Five reasons why city managers should put utility vehicles to work
For those working to keep our towns and cities safe, clean and looking great, there are never enough hours in the day. From ensuring our fire departments have the proper equipment necessary for challenging rescues to helping city departments clean our streets more efficiently, to keeping our parks well groomed—the list can go on and on.
Sure, there are plenty of different tools out on the market that can assist with some of these tasks, but growing your department’s machinery fleet with equipment that doesn’t meet all your needs can get costly, eating into precious time and resources.
What if there was a single machine that could help various municipal departments meet a variety of widespread needs while working to maintain city and county life? One that required little maintenance, was easy to use and was customizable? Well, there is.
Meet the utility vehicle, also known as a UTV. These machines are workhorses that can pull, tow and haul with ease. Plus, they’re fun to operate. And with their versatility and reliability, UTVs are the perfect vehicle to help keep a city or county running smoothly.
How do I know this? I run Organ Battery & Electric Co., a power equipment dealer and repair shop out of Vincennes, Ind. Organ Battery has long been servicing the equipment of essential public departments across our city. And in recent years, as we’ve expanded our inventory, many of these departments have also come to Organ Battery in search of UTVs.
As a KIOTI Tractor dealer, we’ve provided MECHRON® and K9 utility vehicles, customized as needed, to the fire, city and parks departments, as well as the local youth baseball league, here in Vincennes. On any given day, it’s not uncommon for me to drive by several UTVs we’ve sold getting work done across town.
There are countless reasons why UTVs are a smart investment for municipal managers. Here are my top five.
As easy-to-maneuver 4WD machines, UTVs are nothing if not versatile. In Vincennes alone, UTVs are being used by the fire department to help put out blazes and conduct rescues in spots a truck couldn’t reach, including on our local river pavilion, memorial grounds and numerous campsites. Our city’s maintenance crews, meanwhile, take their UTV off-road to spots that regular-sized vehicles can’t reach in order to spray weeds and conduct general grounds maintenance. The parks department can be found using its UTV to water flowers, clean sidewalks and transport small tools. And if you attend a baseball game put on by our local Cub League, you’ll see a UTV cleaning the diamond between innings.
The list of what UTVs can do is truly endless. When it comes to versatility, it’s hard to beat a UTV.
- Ease of use.
Even for individuals not accustomed to working with power equipment, UTVs are simple to learn how to use. And you don’t have to take my word for it. According to Jeff Wood, an Organ Battery customer who works on street cleaning at the City Street Department, his colleagues found their UTV to be simple and straightforward.
With a time-consuming job such as street cleaning, the more time spent on the street and the less time in training, the better. With a UTV, folks can quickly learn how to use the machinery and get out on the job.
UTVs may look small, but don’t be fooled—they’re powerful pieces of machinery. One popular model, the K9 2400 for instance, offers a 24-hp engine that allows for nearly 1,600 lbs. of payload capacity, plus an additional 1,300 lbs. of towing capacity. Sometimes big things come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case with a UTV.
UTVs themselves are reliable, powerful machines, but options aren’t limited to the inventory on the floor of the local dealer. The machines can be customized to better meet the specific needs of most any user, creating a one-of-a-kind vehicle you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Take, for example, the custom work we did for our local fire department. To create a vehicle that resulted in UTV-meets-firetruck, we removed the original top of the machine and partnered with a local welder at Vincennes Welding to create a new top that allowed emergency lights to be easily wired into it. We added a special unit into the bed that holds a tank and water pump. Finally, we rubber coated the new additions to ensure they’d stand up to inclement weather. Battalion Chief, Richard Ashby, said he hasn’t found any drawbacks with his customized machine, which allows his firefighters to more easily access tight spaces than ever before.
- Easy maintenance.
UTVs are unquestionably reliable, requiring little maintenance. In all the time I’ve been selling UTVs to local departments, I haven’t had a single serious maintenance issue among my customers; just the regular bumper-to-bumper tune-ups. The last thing public entities need is to spend valuable time and money fixing machines that are needed across the community. With UTVs, folks can spend less time at the shop and remain focused on the job at hand.
So, what now? Whether you maintain grounds for the local school system, manage a parks department or lead a team of firefighters, take a list of your needs to your local power equipment dealer. Once there, knowledgeable staff can point you in the direction of the UTV model that’s right for you.
The folks who keep Vincennes running are living proof that KIOTI UTVs can be a game-changer when it comes to managing public services. These reliable machines have made a real difference in our small city, and they can in yours too.
Eric Organ runs Organ Battery & Electric Co., a power equipment dealer and repair shop out of Vincennes, Ind. that Organ’s great-grandfather started over 75 years ago.