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Hi. I am a vol firefighter and am wanting my dept to invest in a UTV. I work for a Bobcat dealership and Bobcat carries a UTV line that is built by Polaris. They are the 500 gas, diesel, and 500 crew in Bobcat scheme. The one Im looking at is a Bobcat 3400 Diesel (Polaris midsize with 900cc diesel) 4x4. I do not know anything about them as Im a Honda atv person and would like to know if the Polaris/Bobcat is a good machine and tough enough to handle rough terrain with approximatly 700lbs, 400 of it is water in cargo bed and being used in fire response, we're typically hard on vehicles. Thank you for any information.
 

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Its in I guess the 500 or midsize frame but has the diesel engine. Its built by polaris for bobcat and then rebadged as bobcat but once seats and box is up it says polaris all over it.
 

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Ok thanks. I figured they did since as long as I can remember in magazines and stuff there was ads for the rangers and I always wanted a 6x6 myself just they cost to much.
 

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I don't yet own a Polaris Ranger, however after owning a 2011 Yamaha Rhino 700 I've come to realize how much the other brands are still trying to build toys. The Ranger has the highest towing/hauling capacity I believe, there are a few issues arising with the new machines but its to be expected in a new model lineup. I'd either look at an older model or wait a year or 2 while Polaris works the bugs out of the new XP/HD series machines.

I'm looking at the Ranger because of its hauling/towing capacities, plus the turf mode. My rhino destroys my lawn and hasn't exactly performed well as a property maintenance machine due to its very limited hauling capacity and the lack of a selectable open/locked rear differential.
 

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Ita a 2011 with 25 hrs on it and its still up for sale at work so I have to jump on it quick or lose as these vehicles usually get sold very quick when we have them on trade. Our company has 26 locations so theres ALOT of people looking at it but its on hold for me till tuesday. I still have to present it at fire meeting monday night and try to convince our older ff's we could use this very effectively in rough areas since we are a rural area fire dept.
 

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If that doesn't work out the Arctic Cat Prowler HDX would also work great. It has a high load capacity but also has a longer chassis, it carries weight very well, not just over the rear tires. Air shocks and a few other things might make it something to look at.
 

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From what I have seen from Arctic Cat, I don't think their UTV can compare with Ranger. I do have a 400 4x4 Arctic Cat ATV which has been pretty good, but the Prowler's never shown me much. Heck, the one I tried to sit in didn't even have room for my legs, and that's pathetic.
 

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Im only looking at the bobcat one because I can get it from work and have it checked by mechanics I know, trust and work with, I would not buy anything from artic cat or can am, just not my cup of tea, actually Im a honda rider. Anyway, Ive driven these around our yard at work but monday am going to take it for a spin down the road to check things over, it seems like it has plenty of power, Ive almost got it sideways on hard pack dirt at work. Also, how well does the 4wd system work, is it a full lock system when its in 4wd mode. The 4wd switch is a 3 position rocker with 1wd turf mode, 2 wd regular mode and 4wd. Also how well do they grunt loads around in low?
 

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Ita a 2011 with 25 hrs on it and its still up for sale at work so I have to jump on it quick or lose as these vehicles usually get sold very quick when we have them on trade. Our company has 26 locations so theres ALOT of people looking at it but its on hold for me till tuesday. I still have to present it at fire meeting monday night and try to convince our older ff's we could use this very effectively in rough areas since we are a rural area fire dept.
I know the Polaris website has quite a few fire and rescue setups available for custom purchases. They even have a Polaris Ranger 6x6 Ambulance. I have seen several situations personally that having an ATV or a UTV would be very beneficial to a fire fighting team or a search and rescue team. The search and rescue part it works great because you can hear them coming and if the victim(s) are able to speak, signal, or yell when they hear a machine coming it would help out a lot. I'm not sure how much use a UTV would be for fire fighting unless its wildland fires which where I live its hard to get fire trucks into a lot of the areas so a UTV would be awesome.

I'm not a firefighter or search and rescue, however I have helped on a few search and rescues in the past just because I was the guy that had the UTV and could carry gear. I only have a 2011 Yamaha Rhino which is very limited in carrying and load capacity, and so are most other UTV's. So far the Polaris Ranger has the largest capacities I've seen.

I don't see how it would be a problem having a UTV at your fire department, especially if you get one outfitted for the specific purpose of fire fighting and rescue. Polaris has different skid kits available that allows you to quickly switch between fire fighting equipment in the bed to a rescue skid in a matter of minutes. Yes, its expensive, but so is the rest of the firefighting and rescue equipment.
 

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Im only looking at the bobcat one because I can get it from work and have it checked by mechanics I know, trust and work with, I would not buy anything from artic cat or can am, just not my cup of tea, actually Im a honda rider. Anyway, Ive driven these around our yard at work but monday am going to take it for a spin down the road to check things over, it seems like it has plenty of power, Ive almost got it sideways on hard pack dirt at work. Also, how well does the 4wd system work, is it a full lock system when its in 4wd mode. The 4wd switch is a 3 position rocker with 1wd turf mode, 2 wd regular mode and 4wd. Also how well do they grunt loads around in low?
Someone in another thread described the 4WD system as being like you stated, the switch in the down position is the Turf Mode which gives you an open rear differential and 1 wheel drive. the middle position on the switch locks the rear differential giving you 2 wheel drive. the top position on the switch locks the front and rear axles together giving you on demand true 4WD, locked front and rear differentials. however the system has sensors that will automatically disengage the front axle when in 4WD if no slippage is occurring. However, if you try and drive one on dry pavement in 4WD and go around a corner it will lock the 4WD in just because of the speed difference in the wheels. I've been told that the 4WD system in the Ranger is one of the best on the market, giving true 4WD, without having to press another button to lock the differential in the front; unlike the Yamaha Rhino which requires pressing 2 buttons for true locked 4WD.

When hauling or towing you are forced to use low range due to the way the clutch is set up in the drive system; which is the only downside of the Rangers. However you put a load in the ranger and in low range it will pull heavier loads than what the manual states, however its not recommended. I've seen a Polaris Ranger pull an F-150 pickup out of the mud at one of my local army training sites, so that's a pretty capable machine IMO.
 

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We did some spraying for the BLM last summer and used a Rhino. In the off road arena the Ranger is far from the front of the pack when it comes to carrying weight. Sure it has high capacity rating, great around the farm or whatever, but when it comes to rough and uneven terrain the Rhino will carry 50 gallons of water plus equipment and 2 guys through harrier and scarier hands down. The Ranger is tall and has a high center of gravity. The Rangers 4 wheel drive is as good as anything else out there but by no means better. If you're packing that kind of weight you're going to be in low in any UTV so I'd call that a wash. Polaris' biggest dinger in this discussion if you ask me is the clutch, it just doesn't do the job very well with heavy slow loads. Is the belt going to scatter on the way back from a rescue? No way, Murphy says it'll do it when you need to get somewhere.

The Honda offering now that you mention could be a great fit. You don't need something that hauls the mail but can carry some weight and be stone reliable, that has Honda written all over it. I haven't ridden one but I have a buddy with a Big Red in the family. It doesn't sound like something I would have because of the transmission but for purpose being described here, it might be a great fit. If I was putting together a rescue rod I would definitely consider one. But a good deal on the Polaris might trump the cost of the Big Red, those things aren't cheap.
 
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