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  #1  
Old 12-22-2006, 04:58 PM
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Default How many people want a minitruck?

I've been comparing the advantages/disadvantages of a minitruck vs buying a new RTV1100 (cab) this next spring. The new RTV1100 is going to be 15k before mods. I've been doing quite a bit of research on the minitrucks and have found that the only way to buy them is by the container full. A container holds 7 minitrucks. All will be 4X4 and of Japanese make. The average mileage will be 55k. I have managed to make contact with a guy who is from the U.S. who is in Japan and makes his living by negotiating which trucks go in each container. If he sends a container of crap, his reputation goes down and he loses buyers.

Anyway, the trucks have the U.S. DOT approved modifications that limit them to a top speed of 25 mph. I do not know if or how they can be configured to be able to use the two higher gears. They cannot be registered for use as a licensed U.S. roadworthy vehicle. However, there seems to be open debate as to whether they can be driven on the road if they have a SMV triangle on them; after all, they are limited to 25 mph.

By opting for only the better and low mileage units, paying all shipping fees etc., it looks like the end result cost will be about $4000 per unit. Anyone here interested? I am, but I most certainly do not need 7 of them. Any takers?
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Got specs and pictures?

These them?
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

OK, I "want" one but I don't "need" one and my needs outweigh my wants.

They are very cool though. I'm sure you could sell them locally pretty fast and probably end up getting yours for free.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I'm "probably" in for one.

Not sure but my trailer may be big enough for 2 if BigDog wants one (or someone else on the east coast).
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dog
Got specs and pictures?

These them?
No, that's not them, but I'm open if someone can get a better deal on them. The only attraction I had with the one company is that there is a U.S. citizen living there who supposedly selects them. They readily admit that you can find a container of 7 cheaper, but they claim you can't find a container of 7 in better condition.

I already told them that I don't think I'd want any Mitsubishi units. I've never seen or heard anything good about anything Mitsubishi. Anyway, I don't claim to have a lock on the best deal. If someone else can find a better deal, I'd certainly entertain buying one from them. I'm just trying to use the buying power of getting a full container of them as opposed to getting one individually. Also, several places I contacted about buying a container of 7 simply told me that you don't get any pick and you buy whatever they stick in the container. Buying that way, I was quoted prices that broke down to around 3400 per unit shipped. But, what do you do with the two or three turds that come in the container?

I'm just thinking that I don't want to spend 15k plus another 2-3k on accessories for a new Kubota RTV1100 when you can trick one of these out for about a third of that price. Again, I'm open for any comments or suggestions. Basically, no, I'm definitely not looking to make any money on the deal. That's why I'm totally open to someone else's deal if they can come up with a better setup.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Been researching since the thread started..............

Brent,

Do they all have dump beds or the ones your interested in? There are many distributors, who's your pick? I'm interested............
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

FYI.............anyone else is welcome to add to the list

http://www.minitruck.ca/

http://www.best-trade-car.com/japanese-minitrucks.html

http://www.cheapies.jp/stock.php ..... I like the Suzuki's they offer............. air conditioning...............

http://www.midsouthminitrucks.com/gallery.html

http://www.allamericanminitrucks.com...tory/index.htm

http://www.minitrucksoftexas.com/gallery.html


Mini Truck Frequently Asked Questions

How much to mini trucks weigh?Japanese mini trucks weight approximately 1550lbs., depending on the extras fitted on the mini truck (e.g. tow bar)How much weight can a mini truck carry?Mini trucks are rated from the factory for a 750lb payload. Due to ATV tire sizes we recommend a maximum of 550 lbs payload per mini truck.What is the best model of mini truck?This is a commonly asked question and in my view no one model of mini truck is better than the other (it's a bit like the Chevy vs. Ford thing). A lot of it depends on the terrain / environment the mini truck is to be used in. On very hilly, steep country a centrally mounted engine has a better center of gravity, and perhaps a mini truck model with differential lock is more suited. On flat to light rolling country any mini truck model will perform well. The Subaru and Mitsubishi mini truck tend to have the larger cab that is better for the taller or bulkier person. We can help you determine what model would be best suited for your needs.How stable are mini trucks?Due to the lower center of gravity (and centrally mounted engine in most models except Subaru), mini trucks are very stable, especially when compared to a quad. Mini trucks are very stable:
  • Going up hill - A mini truck is highly unlikely to tip over backwards. Mini trucks are even safer, especially if there is a need to stop during ascent, with excellent 4-wheel braking.
  • Going down hill - A mini truck is especially stable when towing, with excellent 4 wheel braking. The mini trucks' wheelbase makes them safer down hill and less likely to jack-knife.
  • Side-ways - wide, low wheelbase and low center of gravity make them very stable on the side of hills. Also any shift in load (fluid weight or posts etc moving) should not have an adverse effect.
What size engine does a mini truck have?Until 1991 all Japanese mini truck models had a 550cc engine. There was a Japanese Gov't law change in 1991 which allowed mini trucks to have an engine up to 660cc. Hence all Japanese mini truck models from 1991 onwards are 660cc. All mini truck models have a 3-cyl in-line petrol engine except Subaru, which has an in-line 4-cyl engine.What gearbox do mini trucks have?
  • Daihatsu mini trucks - all have a 4-speed hi/low ratio gearbox. Some late model 1992 -> have a std 5 speed g/box - no hi/low ratio
  • Suzuki mini trucks - generally 4-speed hi/low but some have a 5spd + extra low gear (6-speed) - no hi/low. 1st gear low ratio and extra low gear are very similar. 1st low may be somewhat slower. In either case the low gear idle speed is perfect for following stock.
  • Mitsubishi mini trucks - 4spd hi/low ratio in nearly all models to date. The odd one has had a 5spd hi/low.
  • Subaru mini trucks - all have a 5spd + extra low gear (6 speed). No hi/low.
  • Honda mini trucks - 5spd fulltime 4wd - no hi/low.
Are mini trucks available in diesel?No. All mini truck makers only produce petrol engine models.Do all mini trucks come with a heater?Yes. All mini truck models have a standard heater and also an am radio (Japanese model). A standard NZ am/fm radio can be fitted.Is air conditioning available in mini trucks?Air conditioning is fitted to some models of mini trucks, but not common.What is the availability of mini trucks' parts supply?A lot of new mini truck parts (oil filters, brake pads, clutches, water pumps) are now available. We partner with a supplier who carries a comprehensive range of used mini truckparts. We keep an inventory of new mini truck parts on hand (oil filters, brake pads, clutches, water pumps, etc.).What is the bed size of a mini truck?The rear tray of a mini truck measures 6.2' long x 4.25' wide. This means a 6ft post will fit in with 4" to spare.What are Japanese mini trucks used for in Japan?Japan has thousands of 2WD mini truck models that used as delivery vehicles. The Japanese government has a special dispensation for these vehicles due to their light weight and low fuel consumption / emissions, so the annual registration costs for mini trucks are much cheaper than a normal vehicle. In northern Japan in winter there is a lot of snow and ice hence 4WD is a necessity. In general all these vehicles have been used at some time on the road in Japan.How soon can I get a mini truck?As soon as we can get it on the transporter. Done!! Contact us now and we can let you know how soon you can expect it.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Wait a sec . . .they have dump beds? Now I'm interested! You're in Indiana right? Hmmm . . . two days non-stop there and two days non stop back.

Can I have a shower at your place?

PS. Not committing yet. Just thinking about it. The distance is a killer.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I'd asked about only having the newer trucks (add $700) and I was told to roughly add $400 to $600 per unit for larger wheels and off road tires. Here is the latest reply I got emailed to me:

In response to your recent mini truck information request here is a breakdown of the details for a shipment of mini trucks from Japan. Yes, these would be shipped to your location; we need a 52" high unloading dock to deliver to. The container would go back with the shipping company. It takes about 8 weeks from the date of order for delivery.

If you order a container of mini trucks, seven very nice ones can be placed in your container. We use a superior supplier who specializes in mini trucks. Jim, an American friend living in Japan, is our excellent quality mini truck source. Jim is the only one who had his governors officially approved by the EPA. He and his main Japanese business partner select these better quality mini trucks for our US buyers.

Numerous suppliers of used mini trucks in Japan have contacted Best Used Tractors in their efforts to market their trucks. We gave Jim those contacts, and he has visited quite a few of them. He believes that his Japanese partner has trucks that are better on average than any supplier he has visited so far. Jim also directly supplies trucks.

See Jim's trucks at: http://best-used-tractors.com/containpics/trucks/ and http://best-used-tractors.com/containpics/jimstrucks Jim and his Japanese partner back up the mini trucks that they sell through us.

The trucks are all gas driven units with manual transmissions. They are all right hand drive. They all have heaters. Odometer mileage averages 55,000. We currently only sell 4WD units. We sell only the 3 cylinder and 4 cylinder mini trucks. A few have air conditioning. A smaller number are mini dumps that are more expensive than standard units.

Although these units are equipped with everything for public road use in Japan, in the US they can't be licensed for use on public roadways. Each truck we ship comes with an EPA approved governor that eliminates the use of the higher gears. The government will not allow the import of mini trucks without restricting them to lower than 25mph, and only with EPA approved governors. They may be only used off-road here.

We have mini truck parts sources, and Best Used Tractors shares our sources with those who buy mini trucks through us. Jim is now helping our main US based mini truck parts source to get even more parts. We can also provide for you an experienced source for mini truck wheels and tires at dealer discount. Without that source there is a good chance you could end up with wheels that do not work on your truck. Mistakes are made all the time by inexperienced sources.

Although these mini trucks are 10 to 15 years old, and are sometimes imperfect (some have a little surface rust), our best supplier has operational units that run better and look sharper than any other suppliers we are aware of in Japan. If something beyond simple improvements needs fixing, then Best Used Tractors and our supplier will help meet your needs with parts and/or money to make it right.

Other than that, dealers are expected to do their own replacing of anything like tires, batteries, spark plugs, filters, fluids, fix torn seats, and to make any minor repairs or detailing improvements themselves. In other words, Best-Used-Tractors and our supplier will help with more serious problems and the dealers are expected to take care of the basic reconditioning. Jim places boxed new air filters in each truck shipped.

A container of seven of these standard 4WD mini trucks, from 1988 to 1998, including the shipping to Evansville, IN, cargo insurance, steam cleaning charges, containerizing expenses, Japanese customs charges, and US customs charges - would run $22,500 delivered. This is a mixed container of (3) 1988 -1989 550cc engines and (4) 1990-1998 with the 660cc engine. We also offer an upgrade to the container, in which it would only contain all 660's with the years between 1990-1998 and adds an additional $700 to the price of the container.
FREE REFERRAL BUSINESS: We constantly get large numbers of inquiries by those looking for individual mini trucks. We will refer to our mini truck buyers any of those inquiries that are close to you at no extra charge to help you sell your mini trucks even faster than you would on your own.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I've looked at these in the past and really like them (don't need one) and found I could buy one truck from a US source for roughly $4000 to $5000 (with dump bed).

What I also found is that there are SOME mini trucks that are 25+ years old and if you can find one of those, it can be imported as street legal! I'm not sure exactly which year you need to look for, but the US has a cut off of some sort and vehicles built before some date can be imported without the need to comply with the bumper laws, emissions, etc and still be street legal. Living a few miles outside of town, a streetable mini-truck would interest me. An pure off road unit would not. I guess that is why I don't have an RTV either. I could use one sometimes, but not often enough to where I have been able to justify the cost, storage space, etc.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Hmmm . . . just visited those links. I wonder if they could cram a Mini-Ex in there instead of a truck!
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
I've looked at these in the past and really like them (don't need one) and found I could buy one truck from a US source for roughly $4000 to $5000 (with dump bed).

What I also found is that there are SOME mini trucks that are 25+ years old and if you can find one of those, it can be imported as street legal! I'm not sure exactly which year you need to look for, but the US has a cut off of some sort and vehicles built before some date can be imported without the need to comply with the bumper laws, emissions, etc and still be street legal. Living a few miles outside of town, a streetable mini-truck would interest me. An pure off road unit would not. I guess that is why I don't have an RTV either. I could use one sometimes, but not often enough to where I have been able to justify the cost, storage space, etc.
Bob,

Can we use your loading dock? ....................
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Crap - I need some more work! Anybody need a website done for them?

Coder for hire - will code for mini trucks/excavators!

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Old 12-22-2006, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I'll toss it out as an option but I can unload and store here (at the bunker).

If we go for it and like the merchandise, I'm wondering if I use the bunker for storing/selling several of these (hundreds of them)...
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom
If we go for it and like the merchandise, I'm wondering if I use the bunker for storing/selling several of these (hundreds of them)...
I'm interested again BC.............
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I see a business idea forming!

Can I partner in? I'll do sales and marketing for you!
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dog
Bob,

Can we use your loading dock? ....................
Yes, my dock is compatible with intermodal containers.
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dargo
How many people want a minitruck?
Tractor Ernie in Oregon plays around with these. He has a clean 4x4 dump Suzuki listed for $6k on his used tractor page. There's a second one in the background.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

These remind me of the old Jeep FC units....
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: How many people want a minitruck?

I sure would have use for one. I have my doubts these trucks would be able to traverse my trails. Any chance of getting a try out on my property?
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