1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default UTVs: Kubota? Mule? Ranger? J.Deere? Bobcat? Argo?

    Looking for a UTV for wildland fire use - about 65 gallons of water, small pump, etc... I hear a lot about some of the brands listed, but not others. For example, I most recently used an Argo 8x8 amphibious ATV that could still float with this much weight in it! But I never hear anyone else talking about Argos for fire, even though they seem to be a good choice, as they can go most anywhere and have a really low center of gravity. But they're a bit pricey. Does anyone else have any experience with Argos for fire use? Or any recommendations/suggestions/experience with any other brands/models for what I'm looking for? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default

    There are several either fair or and good choices in UTVs.

    Since we are far from the local fire dept. The locals have joined up and use a similar setup to what your 65+ gallon + pump, e.t.c.

    The 8x8 argos are indeed very good except around here it's rough and argos can easily get hung up / high centered. We still use the old 8x8 on most small forest fires as it can get to water sources that are ex on the other side of a swamp where a hose can't reach, or creeks. Drag the hoses to less accessible water sources, e.t.c.

    As for your list of UTVs.

    The Kubota RTV is one of the most reliable and durable UTVs around.

    Very good cargo capacity.

    Very tipsy when not not loaded with weight on the front hood.

    Also quite unstable (back flip) on vertical inclines.

    Very strong.

    4WD mode is a bit problematic. You can lock the front tires but the level/switch is finiky and you often end up with three wheel drive.

    -----

    Polaris ranger (6x6 version).

    Plenty of power

    Very good 4wd mode, and locker.

    Highest cargo & towing capacity of the UTVs.

    Very unstable unless loaded with at least 40% it's cargo capacity in both the rear cargo box and the front hood rack.

    Similar stability problems that the Yamaha Rhino has.

    Almost half has much ground clearance as the regular ranger or ranger XP.

    -----

    John deere Gator 850D.

    Good cargo capacity.

    Excellent (no glamour) construction.

    Diesel engine for cooler running and long life.

    Good stability.

    All around good machine.

    ------

    Bobcat.

    It's unclear as to what the new bobcat will be like. Since Bobcat has now joined up with Polaris Industries.

    No one seems to know which parts will be which.

    -----

    Kawasaki Mule.

    Tough, good worker high cargo capacity UTV.

    Motor and frame are of good quality.

    Steering and other components tend to get worn out quickly.

    4wd mode is ok but the locker almost never works.

    -----

    Cub Cadet volunteer (EFI or D (diesel)).

    Very good cargo & towing capacity

    Heavy duty frame.

    Very good Kohler EFI gas or Yanmar (new) diesel motor.

    4wd mode similar to a chevy suburban with full locking.

    Full size pallet size cargo bed.

    Easy to repair and maintain.

    -------------------------

    In the end we had the choose between the John Deere Gator and the Cub Cadet Volunteer.

    The Volunteer easily went to the head of the pack for shier reliability, power, cargo & towing capacity and has an actual fully locking 4x4 mode, and a turf mode if needed. Good warenty as well.


    I would suggest between the Gator 850D or either version of the Cub Cadet Volunteer.

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