Four-wheel drive utility transport vehicles (UTVs) are great for use on farms, around stables, for hunting and in many other applications. But do your due diligence before heading for the woods. Tim Amos, Club Car’s 4×4 product manager, shares his insights.
With most systems the driver has to manipulate four or even five levers on the dash. “It’s up to you to push the right levers, select the right gears and worry about locks. Yet you can be getting stuck before you even know you’re in trouble,” Amos says.
Look for a True Automatic All-wheel Drive System
Automatic all-wheel drive systems, like Club Car’s IntelliTrak™, sense the ground they are on and shift as needed.
“The automatic system incorporates the industry’s widest clutch ratio, so it takes the vehicle from low to high gear without manual shifting,” Amos says. “The clutches automatically shift up and down based on speed and load.”
With most traditional systems, drivers have to come to a full stop — or even back up — to engage the locking differential.
But with the IntelliTrak, there are no levers to pull. “Just select ’forward’ or ’reverse,’ and drive on. IntelliTrak does the rest,” Amos says. “It can go from one-wheel drive to fully locked all-wheel drive in a fraction of a second. But as soon as the tire speeds equalize, the system unlocks, letting you maintain control of the vehicle while minimizing potential wear on the powertrain.”
Easier to Maneuver, Safer and Gentler on Turf and Tires
Amos also notes that many traditional four-wheel drive systems can leave you wrangling a steering wheel with a mind of its own. These vehicles may also damage turf and lawns, lead to excessive tire wear, reduce vehicle control and possibly create a dangerous situation due to locked differentials.