By Toby Raymond
Putting your ATV to work, especially if you are a horse owner, can make light of the labors that never seem to end on a farm. Whether you have two in the back yard or are running a boarding operation, your ATV has to be one of the most versatile tools to have on your side.
Designed to get the job done in tight spaces or in open fields with an easy efficiency that can also save you in gas and heavy equipment costs, ATVs can drag an arena, spread manure, and haul a cart or trailer as effortlessly as it can bushwhack through the woods.
There are several models on the market that are specifically intended to be used behind an ATV, preempting the 3-point tractor and the hassle associated with using it, yet these easy-to-use ATV combinations are equally as effective when it comes to creating and/or maintaining consistent footing. And, on the top, they tout smooth passes that eliminate ridges, an annoying by-product of traditional dragging with a York Rake, for instance. They regulate footing-depth, too, which many claim you can adjust from your seat. The high end models also have the ability to adjust the rake position in order to level out high and low spots.
Ideal for small pastures or paddocks, and often with a multi-purpose design, these tow-behind spreaders can as easily broadcast seed as they can fertilize your field, while at the same time regulating the amount dispersed, which you can control from your seat in many cases. And, when you are finished, they generally come with quick-release latches that are so user-friendly that anyone can detach them from the ATV.
Disc harrows, known for cutting and breaking up compacted soil, are now heavy enough to "dig-in" which keeps them from skipping along the surface, yet are light enough for ATVs to pull with ease. This is a great way to get into smaller paddocks and unearth rocks and stones as you prepare the footing after a long hard winter. You then can attach a chain harrow to smooth out or lightly grade the surface. Plus, an ATV-chain harrow combination is ideal for grooming trails.
If your ATV can go there, chances are there is a dump cart that can go along with it. Whether you plan to transport soil, manure, fencing materials or hay, having a cart that attaches without difficulty, tracks-up behind, has an easy release latch, and can maneuver in tight places, will likely take the work out of chores. And, look for one with a removable tailgate it you really want to make your life easier.
Trailer with ramp
Imagine the tasks you can accomplish with a trailer rolling behind your ATV. Featuring loading ramps to keep the drama out of moving equipment, they boast heavy duty tires to handle the load, ball hook-ups and safety chains to answer the questions of ease, safety and durability in advance. When shopping around, make a point to look for trailers with treated wood flooring.