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While ground maintenance jobs vary depending on location and task, there is one thing that is a constant: the need to transport and readily access tools and handheld equipment throughout the day. Combine that with the fact that UTV cargo beds are often the most underutilized component of a utility vehicle, and the situation begs for a solution. Luckily, there is one, designed specifically for ground maintenance crews — the utility vehicle rack system. An integrated rack system is the must-have accessory for any grounds maintenance crews’ utility vehicle fleet.

Custom racks will literally enable a full build-out of the cargo bed  in terms of structure, baskets and other attachments that will instantly make crews more productive, while also maximizing time and fuel. A rack system is a necessary accessory for professional maintenance crews, nurseries, municipalities or for any utility vehicle used to carry different types of tools and equipment in specific configurations.

There are numerous benefits to a rack system which include:

  • ■    Increases bed capacity by “building up” the bed and adding functionality to what was once unused space.
  • ■    Modular configuration options are endless, with rack systems that can be configured and refigured. Some even come with interchangeable components for customizing on-the-go.
  • ■    Transforms your UTV into a mobile tool shed and work bench.
  • ■    Reduces downtime traveling back and forth to the garage to get more tools.
  • ■    Saves on fuel and costs with fewer trips back to the shop.
  • ■    Eliminates equipment clutter.

Is it worth investing in a professional rack system? In almost every maintenance scenario, the answer will be a resounding YES. Utility vehicle rack systems range in price depending on size, options and, of course, quality. For example, Kubota offers a fully customizable RTV RAC system starting around $800 and is available for Kubota’s RTV-X900 and RTV-X1100c.

Like any piece of equipment, there are various utility racks on the market. They vary greatly on available options, quality, durability and, maybe the most important, compatibility with the vehicles they are designed to attach to. Those in the market for a rack system should consider a performance-matched rack from the same manufacturer of the UTV itself and have it installed professionally by an authorized dealer. Manufacturer-made racks are designed specifically to the specs and dimensions of the utility vehicle and are often much higher quality. Selecting a manufacturer rack system will also ensure that the vehicle’s capabilities (like a hydraulic dump bed) still function seamlessly with the rack installed. Utility racks can and do affect the center of gravity and stability of the unit. Operation with a utility rack should take these effects in mind.

It is also important to ensure that the rack is customizable to your specific needs. A good rack can be completely customized to include hooks, baskets, cooler holders, string trimmer carriers, backpack blower holders and more. Only you know what your crew needs access to, and a UTV rack system can help keep that equipment within an arm’s reach, anywhere it is needed.

Eric Goins is the RTV product manager for Kubota Tractor Corp.

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