One reason why many people opt to buy a UTV is for work-related tasks. This requires towing, so the ideal machine will have a solid towing capacity.
The average towing capacity of a UTV is around 1,500 pounds. The UTVs with the highest towing capacity include the following makes and models.
- Can-Am Defender 6X6 DPS
- Can-Am Defender Pro DPS
- Polaris Ranger XP 1000
- Arctic Cat Prowler Pro
- Can-Am Commander DPS
- Honda Pioneer 1000
This guide was created to be the most extensive UTV towing capacity comparison. It includes the highest-selling UTV models and their towing capabilities. We also discuss some factors that impact towing capacity and what would happen if you exceeded these recommended weight limits.
UTV Towing Capacity Chart By Make And Model 2023
Towing capacity is an important consideration when purchasing a UTV. Knowing the towing capacities of different UTV models can help you determine which ones are right for your needs.
On average, an ATV can provide between 1,500-2,000 pounds of towing capacity, but it varies. Below, we have created a detailed chart with the most popular UTVs and their corresponding towing capacity.
Some larger 6X6 models, like the Can-Am Defender, are notoriously heavier and more powerful. Typically, UTVs with more towing capacity will also have a high price tag because this is one of the primary reasons anybody buys a UTV.
This list includes only some examples - many more makes and models exist with varying capacities according to their specifications.
The engine size or transmission type mentioned above also influences this number significantly, so research before making any purchase decisions regarding a UTV.
What Factors Impact The Towing Capacity Of A UTV?
The following factors impact the overall towing capacity of a UTV.
Gross Vehicle Weight
The first thing to consider is each vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR indicates how much weight it can safely carry, including all passengers, cargo, and fluids. This is usually measured in pounds as the dry weight of the vehicle.
The vehicle's total weight must be considered when looking at its towing capacity since any weight added by attaching a trailer or load decreases the available capacity for other cargo and passengers.
The engine's output is a major factor in determining how much weight the UTV can safely tow. Generally, larger engines with more power will have greater towing capacities.
Each UTV has a different gear ratio which affects how it transmits power from the engine to the wheels and how much weight it can pull without struggling or suffering excessive wear and tear on its drive train components.
Next up is the UTV’s total horsepower. This indicates how much power a vehicle has under its hood and ultimately affects how much it can tow safely.
Typically, a UTV with higher horsepower also has more torque. When the vehicle has more torque, it also tends to have a more powerful engine leading to an increase in overall towing capacity.
Another key factor is transmission. Some UTVs have manual transmissions, while others feature automatic options, influencing their overall performance and capabilities.
We prefer automatic transmissions on our UTVs because they tow with more efficiency. Most UTVs with the highest capacities tend to use automatic ones instead of manual too. This is because they can remain stable despite the increased weight, and they move more efficiently.
The suspension plays an important role in helping the UTV maintain stability when pulling heavier loads and ensuring that it does not bottom out over bumps on rough terrain.
Higher-quality suspensions can handle heavier loads than those found on lower-end models. The independent rear suspension is also best for towing because of increased flexibility while driving.
Is It Possible To Increase The Towing Capacity Of A UTV?
Yes, it is possible to increase the towing capacity of a UTV. This can be accomplished by several means, including upgrading the suspension, installing a better and more powerful UTV engine, or adding heavier aftermarket accessories.
For example, upgrading the suspension on a UTV can help to increase the towing capacity. This can be done by installing heavier-duty shocks and struts and adding an aftermarket sway bar.
This will improve the stability of the UTV and allow it to handle heavier loads. Installing a better and more powerful engine can also improve the towing capacity of a UTV. This can be done by selecting a larger engine with a higher horsepower and torque rating.
This will allow the UTV to reach a higher top speed and carry heavier loads without straining the engine. Finally, adding heavier aftermarket accessories can also help to increase the towing capacity of a UTV. This can include adding a winch, a heavy-duty cargo rack, or a larger spare tire.
Adding these accessories will increase the weight of the UTV and provide it with more stability when towing heavier loads. But knowing the exact capacity is difficult with aftermarket modifications, so consulting a professional is a good idea.
Can The Average UTV Tow A Trailer?
The average UTV is designed to be a multi-purpose workhorse and can be used for various tasks. While many models come equipped with towing capabilities, the towing capacity can vary depending on the make and model of the UTV.
Generally, most UTVs can tow up to 1,500 pounds, though some models can tow over 3,000 pounds. To tow a trailer, the UTV must be fitted with a hitch that is rated for the trailer’s weight, and the trailer must also be equipped with the appropriate wiring to allow it to be connected to the UTV.
It is also important to consider the size of the trailer in relation to the size of the UTV, as the UTV may not be able to tow a trailer that is too large safely.
Additionally, the UTV must be able to provide sufficient power to support the trailer’s weight, so it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that the UTV can safely tow a trailer.
What Happens If You Try To Tow Over The UTV’s Towing Capacity?
If you try to tow with a UTV beyond its towing capacity, it could cause damage to the vehicle and/or the trailer and put you in danger of losing control of either or both vehicles.
Additionally, exceeding a vehicle's towing capacity can void the manufacturer's warranty. Below are some of the common problems that we have seen happen before.
Engine & Transmission Strain
Engine and transmission strain is the most obvious sign that you are attempting to tow over your UTV's weight limit. If you continue trying to pull along an object heavier than what your machine can manage, it will eventually become sluggish in performance and more likely to stall out altogether.
Brake safety will be compromised if you exceed the suggested weight limits when hauling something with your UTV.
Doing so could lead to premature wearing of brake components and possible warping of spokes or hubs if consistent pressure is applied for too long.
The same goes for tires - any extra force added by attempting an increase in weight can stretch or deform them beyond repair as they try their hardest not to overexert themselves past their own capability.
This type of tire damage includes cracking sidewalls that compromise integrity and traction while leading them quickly down a path towards replacement soon after its appearance on the vehicle's exterior casing surface.
Finally, frame warping has been known to occur due to extreme weight pressing down in certain hitch positions for more extended periods than originally intended from its build specifications.
Warped frames usually have one telltale sign - when parked side-by-side next to another similar model without such issues, there will be visible differences between both frames regarding how much stability each exhibits visibly at rest.
- The UTVs with the highest towing capacity are the Can-Am Defender 6X6 DPS, Can-Am Defender Pro DPS, Polaris Ranger XP 1000, Arctic Cat Prowler Pro, Can-Am Commander DPS, and Honda Pioneer 1000.
- If you try to tow with a UTV and exceed the weight limit, various issues can occur, like engine strain, transmission strain, brake damage, tire damage, and a warped chassis.
- Most UTVs can tow up to at least 1,500 pounds, so on average, they are strong enough to pull smaller trailers.
About THE AUTHOR
45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.Read More About Gary