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lbedord
Contributor

Day Three of the Ultimate Evaluation

We're on day three of the Ultimate evaluation and the riders are really enjoying getting to put these machines through their paces. We've been able to ride all of the machines loaded and unloaded. While many of the machines perform close to how they did when unloaded, there were a couple that were challenged and felt a bit loose when driving.

 

I also had a chance to be a passenger rather than a driver during the test, which is an interesting vantage point. I definiltely like being in the driver's seat! The machine we took out was the Polaris Ranger XP 900. The one thing many of the driver's noticed was that thisPolaris Ranger.jpg

machine definitely drove differently when loaded. As a passenger, I could feel the machine pulling from side to side. Not quite fishtailing but a definite difference in the ride when loaded.

 

One driver commented that the load in the back of the Polaris makes a difference on how it handles in the front. The front is light and when loaded, this machine should really be two up to provide added weight in the front.

 

 

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lbedord
Contributor

Re: Day Three of the Ultimate Evaluation

Man's best friend, Dally, loves riding along in the vehicles. He waits patiently for owner Broady Murphy, who works at Little Goose Ranch.Dally the dog.jpg

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lbedord
Contributor

Re: Day Three of the Ultimate Evaluation

The nice thing about our evaluators is that they have a wide variety of experience. John Lumkes, Purdue ag engineer, has a number of years of experience working with these machines. Here are just a few shots of my trail ride experience with him. He put this John Deere RSX 850i to the test and the machine took it all in stride. It handled curves well and managed to maneuver the ups and downs of the terrain, as well as the debris in its way.Image 1.jpgImage 2.jpgImage 3.jpgImage 4.jpgImage 5.jpgImage 6.jpgImage 7.jpg

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lbedord
Contributor

Re: Day Three of the Ultimate Evaluation

As we wrap up day three, riders completed testing machines under loaded conditions. Initial reactions were mixed among the machines. Some were a little light on the front while others handled well.

 

"When loaded, the suspension is a bit soft but overall the Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX is my favorite machine so far," says Broady Murphy."

 

Yet, another rider, Joe Greving, says, "The Arctic Cat Prowler handles by far better with a load. It steers much better and still has lots of power."

 

At $10,999, this machine was a nice surprise to several in our group because it strikes a good balance between sport and utility. It's a nice overall machine.

 

The Bobcat 3400, which ranges in price from $10,000 to $16,000, is easy to turn and maintained speed fairly well for a diesel on the trail. And even though the seats didn't adjust, which is an issue for shorter people like me, I didn't feel it was an issue in this machine. One downfall, it didn't have a speedometer. With our need for speed, I would have liked to know how fast I was going during certain points on the trail. . . or maybe it's best that I didn't know!

 

The three speed transmission on the Honda Pioneer made driving smooth and easy. The added seating in the back was a nice feature that adds to its versatility for work or play.

 

One of the nice features on a few of these machines is the fact that the parking mode is incorporated into the main gear shifter. There were a couple of machines that had the parking brake positioned on the left hand side, which seemed awkward.

 

John Deere's RSX 850i wins the award for the most comfortable seating! The bucket seats were awesome. This machine also had great power and suspension and handled extremely well with a load.

 

Not to be outdone, the John Deere XUV 825i is a solid farm UTV. It's very quiet and the suspension is designed for load carrying. The ergonomics on this machine scored well with riders.

 

Riders initially had issues with the Polaris Ranger when loaded. "Vehicle seems to move left and right when loaded."

 

However, after adjusting the rear shocks to their stiffest setting and loading it back up, the Polaris was much better. "Body roll was less pronounced. It handled better. Steering authority was improved and I enjoyed the machine a lot more."

 

"The suspension, steering and braking are beautiful." Those are the comments of Broady Murphy, our youngest rider, about the Yamaha Viking.

 

Look for the full report on all the machines in an upcoming issue of Successful Farming magazine.

 

 

 

 

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Jessie_Scott_SF
Veteran Contributor

Re: Day Three of the Ultimate Evaluation

It’s been a busy, productive, and incredibly fun week at Little Goose Ranch. In the upcoming months we’ll have videos on agriculture.com, articles in Successful Farming, and features on the Machinery Show on RFD-TV. Before I get into those in-depth articles and discussions, here are my initial impressions from the evaluation:

  • When it comes to steering, you have to make compromises. Take the two Gators for example. The RSX is a powerful machine with lots of speed. When you are taking advantage of the speed the steering is great, but when you slow down on the trails to go around tight turns you really have to crank the wheel. The XUV is designed to go a little slower and has softer turning. It’s great on the trails, but not ideal at faster speeds.
  • Rated cargo capacity doesn’t mean rated cargo capacity on any type of terrain. We loaded the machines to half of the capacity and took them on the trail. There were a few that really struggled up some of the hills. Also, adjustable shocks make a huge difference. We ran the loaded Polaris Ranger with the preload adjustment and then took the trail after we adjusted the shocks. The difference was incredible.
  • Tires make a big difference. Yesterday when we got hit with rain and the trails started to get muddy, the tires on a few of the machines were completely caked with mud. This made the ride very slippery. On other machines, the tires handed incredibly well.
  • Wyoming is a fantastic place. Beautiful mountains. Challenging trails. Fantastic food. Good beer (after we finished riding for the day, of course!). Here’s a shot of me out on the trails. I look pretty serious in that shot but don’t let that fool you. I was having a great time!

_MG_5877.jpg

 

 

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