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Stay safe on an ATV or UTV

09/09/2010 @ 1:39pm

LONDON, Ohio – Utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) are becoming more popular on the farm as the ideal workhorse vehicle, from hauling feed, to fixing fence lines, to spot spraying. But safety remains the name of the game for those operating and those going along for the ride.

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program will be on hand during Farm Science Review to demonstrate proper operating procedures, how to properly fit a rider and what gear to wear for both a UTV and an ATV (all-terrain vehicle).

The exhibit can be found at the Safety Education Area along Land Avenue of the exhibit area. Farm Science Review will take place from Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety specialist, said that ATVs are still popular for recreational use, but UTVs are leading the pack as the preferred all-around off-road maintenance and work vehicle both in urban and rural areas.

“There are new models of UTVs coming out every year, but the number of new models of ATVs has slowed,” said Jepsen. “People love UTVs because they are so versatile, larger than ATVs and are generally safer than ATVs.”

But, Jepsen emphasized maintaining proper safety procedures when operating a UTV is no less important than safely driving an ATV.

Some safety examples include driving slow to avoid overturns due to the high frame of a UTV, and recognizing that the cargo space is not intended to carry extra persons. Additional safety information can be found on the OSU Extension fact sheet, “Safe Operation of Utility Type Vehicles (UTVs)” at http://bit.ly/9Wgo3E.

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