We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs), also called side-by-sides, can be just as much fun as their all-terrain vehicle (ATV) counterparts. UTVs are also great all-purpose workhorses, especially for farming and hunting. When you need a towing machine, your UTV can handle jobs both big and small. We researched just how much a UTV tow.
A typical UTV can tow about 2,000 pounds. Some smaller side-by-sides can only tow about 1,000 pounds, while more powerful machines can tow up to 2,500 pounds.
Now that you know the towing capacity for UTVs, let’s take a closer look at how towing capacity is determined. Please keep reading as we also suggest several models of UTVs for your use, and delve into what types of trailers you can tow with UTVs.
UTV Towing Capacity
Manufacturers determine the towing capacity of all vehicles, including UTVs. They usually conduct a variety of tests to find how much of a load a side-by-side can pull, such as:
- pulling up steep hills,
- driving through extreme weather conditions, and
- monitoring how the vehicle handles the terrain when towing.
Other factors used to calculate a vehicle’s towing capacity include the vehicle’s engine size and power, transmission capability, and total vehicle weight. You must gauge the overall weight of the vehicle plus the passengers before setting up your tow to make sure the total weight falls below manufacturer guidelines and avoid overloading your UTV.
The UTV Is An All-Purpose Workhorse
Many consumers have started using UTVs for more than just off-road recreation. From farmers to hunters, many people who want help moving large loads are beginning to see the side-by-side as a valuable tool in their everyday lives.
UTVs are more affordable than tractors and can handle the crop harvests and supply hauling necessary for farm life. Hunters often have a ton of gear they need to carry and have found the side-by-side’s maneuverability useful to get into deeper parts of the forest while towing all of their hunting gear.
Different Models Of UTVs
Once you’ve decided you want a UTV in your life, how do you choose which one to get? It depends on what you will be using it for and how much towing power you need. Below, we have outlined some of the most popular models on the market.
The Can-Am Defender is a powerful machine that can tow up to 2,500 pounds. You can choose from 16 different models, each offering various options, such as higher ground clearance, 4-passenger seating, and air-conditioning. The Can-Am Defender starts at around $10,000 MSRP and can to up to about $28,000 MSRP.
If you are looking for a more affordable UTV, the HiSun Sector starts at just $5,000 MSRP. You can choose from three different colors, including camo. The Sector’s engine isn’t as hefty as other models, but with a towing capacity of 1,200 pounds, you can still take a fair amount of gear with you on your adventure.
Honda is known for its reliability, and its UTV is no exception. The Honda Pioneer boasts a three-seater cab, with an available upgrade to five seats, and a 2,000 pound towing capacity. This vehicle has lots of details that are great for families, such as side nets to keep out dirt and rocks, and strong shocks to help ensure a smooth ride. The Pioneer starts at about $16,000 MSRP.
The Intimidator UTV prides itself on outfitting you with the UTV that best fits your needs. They have six different models; each has ratings that tell you if that trim is best for work, hunting, or play. No matter what you use it for, you can bring along all your toys with the Intimidator’s 2,100 pound towing capacity. The base model of the Classic trim starts at around $11,000 MSRP.
John Deere Gator
In its signature green and yellow color scheme, the John Deere Gator is a powerhouse UTV. It can easily maneuver from field to trail, and the full-sized Crossover XUV has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. You can choose from 2- to 4-passenger models. The John Deere Gator starts at a little under $11,000 MSRP and goes up to more than $18,000 MSRP for the full-sized model.
The Kawasaki Mule is a favorite in the UTV world due to its versatility. With a 2,000 pound towing capacity, it can haul some of your largest loads. But when you want to play, the Mule offers comfortable seats for up to six passengers. The base model starts at around $7,000 MSRP and can go up to $17,000 MSRP for the 6-seater model.
The fun design and flashy colors of the Polaris RZR make you want to hit the trails every day of the week. There are 27 different trims with options for two to four passengers, and an additional model targeted at kids. But this playful machine can also work hard; it has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The base models start at $10,500 and increase to around $25,000.
Arctic Cat Wildcat
The Arctic Cat Prowler offers 50 custom-build accessories available to ensure you can create your ultimate machine. It boasts lots of storage space, seating options for up to six passengers, and a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The Prowler starts at a little over $15,000.
The Massimo T-Boss is just as comfortable on the golf course as it is on the farmstead. You can choose from 10 different trims in several different colors, and optional bench seating is available on most models. The T-Boss starts at $8,000 MSRP and goes up to $15,000 MSRP.
What’s the difference between an ATV and a UTV?
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), also known as quads or four-wheelers, are only meant for one-person transportation. You ride on it straddled and holding handlebars like you would on a motorcycle.
UTVs allow passengers to sit side-by-side and have several safety features that ATVs don’t, such as a roll cage and side nets. Both vehicles can be used for towing, but in general, UTVs are more robust and have a higher towing capacity.
Can a UTV tow a cargo trailer?
Yes, it can! Most UTVs can tow between 1,200 and 2,000 pounds, so towing a cargo trailer is no problem. You just need to make sure you get one that fits your UTV, is relatively easy to maneuver, and fits the job you need it for. There are a few different kinds of trailers to choose from:
Utility trailers are the most common on the market. They have a single axle and usually have low sides best suited to hauling large, bulky items. This kind of trailer works for most purposes.
This kind of trailer is called a dump because it acts as a dump truck. There is a tailgate on the back, making it easy to release small or loose cargo, such as gravel or sand. You just need to be careful when unloading because you can’t control how fast everything will pour out of the back.
Once again, this kind of trailer is named after the type of truck it resembles, the flatbed truck. It lays low and has short sidewalls that allow for towing oversized items. But because of the low walls, items should be strapped in before driving.
The bucket trailer is similar to the dump trailer in that it can hold small, loose cargo. But instead of a tailgate, you just tilt the entire bucket to pour out the amount you need. It also has a smaller overall capacity, which is one reason it is the most affordable of all the different trailers.
Can a UTV tow a boat?
Some smaller boats, such as skiffs and shorter sailboats, weigh less than 1,000 pounds. Most UTVs have a towing capacity of between 1,200 and 2,000 pounds, so a UTV can tow a small boat. But it is imperative to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on maximum tow weight to avoid damaging your UTV.
Can a UTV tow a tractor?
Smaller tractors used for the home can weigh as little as 1,300 pounds, which is within the towing capacity of the burlier UTVs on the market. But commercial tractors can weigh about 15,000 pounds, which would be far too heavy for a side-by-side to pull. UTVs are not meant to haul that kind of load.
What happens if I go over the recommended tow capacity?
Manufacturers run each vehicle through rigorous tests to ensure they know what the UTV can and can not handle, especially when it comes to towing. If you attempt to pull a load that is beyond the recommended towing capacity, you would put excess stress on the UTVs engine, and may even end up damaging the brakes, suspension, tires, transmission, and axles. You should always follow the towing guidelines outlined in your owner’s manual.
UTVs can be very versatile and be utilized as a workhorse on your farm, become a hunting companion, or used to haul around cargo. Smaller UTVs can usually tow around 1,200 pounds, while more powerful side-by-sides can tow about 2,000 pounds, or even up to 2,500 pounds. If you’re in the market to purchase a UTV, many different models can fit almost any budget.
Before you hit the sales floor, check out these other articles to learn more about UTVs on the market: