Have you ever entered a situation and been knocked off your feet by all of the things you didn’t consider?
Well, that is what has happened to me over the past few months. We moved, bought more land, and life was supposed to go on smooth as silk, right?
Not exactly! I’ve been bewildered by all of the items we’ve needed that I never once considered. Probably the biggest choice we had to make was what type of farm utility vehicle we needed. You may be thinking, “farm vehicle?”
Yes, we needed a farm vehicle. When you walk 10-acres, not only do you get absolutely worn out, but you lose a lot of time too.
I’m going to discuss with you the options we’ve found for farm vehicles and which ones might suit your particular situation.
Why Do You Need a Farm Utility Vehicle?
I never considered the idea of us needing a vehicle to help us get around our farm. We lived on 2-acres, and though we walked ourselves to death, it just never clicked that I should consider a more efficient way of getting around and hauling stuff.
However, you should consider it. Mainly because it will save you a lot of time and a lot of walking. This is always a bonus in my book.
You should also consider it because of how it simplifies your life as well. Instead of making 4 trips to bring items to where you are, it could take 1 trip when hauling them behind you.
Not to mention, when deciding on what farm utility vehicle is best for you, you can also explore options that could fit tighter budgets too.
Homesteading is supposed to be the ‘simple life.’ So though we do things the less conventional way, we still need to think about ways to be more efficient and save our energy for the workload that we carry.
What You Should Consider
When considering a farm utility vehicle, you should think about a few things:
1. Your Land
What is the layout of your land? If you have extremely steep land, then you need to think about that when purchasing a vehicle because you’ll need something that can make it up and down those hills safely.
You’ll also have to consider your land because if you have a small chunk of land, you may need something less extravagant.
However, if you have more acreage, then you need something that isn’t going to wear you out when getting around either. That defeats the whole purpose.
2. Your Budget
Purchasing a farm utility vehicle can be as expensive as you want it to be. You may not have a super tight budget. If so, then there are options for that.
However, if you have a super tight budget, don’t worry because there are options for that too.
A lot of this decision will depend heavily upon what you can afford. I know we hate it when money holds us back, but in this instance, the prices can vary heavily. So money will make a difference.
3. What You Are Hauling
I needed a vehicle that could carry around bee equipment, feed, haul our harvest, but also carry my family. We live on 10-acres so if we couldn’t all ride, it wouldn’t be nice to the people that had to walk.
Those were my criteria for what I was considering. Yours may look completely different. That’s okay. Just think about what you are hauling around your property to know how sturdy you need this utility vehicle to be.
For instance, if you are hauling around firewood from deep in a forest, a golf cart wouldn’t be a good option. You’d need something more along the lines of a gator.
If you are just hauling tools around your property, then you could get by with a lawnmower, bike, or a golf cart.
It all depends upon what you are hauling.
7 Farm Utility Vehicle Options:
When you live almost 4-acres from the road, just fetching the mail can be a hike. So when we decided we needed a farm vehicle, a Gator™ was my first choice.
Our neighbor has one, and he jets all over the place. Hills don’t stop him, flat ground doesn’t stop him, and it can haul a good number of people as well.
However, the problem for us was finance. These vehicles are rather costly, even when buying used.
If you have a decent amount of funds to drop in this area of your farm, you have hills and valleys on your land, and you’d like a vehicle that can haul your whole family around the farm, then this might be a great choice for you.
Believe me, down the road if the opportunity presents itself, I’d love to have one. I think they are great!
My second option was Mule. These are very similar to the Gators™. They usually can haul anywhere from 2-4 people, and they have a dumping option off the back. Which is all great for farming, right?
Well, I hit the same snag with these as I did the Gators™. I just didn’t have deep enough pockets. They, too, can be more costly when purchased new or used.
And as much as I’d love to have one of these to scoot around my farm in, it just wasn’t what I could afford.
So we had to move on to the next option.
Even so, if you have those types of funds in your budget, these things are amazing! They can handle rough terrain, hills, valleys, and haul a bunch (including your kids!)
Definitely give them some consideration, if you feel like your farm is large enough to justify the cost of one of these.
3. Golf Cart
This is what we went with, and we got a really cool looking one too. We found out a friend of ours refurbished golf carts. They came in all kinds of colors, with rims, they were lifted, had the brush guard, and it could haul our whole family.
Plus, the newer golf carts have the seats on the back that can fold flat for hauling things, which we used like crazy these days.
If you have a middle of the road budget, this could be a good option for getting around your farm. For us, it works well because our land is mostly flat.
However, we have taken it up and down a few hills and it has done well. This leads me to believe, if you don’t have super steep terrain, a golf cart could still probably work for you.
I cannot express to you how helpful it has been to haul vegetables from the garden. When I picked 4 bushels of peaches from one of our trees, I was so grateful I didn’t have to carry them, but instead, could haul them with the golf cart.
Plus, it helps my husband haul his bee equipment, and it has been great for hauling brush too.
If you have a relatively flat farm and need a vehicle to help you out around it, then consider getting a golf cart.
Plus, our kids love it because they can cruise around on it and feel cool because it has nice shiny rims.
4. ATV (aka 4-Wheeler)
However, we decided against it because we would have had to purchase multiple ones to make it work for everyone in our family.
For instance, there are 5 in our family. When we work, we usually work together. I would feel bad riding on a 4-wheeler to the back of the property and making my kids walk.
So a 4-wheeler just wasn’t functional for the size of our family, and by the time we purchased multiple 4-wheelers, we would be back up to the price range of the Mule or Gator™.
Even so, if you are a couple or have only 1 child, then this could still be a great option for you. ATV’s are great for taking on mountainous terrain and with a trailer attachment, they can haul a pretty decent amount.
5. Bike with a Cart
When we lived on our 2-acre homestead, it still got tiring hauling stuff around the property. It is a good idea to have a faster way to get around and haul stuff too.
If you purchased a bike and attached a little wagon to the back, it could certainly help you to haul items to the garden or from one side of the property to the other with fewer trips.
Not to mention, a bike and cart are much less expensive than some of these other options. So if you are on a tighter budget and need some extra hauling power, then you should consider this possibility for your farm.
6. Lawn Mower with a Cart
If you have an old lawnmower or even one you still use, you could attach a cart to the back of it in order to have more efficiency around your homestead.
Now, this might not work for a farm that has a lot of mountains to it, but if you are on flatter land, then you could definitely use this to help you get around.
Also, the main idea is to help you to save time as well. As homesteaders, we are usually very busy.
Anything that will save you some time getting from Point A to Point B so you can get to Point C a little faster is a good thing in my book.
7. Old Farm Truck
An old farm truck is a good option to get around a larger farm. You can usually buy one for less than what they normally cost (at least in our area.)
However, why I didn’t want to do this was because you usually still have to keep insurance on them, and when they break, it can be costly to repair them.
Even so, they are great for having a larger hauling capacity as well.
Plus, if you buy one with 4-wheel drive, it could work well for almost any type of land.
Well, hopefully, I’ve given you a few things to think about when making such a large purchase. We rolled this decision over for quite some time before we actually made a purchase, and I encourage you to do the same because this vehicle will be a major purchase and huge part of your homestead.