Episode-908- Jacob Farley on ATVs and UTVs for Homesteading and Prepping — 16 Comments

  1. I don’t think it was mentioned during the show, but for a small vehicle with a PTO on it, Yamaha made a “TerraPro” quad for a year or two in the late 80’s that’s got a two point hitch and PTO. They’re discontinued, and fairly hard to find. Parts are limited but they’re a decent “micro” tractor if you can find one in decent shape.

  2. I have to admit to having an 84′ Honda ATC200ES (3 wheeler) and it sure beats using my riding lawn mower to pull a trailer around 5 acres to haul firewood to the house and fencing and other supplies to various places.

    It only cost a few hundred dollars on craigslist and has been well worth it. It’s also a lot of fun in the snow!

  3. Thanks Jacob. Even living on a farm as we do there are times we forget areas to concentrate on. This is one for us. It’s nice to be reminded to pay attention to it.

    • I’m glad everyone enjoyed the show.

      Lurch, I’ve never heard of the Terrapro, I’ll have to look it up.

      A few things I forgot to mention, most every single major company that makes UTVs produces their models in a “crew-cab” model that can seat four
      people. Polaris Rangers, and possible other companies, are available in an electric model, useful if you want more than an electric golf cart can provide, but need an electric vehicle. Many companies produce their UTVs in a “pint-size” version, smaller motor, smaller wheelbase, but still seats two and takes UTV utility where normally only a quad would fit, and fits in the bed of a pick up.

      Again, thanks for listening and enjoying the show! I’m more than happy to answer any questions, so throw them at me!

  4. Re: Rokon

    I was madly in love with the idea of the Rokon. I researched the heck out of them and then found a dealer and test drove a few of them. I was ready to pay cash for two of them for my wife and I. The love affair was over in the first 100 yards. It is literally lawn mower construction and components. They are ridiculously expensive for what they are. Any comparably priced quad or dual sport motorcycle is far more capable.

  5. I really enjoyed this episode! We have a Polaris Sportsman (500cc) with snowplow and little utility trailer that has been earning its keep around this homestead since 2002. Other than regular maintence, the only parts we’ve had to replace are the rubber boots that protect the rear suspension. It’s also used as a canyon runner; a few miles in either direction (dirt roads) to neighbors’ houses, foraging, etc.

    I also have to remark that if Jacob’s age hadn’t been stated I would have assumed mid-thirties or older, judging from his knowledge and maturity – renews my hope for coming generations. Great show.

    • Mark, the Rokon is an impressive machine, but the best way to describe it is an answer to a question noone asked.

      LJH, I’m glad you enjoyed the show and thank you very much. I still have alot to learn from previous generations though. Good to here your Polaris is earning it’s keep.

  6. Just a trivia bit more than anything. An unfortunate category of vehicle no longer available in the States (as I understand) are imported Kei Trucks. These are micro trucks, more heavy duty than a UTV, but much smaller than a full size pickup. The were coming in from Japan in great condition and selling for like $5k. Really quite perfect in many small farm, or even not small farm conditions, taking to local markets and what not. Farmers loved them. Then the NHTSA got involved because they weren’t officially safety certified and blocked their importation.

    • @Vettzuki – That makes me think of another option. Rembember the old “Bronco II”. They are quite small and you can still find some a bit beat up for functional that are cheap. Specifically the ones made from 83-88.

      Friend of mine who has a hunting operation in Texas buys them, cuts the roof off with a torch and they will get into just about any place you would want or need to go and hunters can just jump in and out when dropped off at stands.

      • A little synchronicity. 🙂

        I was out offroading with some pals today. One of them had his $1,500 Isuzu trooper, beat to hell, but did jsut fine on a gnarly trail (with only tire upgrades.) You can pick things like this up all the time. For economy, Suzuki Samurais might be a quite good option. We’re talking golf cart prices for an actual vehicle(s) with large support communities, parts, etc. This might be a great tangent for some to consider, and possibly a little “flipping” side business for a mechanic to pick them up and “home steadily” them perhaps.

        • @Vettezuki, now you got my head going here, something like “Top Ten Dirt Cheap Compact Off Road Simple Conversions”. Not sure if the Bronco II qualifies any longer. I could only find a few when I check around and they were modded up and expensive.

          The Nissan Hard Body Pick Ups might be a good idea. My first new vehicle (like from the lot new with no previous owner) was a 94 Nissan Pick-Up with extended cab. 4cycl automatic with 4wd. I got a lemon with lots of engine issues BUT it was an exception to the rule. The trucks were considered anemic looking and underpowered but we also very reliable. I kind of miss it from time to time.

          I think I miss my old 79 Chevy a lot more though, had a strait six out of an old nova. It was the easiest vehicle to work on I have ever owned or for that matter worked on.

      • I’m part owner in a car hobby website. We’ve got some serious guys who know a lot about this kind of “do cool stuff on the cheap” category. If you want me to fine tune the parameters, let me know. I left it fairly open.

        I just put up a thread on your theme. It should populate with ideas over the next few days.

  7. Jack, as far as dragging a deer seven miles out of the woods, my grandfather, Merlin Brown, was an avid deer hunter here in Wetsern Massachusetts. And he also hated dragging a deer out of the woods, especially because of how much damage the deer carcas could suffer on the way out if it was a particularly heavy deer. So back in the 1970’s, he invented and patented a device to make the task of dragging less of … a drag … and also to reduce the damage done to the deer’s hide. It’s a flexible sheet of metal that you carry into the woods strapped to your back, rolled up into a tight scroll. After you kill your deer, you unscroll the metal (and it always wants to roll itself up again, and that works to your advanatge because it then wraps itself around the deer) place your deer onto it, hoist up the handles and start dragging. The metal slides pretty easilly over the snow (not so easy if there is no snow on the ground) –less friction. So your enegy isn’t quite as sapped if you were dragging the thing by its antlers. And the hide doesn’t get ripped the hell eaither.

    On a side note, I met an older gentleman a few years ago here in this area, the editor of one ofd the newspapers in the region. He said he knew my grandfather because they hunted together on more than one occassion. This older gentleman was a good 30 years younger than my grandfather, and he explained to me that he (the older gentleman) served as a “deer lad” or a “deer kid” to my grandfather, which means he was a teenaged boy who would get paid to accomopany an older hunter into the woods on a deer shoot. And if the older hunter was able to bag a deer, the deer lad would then be tasked with the dreaded job of dragging the thing out. This older gentleman said he remembered when my grandfather invented the metal deer dragging thingy.

  8. Coming from an economical standpoint, disregarding that i just now learned from another comment that they aren’t imported anymore, but the small jap trucks would make a far more practical workhorse for those who dont have to drive through some nasty bog or over a bunch of trees to get their cargo someplace. These little trucks are still quite plentiful here in montana as there was a lot of farmers and the like that bought them up like crazy a few years ago. Um, back to my point, the cost to purchase one is $4500 average here, and they get 40-50 mpg, and have a far superior cargo capacity, whereas the utv is a minimum of $10 grand, large utility atv is $6k and up, and if your lucky will net you around 15mpg, most get far less than that. Something to think about if you dont want to spend and arm and leg on gas.

    • I would definitely take a Kei-Truck over a UTV for homestead/farm use for these reasons. They are purpose built vehicles for exactly that kind of use in Japan, and come with features like hydraulic assist beds etc. They are the “correct” homestead solution IMO. Good to know there’s still a bit of a market from them based on the original influx. Maybe they’re still being imported for “off road” use only (i.e., not on highway). A quick look discovered this site with a chart that compares Kei trucks capabilities and prices. Pretty clear picture.