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Newby: purchase advise wanted


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Howdy from Oregon!

I'm wanting a SxS for operating on my own property.  I would use it to haul chainsaw, cables, axe, machete and other stuff to maintain several miles of foot paths.  Also I would use it to make the daily 1 mile round trip to the mail box.  I expect I would use it a hundred hours per year. 

I am grossed out by the price of new machines, and after reading the service manual of a Polaris RZR 400, I am not happy with the maintenance required either.  It seems a used machine has quite a number of areas that would be potential problems if a used machine wasn't kept up properly with maintenance.

4x4 quads seem a lot cheaper, and simpler to maintain, but have the drawbacks of no "bed" and maybe? side-hill stability. 

Your thoughts, please?


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Side by sides are great they have a steering wheel which I like, but they are very expensive, I have utility quads and I use them for exactly what you want to use them for, running around my property, I feel like they are more versatile, if you want to haul things use a trailer if you are just going to mailbox no trailer needed , if you want to take them to the woods they are smaller and easier to maneuver and more powerful to climb hills. They all need maintenance to keep them running properly and if not abused they will run a long time without any problems.

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Yup, if it's just saving legwork then a quad is cheaper and simpler to maintain. They aren't really safe though on hills towing a trailer.

Having the load on the back if you are carting something on hilly land, is better than towing a trailer... Better traction, safer.

I manage to get most things I want to move on my quad somehow..  I've used wooden outriggers to lug 14 foot slabs of 3x18 inch, and have a bin front and rear that carry a lot of small stuff or loads of metal or shale.

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Thank you both for your thoughts.  I have been gravitating towards a quad for the reasons you have mentioned.

Our property is quite hilly.  My 250 beater dirt bike will go anywhere even when wet.  My old Ford 8N tractor will, too.  With simple all season tires, My 4x4 pickup would slide sideways on some of the hills and end up in the creek.  In the winter we seldom get snow, but we do get plenty of mud.  So my thinking is whatever I get it will need aggressive tires and decent ground clearance.

One thing that bugs me about quads is they seem top-heavy.  Any thoughts along those lines? 

thanks again, tom

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I haven't noticed any of mine being top heavy, I guess it depends on who you ask and what type of riding they do , if that's a concern I would probably look for one with the widest footprint. Looking to buy new or used, do your homework read some reviews and when you decide on what you want ask the forum, we can tell you what we know, good and bad.

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I'm on hilly country too Geezer and I've never found quads to be top heavy. I avoid going around the sides of hills though, but I go up and down some really steep hills. If you've driven a tractor places, the quad will feel way safer.

I've driven quite a few yamaha, suzuki, and honda quads and my favorites are the suzukis. They have firm suspension, though not the best design, and a really heavy and low motor/gearbox. Suzukis also have the best ratios for steep land. They have standard, low and super low ratios, with a five speed box, which is excellent on steep land. The low ratio gives you close ratios and extra torque in the same way as four wheel trucks in low ratio. The lowest gear and ratio is such a crawler that you could literally get off and crawl faster.. haha.

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