Side by Sides The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First UTV

Originally Posted on October 26, 2022 by Everglades Equipment Group

John Deere Gator UTVs are the perfect choice for anyone looking for a versatile, go-anywhere vehicle. With their rugged construction and many available features, they can take on just about any terrain or task you might need them for. But with all the choices out there, how do you know which side by side is right for you? This guide will help make your decision easier.

What Is a UTV or Side-by-Side (SxS)?

Side by Sides

A UTV, or Side-by-Side (SxS), is a vehicle designed for off-road use. They are typically larger and more rugged than regular ATVs and can handle tougher terrain and heavier loads. They come in both 2-seat and 4-seat configurations, making them perfect for hauling gear or taking the whole family along for an adventure.

What’s the Difference Between a UTV/SxS and an ATV?

The main difference between a Utility Task Vehicle /SxS and an ATV is size. UTVs/SxS are generally larger, with more ground clearance and wider track width. They also have a roll cage and seatbelts for added safety, and most come equipped with a bed or cargo area for hauling gear.

On the other hand, ATVs are smaller and lighter, making them better suited for single riders or smaller loads. Another big difference is that UTVs have a steering wheel while ATVs have a handlebar setup.

Why Would I Want a UTV/SxS?

utv/side by sides

There are many reasons why you might want a UTV/SxS. Maybe you need a tough and reliable vehicle to help with farm chores or to get around your property. Or perhaps you want something that can take the whole family on a fun off-road adventure. Whatever your needs, a UTV/SxS is sure to get the job done.

Some of the most common uses for UTVs/SxS include:
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Trail-riding
  • Farming and Ranching
  • Property Management
  • Construction/Job-Sites
  • Golf Course Maintenance

How Do I Choose the Right UTV/SxS?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a UTV/SxS. First, think about how you plan to use it and what features are most important to you. Will you be using it mostly for work or recreation? Will it be light-duty work or heavier-type work?

Do you need a 4-seater, or will a 2-seater suffice? What kind of terrain do you plan to tackle? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect UTV/SxS for your needs.

utvs for farming

What Are the Different Types of SxS/UTVs?

There are many different types of UTVs/SxS on the market, each with its own unique set of features. Here are just a few of the most popular types.

Utility SxS/UTVs: These models are designed for work and feature a wide variety of attachments and accessories to help you get the job done, including dump beds, plows, and hitches.

Recreational SxS/UTVs: These models are built for fun and feature a variety of performance-enhancing features, such as larger tires and more powerful engines. They’re perfect for exploring off-road trails or hitting the dunes.

Sport SxS/UTVs: These models are a cross between utility and recreational models, offering the best of both worlds. They’re perfect for anyone who wants a versatile vehicle that can handle just about anything.

John Deere UTV Brands

john deere gators for sale

Traditional Gators

These models are the original utility UTVs. With their tough construction and versatile design, they can handle just about any task you throw at them. They’re perfect for farm or ranch work or job sites and construction jobs. Choose from 2WD, 4WD, and 6-wheel designs.

You'll want a tractor with tires that have deeper grooves and more lugs to help in the gripping of slick surfaces. This is for smaller tractors when used only infrequently during light workdays.

Mid-Size Crossovers Gators

These models offer the perfect blend of utility and recreation. With their versatile design and many available accessories, they can take on just about anything you need them for. Whether you’re looking to hit the trails or haul some gear, these UTVs have you covered.

John Deere Mid-Size Crossover Gators offer up to 1300 lbs of payload capacity. These versatile UTVs are designed for work and play with speeds up to 45mph and independent 4-wheel suspension, offering a smooth ride on even the roughest terrain.

Choose from 2- and 4-seat models, as well as engine and drive-type options to fit your needs.

Full-size Crossover Gators

These models are the largest and most versatile Gators available. With their powerful engines and large cargo areas, they can take on just about any task you need them for. From hauling gear to exploring off-road trails, these UTVs are up for anything.

John Deere Full-Size Crossover Gators are designed for comfort and performance, equipped with custom-engineered shocks, CVT intake, and an advanced digital dashboard. Choose from gas or diesel models with 2- and 4-seat models and bucket seats.

Engine Types & Size

john deere gator utvs

Another important thing to consider is engine type and size. There are three types of engines: gas, diesel, and electric.

Gas engines are the most common and offer a wide variety of power and performance options. Available in 13.5 - 54 hp, these engines are perfect for light- to medium-duty tasks.

Diesel engines are less common but offer more torque and power. Available in 18.2 - 22.8 hp, they’re perfect for larger tasks or towing.

Electric engines are the most environmentally friendly option and are becoming more popular in UTVs. Available in 6 hp 8 V, they offer quiet operation and low maintenance but may not have the same power and performance as gas or diesel engines.

Drivetrains

utv drivetrains

Another important consideration is drive type. There are two types of drives: 2WD and 4WD.

  • 2WD UTVs offer a wide variety of power and performance options. They’re perfect if you want a UTV that’s easy to find parts and accessories for and don’t mind doing a little extra work to keep it running smoothly.
  • 4WD UTVs offer more torque, power, and versatility. If you need a UTV that can handle the toughest jobs and don't mind doing a little extra work to keep it running smoothly, then a 4WD UTV is perfect for you. John Deere UTVs come equipped with selectable 4WD, so you can choose when to engage it based on the terrain and task at hand.

John Deere UTVs offer variable-speed drive systems that give you more control over your speed and the ability to adjust on the go. With this feature, you can slow down for obstacles or speed up for open areas without having to stop and change gears.

Seating Capacity

Two-seater UTVs like the HPX615E and the XUV560E offer various benefits, including easier maneuverability and lighter weight. They’re perfect for anyone that wants a UTV that’s easy to drive and doesn’t require a lot of space.

Four-seater UTVs like the HPX615E and the XUV560E offer more space and passenger capacity. They’re perfect for anyone that needs a UTV that can accommodate more people or cargo.

Accessories and Attachments

One of the best things about UTVs is the wide variety of available accessories and attachments. From plows to dump beds, there’s an accessory or attachment for just about every need.

Some of the most common accessories and attachments include:
  • Roofs
  • Lights
  • Trailers
  • Winches
  • Cargo Box
  • Dump Beds
  • Windshields
  • Plows and blades

Side-by-Side Uses

John Deere Gator Side By Sides

UTVs for Farming or Ranching

UTVs have become an essential tool on many farms and ranches. They’re perfect for hauling equipment, supplies, or even small livestock. With their large cargo areas and powerful engines, they can handle any job you throw at them.

utvs for fishing and hunting

From hauling feed to checking fences, UTVs can make your job easier and more efficient. And with a wide variety of attachments and accessories available, they can be customized to fit your specific needs.

SxS/UTVs for Families

UTVs are the perfect way to get the whole family out on the trails. Their comfortable seats and easy-to-use controls are great for even the youngest riders. And with a wide variety of models and styles available, there’s sure to be a UTV that’s perfect for your family.

From 2-seater models that are perfect for cruising the trails to 4-seater models that can accommodate the whole family, UTVs offer a fun and exciting way to explore the great outdoors.

first time buyers guide for side by sides

UTVs for Hunting

UTVs have become a popular choice for hunters. With their large cargo areas and powerful engines, they can handle just about any task. From hauling game to setting up camp, UTVs can make your hunt easier and more efficient.

UTVs have become a popular choice for hunters. With their large cargo areas and powerful engines, they can handle just about any task. From hauling game to setting up camp, UTVs can make your hunt easier and more efficient.

Side-by-Sides for Trail Riding

UTVs offer a unique and exciting way to experience the trails. With their powerful engines and large tires, they can tackle any terrain. And with a wide variety of models and styles available, there’s sure to be a UTV that’s perfect for your riding style.

And with various attachments and accessories available, they can be customized to fit your specific needs. From gun racks to camouflage, there’s an accessory or attachment that can help you make the most of your hunt even if you are off the beaten path.

Find the Perfect Gator for You

The John Deere Gator UTV is one of the most versatile and dependable vehicles on the market. With its powerful engine and large cargo area, it can handle whatever task you need it to. If you’re ready to purchase a UTV/SxS, check out the full range of John Deere Gator Utility Vehicles we offer. Visit us at one of our 18 locations across Florida, and we’ll help you find the perfect UTV for your needs.

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