Trading in the tractor for a...UTV? 4-Wheeler?

Bought an L series Kubota during the lockdown when financing deals were hard to pass up and used it to clear a lot of land but it currently gets used for nothing more than turning the manure pile and dragging the arena.

Hardly enough to justify the payment - and honestly, I hate the d@mn thing.

I have a buyer lined up, and a Newer Spreader on the way so I don’t have to worry about having a manure pile any more…so now I’m trying to decide what to replace the tractor with.

I know either a UTV or 4 wheeler will work, I just don’t know if one would be a better option than the other.

Whatever I buy will be used to pull the spreader, drag the arena, pony horses, and plow snow. We have some steep hills and some rough trails on the property that it needs to be able to handle. Any suggestions? Brand recommendations would be appreciated too :slight_smile:

I feel like I could have posted this! We are doing the same thing. Dumped the tractor and lived with our Tahoe and nice zero turn for a few years. I don’t regret the decision at all especially with our steep hills!

Now we are on a waiting list to get a Mule utv just do we aren’t having to take the Tahoe out all the time. It will pull our spreader, trailer, and be handy for trail maintenance.

For the few times a year we need a tractor I can rent one (or a very nice skid steer that I could never afford) for less than the yearly tractor maintenance. It has worked for us!

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We picked the mule because I wanted a large dump bed for moving dirt and stone as we do trail maintenance. I want to be able to throw weed whackers, shovels, drain tile, etc to haul remote sites on property. An ATV just didn’t have that extra functionality we would find useful

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This is one of those COTH lessons in life - where we realize that what we need is not the same as what others might need.

I can not imagine not having a tractor. It moves around the big bales. It has pounded in fence posts. It pulls the T-posts from our snow fence we put up every winter. We use it to move snow. We can use it to move the horse trailer on the property.

I have to agree with @Ponycatraz, if you are going to go with just a smaller ATV type thing I would use something like a Mule.

I’d think the side by side would be more useful. Easier to haul supplies and a helper! That additional usefulness comes with a price tag though. Some of the new side by sides are price comparable to a new smallish tractor. So if your looking for economy, the quad might be a better choice.

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You’re SO right! I read on these forums for years how you can’t survive on a horse farm without a tractor - and yet, I’ve owned two horse properties now and could 100% survive without one. I hate the dang things! There are 2-3 times a year I NEED the FEL (like when storms wash out parts of the driveway) but like @Ponycatraz mentioned, in those cases it’s cheaper just to rent one for the day! But, to each their own :rofl:!!!

I do love the idea of the added storage/carrying capacity of a UTV with a bed…but I can see an ATV doing a lot better on the trails. Decisions, decisions…


I used an ATV and a small pull-behind dump cart to do various barn chores for many years and was thrilled how much better than a wheelbarrow it was. Then DH happened upon a steal of a deal on a Kubota RTV with a dump bed. It’s amazing. We have since sold the ATV and I haven’t missed it for a moment.

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I am another who would never get rid of the tractor. You want a tractor with an FEL.

We also have a quad that pulls a trailer for fixing fences.

Those 2 are the 2 most used things on the farm.

I appreciate your opinion but I do NOT want or need my tractor with a FEL. It is just not at all necessary on my farm with the way I have things set up. But thanks.

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I’m another who would never get rid of her tractor. I’d probably sell my child before the tractor :rofl:. We use it for everything. Literally used it yesterday to lift our old washer up the basement stairs into garage. When the payment comes out every month I think, money well spent.

But pre-tractor, we borrowed side by sides from my work when needed and they were super handy. Personally if I were to tractor-less, I’d get something with a dump bed. We also have an ATV and it’s good for pulling harrows but otherwise, I find it fairly useless. We had a cart to pull behind it but it took so much man handling to dump it that I stopped using it. We have Rhino and Polaris brands at work and found both decent. The guys I work with put them into much more serious terrain than you probably ever would and haven’t had issues.

Man, I LOVE this thread. I have probably the MOST non tractor need property out of any other posters. I’ve posted before regarding it, and that the ONLY thing I’d need/use a tractor for was if I wanted to scoop my manure bins out and spread it anywhere. That was my original plan! But then I’d need a tractor with an FEL…then I’d need a spreader that would work in my small turnout areas that the FEL could fill . I did buy a Newer Spreader, but filling it from my bins was suddenly like ??? that ‘$hit’ is HEAVY and doing it by shovel full into the small Newer spreader don’t work !!! for lots of reasons. SOOO much gas back and forth for the spreading. SO. If you get a Newer spreader, fill it from your stalls or paddocks and drive right then and spread it. That’s how they work. I have a suitable garden ‘tractor’ for mowing and even pulling the spreader, but one thing I do dislike is how I can’t set the deck on it as high as I’d like for my turnout mowing. So, I’ll enjoy knowing the responses here.

Agreed. It would take the place of a FEL for jobs that just require moving heavy things from place to place. A mule/side-by-side can carry another person, be fitted with other attachments, pull things, etc. So more versatile than a 4-wheeler/ATV.

I love my Kubota with FEL, and use it all the time, but I don’t have a manure spreader…so getting rid of manure is the #1 use of the FEL (although I use it for many other things since I have it.)

Exactly! The one thing I use the FEL for is the manure pile - everything else I do with the tractor can be done with something else. I’ve had two tractors now, and despise them. I think the implements are ridiculously difficult to swap out (I even have a quick hitch and still spend 10 minutes cursing and fighting with the damn thing!) and I just am NOT a tractor fan.

I also don’t love having a manure pile, and think spreading will be a better way to go for my property. I do plan on mucking directly into the spreader and spreading each day, as I can imagine how much back-breaking work it would be to shovel from a pile into the spreader.

I have it narrowed down to a Mule, Gator, or Kubota Sidekick. All three have dealers nearby and I agree with all of you who suggested getting something with a dump bed. Thanks for all of the suggestions :slight_smile:


A side by side is also very fun. Grandma wants to see the ponies? Just hop on and ride around the farm. Wanna sip wine and watch the sunset with Mr SugarCubes? Hop in and drive up to the best viewing point! Cooler rides in the back beautifully


I totally agree! Lots of uses outside of horse chores with a UTV. We have a firepit down by our pond, so being able to load up the back with wood and a cooler sounds great :slight_smile: We also have a 1/2 mile long driveway, so using this to get the mail would be way more fun than getting in a car! I just think it’ll be more versatile than the tractor which is used solely for chores.


Yes you definitely need one! It will be perfect for going to the fire pit!

I assume those that talk about spreading manure every day and not having a pile live in parts of the world where the volume of snow you get at any given time is not deep enough to have a problem driving thru while pulling a spreader.


I can pull my spreader no problem with our Tahoe. We’ve often pulled through a foot+ in Michigan winters in the snow belt. I don’t expect the UTV to be able to do that, but that is why we are getting a dump bed.

Interesting thread! As a new farm owner, I bought a tractor. It is getting a decent amount of use now as we are still cleaning up years of neglect and other renovations. But after we’re done with that, the only thing I think we’ll use it for would be for managing the manure pile and loading the composted manure into the spreader. Possibly also some snow removal in the wintertime on the farm side of things.

For most day-to-day things, we have a side by side. I would have gone with a Gator or similar, but DH wanted something that he could also have fun with. So we have a Polaris maverick. We put a ball hitch on it and I drop the handle of the gorilla cart over the ball and trailer the cart all over. Works great and so much easier than the tractor. Also is great to go get the mail with.

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Curious to know where you can safely spread manure year round? You can’t put it on growing pasture or hay fields you are going to cut in the next few months or planted crop ground. What is left??

We usually pile and apply it all in the late fall after we get our last cutting or the crops are harvested.

How much snow can a utility vehicle/4 wheeler push? I would keep the tractor or sell it for something smaller and less expensive??