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Mule vs. Ranger

Old December 17th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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Mule vs. Ranger



I'm in the market for a UTV to use around my house. I think I've narrowed it down to a Kawasaki Mule SX or a Polaris 500 Ranger. Any members here have any experience with either of these vehicles?
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Old December 17th, 2018, 01:16 PM
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I'm very happy with my 6 x 4 John Deere Gator with dump bed and mud tires.. I think the Polaris is faster. I mostly drive on dirt roads hauling limbs, dirt, etc. I think it all depends if it's used for work or recreation
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Old December 17th, 2018, 01:27 PM
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At work we use Kubotas both on and off road. They seem pretty dependable.



If the prices of the Polaris and Kawasaki are similar then what about the engines, are they both gas?
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Old December 17th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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The Mule has a top speed of 25 mph and the Ranger about 30-35 mph. I have a little over 3-rolling acres and 50 or so big trees. Constantly picking up branches, leaves, gumballs etc. Currently I have a lawn tractor with a small trailer that I do clean up with. A couple of weeks ago I was hauling leaves to the woods and slid sideways about 30' down a hill. After I changed my shorts, I started looking into something with 4-wheel drive and a roll cage!
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Old December 17th, 2018, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
At work we use Kubotas both on and off road. They seem pretty dependable.

I looked at some Kubotas but I think for what I need it for it would be overkill. They are expensive because of the diesel engines and are kinda noisy. In a work application they would be great since they are pretty much bullet proof.


If the prices of the Polaris and Kawasaki are similar then what about the engines, are they both gas?
The Mule is about $1,500-$2,000 less than the Ranger. Both are gas and I believe both are EFI.
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Old December 17th, 2018, 01:53 PM
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Since the Mule is cheaper it may be the way to go. Even though it isn't as fast you won't need to go 35 mph off road. Hopefully some folks can give you first hand experience.
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Old December 17th, 2018, 02:03 PM
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We use vehicles like this at work and they get used hard. We don't have any that have 4wd though, we have 4wd tractors for that. Some things to look at as we have found over the years. What is the height of the bed, lifting 50lbs an extra 4 inches can be a pain. The size of the bed can be important as the payload and towing capacity. We use jd gator 4x2 mostly at work, we have found with proper maintenance they are good for about 3000 hours then the motor is shot.
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Old December 17th, 2018, 05:48 PM
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Ok Rick, what's the budget! I sell the Kubota RTV's. You may want to look at the 500 gas twin cylinder liquid cooled EFI Kubota engine with a hydrostatic transmission.
The kaw and Polaris are CVT belt drive. Ok for puttering around, but don't try pull any heavy dead weight. The belt drives will burn the belt which creates a bucking drive and you have to replace the belt when that happens.

With the base model, you should be in @ $9600 + tax plus zero percent financing for 4 years

Pat
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Old December 17th, 2018, 11:28 PM
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I believe that the Kubota RTV's are built in the U.S. (Georgia). Not sure about the other two.
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Old December 18th, 2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lshlsh2 View Post
We use vehicles like this at work and they get used hard. We don't have any that have 4wd though, we have 4wd tractors for that. Some things to look at as we have found over the years. What is the height of the bed, lifting 50lbs an extra 4 inches can be a pain. The size of the bed can be important as the payload and towing capacity. We use jd gator 4x2 mostly at work, we have found with proper maintenance they are good for about 3000 hours then the motor is shot.
Good point on the bed height. I'll keep that in mind

Originally Posted by 1970cs View Post
Ok Rick, what's the budget! I sell the Kubota RTV's. You may want to look at the 500 gas twin cylinder liquid cooled EFI Kubota engine with a hydrostatic transmission.
The kaw and Polaris are CVT belt drive. Ok for puttering around, but don't try pull any heavy dead weight. The belt drives will burn the belt which creates a bucking drive and you have to replace the belt when that happens.


With the base model, you should be in @ $9600 + tax plus zero percent financing for 4 years

Pat
Hi Pat,
Don't really have a budget but I'm thinking I should be able to pick up something between $8k-$12k. The zero % financing is tempting but I like to pay cash whenever possible. I called a guy that had a 2004 Kubota diesel unit with 750 hours on it. He was asking $8,400.00 which I thought was kinda high. I guess after that I had it in my brain that the Kubota's would be pretty pricey. I have a few local dealers within 20 or so miles that I'll check out. I kinda like the idea of a hydro-static trans vs. the CVT although the kind of work I'll be using it for won't be that demanding.
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Old December 18th, 2018, 06:26 PM
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Hi Rick,

If you cash out on the Kubota RTV, there is a $300 CIR and I stand corrected on the 0% it's down to 36 months.

You need to take one for a spin, ultra quiet! And yes they are built in Georgia. If you go for one, I would highly suggest the plastic canopy and the 2 piece windsheild.

I would suggest staying away from that 2004. It was the first year! Issues with temp readings, short life span on shaft joints, poor coasting like put you into the steering just dumping your foot off the accelerator. And last but not least, no two stage hydro pumps, can't jump a curb from a stand still.
Pat

Last edited by 1970cs; December 18th, 2018 at 06:31 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2018, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 1970cs View Post
Hi Rick,

If you cash out on the Kubota RTV, there is a $300 CIR and I stand corrected on the 0% it's down to 36 months.

You need to take one for a spin, ultra quiet! And yes they are built in Georgia. If you go for one, I would highly suggest the plastic canopy and the 2 piece windsheild.

I would suggest staying away from that 2004. It was the first year! Issues with temp readings, short life span on shaft joints, poor coasting like put you into the steering just dumping your foot off the accelerator. And last but not least, no two stage hydro pumps, can't jump a curb from a stand still.
Pat
Got it. Thanks for the info Pat
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Old December 19th, 2018, 11:26 AM
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X2 on getting one that does NOT have CVT. You *think* you won't use it for heavy pulling until you do, and increases your resale value when you decide you're done with it. Also, roll cage w/ belts. A buddy of mine lost his father to a rollover mower accident almost 20 years ago.

Of course, spending other people's money with recommendations is a specialty of mine...
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Old December 19th, 2018, 06:45 PM
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Well I thought I had it narrowed down to the Mule or Ranger. I'm going to throw the Kubota offering in the ring too. Hoping to get some seat time in each this weekend and make a deal.

Thanks for the feedback fellas!
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Old December 20th, 2018, 11:35 AM
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I am not a fan of either of the two but of the two I would go with the Polaris. Is this strictly work only? Will there be any chance of the slightest "play" with it? If there is any chance at all you are going to play just a little you had better go with the Polaris even more so. Personally, I love the Honda 700 Pioneer. Just don't get the 4 seater if you plan on doing mostly work. The bed on a 4 seater is a pain to deal with for work. The seats will fold up into the bed but sand and dirt settle into the bottom making a mess. The Honda also has a bullet proof transmission with no belt to deal with.
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Old December 20th, 2018, 02:02 PM
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I picked this up last year and it's the handiest thing around the yard. It's old and I beat the crap out of it but I didn't pay much and it was hardly used when I got it. Having one blows away the garden tractor and it's a lot more stable on hills. I put an old Wheel Horse plow on it that I paid $45 for and bought a $100 winch for it.

Good luck with the hunt. If I could afford something new I'd be all over a Kubota. We have them at work at they are bulletproof.


Last edited by allyolds68; December 20th, 2018 at 02:11 PM.
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Old December 20th, 2018, 02:14 PM
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The bed on the Mule is likely the lowest but Polaris would be close. If loading is a major thing then the lower bed could have an advantage. The bed on the Honda I mentioned earlier is likely higher than the Polaris. Will it ever be in wet conditions? Like pulling a dear out of the woods or any kind of hunting? If it will then you for sure want 4 wheel drive. If plowing snow you will want 4 wheel drive also. There are many of these available so it really matters what the goals are for owning one.

Another one... If it is for the yard only, you will want a differential rear end or you will tear the grass up at every sharp turn. That or get turf tires for it but then it will not get around in wet conditions very well.

I have 35 years in off road experience so I could be biased more to the sport side of things but do understand the work side as well.
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Old December 20th, 2018, 02:17 PM
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another note... You will want a roof and they are not cheap sometimes. If on rock roads or dirt trails with a windshield, it will dust you out really bad. It is a low pressure area behind the glass and that is where all the dust will go. With a windshield in dusty conditions, I recommend also getting a back window. This will help cut down the dust.
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Old December 21st, 2018, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
I am not a fan of either of the two but of the two I would go with the Polaris. Is this strictly work only? Will there be any chance of the slightest "play" with it? If there is any chance at all you are going to play just a little you had better go with the Polaris even more so. Personally, I love the Honda 700 Pioneer. Just don't get the 4 seater if you plan on doing mostly work. The bed on a 4 seater is a pain to deal with for work. The seats will fold up into the bed but sand and dirt settle into the bottom making a mess. The Honda also has a bullet proof transmission with no belt to deal with.
I keep telling myself this is for work only so I don't get side tracked into buying something I don't really need. My brother and nephews have all the fast off road stuff if I feel the need for speed.

Originally Posted by allyolds68 View Post
I picked this up last year and it's the handiest thing around the yard. It's old and I beat the crap out of it but I didn't pay much and it was hardly used when I got it. Having one blows away the garden tractor and it's a lot more stable on hills. I put an old Wheel Horse plow on it that I paid $45 for and bought a $100 winch for it.

Good luck with the hunt. If I could afford something new I'd be all over a Kubota. We have them at work at they are bulletproof.
Great score Mike. I love that thing!

Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
The bed on the Mule is likely the lowest but Polaris would be close. If loading is a major thing then the lower bed could have an advantage. The bed on the Honda I mentioned earlier is likely higher than the Polaris. Will it ever be in wet conditions? Like pulling a dear out of the woods or any kind of hunting? If it will then you for sure want 4 wheel drive. If plowing snow you will want 4 wheel drive also. There are many of these available so it really matters what the goals are for owning one.

Another one... If it is for the yard only, you will want a differential rear end or you will tear the grass up at every sharp turn. That or get turf tires for it but then it will not get around in wet conditions very well.

I have 35 years in off road experience so I could be biased more to the sport side of things but do understand the work side as well.
There's that Honda sponsored rider coming out of you again! lol Good point about the differential.

Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
another note... You will want a roof and they are not cheap sometimes. If on rock roads or dirt trails with a windshield, it will dust you out really bad. It is a low pressure area behind the glass and that is where all the dust will go. With a windshield in dusty conditions, I recommend also getting a back window. This will help cut down the dust.
Unless I take it off my property it will only be used on grass, blacktop and concrete.

I looked up the 700 Pioneers last night and they are really nice. I'm adding it on to the list of potential machines.

Thanks again guys for your feedback.
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Old December 21st, 2018, 06:04 AM
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Rick,

I can only weigh in on Brand loyalty, as I have a Kabuta tractor for 11 years and love it to death. I have never owned a UTV.

On another note, you mentioned that you were hauling leaves in a trailer when you slid. While not knowing your lawn tractor, you may only be covering part of the problem. If you have turf tires on the back, you should look into better rear tires on your lawn tractor such as bar treads, and possibly have them loaded. Your statement about sliding with very little tounge weight, IMHO indicates your tractor may not be set up for your terrain. Just a thought for you consideration as you will still be mowing.
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Old December 21st, 2018, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cincinnati Rick View Post
I keep telling myself this is for work only so I don't get side tracked into buying something I don't really need. My brother and nephews have all the fast off road stuff if I feel the need for speed.



Great score Mike. I love that thing!



There's that Honda sponsored rider coming out of you again! lol Good point about the differential.



Unless I take it off my property it will only be used on grass, blacktop and concrete.

I looked up the 700 Pioneers last night and they are really nice. I'm adding it on to the list of potential machines.

Thanks again guys for your feedback.
I will always be a Honda fan but I will say that the height of the bed on the Pioneer cold be a limiting factor. Also, the Honda will rip the grass in tight turns because the back axles are locked together. For strictly work and no wet or muddy conditions, I think your original two choices are good.

Last edited by jensenracing77; December 21st, 2018 at 10:13 AM.
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