They handle the toughest terrain. They haul and tow a variety of cargo. They’re rugged and dependable. There are few people who wouldn’t love to own a John Deere Gator utility vehicle (UTV). These powerful units are easy to operate, can go virtually anywhere off-road, and come in several options, with newer models featuring fully-contained cabs with car-like interiors and climate control. And, as most who’ve operated one could attest to, they’re just fun to drive, too.
Aside from the fun one can have with a Gator UTV, they’re practical, versatile machines that can be used on numerous sites, and for several tasks. In fact, Gators are being used in new and unique ways all the time. Here are five ways RDO Equipment Co. customers are using Gators that you might not have thought about.
While the idea of transporting supplies around a ranch isn’t new, some of the ways Gators are used on the ranch are.
Gators can be equipped with special toolboxes and beds to serve as medical aid vehicles, quickly getting specialty supplies and medicine to animals in the field. This is especially valuable during busy calving season and on larger ranches where the Gator’s size, speed, and maneuverability allows it to get from point A to point B fast and with minimal disruption to animals. Additionally, young or injured animals in the field that need to be transported can be placed in the Gator’s bed and covered with a simple net attachment to keep them from falling out.
Gators are used by parks and recreation professionals, as well as high school and college athletic departments in several ways.
Thanks to their smooth operation and ability to tow, Gators work well to prepare recreational sports fields. Common tasks include raking baseball infields, and marking baseball and football fields with chalk and paint. The small size and light footprint works well for transporting supplies from football stadium storage straight onto the field without tearing up delicate turf. And the special med bed option mentioned earlier also lets the Gator be a fast, efficient medical aid vehicle for athletic departments during practices and on game days.
With their off-road design and rugged features capable of navigating the toughest terrain, Gators are great for residential and commercial snow and ice management on sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
A variety of snow and ice management attachments are offered to maximize the productivity of this workhorse, including front blades and rear spreaders. Furthermore, designs with fully-enclosed cabs, and the comfort and safety features of vehicles make them especially ideal for this application.
As Gators’ designs have evolved to include greater comfort, safety, and attachment capabilities, the units have become more technology-focused as well. These new features, along with the Gator’s ability to go where larger vehicles can’t, would struggle, or are impractical, make it a unique solution for roadside and remote surveying projects, as well as precision agriculture management.
Newer models come equipped with the technology integrated needed for data gathering, guidance, mapping, and John Deere AMS systems, turning Gators into true mobile work units. For survey crews, all models offer plenty of cargo space for surveying equipment and towers can be mounted to the vehicle.
The Great Outdoors
With ample space for gear, up to four-person seating, and full climate control on enclosed units, along with their small size, ability to navigate through wooded areas, bumpy grasslands, shallow water, and even ice, Gators are growing in popularity for hunting, fishing, and ice fishing.
Okay, so outdoor hobbies would fall into that category of “fun” uses. But the ability to take Gators from one jobsite to the next, then out for a weekend adventure just shows how versatile and multi-purpose they really are.
About The Author
Randy Hennes is an Account Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Missoula, MT.