Utility Vehicle

How Technology is Evolving Utility Vehicles

In-depth research is essential when deciding which machine is most appropriate for a given property.

By Howard Riell, contributing writer  

While electric utility vehicles are growing in popularity and efficiency, technology continues to evolve. 

“Electric utility vehicles have come a long way since they were first introduced,” says Steve Cathey, Western USA regional sales manager for Kioti, which owns the Kubota brand. “Typically, they may be slower in speed than gas-powered vehicles. However, many electric units have the same load-capacity capabilities.” 

Some of the styling features on the new-generation electric models are more modern. Managers who go with electric utility vehicles “are typically more focused on the certain types of duties they need their machine to perform and the areas of which they’ll be used,” Cathey says. 

In-depth research is essential when deciding which machine is most appropriate for a given property. 

“Knowing which features will best suit your needs is critical, from load and towing capacity to ground speed to possible climate-controlled needs,” Cathey says. “Preparing ahead of time will mitigate the pressure of impulsively buying something on a dealer lot. Make sure you select the product that is going to best fit your needs.” 

Managers should start by looking at serviceability. 

“From a serviceability perspective, you do not want to get into something that will end up costing you more long term,” Cathey says. “Selecting a machine that meets the needs of the majority of the work that you and your team do on a day-to-day basis should be top of mind.” 

When considering electric utility vehicles, “make sure to spend time doing your research on all the products available as you weigh your options,” Cathey says. “It is always a good idea to visit your local dealer and establish a relationship with them so they can better understand your needs and better assist you in finding a machine that meets all of your wants and needs.” 

Another good piece of advice is to have patience before making the purchase decision. 

“Don’t settle for the wrong machine simply because it is available on the spot,” Cathey says. “Take your time and be patient during the process.” 

All that said, the most appropriate electric utility vehicles must offer the same benefits as gasoline-driven models.  

Erika Schrader of Bobcat says grounds managers looking to buy a new utility vehicle need to have operators: inspect its entry and exit; test the seats and steering wheel; evaluate its visibility; consider the vehicle’s occupant and storage capacity; review interior cab features; judge its overall operation; ask about the suspension systems; pay attention to its safety features; and inquire about options and accessories. 

Once all of that is in place, electric utility vehicles can make a lot of sense. 

Howard Riell is a freelance writer based in Henderson, Nevada. 

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  posted on 10/18/2022   Article Use Policy

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