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These days most farmers and ranchers employ some sort of all-terrain vehicle or side-by-side. They are powerful machines that can perform a multitude of tasks.
“If you take care of an ATV halfway decent you can get 15 or 20 years out of it,” Mark Nicot of Taylor Honda Sports in Woodburn, Ore., said.
Farmers and ranchers use them for a wide variety of daily chores, such as pulling sprinklers, spraying, hauling trailers and carrying loads of up to 1,000 pounds, he said.
“The side-by-side business in general has taken off the last three years,” Nicot said. “People who used to do a lot of motorcycle or ATV riding are getting older and they just want to ride around with the wife, do some trail riding or go to the sand.”
As winter looms, service tech Tim Thompson says three main things should be done to protect a machine.
“Always change the oil and oil filter and run race gas through it; it holds a lot better that way,” Thompson said. “That’s what we do with everything we winterize.
“High octane gas doesn’t degrade over time like regular pump gas that absorbs moisture and deteriorates. That’s hard on the motor. Then throw a battery tender on it.
“Farm equipment is used the hardest of anything that comes in here,” Thompson said. “They’re the most (used) machines because they’re not a toy, they’re a tool.”
John Taylor and his wife, Josele, started the business in 1964 and have worked more than half a century to make Honda Sports/Taylor Motorcycles a business staple in the Woodburn community and the region.
“They are great business people, great people to work for,” Nicot said. “Their business is based on customer service, and probably 85-90 percent of our business is with farmers.”
John Taylor marvels at the many things farmers must know in the scope of their business.
“A lot of the farmers today have their own shops and mechanics,” he said. “When this is the case the important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for services. You can get that information online, in the owner’s manual or in the shop manual. If the farmers are doing their own maintenance, they should invest in the appropriate shop manuals.”
John, 86, still plays an active role at the store, but is ready to turn the business and property over to somebody new.
“If we find a buyer we’re going to sell,” Taylor said. “We’d like for someone to come on board and continue it. We’ve got a tremendous customer base on the service end and the reputation of having one of the best, if not the best, ATV parts supply in the Northwest.”