New Gators redesigned for comfort

Red Deer — John Deere has focused on operator comfort in its latest design for the Gator utility vehicle.

The gas-powered Gator XUV835 and the diesel-powered Gator XUV865 have three-wide seating, as well as heat and air conditioning in versions that come equipped with the cabs.

“All the cabs will be plug and play,” said Jim Schielke of Cervus Ag Equipment at the Agri-Trade equipment show held in Red Deer in November.

“It will make installing stuff easier, and the owner will be able to do a lot of it himself.”

Operators accustomed to John Deere tractors will feel at home in the robust and sound dampening cabs on the new Gators.

With heating and the air conditioning, Gators can become a more useful year-round tool.

The passenger seat also hides a large storage with a drain hole in it area beneath it, so operators can store drinks packed in ice inside and have easier clean out.

But the enhanced comfort comes at a cost.

“This unit, in Canadian dollars right now, ballparks around $32,000. That will get you the power dump and the air conditioning and the heater in the cab.

“When you start getting it down to base models we’re down into the $22,000 to $23,000 range.”

He said the top-of-the-line model with cloth seats and brown interior costs more than $34,000, and the diesel option adds even more.

The gas-powered vehicle has 54 horsepower, while the diesel comes in at 24 h.p. The XUV835 gas vehicle reaches speeds of 72 km-h while the XUV865 diesel offers a top speed of 48 km-h.

Both Gator models have a 454-kilogram cargo box capacity, and a towing capacity of 907 kg.

“John Deere usually doesn’t get too crazy with their towing capacity (with utility vehicles). They don’t want the weight of your trailer to be heavier than the unit that’s towing it. So they do limit towing capacity for safety’s sake,” Schielke said.

Power steering comes standard with both gas and diesel models, but base models can still be delivered with arm-strong steering.

“The top-line models we had before, the 825i, that unit is going to be our base model now and you can get it without power steering,” Schielke said.

John Deere Gator utility vehicles are designed and built in Horicon, Wisconsin.

“It’s a state of the arc factory, that when they get it rolling you will be able to order all the options and get them factory installed, just like you’re ordering a car or truck,” Schielke said.

The Gator XUV835 and XUV865 utility vehicles are expected to show up at John Deere dealerships on the Prairies early next year.

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