some do it faster, cheaper, etc. If you have any questions let me know.
  9. Daneman

    Daneman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Check out the Bobcat Toolcat, might be a great fit for you. Will cost you more money though.
  10. skippy911sc

    skippy911sc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Check out this site:


    They have a great variety of people who are using all different types of machines...also check out


    look in the forum under atvs

    I just did a bunch of research and decided to buy the Yamaha Rhino.

    A little more fun that work machine...I took a look at the polaris Ranger models (BTW they are coming out with the 700efi in the ranger for '05) and the Kubota RTV ( what a work horse that thing is!!!)

    Also Golf carts ( one wheel drive is not for me)

    Also the Mule was to much work and not enough fun for me :)

    You might want to look at the clucbcar 4x4...much nicer than the ezgo 4x4

    Good luck and let us know what you pick!

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