The once humble ATV has been around for nigh on forty years now. Since the days of the idiosyncratic “trike” things have progressed to such an extent that these lithe, adaptable vehicles are light years ahead of their forbears. Attitudes have changed too according to Simon Riches of ATV manufacturer, Kawasaki.
“When we first started it was the farming sector that we initially targeted. Not only did they have the most immediate need for an ATV but, we figured, if we could convince farmers, we could convince most other users”.
How true. Now Kawasaki ATV’s are used in a variety of diverse applications, particularly in the area of turf care and landscaping. Naturally all golf courses or landscaping issues are not the same concedes Riches.
“Winter maintenance on many courses is a delicate matter; after all you don’t want to do more damage than you are trying to repair. The KLF300B is built for users who demand the ultimate in manoeuvrability allied to tried and trusted engineering. It may look conventional, but under the skin the 300B has a few neat tricks like its unique un-lockable rear differential which provides the tightest turning circle of any ATV”.
Understandably the benefits in terms of weed spaying are obvious with the ability to turn on a sixpence – or should that be a five pence piece! The narrow track too is of great benefit too as Riches explains.
“I’ve seen myself many situations were a small ATV needs to take a narrow trailer down a long path to get to a maintenance spot deep in some woods or other inaccessible place. The only alternative would be the time and labour consuming use of shovels and wheelbarrows”.
At the other end of the spectrum has been the rapid emergence of a breed of super powerful ATVs with huge torque and pulling power. This, says Riches, is currently one of Kawasaki’s fastest expanding markets.
“Although small in terms of car or especially tractor engines, the 750cc twin cylinder water-cooled unit in our KVF750 is easily able to pull a 567kg which, in old money, is over half a ton. The trick with high end vehicles like this is to make the power linear and the torque readily available and controllable. The fifty horsepower KVF does this with ease and combines it with a fully automatic gearbox and double wishbone suspension front and rear. As a vehicle for really hard work in a variety of applications it offers a very real alternative to pick ups and four by fours.”
“The ATV market overall is very discerning so it is a case of horses for courses. We like to think we have a stable full of thoroughbreds. ”
The Bobcat 2200D multi-purpose, four-wheel drive utility vehicle offers an enhanced ability to tackle a wide range of terrains for applications as diverse as working on farms and country estates to gaining access across construction and landscaping sites.
The vehicle has an aluminum frame, chassis and cargo box floor, combining optimum corrosion resistance with a low overall operating weight of only 756 kg and low ground pressure. The standard load capacity of the cargo box is an impressive 499 kg, more than any other equivalent machine on the market.
The Bobcat is therefore ideal for use on manufacturing and administration sites, as well as public and private amenities such as hotels, caravan and mobile home parks, at sports grounds, golf courses, parks, gardens and nurseries; at concerts and other events, hospitals, local authority locations, universities, schools and other institutions.
Designed for a wide variety of load and carry work, the 2200D features the 4×4 IntelliTrak drive system, allowing it to haul cargoes comfortably, climb grades with ease and tackle rough terrain. When maximum traction is needed for climbing hills or travelling over soft terrain, the IntelliTrak system automatically sends power to all four wheels, preventing one, two, or three wheels from spinning without the fourth. The automatic locking differential engages when needed and disengages when turning, minimising ground disturbance and wear to tyres and drive components.
The 2200D vehicle has four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, greatly reducing sliding and giving drivers confidence to tackle tricky conditions, even on slopes and wet terrain.
The vehicle’s deep-ratio, continuously variable transmission provides high torque and travel speeds up to 40 km/h. Driven by a 15 kW Kubota D722 diesel engine, the unique transmission design eliminates the need for operators to stop and shift gears. Rack-and-pinion steering provides responsive, effortless steering, a quick turning ratio and a short turning radius of less than 3.6 m.
Driver comfort is paramount with ample leg room, an adjustable driver’s seat and steering column as standard features. The double A-arm front suspension and swing-arm rear suspension provide unmatched ride quality on the 2200D. The vehicle is fitted as standard with two retractable seat belts and a four-point Roll-Over Protective Structure. Accessories include a cab enclosure.
JCB entered the utility vehicle market in 2004 with the Groundhog 6×4 model. This six-wheeler, with permanent four-wheel drive and superior power-to-weight ratio, and low ground bearing pressure, made in-roads into the golf and fine turf sector.
Building on the success of the popular JCB Groundhog 6×4, the 4×4 model was launched in 2008 – both models are built in Britain. The Groundhog 4×4 boasts many of the same key features such as high payload, versatility and the availability of road legal kits – with the added benefits of even greater travel speeds, ground clearance and off-road performance.
The skeleton of the JCB Groundhog 4×4 is a robust chassis designed using finite element analysis, with built-in under-body protection. As a safety consideration, a 4-post ROPS frame is integral to the chassis. It is is powered by a 19.5kW (26hp) diesel engine, delivering an impressive torque of 60Nm and a top speed of 50kph (31mph).
The 4×4 CVT transmission with high/low gear range and engine braking enables easy driving and control, while automotive style all-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with split circuit and a twin calliper parking brake provide excellent stopping power and safety.
The 4×4 has a total payload (including two operators) of 700kg – and the ability to tow an additional 500kg (1102lb), simultaneously. The cargo deck is made from 10-gauge, 3.3 mm thick steel. Durability is further enhanced by a checker plate finish to the floor of the cargo deck to prevent damage from loads. For added versatility, the user can fold down or take off the sides and back of the cargo deck, and even remove the corner posts, leaving a totally flat area for carrying awkward loads. For greater productivity, this cargo deck is also available with a hydraulic tipping option.
The Groundhog is compatible with attachments such as sprayers, snow clearers or line markers. Further options include all glass, or soft-door cabs, load bay strapping points, bull bar, ball hitch (with or without trailer socket) and a choice of tyres, tailored to rugged or delicate turf requirements.
TEl 0800 581 761
The new XUV 850D 4×4 Gator utility vehicle from John Deere is designed for greater off-road and rough-terrain performance
The XUV Gator’s 24hp (850cc) liquid-cooled, three-cylinder Yanmar diesel engine produces with the fastest top speed at 30mph (in high range). Advanced clutching ensures smooth power delivery and engine braking assistance from the dual range constantly variable transmission.
Based on a hydroformed steel frame for increased durability, the XUV Gator also offers a true four-wheel drive traction system. Activated by a simple dash-mounted electronic rocker switch, this on-demand system incorporates lockable front and rear differentials to maintain excellent traction in the toughest ground conditions.
All round independent suspension offers improved handling, operator comfort and ride quality, with 175mm (7in) of suspension travel and 270mm (nearly 11in) of ground clearance, aided by larger wheels and tyres. This enables the XUV Gator to follow rough and bumpy terrain with ease while keeping all four wheels firmly on the ground, whether the vehicle is fully loaded or unladen. Maximum capacity of the steel tipping cargo box is 453kg, while total payload capacity is 635kg and towing capacity is 590kg on level terrain.
Additional operator friendly features include a glove box and storage compartment, cup holder, 12V power outlet and integrated 50mm (2in) rear hitch. The standard four post ROPS frame can be optionally upgraded to a deluxe full glass cab if required. UK list price of the new John Deere XUV 850D 4×4 Gator utility vehicle starts at £10,008 on all-purpose tyres.
Tel: 01949 860491
The Worksite version of the Kubota RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle is an extremely rugged machine, ideally suited to all those fetching and carrying jobs around building and construction sites, such as delivering parts and attachments or refuelling machines in remote locations.
This four-wheel drive vehicle was the first of its type to be designed and built by Kubota. Where required, four-wheel drive can be de-selected for reduced tyre wear and enhanced fuel consumption.
Powered by a Kubota 22hp E-TVCS three cylinder water-cooled diesel engine, easily accessible for servicing, the RTV900 is equipped with three-range variable hydrostatic transmission system (VHT). The system is actuated by a single foot pedal that gives infinitely variable forward and reverse travel up to a maximum speed of 25mph.
In action, VHT delivers rapid acceleration, excellent traction across all surfaces and impressive hill climbing ability thanks to the use by Kubota of an additional hydrostatic assist motor that ‘kicks in’ when climbing a slope, delivering instantly more torque to the drive wheels. The VHT system also provides dynamic braking for safe, controlled hill starts and descents without having to use the vehicle’s brakes.
Complementing the RTV900’s exceptional hill climbing and traction abilities is an automotive style suspension system, with independent MacPherson strut-type suspension on the two front wheels and a semi-independent suspension at the rear combining a DeDion axle, leaf springs and shock absorbers. The result is a smooth, shock-free ride, with class-leading load carrying ability and minimal body tilt across the most challenging ground.
To enhance the suspension’s go-anywhere capabilities, Kubota has given the RTV900 full hydrostatic power steering, a ground clearance of 210mm (8.3in) on all-terrain tyres (185mm/7.3in on turf tyres) and fully-enclosed oil-immersed inboard disc brakes at the front and rear. The use of inboard sealed brakes eliminates the risk of dirt contamination and premature wear and tear, ensuring consistent and positive stopping time after time.
Recognising that the RTV900 can be used for both people-carrying and load movement, Kubota offers the vehicle either with a bench seat or individual seating, both types suitable for two large adults held safely in place by side grab rails and seat belts. The hydraulically-tipped rear cargo box has a load capacity of 500kg (1,100lbs) within generous internal dimensions of 1.32m wide x 1.18m long x 0.29m deep (52in x 47in x 11.4in).
Logic recognised the effectiveness of the ATV as a work vehicle and the firm has continued to grow since the introduction of their first trailers in the early 1980s. Of course, you don’t need an ATV to tow the equipment: any suitable vehicle, such as a 4×4, pickup or a small tractor can be used and although a 50mm tow-hitch is the standard attachment, other hitches can be specified. The company’s produces strong yet light and easy-towing equipment and now the range includes everything from off-road and road-legal trailers (large enough to carry a Utility Vehicle) through flail and rotary mowers, to fertiliser spreaders and on-board sprayers. Other items of interest to landscapers include a slitter/aerator, a 600kg roller and a patented weed wiper which uses a counter-rotating brush to apply weed killer to just the target plants – meaning a huge saving in chemical over conventional sprayers, and with Health and Safety benefits too. All the equipment is UK-made and is designed for low ground pressure operation.
TEl 01434 606661