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BigRagu

Need advice on what to buy

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Hey, all. It's been awhile since I've been on this site. I have a question regarding the side by side UTV's. I'm looking to probably get my first one around December, and I've done enough research to narrow it down to either the Polaris Ranger, Yamaha Rhino, or the Kawasaki Mule. Going to be in 4x4 for sure, and gas driven.

im open to hearing the pros and cons of each. To be honest, I've only been on a Ranger forum, and seemed there were a lot of complaints regarding the transmissions, warranties, etc. 

This for sure is going to be a one time investment for me. The main uses for this would be a Lund my 5 acres for maintenance, and the occasional 3-4 times a year hunt trip. Accessory wise, I do plan on hard sides, windshields, and maybe a couple other small upgrades.

Again, this would be my first, and am all ears to what you all have to advise me. Thank you

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I liked the mule and would have bought it if not for the smart -ass saleskid. Ended up buying a can  am defender Max 800.I have been very happy with the can am, I use it for plowing snow and it has done a great job.

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I just heard about the Can Am yesterday! I posted this same advice inquiry on dieseltruckresource.com, and a fella on there highly suggested I look at the CanAm. It has a 10 gallon fuel tank, and has 92 horsepower. I guess that's a lot for a side by side? Don't know, and I certainly don't know what Polaris, Yamaha, and Kawasaki rate as far as HP.

 

one of the things I left out in my original post, is the big need for comfort. Come next month, I'll be on my 7th spinal surgery, and this one is a fusion of the entire lumbar area. Last September of 2016 I had the mid back fused, and 3 weeks ago the neck got fused. Can you say 2x4 spine, lol!! Yes, comfort is king here. No way I'm using whatever I end up with as a race/toy, but mainly for assisting me in upkeeping my 5 acres, and the occasional hunt. I also want to be able to accessorize it, money allowing in the future, with a fully enclosed cab, to protect from wind and rain, should I ever be out in that type of weather. 

Please, keep the ideas coming. What I'm gonna end up doing is put together a spreadsheet, listing down the specs of each model as listed on their websites, and list down the pros and cons that I get from all the input. Nothing beats real life experiences.

 

thanks again

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I have a Polaris Ranger that I use daily doing my duties at my Park that I volunteer at.  Here is a link to what I bought.  I have almost 2700 miles on my Ranger and the only thing I've done is changed a drive belt that didn't need to be changed after all.  I just got back a few minutes ago from taking the Chief Park Ranger and the Park Supervisor around the park.  The Chief Ranger like my Polaris so much they are getting a four seater so that they can bring back arrest suspects.  But my park is a natural park with a large creek system flowing through it and my Polaris goes everywhere and rarely do I even have to use four wheel drive.  You can't have had anywhere near the surgeries I've had so comfort is a big deal for me too.  My tractor used to beat me up and I can cruise over the same ground at 35mph without feeling it.

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I know Tom (Knocked Up) also has the Polaris. I can't remember if it's the same one you have or not John? If he doesn't chime in here you may want to PM him as he could also give you an actual hands on firsthand account of the vehicle. 

Not owning one, I will say this, I remember being quite impressed with the option the Polaris had to be able switch from a locked rear end to an open rear end so as not to tear up grass and other soft valuable farm land and ground.

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I had heard about the ground turf feature of the Polaris....it seems each one of these different makes of side by sides have their own special feature. That makes it hard to pick. 

As far as picking up a used version, what is the cut off in years that you all would stop at, meaning no older than a 2016, maybe a 2002 version, etc. there must be a year, where either make blossomed, and it only got better after that. Hopefully you all understand what I'm getting at. Also, with used, what is considered "a lot of miles" on a machine, when looking at the hour count? I saw one on Offer up, a 4 seater Polaris, with like 3000 hours for $9K, a 2016 model. For the life of me, is that a good deal? 

Aside from you all' s advice and tips, is there a link to a good read on the comparisons of each? I guess consumer reports probably did a write up on these side by sides.

yeah, Shooter John, 32+ years in the unionized sheet metal trade really took its toll on my body. I had my first back surgery in 1992 at 26 years old, second in 2003, a neck fusion in 1998, 3 knee surgeries from the years 2010 to 2013, and like I mentioned a mid back 5 level fusion last September, another neck fusion 3 weeks ago, and in a short while the entire lumbar to be fused. I've been able to bounce back each time, enough to get my credit years in towards retirement, but these fusions are kicking my butt. Currently I'm on a walker, and really trying to think positive on this whole back thing. I went from a burly buffed 245 lb dude to a scrawny, pot bellied fool this last few years, lol. About he only gains I'm making is in the belly area. Ha! 

My wife is a great woman. She's picked up the load, literally, in making ends meet and holding up the household. She wants to get me one of these side by sides for Xmas, as a gift also for retiring. I think, it's also a form of carrot, to help m think positive towards my health, and being able to walk again.

Anyway, sorry about the history lesson, let's get back on track on the side by sides, lol. Keep the advice coming! I really appreciate it. Shooter John, your comment about you plugging away after the surgeries has inspired me! Thanks for the link, brother!

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The turf mode is a really nice feature.  You have the Turf mode which is one wheel drive and what I used 95% of the time.  I like it because I have two golf courses in my park and they don't like you tearing up their grass.  The center position of the switch is two wheeled locked and the upper position of the switch is four wheel drive when the tires slip.  Very nice and smooth transition between the different modes.  Mine is a 2016 though I did test drive a friends 2015 but I can't tell you about earlier ones.  I have a very close family friend who has had every make of UTV side by side and he swears as do I about Polaris.  As I mentioned I had just over 2600 miles on it and that equates to 346 hours of run time on the machine.  It is a work horse and I use it for lots of hauling of our city trash trailer/dumpsters.  I also use it to drag cut trees and pull out smaller invasive trees from the creek area.  It is highly maneuverable and mine does have power steering.  Mine is an XP fullsize and having the ability to carry three people is handy.  I also purchased the 4500 pound winch for it too.  I've only had to pull myself out twice now but a normal four wheel drive would have disappeared.  I also added the wireless remote to it as i use it for dragging things out of the creek bed so the remote is handy.  My park is 828 acres so getting around it quickly is really nice.  I've had to open up allot of old bridle trails but it carries all of my chainsaws and equipment that I use.  The dump bed on it is really nice and can come in handy.  It is relatively easy to service.  A couple of the zerk fittings can be a challenge for me because I can't get down on my knees.  But I run it up on two ramps and then I can reach everything.  Oil changes I do with an oil sump pump gizmo.  It creates a vacuum and once you have the tube down the dipstick hole you open the valve and all of your oil is collected in the tank.  Pretty simple stuff really and fast.  I have worn out my front tires but it looks like my rear tires will last me another front pair.  I already purchased the replacement front tires and want to wear down the old ones a bit more.

It sounds like you and I have allot in common with hospitals and surgeries.  I've had 41 orthopedic surgeries so far.  I have new knees, hips and metal in my back and wrist.

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41! Did you say 41!!! Shooter John, may I ask, is this from a previous type of career? Let me guess....ironworker?

guess you got me beat. Looking at this whole thing, who wants to beat or outdo someone on surgeries, anyway? You ar quite the stud, and an inspiration to me for sure. My wife is getting upset, tying to be my cheerleader 24/7. If you knew me in my past, my nickname at work by my superintendent used to be "The Machine", lol. Now, I feel like Bill Paxton when he played that whiney soldier in that movie "Alien part 2". As soon as I'm all healed up in about 6 months, I'm predicting, it'll be back on the circuit weight training, juicing, and cardio again. By juicing, I meant vegetable juicing, lol.

im gonna take a trip to the Polaris store in Auburn, about 20 minutes from me. I'll look into that Polaris, and also the CanAm, see if the store will let me ride around in their parking lot. John, as far as the maintenance, pretty easy? I'm all about diesel trucks, and do all maintenance on my 3 trucks, so maintenance schedules do not bug me- I actually look forward to them. On these side by sides, are they pretty easy? They've gotta be cheaper to maintain than a diesel truck, for gosh sakes.

also, is it wise to keep them covered when not in use, to protect the seats and such? Leaving them out in the rain bad for them? I know, so many questions. Just when I thought I had enough hobbies at 55, now I'm getting ready to start one up with UTV ownership.

 

 

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You may also want to consider the John Deere gator. You mentioned using it for upkeep on your property.  The gator has lots of equipment you can use on it.  I have never driven one but just from looking at the side by sides in general. 

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There isn't much maintenance on the Polaris in general.  Clean the air cleaner change the oil every 100 hours and lube them every 25 hours or so.  Of course check the fluids every now and then too.  But that is about it.  I try to keep mine covered with a tarp to keep the sun and rain off of it but once my shoulder gets better I'm going to build a small steel carport to cover it.  There are electronics under the front seat and water from outside can get to it.  Buy one of the hard plastic roll bar roofs to protect you and some of the interior.   I bought the Polaris service manual thinking it would tell me everything I needed to know and for $100 it isn't worth it.  They talked me into changing my drive belt when it turned out to just be the tires wearing in.  It is about as simple of a machine as they come.  Add gas and go.  

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Thanks, SJ, and thank you, too, Braz, for the input on the JohnDeere. Seems the JD I believe has an amfibous version, the ones that drive thru water about as high as the door entry. I don't plan on doing any of that, unless a river suddenly appears after a horrendous rainfall, lol. 

As soon as I'm somewhat healed(guessing 6 months from now)I should be mobile enough after that lower lumbar fusion, to start building that bridge to the island in the pond. I've got some great neighbors, as they recently helped me and my wife out by bringing in their personal earth moving equipment to clean out my recently drained pond. By clean out, I mean cat tails, muskrat holes, you name it. Beefed up the sides, and added more dirt to the island's base. My pond bottom looks brand new, awaiting fill up. I have a friend set up to come dig footings and set some galvanized poles in, and once those bridge supports are in I can start filling up the pond.

When I do build that bridge, I'm gonna need to haul a bunch of tools, materials, etc. and the old me would carry that stuff one by one in pieces, then one by one back to the house at end of day. Screw that noise!! 

My wife sees the value in a side by side, just wishing she realized that value years ago.

im pumped up. Can't wait to get mine, whatever it happens to be. 

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Augie,

I just sent you a PM.

 I just now read John's post, I agree with everything he said.

I have even taken down 60 ft. pine trees and hauled them around my property with my Polaris Ranger.

I haul everything in mine and use it as my work horse.

Tom

 

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Tom, thanks for the reply and feedback. The Polaris is looking good. I apologize, but I'm having trouble navigating on this site to find and open my PM's. 

 

Found and read Shooter John's original post on when he got his Polaris. So, the concern of driving a Polaris with a fused upper and lower back is put to rest, cause SJ has paved the way for me. This'll be good feedback to my wife, as she has it in her head that the Polaris's have an aggressive kick backwards at initial acceleration. This was put into her head by my neighbors, who had a Polaris, one of those purpose built race ones for Sand Mountain. 

Curious to know, if I end up with a two wheel drive, will I regret that later? Tom, I see you also got a winch on yours- is that also the synthetic cables one like SJ's? Did the both of you have that installed by the dealer, or did you buy aftermarket and put it in yourselves?

thank u!

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First the PM's are at the top right of every page it looks like a small envelope.  Just click on that and see if you missed any PM's.

I had the winch installed because I had just had my back fused and didn't want to go rolling around on the ground.  I added a wireless remote control to the winch which I really like.  I use the four wheel drive in really soft or slippery stuff.   It goes allot of places without four wheel drive but it goes allot more places more safely with it.  I carry two forty foot two straps under the front seat just in case there isn't a close by tree.  I also always have my two twenty foot choker chains as well.  I'm always pulling or dragging something and it give me forty more feet to attach to the winch cable.  If you get a winch get the synthetic winch cable.  It doesn't take a set like the wire cables do.  I've always had winches and they were all steel cabled and if you use them any they get bound up.  The synthetic cables spools on and off with ease.  I find myself using the winch more because it is so easy to use.

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On 9/19/2017 at 10:48 PM, Braz said:

You may also want to consider the John Deere gator. You mentioned using it for upkeep on your property.  The gator has lots of equipment you can use on it.  I have never driven one but just from looking at the side by sides in general. 

I still work for Turfstar and I set up toro products. Most of their UTVs are really fancy Shmancy. High price tag as well. One of our salesman has a Club Car Xrt 1500 4x4. These things are B.A. They actually have a pretty good articulation for flex. No where near the speed of a Polaris on straight aways, but it will out crawl one. Check em out. If your interested I can even possibly let you check one out hands on. Depending on your location that is. The ones with brush guards, skid plates, and the bells and whistles run around 12k

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