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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started looking at utility vehicles like the Gator and was surprised by the prices. Ones that seat four and have some weather protection are near $10,000 and even higher.

I can find early 90's Jeep Wranglers for between $4000 and $5000 (for a decent, non-modified vehicle).

The Wrangler seats 4, has a little cargo space or seats 2 and has decent cargo space. It's got an enclosed cab but I could take most of it off during good weather. Parts would seem to be plentiful and there's probably lots of DIY information out there for maintaining one.

I have about 20 acres, half open and it would be helpful to have a vehicle to haul things like grass seed, chainsaws, fertilizer, trees, etc.

Because of the cost, I'm leaning towards the Wrangler. But, because I've never had a utility vehicle, I'm not sure if I'm missing something obvious about why the Wrangler would be inappropriate or less useful than a utility vehicle.

Would like to hear from anyone who has a utility vehicle or has an opinion about my question.

Thanks
 

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Here's some basic pros and cons

Jeep (good)
Can be driven on the road
Has extras that a gator doesn't always have. (heat, radio, AC,)
Can get over larger objects than a gator will. (more ground clearance.)
Jeeps are fun :thThumbsU
Easier to get parts for.
Better in snow than the gator.
Jeep (bad)
More stuff to go wrong
Wont fit into small spaces a gator will
Most have standard transmissions, which can be hard if you can't drive a standard.

Gator (good)
Can get into smaller spaces than the jeep.
Easier to store (Probably not a problem in your case)
Usually have a dump-able bed

Gator (bad)
Can not get over objects that the jeep could.
Can't be used on the street like the jeep.
Harder to find parts for.
 

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Murray tractor owner
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I'd look into a Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10, GMC Sonoma, or Dodge Dakota. They have a good sized bed, road legal, and have heat/AC, and more of the same thing the jeep has but can haul more.
 

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or one of the micro-truck foreign jobs i see a lot of security folks using now. i dunno what they are called, but the steering wheel is on the right. they are road legal too if necessary. several farmers here use them for general running around to haul lighter loads.
 

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I'd look into a Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10, GMC Sonoma, or Dodge Dakota. They have a good sized bed, road legal, and have heat/AC, and more of the same thing the jeep has but can haul more.
Depending on the terrain I think the shorter wheelbase of the Jeep would be an advantage getting over and around things. The weight distribution is good too improving traction compared to a pickup. Ages ago I had a '84 CJ-7 and a '91 Wrangler that went placed a pickup could not due to size and traction.
 

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On the KEI class Mini Truck that David referenced, they are off-road vehicles only, unless your individual state has a certain law passed pertaining to them.

Alabama 01/01/2012 any road except interstate highways (effective 01/01/12) 25 mph (effective 01/01/12) mini-truck (effective 01/01/12)
Alaska no state law
Arizona no state law
Arkansas 07/30/09 roads with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or less excluding interstate highways and controlled access highways if vehicle is being used exclusively for farm purposes 55 mph mini-truck
California 01/01/07 natural islands larger than 20,000 acres with a population greater than 4,000,000 no autoette
Colorado no state law
Connecticut no state law
Delaware no state law
District of Columbia no law
Florida 06/16/09 roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less 35 mph mini truck
Georgia no state law
Hawaii no state law
Idaho 01/01/09 local option no utility type vehicle (UTV)
Illinois 08/31/07 roads with a posted speed limit of less than 35 mph if allowed by local ordinance 25 mph neighborhood vehicle
Indiana no state law
Iowa no state law
Kansas 07/01/08 public roads except interstate, federal or state highways; within corporate city limits if allowed under local ordinance no micro utility truck
Kentucky no state law
Louisiana 08/15/08 roads with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or less except interstate highways, controlled access highways, or multi-lane divided highways with partial or no control of access no mini-truck
Maine est. 9/09 roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less 25 mph low-speed vehicle
Maryland no state law
Massachusetts no state law
Michigan no state law
Minnesota 08/01/09 local option local option mini truck
Mississippi no state law
Missouri 08/14/08 local option 45 mph utility vehicle
Montana no state law
Nebraska 01/01/11 any road except interstate highways, freeways or expressways no minitruck
Nevada no state law
New Hampshire 9/11/10 roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less located within 25 miles of the registrant's home or place of business no low-speed utility vehicle
New Jersey no state law
New Mexico no state law
New York no state law
North Carolina no state law
North Dakota 08/01/07 any paved road except highways with a posted speed of more than 65 mph 55 mph off-highway vehicle
Ohio no state law
Oklahoma 11/01/08 any road except interstate highways no mini-truck
Oregon no state law
Pennsylvania no state law
Rhode Island no state law
South Carolina no state law
South Dakota no state law
Tennessee 07/01/08 streets where the posted speed limit is less than 40 mph; a county or municipality may prohibit the operation of medium-speed vehicles on any road under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety 35 mph medium-speed vehicle
Texas no state law
Utah 10/01/08 any road except an interstate freeway; limited access highway; street within a county of the first class; municipality that is within a county of the first class; or municipality with a population of 7,500 or more people 45 mph off-highway vehicle or street-legal all-terrain vehicle
Vermont no state law
Virginia no state law
Washington no state law
West Virginia no state law
Wisconsin no state law
Wyoming 01/01/08 any road except interstate highways if a multipurpose vehicle is incapable of achieving the maximum speed allowed on the specific highway, it shall be operated on the extreme right hand edge of the roadway multipurpose vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've started looking at utility vehicles like the Gator and was surprised by the prices. Ones that seat four and have some weather protection are near $10,000 and even higher.
Whoa! you guys are too much. Thanks for the info. Let me process this and ask some more questions!
 

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Cat, thanks for finding the pics for me. i was gonna do it after i finished supper.

Strange it shows MS has no law pertaining to them, i see them all the time here with a regular tag and on the highway! of course if you knew how our local tax collector's office is, you would understand that they would issue a tag for something not quite road legal.
 

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the gator has a metal bed so you can hose it out if you get mud or oil or gas on it, the jeep you cant really clean
 

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the gator has a metal bed so you can hose it out if you get mud or oil or gas on it, the jeep you cant really clean

sure you can, there are 2 drain plugs in the front floor board. pop them out and hose away. just don't directly spray the radio/dash area. i had a '93 wrangler and washed it out this way all the time. heck, nature washed it out plenty of times for me when unexpected rain popped up during the summer.
 

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Shop = My Therapy
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There is a JD store here in Omaha that sells the Mini-trucks now. street legal, except on interstates. I sat in one the other day. pretty neat.
 

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sure you can, there are 2 drain plugs in the front floor board. pop them out and hose away. just don't directly spray the radio/dash area. i had a '93 wrangler and washed it out this way all the time. heck, nature washed it out plenty of times for me when unexpected rain popped up during the summer.
Ditto that. You don't really need carpet for a mostly dedicated off road utility Jeep so not much would stop hosing it out if needed. Jeep seats usually take weather fairly well too for the times you are out and about without a top and rain or mud is falling. They tow a trailer and pull logs well too just get rid of the all season tires and use something with some traction.
 

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Ditto that. You don't really need carpet for a mostly dedicated off road utility Jeep so not much would stop hosing it out if needed. Jeep seats usually take weather fairly well too for the times you are out and about without a top and rain or mud is falling. They tow a trailer and pull logs well too just get rid of the all season tires and use something with some traction.
To take it the next level, many Jeep enthusiasts coat the interior with bedliner coating. And, you can get neoprene seat covers that will take any weather.
If you do go the Jeep route, there are some very good forums out there- Quadratec being one of them. More information (and parts, for that matter) than just about any other vehicle on the planet.
You could buy two jeeps for the cost of a new UTV. Some of the UTV's that I have scoured over had beds that were higher than the bed of a Jeep- so no big deal there when considering how high to lift things. You wouldn't have a dump bed, but for what you are doing, how often will you need to dump something out, versus unloading it?
And, there are a ton of automatic transmission Jeeps out there- trust me, I know. When I was shopping for a clean YJ, I couldn't find a manual transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone for the help.

I've seen the mini-trucks before but hadn't really considered them.

In looking at Craig's list ads for used Jeeps, I've seen a couple that said they put bed liner on the inside of the body. So that must be something more than a few people think is useful.

I'm glad someone mentioned pulling logs because there is some dead fall I need to take care of to clean up a few areas. I prefer standard transmission, so that is not a negative.

I hadn't thought of the dump bed but right now, picturing the uses I'm thinking of, it would rarely be used. However, in most cases I am of the mindset that I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

I appreciate all the ideas and advice.
 

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I have a 94 Wrangler, and I installed the Posi-Lock front wheel drive because my vacuum lines were shot. It's a relatively simple cable to engage the front axle and the nice thing about it is you gain low-range, two wheel drive with it. It really comes in handy when parking trailers or doing anything at very slow speed without the front end "binding." It's almost like having another very-low-geared tractor to use.
 

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Not sure how crafty you are, but you could make a small off road dump trailer for the jeep too.
 
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