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How Do I Choose an ATV or UTV?

We want to help you pick the right All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) or Utility-terrain Vehicle (UTV).

And we are also here to help you pick the right tractor when the time comes.

ATVs and UTVs are extremely useful tools. They have many uses for landowners, farmers, and even for those who just want to have a lot of fun.

There are quite a few considerations you need to think through before buying a four-wheeler.

Here they are one-by-one.


The first thing we need to consider is the weight.

For sport machines, you want the highest horsepower to weight ratio.

If it is being used as a work vehicle for cargo and towing, lightweight is not helpful. The heavier weight is your friend.

ATVs have the best horsepower to weight ratios where you can see 750cc or larger engines powering machines with less than 700-pound curb weights.

UTVs can have similar-sized powerplants, but curb weights will generally range from 1,000 to nearly 1,800 lbs.

Size influences many things. Things such as tight maneuverability and how it fits on a trailer. Trailers are limited to 120” in width. If a machine exceeds 120”, it will not fit sideways on a trailer. ATVs will have smaller footprints than UTVs, so if the size is a top requirement, an ATV may be your best choice.

Also, depending on the conditions that you plan to use the ATV or UTV under, ground clearance may be another issue.

If you only need to transport yourself and a chainsaw or weedwhacker, most ATVs will be fine if they have rack capacities around 100 lbs in the front and 200 lbs in the rear.

UTVs can carry much more, as they have bed capacities ranging from 200 lbs to over 1000 lbs. Some can be equipped with an electro-hydraulic dump.


Towing capacity is close on ATVs and UTVs.

What is the receiver size? Is it 1 ¼” or 2” and does that make a difference to you? If you want to share hitches, it may.

Do you want a front and rear hitch? A rear hitch is universal. Front hitches are great for placing a trailer in the right spot. All you do is drive straight into the desired spot – no backing in the opposite direction of the trailer. No need to figure if the tow vehicle will clear obstructions.

Operator Space

ATVs have the most operator space. If you need to get on and off frequently, swinging a leg over the seat and frame can get tiresome.