On worksites, a UTV may be just the workhorse you need.
On a large worksite, you can lose time and rack up labor costs walking around on foot and carrying equipment and materials from place to place. A small vehicle allows you to zip through a site efficiently, delivering people and things to areas where a full-size truck might not fit.
“Utility vehicles are designed to withstand more of a pounding, like what a worksite would provide,” said Keith Campbell, district sales manager for United Rentals. Here's why a utility vehicle, or UTV, beats a golf cart for most worksite applications.
1. They’re built for challenging terrain
A golf cart is meant for cruising over smooth greens or paved pathways. A UTV is designed for getting through tougher off-road terrain. Mud, ruts and debris on a worksite might stop a golf cart, but a UTV will have less problem getting through, said Campbell. Many UTVs come with four-wheel drive and tires that have deep tread to increase traction in muddy or slippery conditions. Overall, UTVs are built to tolerate wear and tear, whereas golf carts are designed to have “a pretty easy life,” said Campbell.
2. They’re easy to fuel on site
UTVs come in gas or diesel models (there’s also at least one electric UTV out there), so you can decide what’s best for your worksite. Many large worksites have an on-site diesel tank, making it easy to fill up a diesel UTV. If you don't have diesel on site, a gas-powered UTV is a good option, Campbell said. An electric UTV is not as powerful as a gas or diesel UTV but may be suitable for lighter jobs such as landscaping.
3. They have versatile cargo space
UTVs seat between 2 and 6 passengers and also have a bed (usually around 4 feet long) for cargo. On many UTVs, the back row can fold down when not in use for more cargo space.
“Utility vehicles are designed to withstand more of a pounding, like what a worksite would provide.”
4. They’re adaptable
Most UTVs come with a tow hitch that can be used to attach a trailer or connect landscaping equipment like a disc harrow or seeder. Tow hooks and a frame on the front allow you to attach a snow plow or a winch. UTVs can even be fitted with sprayer tanks. Overall, UTVs are built to work with more accessories than golf carts, said Campbell.
5. They perform in all weather
UTVs should have no trouble operating when rain, snow or ice has made the worksite a mess. Most offer a canopy for shade during hot weather and an enclosed cabin for when it’s cold. While some golf carts have sheltered cabs, they're more likely to get stuck if the ground is wet or snow-covered.
Exceptions to the rule
Golf carts aren’t cut out for navigating a muddy or rutted worksite, but they may be a smart choice for landscaped sites, since their lighter frames and smaller tires are less likely to tear up the turf. Electric golf carts can be safely be used indoors since they don’t emit fumes.
UTVs are versatile enough to be beneficial on many different worksites. Next time, instead of running around the site on foot or abusing your work truck, consider renting a UTV.
Kelly Burch is a freelance writer who covers business, manufacturing and consumer guidance.