Can I use a lawn tractor to move dumpster bins or compactor receiving bins?

A lawn tractor, farm tractor, ATV, or UTV is not a purpose-built load mover to move open top dumpster bins or heavy compactor receiving bins at a business or multi-unit residential building. Commercial businesses and condos or apartment buildings often have steep driveway grades and a sit-down lawn tractor, farm tractor, ATV, or UTV are not designed to safely operate on steep slopes.

One of our reviews from our customer at a large property management firm switched out of their lawn tractor at one of their sites due to safety concerns, environmental impact, noise, and to reduce operating costs.


Ten reasons why using a lawn tractor to move waste bins is a bad idea:


1) Lawn tractors, UTV’s, and ATV’s are not designed to tow heavy weights
The lawn tractor is not structurally engineered to safely move waste bins as they usually have a towing limit of 300 to 600 lb and that is on a flat surface. The most expensive model of a UTV or utility tractor has a limit of around 2,000 lb and that is on a flat surface. A 3-yard waste bin will weigh up to 1,400 lb and a compacted 3-yard bin can weigh up to 2,800 lb.  Only the industrial farm tractors will have the needed towing limit and they are very large, expensive, over 96 db, and need counter weights added to the front to prevent flipping upside down.

2) Lawn tractors can flip upside down on driveway ramps
There have been reports of lawn tractors flipping upside down when pulling waste bins on steep slopes. In the lawn-cutting industry, lawn tractors flipping upside down on steep slopes are more common and sometimes kill people. 

3) Lawn tractors do not have good winter tires available
The only tires available for lawn tractors are turf tread and tractor tread. Tractor tread is not a good tread for concrete and asphalt on slopes. Turf tread is only a 3-season tread and not good for winter traction.

4) Ride-on tractors are considered vehicles and not licensed for use on public roads
A UTV can have a top speed up to about 45 MPH. Compared to licensed vehicles on the road, the ride-on tractors have no comparable occupant protection or vehicle safety design. Lawn tractors, UTV, and ATV’s are designed to only be used on private property in controlled situations. They are not licensed for public road use to move waste bins for servicing by their waste management hauler. That can become a huge legal liability if your staff were to be in an accident with a pedestrian or another vehicle.

5) Lawn tractors that run on fossil fuel are not environmentally green
Lawn tractors, ATV’s, and UTV’s running on diesel or gas have an effect on our environment and people – especially the older models that have no emission equipment. The exhaust fumes affects the driver, other drivers and their occupants, and pedestrians in enclosed areas like a parking garage.

6) Lawn tractors that run on fossil fuel require you to transport and store fuel on site
Lawn tractors, ATV’s, and UTV’s running on diesel or gas require you to go purchase, transport, and store flammable fuels on site. Work safe (WCB) safety rules are often not followed and spills on the ground are not reported, which can lead to environmental liability over time.

7) Most states and provinces require you to safety-certify an off-road vehicle at least annually
Most state and provincial safety regulations require that a third party safety certifies the off-road ‘vehicle’ at least yearly.  In BC, WCB BC requires a forklift and other ridden equipment (such as a lawn tractor used in a business) to be safety-inspected yearly.

8) Ride-on vehicles have higher maintenance costs than walk-along load movers
Lawn tractors have a high maintenance cost for brakes, tires, engine maintenance, fuel, and downtime.

9) Ride-on vehicles have a large footprint.
Lawn tractors, ATV’s, and UTV’s take up a big footprint for storage. With the high building capital cost per sq ft, it would be more beneficial to have a smaller unit and use that space to add a revenue generating recycling stream in your waste room.

10) Lawn tractors, farm tractors, ATV’s, and UTV’s are noisy.
Lawn tractors and farm tractors are very noisy and operate in the range of 86 to 96 dBA. In a parking garage, the loud noise can have a detrimental affect to your employees and residents hearing over time. The loud noise from the tractor can also restrict the use of the tractor to certain daylight hours due to noise restrictions.


There is a better solution for moving waste and recycling dumpster bins.
The V-move battery-powered waste bin load mover is engineered to allow your employee to safely move any-sized waste or recycling bin from the waste room to the service location. The v-move walk-along dumpster movers come with optional winter tires and are battery-powered for quiet operation and don’t emit pollution like a fossil-fueled ride-on tractor. The V-move dumpster bin movers are engineered for the purpose of load moving and to do it safely. The V-move dumpster load movers are built high-quality to minimize down time and minimize operating costs.

v-move XL+ dumpster mover tug going down a ramp. Also called a waste bin tug | Xerowaste.ca

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