While I enjoy zipping over dunes, some of you are much more low key, industrious, hard-working people, that get up early in the morning to hit the field, and then go to bed early in order to get up the next morning.
People like that are not looking for the best way to hop a dune or ride out a whoop. No people like that want the best possible machine that can help them haul things across the ranch, and tow things around the farm.
So because of that, I have decided to write something that will help those readers out because side-by-sides do not just boast power, suspension, and boost. They also boast strength, durability, and versatility.
If that is what you want, then you do not care so much about the shocks and suspension, which we will still talk about here, but more so the capacity of your side-by-side to tow things, and how much you can stuff in that cargo bed before it breaks.
So in this article, I will be focussing a lot more on those aspects to side-by-sides. I have compiled here some of the best hard-working, ranch-ready, side-by-side on the market.
I have taken into account not just specifications, but the price, as to try and find the best deals that are currently on the market, so you get the best bang for your buck without having to jeopardize quality for the price.
So without further ado, let us take a look at some of the best four-seat side-by-sides with dump beds on the market today and how they stack up against one against the other.
I have mentioned Mahindra once before in a past article, but other than that, I have not really ever mentioned Mahindra and I am sure that when thinking about the various side-by-sides out there Mahindra was certainly not the first name to come to mind.
That is because it just is not as well known as Polaris, Can-Am, and even Kawasaki or Yamaha. Just because it is not as well known, does not mean that it is an inferior side-by-side competitor in the market though.
In fact, it is quite the opposite. While I would not put Mahindra in my top list of sport or extreme performance side-by-sides I will put it as one of my top choices for utility side-by-sides, if not my top choice, especially when it comes to the focus on dump beds.
A brand like Mahindra is better than Polaris or Can-Am? Yes. Why might that be you ask? Well, it is simple, Mahindra is the leader in the industry for cargo box capacity. I bet you did not see that coming.
Not only are they the industry leader in cargo box capacity, but they are also one of the few companies that have a large variety of extended/long bed cargo boxes. So if dump bed quality is your primary focus, and if you are reading this article then it probably is, Mahindra has you covered for sure.
Retriever 750 Gas Crew: $15,499
The Retriever 750 Gas Crew is the best in its class in many different ways, but let us go ahead and start with how it beats out the rest in its cargo box capacity.
The Retriever 750 Gas Crew has a cargo box capacity of 1,200 pounds. That is 200 pounds more than any other side-by-side in its class, currently on the market. As for the towing capacity, it is not too shabby, coming in at 2,100 pounds.
For a 750cc class side-by-side the Retriever by Mahindra really has some knock your socks of specifications. Plus it is not all too expensive. Going back to that cargo bed for a second, did I mention that it was electric?
That is right, an electric cargo bed, so it will keep up with the gas-assisted cargo beds of its competitors. You can leave the shovels in the barn because with the help of the electric assist you can dump the 1,200-pound payload that you may be hauling in the back with ease.
Also the sides of these flexhauler cargo boxes, that is what Mahindra has dubbed their cargo boxes to be named, they can be laid out flat so that they convert into a flatbed if needed. Couple that with built-in storage compartments and the Retriever really takes the cake for top tier dump beds.
The flexhauler dump bed is not the only thing that Mahindra “flexes” on us with. They really stick it to the competition with industry-leading comfort in their side-by-sides.
The Retriever has the best entry space to their side-by-sides on the market with 19, full-inches of space in order to get in and out of your side-by-side with ease. That is six inches more than the Polaris Ranger XP1000 that we will mention later, by the way.
14-inch aluminum wheels with 27-inch all-terrain tires help to give the Retriever 12-inches of ground clearance. That is at least an inch more than a lot of the base model utility vehicles from the other leading companies.
The Retriever 750’s has a 2-inch front and rear retriever hitch and its drivetrain is 4WD with auto-lock front differential with a push-button rear differential.
This side-by-side also comes standard with a heavy-duty front bumper, LED headlights, a 4.5-inch LCD instrument display that gives readouts on speed, RPM, gear position, fuel level, and more.
If all of that was not enough, Mahindra gives out a 3-year limited powertrain warranty with each vehicle. So with the specs that the Retriever has, as well as a bit more, we will see what comes with the 1000 model, I have Mahindra and its Retriever Crew series as the top pick for best four-seat side-by-side with a dump bed.
Retriever 1000 Gas Crew: $18,099
If the Retriever 750 Gas Crew was not enough then the Retriever 1000 Gas Crew ought to do the trick. The Retriever 1000 Gas Crew comes with everything that the 750 does, including a diesel option.
The Gas crew model, however, comes with a towing capacity of 2,500 pounds rivaling some of the top side-by-sides like the Can-Am Defender, and the Polaris Ranger.
The Retriever 1000 Gas Crew model also has 82 horsepower that will get the side-by-side up to 60 miles per hour. The cargo box for the 1000 series actually only has a 1,000 pound capacity instead of the 1,200-pound capacity that the 750 has.
Mahindra also has some extended cargo box side-by-sides. They are not four-seater side-by-sides, but if you are wanting extra space in your dump bed, then that could also be an option that you consider getting. It sits three people in its bench seating.
Can-Am is a much more well-known company. Their new line up for 2020 is quite extraordinary as well. With over 20 new vehicles. They have side-by-sides that are great at hauling and towing, trail-riding, extreme performance racing, and much anything in between.
That is why I believe, besides Mahindra, they really do offer the next best side-by-side for towing and hauling for the price. A lot of their side-by-sides are very much focused on low and torque and power performance and so because of that they are high up on the list for hard-working side-by-sides and in turn, quality dump beds.
Defender Max DPS: $14,999
We will start off with the Defender Max DPS. This is not necessarily the base model side-by-side in the Defender four-seater series, that would be the Defender Max, which comes in around $13,199 but it does not have power steering, so I will talk more about the Defender Max DPS instead.
As far as money goes, the Defender Max DPS comes in just 500 dollars under the Mahindra 750 Gas Crew which would be the competing side-by-side for Mahindra in this class.
For the Cargo Box/Dump Bed specs that this article is focused on, the Defender Max DPS has a cargo box capacity of 1,000 pounds, so it really is not too far behind the Mahindra Retriever in that sense and is gas-assisted. Even the 1,000 model for Mahindra has the same cargo box capacity of the Defender.
While the Can-Am Defender Max DPS does not win out in total cargo box capacity, it does win out a bit in power though in my opinion. The Defender Max DPS utilizes Can-Am’s HD10 Rotax V-twin engine that produces 82 horsepower and industry-leading 69-ft-lb of torque.
You can also put the HD8 engine in the Defender Max DPS as well which will allow you to spend a little less money, and that engine has 50 horsepower with 50-ft-lb of torque instead of 82 horsepower and 69-ft-lb of torque.
While Mahindra had industry-leading cargo box capacity, the Defender has top of their class ratings for towing the towing capacity being 2,500 pounds for the Defender, and that is the towing capacity for all of the Defenders mind you even the two-seater base model.
I mentioned that Can-Am is a master at utilizing low-end torque and that is because of their PRO-TORQ transmission that has revised ventilation and ensures extended belt life for the transmission belt.
The Defender has a 2WD/4WD/and Turf Mode for its drivetrain selections as well as an auto-locking differential system so that you have full control of your vehicle.
I know that I said I would not get too into the suspension specs on these side-by-sides, and I will not, however it is a noticeable feature in these Defender Models that they have better double A-arched front and rear suspension that allows these side-by-sides to have a higher ground clearance and more travel throughout the vehicle.
That ground clearance is 13-inches by the way, a whole inch higher than the Retrievers so not only are you getting superior power, but you are also getting a higher ground clearance with the Defender series from Can-Am.
Defender Max XT: $17,399
If you are wondering what the Defenders comparison is to Mahindra’s 1000 Crew model than look no further, it is the Defender Max XT and in my opinion, Can-Am is yet again giving you more for less here.
The Defender Max XT has the same engine options as the Defender DPS with the HD8 and HD10 engine models, and it has the same towing capacity of 2,500 pounds as well.
It really has all of the same specs, suspension and everything else, the real difference is the in the added accessories that the XT gives you. The Defender Max XT comes with a front protection bar, a front windshield, as well as a 4,500-pound winch attached to the front.
So if you are needing to get some extra-heavy work done around the ranch or farm that winch will sure come in handy.
Polaris is another one of those brand favorite names and it is no wonder since they offer some of the most top-of-the-line products on the market for any off-road or Powersports vehicle.
As far as pricing and included accessories go with the vehicle classes, is pretty up to par with Can-Am which is to be expected when it is a top of the line company.
Ranger Crew 570-4: $11,399
Out of all of the side-by-sides listed in this article, the Ranger Crew 570-4 is obviously the cheapest one. That is in part to the fact that Polaris really tried to make a competitively priced side-by-side with this model, but you will also see that the specs on this Ranger do not really compare with the specs of the aforementioned side-by-sides.
The Ranger Crew 570-4 has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, so it is not too terrible, but compared to the 2,500 of the Defender series and even 2,100-2,500 pounds of the Retriever series it lacks a bit in comparison.
The dump bed is not that fancy either with a capacity of only 500 pounds. The Cargo box is gas-assisted though so you do get the help with that.
The Ranger 570-4 has a ground clearance of 10-inches and produces 44 horsepower. All in all, it is slightly underwhelming when compared to the giant workhorses we have been looking at. For the price however it really can’t be beaten.
Ranger Crew 1000: $14,399
Where the Ranger Crew 570-4 lacked the Ranger Crew 1000 makes up for in spades. The Ranger Crew 1000 uses a ProStar 999cc engine that produces 61 horsepower and 55ft-lb of torque. Still not as much torque as the Defender but nothing to turn your nose up about.
The Ranger Crew 1000s cargo box can hold up to 1,000 pounds and is gas-assisted, and the vehicle can tow up to 2,500 pounds, so it rivals even the Defender series.
The Ranger Crew 1000 lacks in suspension when compared to the Defenders with only 12-inches of ground clearance and 10-inches of travel. However, that is a draw with the Mahindra Retrievers.
Polaris supposedly made the Ranger 1000 more comfortable giving the interior seats 25 percent more cushion, 8 cupholders, and more durable seats. How that compares to the competition and whether or not it is better, you will have to decide.
The Ranger Crew 1000 also has a 50 percent more durable skid plate, a front bumper for added protection, and a more rigid one-piece chassis. So you can be safe in knowing that you Ranger will not fall apart on you whether on the ranch or on the trail.
So the Ranger is slightly less expensive than the Mahindra models as well as the Defender models.
Each company has its own perks and accessories though, Mahindra with superior cargo capacity, the Defender with better towing capacity at lower models and superior torque and Polaris with superior pricing.
Ranger Crew XP 1000: $18,099
Polaris does have its own version of an “XT” model like with Can-Am’s Defender XT and that is the Ranger 1000 XP. The Ranger 1000 XP has a more powerful engine than the standard 1000 model putting out 82 horsepower and 62-ft-lb of torque.
It also has a higher suspension of 13-inches and 11-inches of travel. It comes with a front bumper for protection, full-body skid plate, and EBS, EPS, and a smoother clutch.
Its towing capacity is still the same as is its cargo box capacity. It has the same drivetrain as the base 1000 model does with an AWD/2WD/and Versa Trac Turf Mode.
The Cargo box is a bit cooler with heavy-duty tie-down points, and 5-gallon bucket rings so there is the added bonus there as well.