What started out as a safety argument for all ATVs to have a roll-over protection structure (ROPS) fitted, has escalated into ATV buyers being enticed into accepting government rebates to abandon ATV’s altogether and opt for Side by Side models that already include a factory ROPS.
The proactive steps taken by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria are absolutely key contributing factors to buyers abandoning ATVs in favour of collecting rebates to adopt existing safety technology offered on a SxS. NSW recently doubled the rebate from $500 to $1,000 for a single vehicle for farmers to transition from an ATV to a vehicle with an integrated ROPS.
Plus the program has since been further extended to allow for two vehicles to be eligible under the scheme, essentially providing a $2,000 rebate when purchasing two vehicles. Meanwhile in Victoria the very successful WorkSafe Victoria program continues where farmers can qualify for a $1,200 rebate to transition from an ATV to a SxS or already ROPS equipped single seater such as the Polaris ACE model.
When in its infancy, the rebates are the key reasons the national Side by Side market grew by 48 per cent in 2016, with the two states offering rebates – New South Wales and Victoria – outstripping the national SxS market growth with 75 per cent and 57 per cent growth respectively.
If the SxS market continues to grow at a rapid rate – which certainly appears likely, given the year-to-date 2017 side x side market is already almost 40 per cent up on the corresponding period last year – any new ATVs that continue to be offered without any form of ROPS could be non-existent within a very short time.