The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur for those of us involved with the Grainews UTV Challenge. Not only did we organize the event and test nine different machines from seven manufacturers, we put them on display at the Ag in Motion farm show near Saskatoon after the judging was completed.
UTV Challenge judge and Grainews editor Leeann Minogue and I staffed the display and spoke to dozens of show goers who stopped by to find out about the machines we tested. Some people told us they came to the show specifically to get the lowdown on our test results after reading about the Challenge in the June issue. That was nice to hear.
When our report comes out in the October issue of Grainews, we’ll run down the list of machines and talk about what we liked and what we didn’t like about each one. Even the most highly rated machines didn’t escape criticism on some aspects of their design from the judges.
We also found out after talking to marketing reps from a couple of manufacturers that there will be some discussion within those brands about the judges’ observations. It seems these manufacturers may actually make some design changes based on our testing. So if Grainews is able to help manufacturers better tailor their machines to farmers’ needs, then I’d say we knocked one out of the park. Certainly from that aspect, the Challenge exceeded our expectations.
During the show, we invited farmers to vote for their favourite machine in the group, and we ended up collecting a lot of ballots. When the numbers were added up, Can-Am’s Defender XT came out as the “Farmer’s Choice” winner. That machine also rated highest on points in the judges evaluation of the heavy-duty models. CF Moto’s U-Force 800 placed second, and John Deere’s XUV590i Gator came in third.
If your name was drawn to win some of the swag we had to give away courtesy of Kawasaki dealer Naber Powersports in Shellbrook, Sask., then you’ve already received an email message from Leeann.