Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles
Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles are great farming vehicles but they aren't without their dangers. Follow these steps to ensure you stay safe.
On farms, quad bikes are a useful vehicle – but they can also be dangerous.
Read more about child safety on farms.
A side-by-side vehicle (SSV) is more stable than a quad bike. It comes fitted with a steering wheel, seat belts and rollover protection, and has a higher load capacity.
Before buying a vehicle for your farm, see the pre-purchase checklist to make sure you choose the right one.
Derek Schoen, a farmer from Corowa and former president of the NSW Farmers Association, is a great believer in using an SSV rather than a quad bike.
Robert Hood, a farmer from Meadow Flat, talks about his near-fatal quad bike incident. He now uses an SSV.
More true stories
Listen to other farmers tell their stories about quad bikes and SSVs.
- Choose the right vehicle for the job.
- Get free training.
- Wear an approved helmet.
- Wear personal protective equipment, such as goggles and sturdy footwear.
- Have an OPD fitted to your quad bike – they are fitted to all SSVs.
- Make sure someone knows where you're going – carry a mobile phone.
- Look out for obstacles (a drone might help).
- If under 16, never drive a quad bike nor be a passenger in one.
If you own or operate a farm in NSW, or work on one, you may be eligible for a safety rebate.
As an owner or operator, you'll be eligible for two rebates totalling up to $2000. You'll get a rebate of up to:
- $2000 to buy an SSV
- $600 for an OPD
- $500 for a drone
- $90 for a helmet.
As a worker, you'll get a $90 rebate towards the purchase of a helmet.
To find out if you're eligible and to apply for the rebate, visit the NSW Farmers Association.
Before you apply, you must:
We've partnered with Tocal College to deliver free one-day training events in regional and remote locations across NSW. The training is popular. Book today.
Facts and stats
- In NSW, there are about two deaths a year as a result of quad bike incidents.
- Over 60 per cent of quad bike fatalities are due to rollover.
- About 30 per cent of quad bike fatalities involve head injuries.
- About 40 per cent of serious injuries from quad bike incidents involve a traumatic head injury.
- Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of fatality in a quad bike incident by 40 per cent.
- Adult quad bikes weigh up to 400kg; child-size quad bikes weigh up to 120kg.
Susan, a paediatric surgeon, says combining kids and quad bikes is a 'deadly mix'.
Researchers from the Transport and Road Safety Unit at the University of NSW discuss the results from their 1000-odd tests involving a range of quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles.
Quad bike safety improvement program
- quad bikes are being used less frequently and more carefully
- fewer farmers are planning to replace their quad bikes
- more farmers are switching to SSVs – the use of SSVs has increased by 12 per cent since 2017
- awareness of safety options, such as OPDs, has increased.