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“Best Buy” Polaris Ranger
When Curtis Koehn, Bellville, Texas went looking for a utility vehicle, he chose a 2018 4-WD Polaris Ranger 500. It’s his “best buy”, and a few alterations he made make it work even better.
    “I looked for a long time and did a lot of research before buying this model,” says Koehn. “It has adequate power for my needs, but what I like most is the 3-mode power train. The Ranger 500 has a true differential, so when using it in 2-WD I can make tight turns. I also can use it with the differential lock in 2-WD, or fully locked-in with 4-WD. A switch on the dash is used to change modes.
    “One time I had the machine loaded down to build fence, with 2 men and a bunch of chainsaws riding in the bed. It had rained a lot and I had to drive through a low muddy spot where I wasn’t sure I could make it, but the Ranger pulled right through. Its compact size makes it highly maneuverable.”
    He built a handy wooden bench for the bed that converts to a headache rack. “I didn’t want a fancy bench permanently attached to the bed, so I made it removable to open up bed space,” says Koehn. “I added 1-in. pvc hand rails on both sides of the bed, and a 5-ft. long pvc hand rail that doubles as a headache rack on front of the bed. The hand rail is reinforced internally for strength.”
    He used three 2 by 2’s to build the bench’s frame and glued and nailed on a 1/4-in. plywood top. A 3-piece pvc “rail set” at each end of the bench fits through holes drilled into the bench and into corresponding bed holes.
    “To convert the seat to a headache rack, I remove the rail sets and flip the seat forward onto its edge,” says Koehn. “Two pieces of 1 1/4-in. schedule 40 pvc clamped to the underside of the bench hold the seat in the headache rack position. Capped pieces of 1-in. pvc slide through the 1 1/4-in. pvc and into the bed holes.”
    He built a low-cost painted wooden roof on top of the cab, using 2 by 2’s and 1 by 2’s for the frame and adding a painted, 1/4-in. thick plywood roof. Aluminum tabs at the corners are screwed into the roof’s wood frame to clamp it to the cab frame.
    “If I want, I can use the bench as a step and climb onto the roof. It’s strong enough to stand on so I can reach high places,” says Koehn. “It’s handy for jobs such as replacing yard lights and picking pears.”
    He stores a plastic toolbox under the Ranger’s seat. The toolbox sits in a home-built wooden tray and is held down by the seat.
    He added an aftermarket, fold-down windshield, and he also bought a factory wrap-around grille, using a $250 gift certificate that he got online after test driving the Ranger. “I could have used the certificate for any accessory, but my daughter talked me into the grille and I’m glad she did. She said the protection would come in handy if we have to round up stray cows or calves on our farm,” notes Koehn.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Curtis Koehn, P.O. Box 1008, Bellville, Texas 77418 (curtiswk@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1