An ATV,(or farm quad or 4 wheeler) is one of the most useful pieces of equipment a farmer can have. With the addition of a few accessories they can carry all sorts, from hay for feeding out, fencing gear, tools, firewood and with the addition of a trailer and crate - young calves and sheep - the uses are never-ending!
We would all like to have a shiny new ATV in our shed but unless you are a full-time farmer and plan on using it most days the cost is hard to justify. Buying a second hand ATV is the best way to go for many lifestyle block and small farmers, so here are a few pointers on what to look for in a second-hand ATV:
1. Firstly decide if you need a 2 or 4 wheel drive model. If you have a relatively flat and dry farm and aren’t going to do much towing you may only need a 2wd model otherwise go for a 4wd.
2. Tires, these are easily over looked and can make a huge difference when the going gets tough, make sure they have plenty of tread, or be prepared to pay $400-$600 for a new set.
3. Decide on what you are prepared to pay, and remember the more you pay for your ATV the less it will cost in repairs and maintenance.
4. The newer the better when it comes to ATV’s, power steering and automatic transmission available on newer models make riding easy and safer.
5. Be aware of the history, ATV’s from dairy farms usually have a shorter life, they tend to have accelerated corrosion and engine wear due to their type of usage. On the other hand an ATV from a cattle or sheep farm can still look and ride like new after many years of use.
6. If you are looking for a hassle-free purchase then you may want to buy through a motorcycle dealer, though this may cost you a little more, it will probably come with some form of warranty and it should be freshly serviced. If you choose to buy privately it will be a good idea to get an independent mechanic to appraise it so you don’t find any in unexpected surprises!
DIY advice for lifestylers, written by Kiwi Cattle Yards owner, Euan Seymour.