Ask the Expert: When To Buy a Work UTV Instead of Another Truck

May 5, 2023
Are you considering adding another pickup truck to your operation? Kyle Crosley, director at Polaris Commercial, walks through why a work UTV might be the better choice.

Made to navigate various terrain with agility, security and ease, utility vehicles (UTVs) are no longer just for recreation. These budget-friendly alternatives to full-sized vehicles offer the ability to tackle key tasks and combine the benefits of multiple vehicles into a single solution.

Kyle Crosley, director at Polaris Commercial, walks through commonly asked UTV questions – overviewing when and why to consider forgoing another pickup truck and adding a work UTV to your fleet.

What is a work UTV, and how is it different than a UTV used for recreation?

With its compact design, off-road capabilities, and rugged durability, UTVs are engineered to traverse limited-access areas with efficiency and ease. While once thought of as a vehicle purely for outdoor adventure, today’s work UTVs can be found on jobsites virtually anywhere. Years of use within the rental, government and construction industries has shown that customer productivity and profitability in work environments that use UTVs are driven by vehicle durability, serviceability and safety features. And today’s work UTVs are specifically engineered with those benefits in mind.

The Polaris Pro XD work UTV is made specifically for the commercial market, engineered to meet the long days and tough demands of the jobsite. The Pro XD is a compact, purpose-built machine designed to move people and equipment off-road and through narrow spaces where other vehicles – such as pickup trucks – struggle to go. Additionally, the Pro XD provides best-in-class durability, safety features and serviceability plus cost benefits to buy, operate and maintain over pickup trucks.

Pickup trucks are regularly used to tow materials across jobsites, how does a UTV compare in hauling capabilities?

When adding a UTV to an operation’s fleet, it's important to first think about the requirements of the jobsite. Consider the power, payload and towing needed to efficiently get the job done. While trucks have traditionally been the go-to solution for hauling and towing for many operations – depending on work requirements, it may not be the most efficient or cost-effective method.

Work utility vehicles are incredibly capable. The Polaris Pro XD Full-Size UTV provides industry-leading payload of up to 2,075 pounds, towing of up to 2,500 pounds and the ability to fit a full-sized pallet into the bed, while also providing the agility to effectively navigate virtually any jobsite – a capability missing from standard vehicles. Additionally, its Mid-Size counterpart takes the same purpose-built features valued in the Full-Size Pro XD and delivers them in a more compact profile with a lower price point and a lighter payload for operations that don’t need to haul over 1,000 pounds in the cargo bed.

What about power and overall performance?

Designed to provide industry-leading power and performance, Pro XD UTVs come with a Kubota® 24.5-Horsepower Diesel or the Polaris ProStar 1000cc engines. Compared to recreational UTVs that can be over 40 hp for high-performance on and off the trails, the Pro XD is maxed at 40 hp. This is done to continue to provide optimal jobsite power, while meeting OPEI certification.

To further enhance performance, Pro XD UTVs are engineered for easier serviceability. The UTVs provide 200-hour oil change intervals and warning alarms for service needs, like low oil pressure, belt slip, and engine overheating. And when something does need replacing, interchangeable non-directional tires and universal parts are simple to replace and require less components.

How do UTVs stand up to the daily wear and tear of the jobsite?

Durability is key to helping prevent UTV breakdowns and driving productivity and profitability. Pro XD UTVs are made with heavy-duty, nondirectional tires that are designed for long-life on hard-packed gravel and rugged surfaces, and Kevlar backed vinyl seats that resist punctures and tears from jobsite abuse. Additionally, its heavy-duty suspension makes for easy handling on rough terrain while the heavy-duty sealed driveline components increase vehicle life expectancy in caustic environments.

Do work UTVs meet jobsite compliance?

No matter the industry or the application, safety is crucial to any jobsite. Reducing accidents and injuries, avoiding mishaps and enhancing situational awareness are key focus areas for customers. Work UTVs are specifically designed with built in jobsite safety components.

The Polaris Pro XD, for example, comes standard with features that help meet jobsite compliance, while safeguarding operators and surrounding crew members. High-visibility, three-point seat belts keep drivers secure and visible to surrounding crew and vehicles, while backup alarms and horn increase vehicle awareness through worksites. Further standing out from a traditional pickup truck, these work UTVs incorporate speed limiting capabilities that are engineered for slower acceleration and have a default top speed of 26 mph* – ensuring jobsite driving requirements are continuously being met.

Is a work UTV right for your jobsite?

In addition to considering jobsite requirements such as payload needs, it’s important to consider elements and crew sizes. Work doesn’t stop for inclement weather and your UTV doesn’t have to either For harsh environments, like pickup trucks, UTVs with full cabs with heat and ventilation provide year-round comfort and maximum performance. And, unlike a traditional pickup truck, work UTVs often come with customizable components and accessories designed to further increase productivity, durability, safety and comfort. UTVs with extensive accessory portfolios will ensure that your UTV is perfectly tailored to every job at hand. Additionally, the Pro XD UTV comes in 2 and 4-seat options, ensuring plenty of room for crewmembers and equipment.

*When speed limiting is turned off, the Pro XD can run at a max speed of 40 mph.

 To see if a Polaris Pro XD UTV could work for you, visit the Polaris Commercial website and try the build-and-quote module to design, price and get an accurate feel for your desired UTV and accessories package.