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SF Blog: The Ultimate UTV Evaluation Is Back!

For the third time, Successful Farming magazine will put the newest UTVs through their paces in the Successful Farming Ultimate UTV Evaluation. 

The first two evaluations were held at Little Goose Ranch in Wyoming. In 2007, Successful Farming’s evaluators tested 18 ATVs and UTVs. The evaluation in 2013 narrowed the focus exclusively to UTVs, where each evaluator rated eight of the newest UTVs on 12 key categories.

While the evaluation has changed, the goal of the test is still to provide farmers with information about how UTVs perform in ag applications. To ensure that is done, there were several changes made for this evaluation:

The machines. There is a wide array of UTVs available on the market today. To make sure the evaluation is as fair as possible, we made the decision to limit testing to crossover utility/recreational models with 650- to 1,000-cc. gas engines. This includes the Yamaha Viking, Polaris Ranger 1000, Honda Pioneer 1000, John Deere Gator XUV 825i, Can-Am Defender XT HD10, Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX, Mahindra XTV 750S, and the Stampede by Textron Specialized Vehicles.

The tests. Each machine will be run through four different tests at this year’s evaluation site, which is the Jackson Lake House Estate in Dahlonega, Georgia. The machines will be tested on a trail with varying terrain two different times: The first unloaded and the second time loaded to half of the machine’s hauling capacity. The machines will also run on a shorter course where they will be driven with the cargo box fully loaded and separately with a trailer. 

The evaluators. In addition to yours truly, we are bringing in two experts to help with this year’s evaluation: Derrek Sigler and Rick Sosebee. Sigler grew up on a beef and row-crop farm in Michigan. For the last 11 years he has covered ATVs and UTVs extensively for, North American Whitetail, Fruit Grower’s News magazine, and Vegetable Grower’s News magazine, among other publications. Sosebee has contributed to a variety of print and online publications during his 14 years as an ATV enthusiast, including,, Hobby Farms magazine, and And if you’re curious about me, Jessie Scott, I was raised on a corn, soybean, and cattle farm in Iowa. I’ve covered machinery trends and topics, including ATVs and UTVS, for Successful Farming for the past four years. I also organized the last Ultimate UTV Evaluation. (Yes, we all get paid to ride UTVs. It’s a rough job, but someone has to do it!)

The evaluation is taking place this week in Georgia. You can follow along with the evaluation online at There will be more detailed coverage of the evaluation in Successful Farming magazine and on the Successful Farming Show.

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