Most of the time here has been spent on ATVs and snowmobiles. Today will be a slight change of pace. We'll take a look at the UTV. Closely related, but different enough to merit it's own discussion. UTV stands for Utility Terrain Vehicle. The simple version is that they are designed for work on rough terrain.

Unlike ATVs and snowmobiles, the UTV is generally used for work first and recreation second. They are a common site on farms and ranches. The BLM and DNR have fleets of them to help in trail maintenance, fence building, and other back country jobs. Any time you have to carry heavy supplies and materials into rough terrain, you'll find a UTV.

Now that the business is taken care of, let's move on to the fun. I said they are generally work first, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of fun to be had as well! There is a lot you can do with a UTV or side by side. Let's look at a few of those things.

First off: racing. There are a variety of ways to race a UTV. Just like ATVs there are organizations that support racing for stock or custom machines. There are drag races, barrel races, motocross type events, you name it, someone is probably doing it. The great thing is, since they are already common for work related purposes, it's easy to get a bunch together for an event.

One of the best things to do, at least in this writer's opinion, is rock crawling. Places like Moab, UT offer terrain that is as challenging as it is beautiful. Since the UTV has roll bars and buckles, you can try things you wouldn't (or shouldn't) dare with an ATV. If you look in the right places, you can find people crawling their UTV up rocks you wouldn't have thought possible. Sometimes they roll, but that's all part of the fun.

UTVs are also commonly used for hunting, since they can more easily get in to tough places to collect your game. If you want to do this though, make sure you are in an area where off road vehicles are permitted, or have the permission of the landowner. Heavy fines can be imposed if you're caught  driving somewhere they are prohibited. Even without the fines, a UTV can cause damage to the environment when not used responsibly.

As with ATVs and Snowmobiles, your first consideration should always be safety. Wear a helmet, buckle up and don't do anything you aren't sure you can handle. Always follow the rules, and you and your UTV will both last for a long time.