Exploring the World of “Small" Vehicles

“There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.”

The zest to explore our wide world isn't restricted to any race, land, or culture. It inhabits us all, just as we are all inhabitants of the same 24-hour day. So in just one day, what can you do?

Whether you're a wild heart, a workhorse, or a wanderer, every day brings new challenges and new chances to explore and do more.

Doing more, accomplishing more, and enjoying more in one day is possible with grit, grind, and the help of a small vehicle.

What on Earth is a “Small" Vehicle?

Okay, so when we say “small vehicle", we're not talking about Stuart Little size, but we also don’t mean small like a compact car. If you want to get technical, “small” isn't really a way of categorizing vehicles. Yet when it comes to charting new territory, overcoming challenges, and making the most out of the hours in your day, there's nothing more committed to your cause than a smaller vehicle.

We're talking about heavy-duty, little helper vehicles like golf carts and 4-wheelers. You might be surprised at how much these sturdy, dependable, iron-willed machines can do in a day.

So What’s That Called?

Since “small" isn't technically a way to define vehicles, here are the nuts and bolts of terminology.

Low-Speed Vehicle

Low-speed vehicles generally have 4 wheels, a maximum speed of 25mph, and a weight of less than 3000 lbs. With the the proper registration, insurance, and legally required parts like lights and horns and such, LSVs (low-speed vehicles) are considered street legal although the laws, rules, and regulations vary by state and can be a tad vague.

Utility Task Vehicle

These 4 wheeled motorized, off-road vehicles are designed to be ridiculously strong, spacious, sturdy, and the perfect companion vehicle for farmers, ranchers, and growers. You drive them not ride them. Their body style features a truck-like cab and an impressive back cargo hold.

All-Terrain Vehicle

If you're thinking of 4-wheelers, this is where they fit. ATVs are more nimble with an easier on-and-off straddle seat. They're more physically demanding to ride and are smaller than UTVs, but these little machines have got spunk and spirit for days.

Golf Cart

Finally, something that is exactly what it sounds like. Don't underestimate these resourceful, dependable little guys though. Golf carts can transport, tote, and transform your work, walks, and weekends.

Where You Play

From hobbies to leisure riding to sports and racing, any smaller vehicle can be exciting.

Whether you're looking at buying new or used, there's no arguing that owning a UTV, ATV, or golf cart will massively increase the amount of enjoyment and pleasure you experience during any free time activity on any day.

Playing is great, but with so little time to waste and so much to do…what if you could take your play toys to work with you?

Where You Work

Small vehicles are fun and functional.

Owning them takes passion straight to a purpose-driven task, and driving any smaller vehicle is just a blast no matter what you're doing with it.

When it comes to working hard and getting ‘er done, the best-suited small vehicles are UTVs or ATVs.

“Utes” on The Farm

Utility vehicles or ‘utes' go places people just can't, and they go there with all your stuff and ample room and vroom to load up more for the ride home. With independent suspensions and rack and pinion steering these easily maneuverable, driver-friendly vehicles can do it all and then some.

UTVs are bigger, heavier, and huskier than ATVs. They tend to be more task-oriented and are capable of hauling 1-2,000 lbs of cargo. They have upright seating with straps or seat belts and lots of spacious room to keep your copilot and company safe and comfortable.

These hearty, heavy-duty little vehicles help you cover acreage or backcountry with ease. They're perfect for vineyards and orchards where you've got ground to cover and supplies to haul around.

Equipped with 8-18 horsepower, they can mow, plow dirt or snow, scrape, comb, tow, haul, and move. Power steering and complex 4-wheel drive systems prepare these guys for anything so that you don't just get more done, you get it done faster no matter what.

Thanks to their sheer strength and undaunted spirit, driving, owning, and working with a utility vehicle is sure to make your day-to-day life more fulfilling.

ATVs on The Job

All-terrain vehicles are small enough to manhandle, but strong enough to handle almost any job. They're not as stocky or enclosed as a UTV, making them both lighter and quicker to turn.

They can be rigged with attachments and trailer hitches to pull or assist with work around your property, but they don't have as much hauling capacity as UTVs. They feature handlebar-style steering and hand braking with less room for ride-alongs, but they have the stamina you just don't.

Here are a few tough jobs where UTVs and ATVs go to work:

  • Farming
  • Logging
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping
  • Law enforcement and security
  • Landscaping
  • Resorts
  • Ballparks

UTVs and ATVs are both fun, fiercely adaptable working companions.

Where You Rest

At the end of a long day, when you get home and you're tired, but there's still oil to burn, golf carts make diligent and dependable little accomplices.

Golf Carts For Work

Golf carts aren't just for the golf course anymore. They're reasonably priced, versatile, compact, durable, convenient, and efficient. Most of them last for around 20 years, which means there are lots of used and pre-owned options for the taking and the tinkering.

Base models seat 2, 4, or 6 people and are powered by either a series of 8V batteries, gas, or electricity. They peak out around 15-19 mph, which means they are too slow to be considered low-speed vehicles.

Golf carts are easy to own and cheap to maintain.

Here are a few places and jobs where you just might see a determined little golf cart hard at work:

  • Stables and barns
  • Country clubs
  • Storage facilities
  • Large power, gas, and oil companies
  • National Parks
  • Stadiums and arenas
  • Polo clubs
  • Realtors, insurers, and investors

Golf Carts For Home

Of course, golf carts aren't just tireless helpers and time savers at work. They also offer relaxing, reliable methods of transporting and traveling to shorter distances and destinations near home.

Golf carts make it possible, practical, and pleasurable to get you, your loved ones, and all your (or their) stuff to and from places in the neighborhood. Make sure to check out local and state laws if you intend to take them on the open road, but nature trails, neighborhoods, parks, and public access points are all perfect destinations that make hoofing it on foot with gear in hand seem like a thing of the past.

Where else can you rest and ride around on your golf cart?

  • Island life
  • Beach going
  • Lake loving
  • Fishing expeditions
  • Apartment complexes
  • Campgrounds
  • RV parks
  • Golf courses (of course)
  • Senior citizen communities
  • Gated communities
  • Your neighborhood or mine

Cruising Around The Block

Owning a small vehicle is a labor of love. More so because they do the labor and you love it, but they're also a hobby of themselves and a great way to express your personality and style, and your work ethic of course.

There’s pretty much no limit to the customizations, accessories, and modifications that this class of “small” vehicles can take. That means whatever you want goes…as long as it still does.

When it comes time to make changes, express yourself, light your way, or leave everyone else in your dust, the more you invest in your parts and installation, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of them. Keeping your small vehicle in tip-top shape and decking it out with all your favorites isn’t necessarily about the most expensive solutions. It’s more about quality products and enjoying your quality time.

These become cyclical benefits because the more quality products and steady, secure installations your small vehicle has, the better it will run and the longer it will last. So you get to cruise around with sounds, snacks, and style for even longer.

Although the options are as limitless as your personal preferences, here are a few of the most common upgrades, modifications, and enhancements that people like to show off on their “small" vehicles.

Universal “Mechanical” Customizations

  • Headlights
  • Horns
  • Underbody lights
  • Decorative lights
  • LEDs
  • Lift kits
  • Navigation
  • Sound systems
  • Speakers
  • Amps
  • Bluetooth
  • Storage

Common UTV & ATV Customizations

  • Cab kits
  • Specialty lighting
  • Stereo systems
  • In-cab heaters
  • Dry boxes
  • Windshields
  • Enhanced performance
  • Racks and attachments
  • Trailer hitches

Popular Golf Cart Customizations

  • Solar power conversion
  • 12V conversion for car accessories
  • Seats
  • Storage
  • Cupholders
  • Coolers
  • Fans
  • Heaters
  • Shade
  • Decor
  • Speakers
  • Party lights

Where you choose to spend your time and money is totally up to you. Just remember that your quality time and your vehicle's lifespan increase with the quality of your parts and products.

The best way to protect your investment is to keep it running and well-maintained.

Looking Under The Hood

You don't have to be a mechanic to own (or maintain) a small vehicle. For the most part, anyone who is mildly mechanically minded will find that maintenance on a small vehicle is totally manageable. For most golf cart owners, a general set of tools is more than adequate to tinker, toy, or troubleshoot anything that comes their way.

Of course, there are specialized mechanics for jobs that are too daunting, dangerous, or decidedly out of your comfort range.

You can even buy a remanufactured engine for just about any major small vehicle manufacturer. This is a great way to breathe new life back into a used or not so gently loved and ridden machine. With the assurance of a 6-month warranty, stringently tested parts, systems, and standards that will rival or beat the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), there's no better (or easier) way to keep the heartbeat of your “small" vehicle going strong.

So when it comes time to repair or upgrade your golf cart, ATV, or UTV here are a few killer, cost-effective products you can use to make your work look, feel, and stay like (or better than) the professionals.

1. Cable Ties

Yes, zip ties. There's no better way to hold down and hold together all your important parts than with good old zip ties. These little nylon wonders are available in brightly colored rainbow hues or the totally UV-resistant black.

With slim profiles and narrow heads, these prowl-locked loops are durable, resilient, and hold up well under vehicles and hoods. With a little finesse, cable ties can make multiple sections of wires or cords lay flat so they fit flush under trim, panels, and against the body of your small vehicle.

Since most golf carts are operated by at least 6 small batteries, there's no shortage of wires and connections you'll need to secure. The more aftermarket parts you add, the more wires you'll have running around your engine compartment and cabin.

Since small vehicles are, well, small…they have particularly low clearance and narrow spaces. Installations need to be as concise, neat, and orderly as possible.

Nylon cable ties are ideal for tucking away, tightening up, and extending the life of pretty much anything they touch.

2. General Purpose Heat Shrink

For premium shielding when it comes to appearance, longevity, and weatherproofing there's no better choice than heat shrink. Even the pros use general purpose heat shrink tubing for cable management and easy mechanical protection.

These colorful polyolefin tubes are multi-purpose miracle workers for small vehicles. With the help of color coding or custom printing, it's easy to identify and label all the important wires, switches, fuses, and lines running around and under your golf cart, ATV, or UTV.

Wires and connections reinforced with heat shrink tubing last longer and perform better. These tubes provide an additional layer of strength and support. They resist abrasions and cuts thus increasing mechanical load stability and decreasing stress and strain. They hold tight through vibrations and prevent wiggles and slipping connections.

With just a little heat from a lighter or a heat gun, these little tubes shrink down tight and provide a firm but flexible hold around any small vehicle's cylindrical surface.

Can't fit a tube around it but still need to secure it, snug it, and strengthen it? Try heat shrink tape. It offers the same quality performance as heat shrink in conveniently flat strips.

3. Waterproof Heat Shrink

If you need a trouble-free repair for your golf cart or ATV that looks nice to boot, look no further than dual wall heat shrink. This isn't just your standard heat shrink tube. These magical little guys have an inner wall of hot melt adhesive. When activated, this inner layer melts down and flows over surfaces sealing cracks and filling gaps as it goes. The result is an almost instantaneous seal that locks out water, oil, gas, grease, liquids, solvents, chemicals, dirt, dust, debris, and damage all while looking clean and professional, even if you aren't.

Small vehicle owners should revel in the glory of its waterproofing. There's no spill, splash, storm, or surprise that will stop the power of dual wall heat shrink. It gives you an environmental seal that keeps all the elements at bay, makes all your connections stay, and helps you ride on all day.

4. Everything-Proof Heat Shrink (aka Heavy Wall Heat Shrink Tube)

For the extra rugged enthusiasts, the muddiest of trails, and the most intrepid adventurers out there there is heavy wall heat shrink tube.

This is the top of the line when it comes to securing, connecting, protecting, and lasting. There's no seal more durable or resilient than one wrapped in heavy wall heat shrink. If you're carting big game, hauling heavy loads, and trekking through the wettest and worst, this is the absolute best way to get through it. There's nowhere your machine or toy can't go when you've prepared it with heavy wall.

This stuff is basically King-Kong-proof, so if you like to ride hard, dirty, fast, and far this is what you need.

5. PET Braided Sleeving

To protect, insulate, and manage cable and wires like a pro with the sleekest, most stylish (and strong) guard possible, reach for PET braided sleeving.

Woven from 10 mil polyethylene terephthalate monofilament yarns, this 3x expandable and tightening tubing has excellent cut-through and abrasion resistance. It's available in a variety of bright or fluorescent colors or solid black, which means there's a color to match your cart, cooler, or favorite shade (or ride) of the month.

These little sleeves are wicked strong, can withstand extreme temperatures, and resist gasoline, engine chemicals, cleaning solvents, and rust. They're the perfect addition or added protection to anything that might be prone to shaking or wiggling loose when you're crushing the trails or cruising the block. With super fast, heat-free installations and a guarantee to extend the lifespan of any connection, there's no better-looking or outperforming hold than braided sleeving.

Whether you're installing aftermarket speakers, a docking station for your cooler, extra seats and storage, or some sweet LEDs there's no snugger, safer, or snazzier solution to any upgrade or modification of your small vehicle than these 5 products.

The Best Advice for Small Vehicles

The best maintenance tip for golf cart owners is to keep all those battery connections tight and dry. Reinforce important electrical components and connections with an adhesive lined heat shrink to eliminate water penetration and keep the currents flowing safely and rust-free.

The best all-around tip for UTV and ATV owners is to make sure trailer installations are tight and secure and secure and tight. We said it twice because if those connections aren't firmly fixed in place, like with an adhesive or heavy wall heat shrink, by the second bump, bounce, jostle, or jolt they're either going to wiggle loose or you're going to wonder if they did.

More of The Best

Remember we all get only 24 hours in a day. So take time to play, work, rest, and live your best. Get as much done today as you can, and then go do a little more.

Buyheatshrink.com has all the premium, affordable parts you and your “small" vehicle need to go, do, explore, and experience all the best in this big, beautiful world.

Exploring the World of “Small" Vehicles