Equipped to Excel: Unleash Your UTV’s Optimal Jobsite Potential with Top Accessories

Polaris Pro XD UTV

Utility vehicles (UTVs) are made for work and recreation to navigate various terrain and go where pickup trucks can’t, but not every UTV is created equally. UTVs have different platforms and features that are designed with a specific customer type in mind due to the kind of work being done and the environment it operates in. To enhance UTV performance specific to the work conducted, customizable components can be the extra advantage a utility vehicle needs for the task at hand. But with a seemingly endless list of optional accessories on the market, upfitting your UTV can seem like a daunting task. When making enhancements to your UTV, first understand the use-case of the vehicle:

  • What terrain will it be navigating?
  • What primary type of work will the vehicle do?
  • What environments and elements will it be exposed to?

The selected UTV brand, make and model can also determine the accessories readily available and needed. It will also establish whether the accessories are appropriate for the jobsite. For example, the Polaris Pro XD commercial utility vehicle is designed with standard jobsite features that other UTVs consider add-ons, such as Kevlar-backed seats, high-visibility orange seat belts, eight-ply jobsite tires, horn, backup alarm and operator warnings. Consider a UTV and accessory offering that allows easy plug and play of powered accessories versus splicing and wiring directly to the battery terminal.
Other considerations may include cost, whether you will be customizing at the time of UTV purchase or having accessories installed by a dealer or owner after purchase. If adding after the purchase of your vehicle, look for accessories that are vehicle validated, meaning they have been tested and quality approved by the original equipment manufacturer. Without this, you could negatively impact the accessory fit and function, or worse: limit the performance or lifespan of the UTV itself. Armed with this information, you can then dive into the top accessories to upfit your UTVs for your jobsite.

Safety-focused Accessories

Safety is always number one on the jobsite, but first consider what the UTV already has. For example, three-point seat belts, a horn and backup alarms should be non-negotiable for commercial UTVs. If the UTV doesn’t have them, start there. If these accessories are standard, consider going a step further to increase driver and jobsite safety and visibility.

  • Lighting is a highly effective addition for increasing visibility, especially in areas with low visibility or when working past sundown. Strobe lights call attention to the vehicle, while LED floodlights, spotlights and lightbars provide increased jobsite lighting and navigation visibility for the operator.
  • Speed limiters are another top accessory for increasing safety and durability, especially when driving across work zones and jobsites. Speed limiting capabilities enable top speeds to be lowered to meet jobsite speed limits. Slower speeds prevent excess damage to the driveline while still being plenty fast to maintain jobsite productivity. For example, where UTV navigation includes traveling through tight spaces or around work crews, speed limiters ensure the safest work zone possible. Depending on the make and model, these can be available as an aftermarket accessory installed by the dealer or pre-programmed into the machine.
  • Rear and side mirrors further aid an operator in seeing their surroundings. Look for mirrors that can be securely mounted to the ROPS or side doors and are adjustable to accommodate all operators. Additionally, side mirrors that can fold in will help maintain the UTV’s agility in narrow spaces and when trailering.

Performance and Utility Accessories

UTVs are purpose-built vehicles, with a baseline ability to traverse off-road, limited-access areas with safety and ease. This capability protects over-the-road trucks from unnecessary use and costly abuse. Depending on work use, however, added components can give the UTV an extra edge in performance and utility.

  • A plow system can move snow and ice. Find one that is durable enough to last through harsh winter conditions, securely fits your vehicle and can easily be added or removed from the UTV when needed. Many plows have a variety of control capabilities for blade direction as well as raising and lowering the plow — manual or hydraulic with options for electronic in-dash, tethered remote or a combination of controls — so be sure to incorporate that capability in your selection. A winch is required to operate the plow system, so plan on that too.
  • A high-capacity winch system can transform a UTV’s versatility, such as aiding in stump removal and getting out of difficult-to-maneuver areas like heavy snow or muddy areas. Look for a complete system that includes all the necessary parts to safely add a winch to the vehicle, including: a pulling capacity that meets your needs, a synthetic rope and auto-stop technology.
  • Mud guards are designed to protect the UTV’s driveline and engine bay from mud, dirt and debris, decreasing maintenance time in cleaning tough-to-reach areas and keeping the UTV in peak driving condition. It’s a simple and inexpensive accessory that can extend the life of the UTV and protect against caustic chemicals like salt that result in deterioration.
  • Cargo bed toppers keep gear safe, secure and protected from the elements. Ensure your cargo bed topper is weather resistant, lockable and made with durable but lightweight material — such as aluminum.
  • Headache racks are another option for adding protection and load-carrying capabilities to the UTV. Attached to the rear cab, these racks protect the cab when hauling large loads. They also serve as further tie-down points to secure large loads.
  • Electric cargo box lifts can help you work smarter and tackle bigger jobs by eliminating manual lifting of the rear cargo bed, a critical capability for those who often have heavy payloads that can be unloaded by tilting the bed. With many of these lifts having dash-mounted switch controls, operators can further their productivity by unloading the cargo box without needing to leave the driver’s seat.

Accessories That Boost Operator Comfort and Ease

When upfitting your UTV for the jobsite, don’t overlook comfort and convenience. After all, these features don’t just provide comfort to the operator, they boost overall jobsite productivity and safety as well.

  • Cab components such as added doors, windshields and rear panels can keep environmental elements out. This allows operation throughout dust, wind, rain and snow — without sacrificing UTV performance or operator health.
  • Heat and defrost kits keep crews safe and warm year-round and keep windshields clear for efficient navigation no matter the conditions. There are many types of windshields from hard coated poly windshields to tempered glass windshields with various functions such as fixed, tip-out or vented. Choose the highest quality windshield that meets your budget and is easy to install. A scratch-resistant poly windshield can tackle most light-duty jobs in warmer climates whereas a tempered glass windshield is best paired with a windshield wiper/washer system and fully enclosed cab with a heat/defrost configuration.
  • Power steering further eases operation and safety by providing a lighter steering effort, increasing driver confidence and a feeling of control of the vehicle.
  • Interior lighting systems help optimize visibility in the cab of your UTV. For longevity, look into LED lighting options that can be easily mounted and directly wired into the vehicle.
  • An audio system allows operators the convenience of an AM/FM radio and communication system, making long days on the jobsite more manageable. It also reduces the likelihood of operators using earbuds which can decrease their situational awareness. When adding an audio system, look for a marine-grade, water and dust-proof system for low maintenance and easy cleaning. Additionally, a USB input and Bluetooth capabilities allow for wireless streaming to further operator enjoyment.
Polaris 2000D UTV

While the best UTV accessories will depend heavily on the specifics of the jobsite and needs of the crew, it is imperative to stick to trusted brands on the market. Quality and reliability go a long way in enhancing your UTV — even if it means spending a bit more up front. It is also worth considering where accessories are coming from. For example, while a third-party supplier may have a wider range of niche accessories available, fitment may not be 100 percent accurate as OEM models can change slightly in design year over year. This means that rework or adjustments may be needed, which can come at extra cost and upfit time. You can trust that accessories coming from an OEM are specifically designed for that model year vehicle, fitment will be 100 percent accurate and they will work seamlessly with other accessories within the OEM catalog.

Understanding the ins and outs of the desired accessories, how they will be incorporated within your UTV and leveraging the reputation of the company you’re purchasing from will ensure that you are upfitting your vehicle with features that enhance performance, confirming your investment lasts. To get started, head to the manufacturers’ websites to see what accessories are available and recommended — and which, if any, complement each other when combined. From there, you may also be directed to a reputable dealer or find build-and-quote modules to design, price and get an accurate feel for your desired UTV and accessories package.

Nick Snidarich is a product portfolio manager for Polaris Commercial.

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