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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Dec 2008
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    18

    Default Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    Howdy all,
    I currently have an early 1990 Cushman diesel TurfTruckster to haul things around the yard and down to the beach, and two old Jeep Wranglers that sit for 9 mos out of the year to only be used for to plow my driveway and a couple neighbors driveways (I live on Long Island, NY, last year we had one 4" snow, we get something like 25" of snow each year on average). I am looking to sell all three and buy one 4X4 utility vehicle.

    Here is an approx breakdown of usage time over a year:
    Plowing: 15%
    Hauling logs, loads of woodchips: 15%
    Towing 20' boat/trailers slowly across yard in low gear: 5%
    Driving to neighbors houses and beach with little to no cargo: 65%

    I test drove a kubota RTV900 yesterday, it is quite the machine, and unlike others I read about has a hydraulic drive and power steering. I am kind of on the fence about hydro versus belt drive, the belt drive seems simpler, as the unit will not see too many hours. One drawback I read about was the always locked rear axle, which may not be so good on grass and pavement, which is the terrain I will be on most of the time.

    The Kawi Mule 4010 diesel is another option with utility in mind.

    For utility/fun the Yamaha Rhino comes to mind. I am usually all for diesel (nearly everything I own is diesel powered), but for short trips a gasser could be fine, even better for start and go, especially in cold weather.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member rut3556's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    91
    Location
    Amherst, NH, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L2250

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    >>I test drove a kubota RTV900 yesterday<<

    I looked at this, but ended up buying a new Kawasaki 3010 diesel instead. I'm a devoted Kubota fan (have an L2250 & TG1860..both diesel) but found the RTV to be overkill for my needs. Since I trailer my 3010, the added weight (500#) of the RTV made it less attractive. Add to that the almost $3G price differential, it was a no-brainer. I also thought all the hydraulic business of the RTV made it more complex than it needed to be. (unless you have a need for them) The Daihatsu diesel in my 3010 is a real work horse, and starts instantly. Granted, I only have 23 hrs. on the clock, but I expect it will probably outlast me.

    Good luck,

    RUT

  3. #3
    Gold Member yankeerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    486
    Location
    North Central Connecticut
    Tractor
    Deere 755

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    I often describe our Gator as a 3/4 scale CJ or Wrangler. You might see if a local dealer will let you test one at your place for your kind of work. The Mule and Gator probably share drivetrains, which is an open rear with a manual lock for when it's needed. I think the Gator is built for a bit more carrying/pulling capacity. Even though we use ours principally for work on our 5 acre hillside, I have absolutely no regrets about having gone with the gas version.

    Enjoy the evaluations period!
    Jerry

    JD 755 w/70 loader, 60" MMM, LandPride FDR2560, Artillian Forks, Brush Bandit chipper, Woods RB60 blade, 48" KKII tiller, DR LeafVac
    Gator HPX 4x4 Gas,Cat 303c CR mini-ex

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Dec 2008
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    18

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    Thanks for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeerider View Post
    I often describe our Gator as a 3/4 scale CJ or Wrangler. The Mule and Gator probably share drivetrains, which is an open rear with a manual lock for when it's needed.
    Enjoy the evaluations period!
    Nice comparison to Jeep.

    I have been searching around some more on the internet. As fun as the Rhino looks, the 400 lbs payload capacity is prob not going to cut it. I put wood sides on my Cushman and load in what is basically a 4'X4' cube of wood chips, which gets very close to it's 1,200 lb capacity.

    In addition, the full time locked rear in the Rhino is not going to be grass and pavement friendly.

    If you put a gun to my head today and said "buy one", I would go with the 4010 Kawi diesel, for some reason all the hydraulics on the kubota is scaring me a bit. Belt drive is prob. not as smooth, but sounds nice and simple.

    BTW, here is my Jeep, swapped in a Cummins 4BT last spring:
    1978 Jeep CJ-7 YJ/TJ - Jp Magazine

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,012
    Location
    southwest NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    I love the RTV, Kind of over kill for me but it sure is sweet. Love the hydro,have a Polaris Ranger 8 and it is night and day. I would go RTV again in a heart beat. The kubota sits in an unheated garage and starts fine , the Polaris (not fuel injected) in a heated station, fights us every time. Comparing a toy to a tool in my case.
    'Master of a thousand indispensable skills destined to keep him at the poverty level'

    'You can't beat a man at his own trade'

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    267
    Location
    tennessee
    Tractor
    kubota 95x zd331 rtv1100 polaris rzr s m274a2mule

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    hubjeep,
    the yamaha rhino has a fully locked rear end.i have owned two of them and they will tear up the yard when you turn at all. my kubota has a rear diff lock that must be engaged to lock rear end. only damage to yard was from weight of machine in wet conditions

  7. #7
    Gold Member yankeerider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    486
    Location
    North Central Connecticut
    Tractor
    Deere 755

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    Hubjeep-

    Nice job on the Jeep. My son had an '88 YJ with lots of miles as his first vehicle. I sure spent a number of hours keeping that running for him. As much as I'd love to build up a CJ-5, I just can't justify the time and expense- way too many other priorities.

    Now I understand why you gotta have diesel power, though.
    Jerry

    JD 755 w/70 loader, 60" MMM, LandPride FDR2560, Artillian Forks, Brush Bandit chipper, Woods RB60 blade, 48" KKII tiller, DR LeafVac
    Gator HPX 4x4 Gas,Cat 303c CR mini-ex

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    Yankeerider - thanks, my bro has a 1988 YJ, the Weber replacement carb makes it run nicely.

    So far here is what I have came up with based on my needs, please comment.

    Kawi Mule:
    Pros:

    -2nd row of seats, simply makes it more versatile, may not be used too much, but adds to it's capabilities.
    -Diesel with simple belt system (unlike more complex kubota hydro drive).
    -Open [lockable] rear diff.
    -Payload/towing capacity.
    Cons:
    -25 MPH top speed.


    RTV900:
    Pros:

    -everything the mule has besides the second row of seat.
    Cons:
    -25MPH top speed
    -Hydro transmission looks complicated, prefer "simple" belt drive.



    Polaris Ranger (I have not looked into this one much):
    Pros:

    -Very similar to pros of Mule and RTV900.
    Cons:
    -No diesel option.



    Yamaha Rhino:
    Pros:

    -Fast.
    Cons:
    -400 lb payload.
    -No diesel option.
    -Locked rear (not nice to grass).

  9. #9
    Platinum Member rutwad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    766
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 5465, Kubota M5040, Farmall H (2), Minneapolis Moline R, Case 530CK, Cat 416C

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    The kubota is a workhorse. Slow, not as smooth as some others, louder, and it feels like you hit a tree when you let off the accelerator until you get used to it. It seems to get stuck easier than others, but this may be a weight issue. I'm not sure how much it weighs.

    The Rhino is "fun", but still has it's place for some work. Fast is about 39mph. The Rhino is the most mentioned when people talk about reliable UTV's.

    Kawasaki mule- I have only met 1 person with the double seat version and they did not have anything bad to say about it, but it was almost new.

    According to your Pro/Con list, the Polaris Ranger Crew would be similar to the Mule, except you trade off no diesel option for speed. It's fuel injected and will run 44 mph. Quiet and rides SMOOTH!

    Good Luck with your decision.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    43
    Location
    New Jersey
    Tractor
    Kubota Dealer

    Default Re: Utility vehicle - utility vs. fun

    HUB,

    Don't kmow what your time frame is, but consider the following. kubota is releasing an RTV1140 which will have a 2nd row of seats. Based on the chasis of the RTV1100 with longer wheel base and a superslick way of converting the 2nd row to utility bed when no passengers. The hydro is simple. The next thing is the VHT(transmisson) relief for ease of shifting has been moved to the brake pedal and away from a pull out knob on the dash. Leg room is also increased. If your terrain is hilly the hydro is great and less maintenance all around. No belts, less brake wear easier on the suspension. The Kubota front suspension is second to none.

    Hope this Helps

    Brian
    848-992-6150

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