Utility vehicles are a growing product category for many segments of the industry, and can provide landscape contractors and facility managers with a versatile piece of equipment for their fleets. UTVs (sometimes called side-by-sides) were developed with work in mind, initially used in outdoor applications like ranching, farming, and hunting. Now, they’ve been adopted by industry and deployed on construction sites, college campuses, sports fields, and with their range of attachments, can be adapted to fit a range of use cases in the landscape industry.

UTVs

(Photo: Adobe Stock / Andy Dean)

 

Use cases. Utility vehicles offer landscape contractors and a multipurpose piece of equipment that can work year-round. What makes UTVs such a practical addition to a landscape management fleet are the many attachments and accessories that these machines support. Depending on your needs, these vehicles can be configured as people movers in crowded stadiums, fitted with a plow or brush to clear snow along sidewalks and driveways in a city center, or kitted out with racks and a tank and used as a landscape maintenance crew vehicle on a corporate campus. An outdoor power equipment dealer or retailer can advise on the best UTV and attachments to purchase based on current or future application needs.

Getting around. The customization for UTVs isn’t limited to attachments. These vehicles are powerful outdoor equipment, and can be equipped with winches, treads, and four-wheel drive to help them reach locations that can be difficult for crews to access by foot or with a large pick-up truck. First responders and the military have long used UTVs as search-and-rescue vehicles in rough and inhospitable terrain.

UTVs

At GIE Expo in October 2021, attendees tested out UTVs at the outdoor demonstration area. (Photo: OPEI)

Power sources. As more manufacturers enter this space, landscape contractors have an expanded range of power options to choose from. Gasoline, diesel, propane, and battery/electric vehicles all offer specific benefits depending on location, workload, and user needs. So, depending on the site, specific job needs, and user-related preferences you’ll be able to choose the best power source for your equipment.

Where to buy. Your local outdoor power equipment dealer or retailer is the best place to start your search for the right UTV. Take into account the vehicle’s uses now, and in the future, as well as your budget. Manufacturers continue to innovate this product category, offering a wide array of options, so there’s a UTV out there that can address your landscape management needs and make an excellent addition to the fleet of a landscape professional company or facility management team.

Kiser is President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association based in Alexandria, VA, representing more than 100 manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars. OPEI also owns Equip Exposition, formerly known as GIE+EXPO. That event will be held October 18-21, 2022 in Louisville, KY, and will feature a UTV Driving Experience, where attendees can test out a range of vehicles on varied terrain, and ask questions of manufacturer representatives.

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