What is a UTV?
Utility Terrain Vehicles, or UTVs, are built and used more for work than recreation. They are large, powerful, able to seat passengers side by side, and built with lots of storage space. They’re commonly used to haul equipment and supplies in locations that make using a truck impractical or impossible.
Wheels and Tires – Like a car, UTVs have a standard wheelbase (four wheels). However, they can have more wheels for specialized purposes.
Steering – The UTV steers more like a car than an ATV, and is steered via a steering wheel.
Seating and passenger capacity –Normally, between two and four passengers can ride safely in a UTV. Passengers sit side by side, which has earned the vehicle the nickname “side-by-side”. You may also see the UTV referred to as a SxS, again referencing the seating arrangement.
Speed and handling – UTVs are faster and more powerful than ATVs, but not as nimble. Their max speed is generally between 25 mph and 50 mph.
Braking and acceleration – Foot pedals rather than hand levers, control braking and acceleration on a UTV.
Safety equipment – UTVs tend to feature seatbelts, and many models offer a windshield and roll bars. UTVs tend to have more safety features like these than ATVs do.
Cabin – UTVs will often have an overhead structure similar to a roll cage. The roll cage may even have a hard or soft panel roof mounted to the top of the cage or side flaps for protection from the elements.
Uses – UTVs originally tended to be designed more for work than for play. UTVs may boast significant storage space for hauling tools toys or cargo. Some are optimized for hauling feed, hay, and supplies on the farm. Others are designed more for the rigors of hunting and fishing. Others are more stripped down for sport. They are not uncommon at schools, where they are often used to transport water jugs, sports equipment, and occasionally, athletes.
If you are a fan of Supercross racing, the “Alpinestars Mule” for tending to injured riders is a good example.
The many available modifications specially designed for UTVs are making the vehicles a popular choice for transporting equipment in many industries.
Cost – The option to customize a UTV makes them very attractive for tons of uses. It also tends to make them more expensive than ATVs, especially after they’ve been customized to suit your particular use.