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On the Farm | Preston Citizen

On the Farm

August 10, 2013
By

Working with a side-by-side 

By RODNEY D. BOAM 

Citizen editor

The side-by-side (SxS), or utility terrain vehicle (UTV), is a new tool in the shed of farmers and ranchers around the area these days. The increasingly popular farm and recreational vehicle is proving to be useful for anyone who needs to haul stuff that won’t fit on the back of a horse and it’s cheaper to run than a four-wheel-drive pickup. They can be found in the fields with pipe movers, checking cattle on the range, hauling stuff around the farm or just taking a family up in the hills for a recreational ride.

Power Products Marketing, a Minneapolis-based research firm, reported UTV sales have grown 43.5 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Tyler Rallison said this is the vehicle used for taking his family up into the woods for recreational drives. He tries to keep it especially clean for that kind of use.

Tyler Rallison said this is the vehicle used for taking his family up into the woods for recreational drives. He tries to keep it especially clean for that kind of use.

Greg Belew, who works for Mink Creek Cattle Company in Franklin County, said it is sometimes easier to load up his SxS with the things he needs than to put it on the back of a horse. He can take more with him and it’s easier for him to get in and out of his UTV than it is to get up and down off his horse.

Franklin dairyman Doug Rallison uses his Polaris Ranger for all kinds of chores. Rallison built a small trailer with a pump and the side-spray arms they use for spraying weeds and knocking down dust around their dairy. Their UTV gets plenty of other work around the place. With a 1,000 pound payload capacity, his wife used it to clean the yard and his son loaded the bed with compost for the family garden. Rallison could go on and on what their UTV is used for around their farm.

“This is the one thing we keep clean so if someone wants to go for a ride with the kids they can do it,” said Tyler Rallison, Doug’s son.

Most of the SxS market is focused on recreational use, but the farm application is growing.

“We do sell UTVs to a few farmers and ranchers in the area,” said Bill Chambers of Northstar Ultimate Outdoors. “They are built to work.”

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