When people think about planting the back 40, plowing a long driveway or moving heavy things, a tractor quickly comes to mind. After all, a tractor can do it all. A four-by-four tractor is the most useful piece of equipment to have around any size farm, whether it is a full-time operation or a small hobby farm. The problem is a four-by-four tractor can cost a small fortune, and sometimes justifying the expense, especially if you are a small farmer, can be difficult. Also, tractors can be extremely expensive to fix. Last year, I spent over $2,000 repairing my four-by-four tractor.

If you are thinking about buying a tractor to plant food plots, plant farm fields or do chores around the farm, realize there is another option. You can turn an ATV into a workhorse. Almost everyone I know has an ATV of some kind—they are so darn useful and affordable today! You might be thinking that a four-by-four quad is very different from a tractor, and although that is true, a good ATV can do many farm chores faster, easier and more economically than a tractor can.

For instance, a friend of mine builds fences for a living in Kansas. Spools of fence can be strung up with a tractor, but an ATV does a better job. “An ATV is much easier to maneuver. It doesn’t get stuck easily and is better on gas. I used to string fence without an ATV, and it was a nightmare,” Mick Bowman said. If you go out West, you will quickly notice that an ATV is the go-to vehicle for many ranchers. Savvy ranchers use quads or “bikes” to check fences, round up cattle and do everything in between. An ATV is truly a versatile machine.
One nice thing about an ATV (or UTV, depending on which machine you own or are considering buying) is that you can purchase a variety of at- tachments that turn any run-of-the-mill machine into a full-blown workhorse. Let’s take a look at some of them.

ATV Attachments
A disc or machine that can be pulled behind an ATV and make tilling ground and planting a piece of cake is usually at the top of people’s wish lists. And there are many options available. In most cases, an ATV at- tachment is less expensive than a farm tractor attachment.

One of the more popular ATV attachments is the Plot Master, a device with all kinds of gadgets built into one pull-behind attachment that you can use to till, rake, cultipack and plant the ground. With the Plot Master, your ATV or UTV can do almost everything a tractor can. Moreover, the farmer planting smaller fields doesn’t need a large tractor to get the job done. And if you’re a serious hunter you can use the Plot Master to plant small to medium fields to attract wildlife. After you’ve tagged out on a monster buck, that same ATV can become your pack mule. You can even use the ATV’s winch to easily pull downed big-game animals from precarious places in backcountry terrain.

The EZ Hunt & Haul blind is built especially for the hunter with an ATV.

The EZ Hunt & Haul blind is built especially for the hunter with an ATV.

Three-Point Hitches
Kolpin has a complete line of attachments for ATVs, under its Dirt Works product line. And the foundation of the Dirt Works line is a three-point hitch attachment system that connects all of Kolpin’s implements to the machine.

This extra-tough hitch system can handle everything the woods and fields throw at it, featuring a versatility that makes this system the perfect choice for the hobby farmer. Once you possess the Dirt Works three-point hitch system, you will have an array of options for attaching Kolpin’s disc plow, landscape rake, cultivator set, rear blade, chisel plow, box scrape, sweeper broom and so forth.

Best Planters
Best Outdoor Products has a couple farm implements that can make planting much easier for you. The corn planters can be pulled behind an ATV, enabling you to plant one row or several rows of corn at a time. Best Outdoor’s planters are similar to the John Deere planters of yesteryear, but are lighter and more compact, making them a great option for ATV owners.

The company also offers a molded cultipacker that is a dream come true for anyone trying to establish a great seedbed before planting. The Packer Maxx Cultipacker is 4 feet long and weighs 48 pounds empty, making it easy to move around. When filled with water, the Packer Maxx weighs 360 pounds; with sand, 600 pounds. For those looking for a durable, get- the-job done cultipacker that doesn’t break the bank, this is it.

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Great Day Sprayers
An industrial sprayer is another device that can come in handy on the farm. If you need to kill weeds before planting, you can set a large sprayer on the back of an ATV and make quick work of the chore.

Great Day and other companies offer excellent sprayers that hold 30 gallons of fluid or more. Whether you’re putting in a large garden or large food plot, there are times when a big sprayer will come in handy.

Front-End Buckets
No tractor owner can live without a front-end bucket of some type. From moving dirt to bails of hay and everything in between, a bucket makes many tough jobs easier. Swisher Mower makes a steel bucket that attaches to the front of an ATV and can be raised and lowered via an electric winch. The 44-inch, all-steel bucket is sturdy and will make moving dirt, snow and other heavy stuff simple compared with using a shovel.

The Powerloader by Great Day is another option, which also utilizes a winch and can handle loads up to 250 pounds. With the Powerloader, loading a deer, a bail of hay to take out to the pasture, and many other things is very easy. These unique items are proof that an ATV can do almost anything, including hauling heavy loads.

ATV Hauler

An ATV can make quick work of hauling a deer out of the woods

Mowin’ & Brush Hoggin’
Every farm needs a good mower or brush hog. I don’t have a brush hog for my tractor, but I do have a Swisher mower that can be pulled behind my ATV (or a lawn tractor) and has a large Briggs & Stratton motor.
Swisher mowers are quite impressive—mine has a 44-inch cut. And when cutting grass, one can be offset from a regular riding mower so you can cut 6 feet or more in one pass.

Swisher has a few mower options that work well for fields and grass. The finish mower works well for cutting lawns and fields, and the brush-hog model can cut brush and small saplings. Both models work well and are very durable. I bought mine used; it is several years old, and it still performs like new.

Snow Plows
Getting rid of snow is another thing many of us living in the snowbelt must deal with. If you have a long driveway, a walk-behind blower simply can’t do the job fast enough. One answer is to get a plow blade for your ATV. Most heavy-duty four-by-four ATVs can quickly push the white stuff out of the way. There are dozens of companies that make aftermarket snowplows for ATVs, some of which are completely made of steel, while others have steel frames and plastic blades—either option beats shoveling.

The cleanest way to clean up snow is with a snowblower that blows the snow out of a driveway. I have a snow-blower attachment for my lawn tractor. Then there’s the Snow Hogg, a self-contained blower that attaches to the front of an ATV! It has its own motor, so all the ATV does is slowly push down the driveway, which keeps the ATV from doing much of the work and lets the snowblower do the hard job of throwing snow. The advantage of an ATV snowblower is that it can blow the snow up and over the snow bank, so when you get a large snowstorm, you don’t have to worry about where to put all the snow.

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Haulers & Hunting Blinds
Another great ATV add-on is a pull- behind trailer. There are many options on the market, such as plastic trailers, steel trailers, wood trailers and dump trailers. Any one of them is handy to have around.

I have a wood-planked trailer that I use to haul wood around with, and it works well. A small ATV trailer is lightweight, easy to connect and dis- connect to an ATV, and easy to store.

Most hunters enjoy hunting from a ground blind from time to time, either for deer or turkeys. The new EZ Hunt & Haul Trailer is like a ground blind on steroids. The EZ Hunt & Haul is a hard-sided trailer that comes in Lost Camo. The trailer can be used as a field hunting blind for geese and ducks and as an ice-fishing shanty. It even has a doggy door! In addition, the blind is collapsible and can be removed from the trailer so it can be used as a utility trailer.

Winches
One must-have gadget for any ATV owner is a winch. Warn and Super Winch are the two best-known brands on the market. If you own an ATV, chances are that it will eventually get stuck. So having a winch on the front or back (or both) makes getting the machine unstuck quite easy.

Many attachments like a plow or bucket require a winch to move them up and down. When buying a winch, purchase one that is a little bigger than what you may need. Otherwise, you might get stuck and have a difficult time getting out of the mud.

An ATV can be a great tool to have on the farm and is handier, less expensive and easier to haul around than a tractor, since most ATVs can ride shotgun in a pickup truck’s bed. An ATV is the best of both worlds: a fun toy for outdoorsmen and a machine built to eat up work around the homestead. What more could you ask for?

 

ATV HOOK-UPS
BEST OUTDOORS
bestoutdoors.com; 866-824-6238

EZ HUNT & HAUL
ezhunthaul.com; 574-309-0574

GREAT DAY INC
greatdayinc.com; 866-649-1918

KOLPIN POWER SPORTS
kolpinpowersports.com; 877-956-5746

MAX ATV’S
maxatvs.com; 800-255-2511

PLOT MASTER
theplotmaster.com; 888-629-4263

SNOW HOGG
atvsnowblowers.com; 877-823-1043

SUPERWINCH
superwinch.com; 800-323-2031

SWISHER MOWER
swisherinc.com; 800-222-8183

WARN INDUSTRIES
warn.com; 800-910-1122