Take a drive through Midwestern farm country or Western ranchland, and you’ll see a bunch of old, rusted-out little pickup trucks waiting for their next assignment. But more and more, those compact Jeeps, Toyotas, and Fords are being replaced by outsized UTVs, like the new Can-Am Defender Pro DPS.
This new wave of UTVs can handle all the work that old compact pickups can do, plus a lot more. They have options for heated and air-conditioned cabs, and are even Bluetooth compatible. The first thing you’ll likely notice about the Defender Pro is its extra-large bed, which is 4.5 feet wide by 6 feet long. These dimensions give the machine serious hauling capacity to make it a real workhorse on the farm. And, if you need to move something really big and bulky, you can actually remove the side panels of the bed so it has a more flat-bed style.
It’s also a more-than-capable hunting rig. Outfitted with selectable 2- or 4-wheel drive, Dynamic Power Steering, and 14-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires, the Defender will get you to even the most remote hunting spots. Because it’s much lighter than a truck, it creates much less wear and tear on the landscape. The new generation of Defenders have 30 percent more rigidity and are five percent lighter. Treading softly on the landscape is critical when you’re trying to avoid tearing up farmers’ fields or trails.
The Defender packs a ton of utility into a relatively small package. It delivers a better, quieter ride, up to 82 horsepower, and a class-leading 69 lb-ft of torque.
- Engine: 82 hp/69 lb-ft, Rotax 976 cc, V-twin
- Towing Capacity: 2,500 lb
- Payload Capacity: 1,700 lb
- Cargo Box Capacity: 1,000 lb
- Wheelbase: 115.5 in.
- Ground Clearance: 13 in.
Another advantage the Defender has over that old, compact pickup is that it has a ton of clever storage space. There are gear buckets under the seats and in the dash, and there’s even storage space below the gear box, which manually tilts to provide access.
The Defender’s real advantage is that it’s totally customizable. You can add extra racks over the bed, and Safari racks to the roof. You can add hard-sided doors, light bars, windshields, and mirrors, plows, hitches, and of course, a winch. You can trick out your own at Can-Am’s website. Keep tweaking your build and price until you have the perfect machine for getting work done and going hunting.
The Defender Pro DPS is just one of 18 different Defender models new for 2021. There are six-seater models and even 6×6 models. Check them all out on the Can-Am website.