The UTV, also known as the side-by-side, is a relatively new outdoor vehicle. The UTV really wasn’t on the radar for many outdoor enthusiasts until the 1980’s! But they didn’t just pop up overnight. There were a few other vehicles and toys that inspired the UTV. So, to help you appreciate your UTV even more that you do as you rip through mud puddles and fly down mountain trails, here is the history of the UTV.
Where UTV's Came From
The utility task/terrain vehicle (UTV), side-by-side (SXS), recreational utility vehicle (RUV) or recreational off-high vehicles (ROV) is classified as a vehicle designed for off-road use with four wheels and a roll cage. Other UTV characteristics include a non-straddle seat with a belt, a steering wheel, feet pedals, a width less than 65”, and an unladen dry weight of fewer than 2,000 lbs. Depending on the design and user preference, these vehicles can be used for both utility and recreational uses. The UTV didn’t just show up out of nowhere. In fact, you can probably think of a few motor vehicles that remind you of your UTV. Many different vehicles helped influence the UTV and you may have one of them sitting in your garage right now. That’s right, the Jeep was the first four-wheel, off-road vehicle. Thanks to the military in 1941, the Jeep was born. And shortly after people began experimenting with the Jeep for off-road use. Soon after that, the Meyers Manx fiberglass version was invented; it’s what you probably know as the Dune Buggy. The Buggy was a downsize to the Jeep and was one step closer to the UTV we know and love today. Next, the amphibious all-terrain vehicle (AATV) made its mark as the six-wheeled vehicle capable of taking on land and water. The AATV was also a downsize from the dune buggy and an even closer model to the UTV. Some of the more primitive ATV’s were seen around 1970, but the landmark ATV that was released in 1980 (Honda’s Big Red) gave the ATV a utility factor for the first time with its racks and suspension. With ATV’s now more affordable and popular than ever, people began using them for both work and pleasure. This was the last major push that led to the birth of the UTV. Over time as consumers demanded a lightweight utility vehicle, manufacturers began to deliver. Soon the UTV was born! As you can see, your UTV went through many different phases, models, downsizes and upgrades to become the UTV you know and love today. One way you can help your UTV continue to evolve and be the best machine it can be is to make your own adjustments and additions. By adding a custom fit polycarbonate UTV windshield from UTV Windshields & Accessories you can take your UTV to the next level. With the addition of a UTV windshield, you’ll get increased visibility, protection from the all the elements as well as any debris you may kick up while hitting the trails.