These tools help your ATV earn its keep as a hard-working employee.

If you're like many farmers who make their ATV sweat occasionally on the farm, you probably own a few ATV attachments. But if you're unfamiliar with the work potential of a four-wheeler, you should know that the number of available attachments has grown fast, fueled by the huge growth in sales of ATVs during the 1990s.

More power. Cycle Country in Milford, IA, a pioneer in after-market ATV accessories for almost two decades, claims that farmers are a big market for their products. "Today's larger ATVs have a lot more power to handle tougher tasks," says general manager Ron Hickman. "So our product line has extended from blades, mowers and sprayers to 3-pt. hitches and accompanying plows, cultivators, disks, rakes and planters."

Although blades are the company's biggest seller, Hickman cites numerous other products that farmers buy. "Our 48-in. rough cut mower ($2,270) allows farmers to mow areas that tractors can't reach, and it doesn't require PTO power because it uses a 12 1/2-hp Briggs engine," he says.

From tillage to planting. Farmers are accomplishing heavier work with the company's 3-pt. hitch (Cat. 0, $695), designed for larger ATVs, with electromechanical, screw-driven lift combined with the universal toolbar ($200). Then they can attach a one-bottom plow ($361), one-row planter ($918), disk harrow ($393), 47-in.-wide cultivator (works as row crop or field, $467 to $538), 60-in. rake ($534) or furrower ($111).

"Some farmers have told us this equipment allows them to get into fields to replant drowned-out areas without destroying existing crops, compared to large tractors and implements. They can till up the soil and replant using this equipment," Hickman says.

For heavy-duty transport of dirt, gravel or manure, Hickman recommends a rear-mounted blade, "because it can move a lot more than front-mounted blades." Other products, he says, that are helping farmers put their ATVs to work include a full line of sprayers (4- to 10-ft. booms), winches, rack utility boxes, mounted spreader and even a bed-lift kit to dump the box on a Kawasaki Mule.

All products are sold through distributors, so check with your local dealer. To request a catalog, contact Cycle Country at 800/841-2222, visit www.cyclecountry.com or circle 208.

While you're on the Web, check out the sites of other companies that make ATV products. And don't forget to check with ATV manufacturers because some, such as Polaris, carry a large line of accessories to give your ATV a real workout.

Here is a partial list of sites to check for ATV accessories.

www.arctic-cat.com www.atvcabs.com www.atvgear.com www.atvstuff.com www.bombardier-atv.com www.cyclecountry.com www.denniskirk.com www.essexmfg.com www.hondamotorcycles.com www.itptires.com www.kawasaki.com www.polyskid.com www.polarisindustries.com www.superwinch.com www.suzukicycles.com www.swisherinc.com www.weekend-warrior.com www.yamahausa.com