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Utility Vehicles Save Time, Money
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Buying Utility Vehicles: Determine Needs, Improve EfficiencyPt. 2: Utility Vehicles: Power and Fuel ConsiderationsPt. 3: Utility Vehicles: Size and ManeuverabilityPt. 4: Roll-Over Protection and Attachments for Utility VehiclesPt. 5: This Page
Utility vehicles generally cost less than pickup trucks, utility tractors or vans. Most vehicles cost between $7,000 and $14,000, but some of the largest models can cost up to $25,000.
These vehicles might seem expensive at first glance, but consider all they can do. The time saved transporting crews and equipment or materials to the job, as well as their ability to perform so many other essential, year-round grounds tasks, might make them the most cost-effective piece of equipment in the shop.
Speed might or might not be a manager’s top priority. After all, these vehicles mainly save crews from having to walk and from having to drive larger vehicles in areas where it is dangerous or damaging to the landscape. But speed is important in some situations. Utility vehicles generally feature a traveling speed of 12-45 mph. One of the fastest models advertised reaches 65 miles per hour, but it probably is not necessary for most grounds maintenance.
The final essential step in the specification process is to contact dealers that carry the models identified as appropriate for the department. Dealers are happy to bring these models to the facility for a test drive. This way, employees can test the machines and attachments for durability, ease of use, comfort and stability on the terrain on which they will operate. Managers also should remember to let mechanics inspect the vehicles for ease of maintenance and durability.
Involving equipment operators and mechanics in research and product testing can help ensure the department ends up with the utility vehicle that best suits its needs and will offer the quickest return on the investment.