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Choosing a new Gator

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ra88it
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4 South Carolina
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2009-08-17          165026


I'm trying to help our family decide on a Gator which will be a present for my father. He will be using the Gator for odd jobs on a small piece of mountain property where he wants to build a house: small scale hauling and generally getting around the property.

I'd appreciate any and all general input, but my specific question is about the 4x2 vs the 4x4 models. We don't feel that we can afford the 4x4, and I'm wondering if we would be likely to regret not buying it.

I heard that the 4x2 is a surprisingly capable vehicle.

Thanks in advance for any input. Sorry if I didn't give enough specific information about how this vehicle will be used... unfortunately it's one of those things where we probably won't know until we get to work.

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Choosing a new Gator

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-17          165030


I've owned every series Gator except the tircycle and the electric model. My current one is a XUV four wheel drive. The ride is considerbaly better on the XUV with the independent suspension, and yes, your father will apreciate the four wheel drive, the two wheel drive models can be kind of helpless. The XUV series also has fuel injection that makes starting just as easy as your car, with no choke to mess with.
I'm sure you will get some negative comments about Gators, but as many of them as there are there are bound to be problems with a few. I've had nothing but good results with them, each one has been better than the last one, and they earn their keep here, I use them daily around the farm but try not to abuse them.
I don't think you will do your father a favor by skipping the four wheel drive. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Choosing a new Gator

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ra88it
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4 South Carolina
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2009-08-17          165042


@hardwood: Thanks for the input! Considering the mountain terrain, I'm thinking that it just wouldn't be worth the expense unless we got the 4x4... That's been my gut feeling since we started thinking about this.

Any advice on saving money buying one? Is the John Deere dealership the way to go? Will they work with the customer to find a common price? We live in SC, but the mountain is in NC. We're happy to haul it up there or buy it up there.

Also, my mother wants to purchase a new one because it is meant to be a big gift for Dad.

Anyway, thanks again for the help. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Choosing a new Gator

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-18          165052


Only other advice I would offer is yes go to a regular John Deere dealership. I haven't had any luck dealing with a lawn and garden dealeship they seem not to be very negotiable. If you don't have anything to trade in I'd try a couple local dealerships, just tell them you are going to buy a Gator, give me your best price. Then go to another dealer and ask for the same on an identical model.
Deere has a whole list of options for the Gator, depending on how Dad is going to use it. The high dollar wheels and throaty muffler, etc. are neat but really won't make the Gator any more usefull or pleasant for Dad to drive.
My preferred options are of course the four wheel drive, brush guards for the front, a guard package for the front CV joints, the front and rear hitch recievers, and the power lift for the bed. I did get a really usefull crossbed tool box like you see in pickup trucks and it wasn't a real costly thing. I don't know if they still offer the heavy duty tire optoin, but they are a heavier tire for more puncture resistance out in the woods etc. Tat's about all I can think of at the moment. Frank. ....

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ra88it
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4 South Carolina
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2009-08-18          165059


Thanks, Frank. That's a lot of good information! ....

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2009-08-18          165069


I have the Polaris 6 x 6 and use it regularly. I would not want one of those, or any machine, without four wheel drive unless the terrain is fairly flat. In retrospect, an old Jeep would have been a heck of a lot less money but I HAD to have another toy. ....

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Choosing a new Gator

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pappy103
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 23 FLORIDA
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2009-08-18          165075


We looked at alot of utility vehicles and decided on the Bobcat 2100 with an electric dump bed. I has a Kawasaki engine which is fine but the deciding factor for us, beside the lower price, was the all aluminum frame. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Choosing a new Gator

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-08-18          165080


We have a two wheel drive Gator that is about 5 years old. We live on flat land and would say buy 4 wheel drive. Throw a glass of water on the dirt and it will bog. Well maybe not that easy but about. We had the larger off road tires install rather than the truf tires that came on it at that time. Glad we did. No idea if they have improved the ground clearance but on our model the rear end is very low. My wife wanted Green when we bought it but for my nickel rather had some others in their suspension and clearance. We do use it a good bit but nothing real heavy. Our model has a fixed rear axle and it can be trickey driving over say ruts.

At that time we priced two dealerships and the one on 378 in Lexington was less than (name escapes me right now but in Myrtle Beach) but only by about $100. Think the JD Garden Dealership here also (M&M in Conway) has them but did not when we bought.

My wife (who wanted the Green) used it this afternoon for spraying and said you know it is hard to steer. It is rather hard when not moving but not any real issue. I did ask if she wanted us to look at new one to which NO, this one is paid for. Now is there a clunker program for these? ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-18          165086


Pappy;
I'm not putting the Bobcat down, but just wondered why an all aluminum frame is better than a steel frame? ....

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pappy103
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 23 FLORIDA
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2009-08-19          165090


Easier to clean and less to scrape and paint is mostly the reason. We raise horses and there is cattle here from time to time and manure and muck combined with Florida rains is rusts best friend. Don't get me wrong if it was a heavy duty, big power and strenght issue then steel is the wat to go. That not being the case I went for easy. ....

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gatorpop
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5 Meridian, Ms.
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2009-08-20          165147


I looked at several of the side by sides and test drove them all but once I got over the sticker price I bought the Gator 620I. I have had it for four months and I love it so far. It is a utility vehical not a sports machine but it's still fun to drive. I like the fact that I can take the wife, grandbaby or friends for rides in comfort. My wife had to have the outdoor package (Roof and Windshield) and that has proved to have been a good choice for us. I strongly suggest getting 4WD. I don't have to use it everyday but for those times when you get in a slippery situation, and just the push of a button allows you to climb out of trouble the investment is well worth the cost. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-08-21          165149


Sometime after we got our first Gator I built a little parade hayrack that is in the same scale size wise to match a Gator, about five ft. wide by eight long. It has sides about two ft. high with an opening in the front for people to get in and out. At first I would just put some straw bales in it for seats but later built some bench seatas along the sides, with some home made cushins.
This has gotten to be one of our summertime activitys, we get calls from civic clubs from lots of small towns wanting us to haul everything from the class of "52" to community clubs, churches, etc. Once in a while we get caught in a rainstorm but still enjoy doing it, so Gators are a really multiuse machine.
I agree there is some sticker shock involved, but we don't have a motorhome, snowmobile, jet ski, etc., plus the grandkids have learned to drive,(with supervision), out in the open where crashing into something is hard to do.
Enoy the Gator, you only go round once, and if you don't blow your retirement you can be the kids will. ....

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gatormaki
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 33 Illinois
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-08-21          165151


I have the 4x2 with the knobby tires and it far exceeded my expectations, though I'm not in the mountains. Climbs steep hills, goes through soft sand and mud, plows snow in the winter, and hauls my sailboat down to the lake. If the going gets tough you just lock the rear diff. Never gotten stuck except for occasionally getting hung up on logs due to low clearance (which may be why it isn't the one for your situation- plus 6 inches is it for water or you risk soaking the converter belt). My elderly parents love it as it is easy to use. And being about 48" wide I can fit through tight places in the woods others can't and it fits in the back of my pickup so I don't need a trailer. But then I'm doing mostly property maintenance and trail/off road recreational riding. You may need something with more oomph and ground clearance.

BTW this is 2 years old which is the CX- larger motor than the older CS. ....

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Choosing a new Gator

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-08-21          165152


I never had the knobby tires on the 4X2's, just the turf type tread, and like someone said if you spilled a glass of water you were stuck. I'm sure the knobbyys would have cleaned much better, the turf just immediatly filled the tread with mud and you had better brought your lunch. ....

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gatormaki
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 33 Illinois
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-08-21          165154


Hopefully this picture URL will work. The Deere knobbys are larger diameter and high flotation vs. the smaller turf tire. The terrain in the picture is dry sand. Not a problem even with the diff lock off. Can't imagine getting through it with turf. My only complaint is that the front tires are so large that the knobs can actually rub on the wheel opening plastic bumper when loaded and turning at just the right angle on very uneven terrain. No damage just a bit of an annoying brrrrr sound. ....

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