All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility work vehicles (UTVs) are both great off-road vehicles for getting around outdoors and having fun. But what is the difference between them? ATVs are usually designed for a single driver to go off-road, while UTVs are larger and can carry heavier loads, as well as additional passengers. The term ATV was originally coined to refer to amphibious all-terrain vehicles that did not travel on horseback, usually with six wheels. In 1973, Honda registered the term All Terrain Cycle (ATC), applying the nickname to all three-wheeled vehicles manufactured by Honda and creating the universal name that is now associated with all vehicles of this type.
With the introduction of straddled all-terrain vehicles, the term AATV was introduced to define the original category of amphibious all-terrain vehicles. The deep treads of some all-terrain vehicle tires are effective for navigating rocky, muddy and root-covered terrain, but these treads can also dig channels that can drain peat bogs, increase sedimentation in streams at junctions, and damage snowmobile trails. Adventure Vehicles manufactured 3-wheeled all-terrain vehicles and a 3-wheeled utility vehicle with a tilting body using Kohler 8 hp engines and Comet transmission systems (centrifugal clutch with belt drive) and a Comet forward, neutral and reverse transmission. UTVs are often modified to perform a certain job, so adequate comprehensive insurance that covers damage to the vehicle and its modifications can be a valuable tool for quickly getting a UTV back into proper operation.
To be successful in fast trail driving, an ATV must have light weight, high power, good suspension and a low center of gravity. Some have “roll bars” which form a cage-like structure around the operator to provide protection if the vehicle rolls. Safety has been a major problem in off-road vehicles due to the high number of deaths and injuries associated with them and the lack of protection offered by the machine. In 2004, 767 people died in incidents involving all-terrain vehicles.
Since occupant restraint systems (seat belts) are considered standard and the option of adding a windshield and roll bars, UTVs generally have more safety features than all-terrain vehicles. Most of the production takes place in Taiwan, according to European standards; all-terrain vehicles are finally assembled in the Netherlands. Whether you prefer to drive alone off-road with fast turns or if you need a utility vehicle for specialized work, both ATVs and UTVs are great off-road vehicles for getting around outdoors and having fun.