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Polaris Ranger EV: Farm Vehicle Test

6/27/2011 2:41:49 PM

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A-photo-of-Evan-Blake-WelchGRIT Guest Blogger Evan Blake Welch hails from Louisville, Colorado. After a year of learning and pizza throwing, he's back in GRIT-land showing off his newfound skills writing articles and helping out on the website and social media channels (catch him on our Twitter feed). 

The Polaris Ranger EV (electric version) has been a treat to drive and work with. The farm vehicle's uses are varied and it’s a tough little machine. There are only a few down falls, but overall it’s a great addition to a farm.

First off it’s fun. With 25 mph capabilities it feels pretty quick seeing how close to the ground you sit and it is a comparatively smooth ride. It’s also slow enough that it can be trusted to less experienced drivers, given they’re not the Evil Knieval type in which case the Ranger is liable to flip. It’s compact which makes navigating tight turns at decent speeds a breeze and it has enough horsepower (30 HP) to conquer steep angles. My cousin and I rigorously tested the speed/ maneuverability capabilities of the vehicle, it passed. One of the greatest capabilities Polaris included is the four-wheel drive, two-wheel drive and the VersaTrac Turf mode. While four wheel-drive is impressive; it does drain the battery.

Polaris Ranger EV 

Many jobs can be made easy with the vehicle. Fencing maintenance is at the forefront of jobs I use the Polaris for. That heavy barbed wire and fencing tools can be cumbersome to say the least when you’re carrying it around in the heat of the day. With the Ranger’s adequately spaced bed you can fit your wire and tools and if you’re inclined, a cooler too. Zipping out to those far out fences has never been easier at Rancho Cappuccino.

Polaris Ranger EV front view 

It’s quiet too, really quiet. Twice now in the few weeks that I’ve been at Rancho Cappuccino we’ve been stricken with the reality that some lambs didn’t make it back in from the pasture at dusk, left for the many coyotes that serenade the night. With out the combined swiftness, lights and silence of the Ranger I highly doubt we would have been able to locate the lambs and return them safely to their moms.

Ranger EV driving view 

The electric component to the Polaris is obviously an important aspect to address. This is what makes the machine quiet. It makes it cost efficient too. It has a 48 Volt High-Efficiency Electric motor. For most chores where the Polaris isn’t run for the whole duration the battery can last easily most of the day. If run aggressively and on four wheel drive for an extended period of time however the battery will die very, very quickly. This is the true down-fall of the Polaris. If you’re not planning on operating it more than a mile from a plug, this shouldn’t be a problem but for hunting trips or any sort of trip where strenuous long distance driving is needed, I wouldn’t suggest bringing the Polaris RANGER EV. In fact it only takes about 20 minutes of very hard driving, at full throttle, to light the low-battery warning. That being said I’ve never nor has anyone I know that has used it killed the battery before is could be returned to charge. The Charge itself, from zero battery life to full takes about an hour tentatively.

Polaris Ranger EV in use 

Overall I am impressed with the Polaris RANGER EV. It is very capable and the cost benefits of the electric model outweigh the inconveniences electric model presents in my opinion.  Although I don’t think it is a farm hand necessity, if you’re looking into purchasing a machine of its type this model will surely to the trick, just be sure not to stray too far from the extension chord.



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