Thinking about adding an ATV disc to you accessories collection? A disc setup is just another way to extend the usefulness of your ATV. But, like many ATV accessories, there are a lot of different styles to choose from. We've put together our list of top tips to help you decide which one will do the best job for you.
Let's take a look at the basic types first. There really are two, single row and multi-row which refers to the number of rows of blades (or discs) attached to the frame of the implement. All multi-row, and the majority of single row disc designs are pulled behind the ATV. A few single row types attach directly to the hitch and use the weight of the ATV to aid in the cutting of soil. Let's take a closer look at 'em.
The single row disc is exactly what it says, one row of disc blades. But that's about where the similarity ends. There's a lot of variation within the basic class of single row discs.
Plug-in - The most basic style plugs directly into the receiver hitch of your ATV. It has a single axle with no perimeter frame, and fewer blades than most pull behind types. The blades fit within the footprint of the tires, so overall width is limited.
This type of ATV disc depends on the weight of the four wheeler to control cutting depth. For this reason, the rear of the machine must be lifted to attach the disc. Adjustment holes are provided to vary the weight exerted on the disc.
Advantages of the plug-in style:
Check out the video to see one in action.
Pull behind - The most popular ATV disc is the traditional pull behind type. A single axle with multiple blades, mounted within a perimeter frame, and attached by a drawbar to the ATV.
The convenience and effectiveness of these models can be improved with options like weight trays and transport wheels like the one pictured above. Wheels allow you to pull the ATV disc wherever it's needed, then flip it over to engage the cutting blades.
You will have to unhook and re hook the drawbar, but most single row discs are light enough that it's not a problem for most folks.
If you don't like the idea of all the flipping and re-attaching, models are available with retractable wheels like those above. Other popular features are adjustable cutting angles for each of the blade groups. By splitting the single row into two independent groups. it allows this style disc to operate much like a mult-row model.
Wheels are lifted by either a hand operated ratchet or electric lift, optional on most models. The two groups of blades generally have a smoother ride over uneven ground than one axle.
The ATV disc above is a hybrid design, combining two cutting blade groups, but within the frame size of a normal single row disc. The offset axles are claimed to follow uneven terrain more smoothly.
Cutting depth can be controlled by adjusting the turnbuckle on top, which sets the ride height of the wheels.
Multiple row ATV disc designs provide the most cutting power per pass you can get. The downside is they require a more powerful ATV or UTV for that extra pulling power. We'd say at least a 500 size. And really, the bigger the better.
Most are set up with transport wheels like the model in the photo above. The wheels also double as the method for adjusting the cutting depth of the disc blades. Just remember, the deeper the cut, the more power it will take.
Smaller ATVs and/or limited budgets - The plug-in style or single axle, single row types of discs are the least expensive and lightest weight.
Remote area - If you're going to have to transport the disc to a remote area with your ATV, the plug in style gets the nod. The smaller single axle models with transport wheels will also work. They just can't get into the really tight areas as well.
Rough or uneven terrain - Single row with split or two piece blade groups work the best for these situations. The independent groups of blades can follow the ground easier. Blades stay in contact with the soil for more complete cutting.
Larger ATVs and/or larger areas - The multi-row ATV disc provides the most cutting power for every pass. Best for large projects, or if you have difficult to cut ground.
Regardless of the disc you choose, you'll enjoy the benefit of maximizing the usefulness of your utility ATV.