Farm buggy buyers guide 2013

Adding extra seating behind the regular front perches for driver and passenger has made the multi-seat farm buggy an increasingly popular alternative to a road-going 4×4 for anyone wanting to carry people through forests, up hills and down dales.

The new John Deere Gator XUV 550 S4 and Kubota RTV1140 join the long-established Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans Diesel and Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew.

JD Gator XUV 550 S4

 John Deere XUV 550 S4

Converting the John Deere XUV 550 S4 and Kubota RTV1140 from two-seat mode to a four-seat layout is straightforward and both machines provide a rear bench seat with room for two passengers and a gundog or two.

The Deere has the same drivetrain as its two-seater sister, but with a longer wheelbase. It also gets a manually-engaged rear differential and limited slip front diff to help get it through the mud.

Power comes from a 550cc v-twin petrol engine with 16hp on tap. Top speed is 28mph.

Disc brakes front and rear and 262mm of ground clearance can be complemented by optional underbody skid protection. This would probably be worth the investment on examples likely to run fully laden on rough, stone-strewn tracks.

Kubota RTV 1140

 Kubota RTV 1140

Though similar-looking to its two-seater counterpart, Kubota has put some extra meat into its first multi-seat utility ATV.

The RTV1140 has more power than the two-seat RTV900 thanks to its larger capacity Kubota engine and an uprated version of the VHT hydrostatic transmission. Power is provided by a mid-mounted, 25hp, three-cylinder Kubota diesel engine, channelled through just the rear wheels or all four if the operator deems that necessary, and there is locking rear differential for extra help when things get slippery underfoot.

Hydrostatic drive remains unique to Kubota and the VHT system has speed control within each of three ranges and dynamic transmission braking when travelling downhill.

When stowed for maximum cargo capacity, the base of the rear bench seat forms the front panel of the cargo box floor, with the cushion tucked neatly away. For extra passenger space, a floor panel at the front of the cargo box is raised and secured by two sprung bolts, and two short side panels folded inwards.

The seat is then lowered into position and a protective screen normally positioned behind the front seat slid back on rails to perform the same function for the rear seat passengers. Using rubber components for the pin-and-strap securing mechanisms eliminates any annoying rattles.


Farm buggy buyers guide

Make & model Engine/power Driven wheels Gears Weight Payload Road legal? List price ex VAT
New Holland Rustler 120 719cc / 20hp 2/4wd 1f 1r CVT 724kg 476kg yes £12,843
JCB Workmax 800 D 4×4 784cc / 20hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 710kg 400kg £525 £9,500
John Deere Gator HPX Diesel 854cc / 20hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 757kg 454kg £878 £10,882
JCB Workmax 6×4 768cc / 21hp 4wd 1f 1r CVT 654kg 500kg yes £13,020
Cub Cadet Big Country 854cc / 21hp 4wd 2f 1r CVT 630kg 409kg yes £11,399
Massey Ferguson MF20 MD 854cc / 21hp 4wd 2f 1r CVT 726kg 409kg yes £11,249
Kubota RTV900 898cc / 22hp 2/4wd 3spd Hydro 830-925kg 500kg option £10,700
Kioti Mechron 2200 1007cc / 22hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 740kg 500kg no £10,600
Kioti Mechron 2210 1007cc / 22hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 830kg 500kg yes £11,435
Bobcat 3400D 904cc / 24hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 730kg 500kg n/a POA
Polaris Ranger Diesel 904cc / 24hp a2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 652kg 453kg no £11,199
Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew * 904cc / 24hp a2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 652kg 453kg no £12,199
Kawasaki Mule 4010 Diesel 953cc / 24hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 725kg 499kg no £10,499
Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans Diesel * 953cc / 24hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 788kg 499kg no £11,449
John Deere Gator XUV 855D 854cc / 25hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 877kg 454kg £1,152 £11,640
JCB Workmax 1000 D 4×4 1000cc / 26hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 850kg 500kg yes £11,907
Ausa Task M 50D 1028cc / 26hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 650kg 500kg yes £11,500
Kubota RTV1140 * 1123cc / 26hp 2/4wd 3spd Hydro 1075kg 530kg no £13,845
Avid Electric Vehicles eBear na 4wd EM na 300kg yes £11,950
Polaris Ranger EV 22kW a2/4wd EM 770kg 227kg no £10,299
Kawasaki Mule 610 4×4 401cc / 13hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 458kg na no £6,499
John Deere Gator XUV 550 4×4 570cc / 16hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 553kg 181kg £1,462 £7,199
John Deere Gator XUV 550 S4 4×4 * 570cc / 16hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 660kg 181kg £1,462 £8,199
Farr LH400 UTV 352cc / 28hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 498kg na yes £5,295
Polaris Ranger 400 455cc / 29hp a2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 476kg 227kg no £6,799
Polaris Ranger 500 EFI 498cc / 32hp a2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 479kg 227kg no poa
CCM UTV 700-A 686cc / 33hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 524kg 524kg na poa
Farr 700 EFI UTV 686cc / 33hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 524kg 524kg yes £6,495
Yamaha Rhino 700 686cc / na 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 540kg na no £10,609
Polaris Ranger 6×6 800 760cc / 40hp a4/6wd 2f 1r CVT 704kg 567kg no £11,599
Farr 800 UTV 800cc / 55hp 2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 529kg 529kg yes £7,495
Polaris Ranger XP 900 875cc / 50hp a2/4wd 2f 1r CVT 562kg 454kg no £11,199

KEY – Transmission: CVT – continuously variable transmission (variator + belts); Hydro – hydrostatic drive; EM – electric motor(s); 4wd – permanent four-wheel drive; 2/4wd – selectable two- and four-wheel drive; a2/4wd – automatic two- and four-wheel drive; n/a = information not available. Note: * These models have extra seating when the cargo box is shortened; ** cargo load allows for driver and passenger weighing 100kg each.

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