Mini Trucks?

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Running Arrow Bill

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Just wondering y'alls opinion of those Japanese "Mini Trucks" (e.g., 650 cc), 4WD, enclosed cabs, etc.?

From what I've read they are mainly a 4WD "utility vehicle" that has a "pickup" type body. It seems that used ones are running in the $4500 to $7500 price range.

For doing maintenance work on a place (e.g., fence repairs, hauling few small bales of hay, stuff, etc.) in cold weather, that "pickup type" cab would be good thing to have. They would also be handy in less than ideal weather to take a customer on a tour of one's cattle where a Utility Vehicle with its open air design wouldn't be too comfortable on a tour.

Comments on maintenance, repairs, serviceable miles on engine before overhaul, etc.?

Thanks!
 

spoon

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A friend of mine has had one for several years. It was the first one I ever saw. He loves it. He has a body shop and a pretty good size salvage yard out back and they use it all day every day to haul parts aound the property. I've never asked about maintainence but I know he won't sell it because I tried to buy it. If I can find one for the right price I'm going to get one and let the wife and grandsons have the Mule back for joy riding.
 

Limomike

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There is a man who sells them in a town about 30 miles from me, and he says he cant keep enough of them around because they sell so good. Never driven one myself, but I would like to see what they are like.
 

Brute 23

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You have to watch which ones you buy. As I understand it, could be wrong, the all come here used. Some in good shape, some not.

My onle problem with them is I am a big guy, 6-3 #250 a couple years ago... :D I do not fit in one. Plus, I believe the prices you quoted are for the bare basic models... no ac, heater, or extra cab. They were running about the same as utvs last time I compared. That may have changed now.

Not my thing personally, but know of several people who love them.
 
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Running Arrow Bill

Running Arrow Bill

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Brute 23":dd95tcqw said:
You have to watch which ones you buy. As I understand it, could be wrong, the all come here used. Some in good shape, some not.

My onle problem with them is I am a big guy, 6-3 #250 a couple years ago... :D I do not fit in one. Plus, I believe the prices you quoted are for the bare basic models... no ac, heater, or extra cab. They were running about the same as utvs last time I compared. That may have changed now.

Not my thing personally, but know of several people who love them.

All the ones I have seen advertised have cabs, heaters, some with A/C. Lot depends on if you want to run around the place in open air, 4-wheeler style, or have something a little more comfortable and protection from the weather. No, they are not appropriate for large people, but for the rest of the people they could be very useful. I know on our place where we have fenceline above ground pipe & sprinklers as well as portable sprinklers that have to be repaired each season due to cattle damage, one of those little trucks could easily navigate between our alleys and pastures where my longbed pickup has to take long way around for a straight shot into another pasture when carrying tools and parts.

It's like if I can get a decent mini-truck for the same or less price than the utility vehicles, it's same as a short-base pickup costing the same or more than a full-size (8' bed) pickup. IMO, if I'm buying a truck, I want the whole truck, just not part of one...LOL!
 

Brute 23

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Sounds like you got your mind made up.... why did you ask for opinions? :?



I will also add for any one else thinking about it...
-if you have multiple places its alot easier to throw a utv on a trailer with other stuff and go
-there are usually part stores every where for utvs and people who will work on them... not to mention the warranty they already come with

My thinking always was if I want a cab, bed, ac and heater, don't mind used stuff.... buy a truck. There are some nice used trucks for $10K or less.
 

dun

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With those itty bitty tires they don;t do well in mud like a UTV or ATV would do. Local tried selling them a couple of years ago, he still has most of them.
 
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Running Arrow Bill

Running Arrow Bill

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Brute 23":2waz6qqi said:
Sounds like you got your mind made up.... why did you ask for opinions? :?



I will also add for any one else thinking about it...
-if you have multiple places its alot easier to throw a utv on a trailer with other stuff and go
-there are usually part stores every where for utvs and people who will work on them... not to mention the warranty they already come with

My thinking always was if I want a cab, bed, ac and heater, don't mind used stuff.... buy a truck. There are some nice used trucks for $10K or less.

Don't have my mind made up yet. Still doing research. Main reason I am thinking about one is that a short "vehicle" (about 10' long) would be ideal for getting into tight spaces, from alleyway to 8, 10, or 12' pen gate, etc. Our pickups will not manoeuver these tight spaces. Also, pulling a cart behind a riding lawnmower is a touch awkward for such and now much "bed space" for stuff. On a sidebar, a mini truck would easily load onto our 6.5' x 16' utility trailer to haul to our 2nd pasture place, 20 miles away.
 
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Running Arrow Bill

Running Arrow Bill

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dun":xnuwyeli said:
With those itty bitty tires they don;t do well in mud like a UTV or ATV would do. Local tried selling them a couple of years ago, he still has most of them.

The one's I've been looking at on websites have the "mud" tires like a UTV or ATV has. Wouldn't want one with "smooth street type tires". As far as mud goes....WHAT'S THAT? You have to have rain to get mud...lol. Our average around here is ~23" a year. With all our sand in Panhandle even county dirt roads dry out in a day or so. Can drive on our pastures with regular pickup next day after normal rain stops. (We did have 29" of rain last year. But...as of today we haven't had a drop since November 20, 2008). Things darn dry around here and weekly wind continues with occasional 1-3 days of lite and variable wind. Some of the cotton farmers are back into the field within 2-3 days even after a rare 2+ inches of rain.
 

dun

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You might want to price and check availability of replacement tires. I had looked at those trucks a copule of years ago and talked to one guy that had one. His was stuck a lot of the time even with all of our rock. The layer of clay just loads the tires and it skates. The Mule is easier to rock by hand if you need to get it unstuck.
 

brandonm_13

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From what I've seen of the prices, I would suggest looking at a used Toyota, Nissan, or other small 4x4 truck. That way, if you decide you don't like it, your selling options are greatly increased.
 
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Running Arrow Bill

Running Arrow Bill

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brandonm_13":ip7ncg9a said:
From what I've seen of the prices, I would suggest looking at a used Toyota, Nissan, or other small 4x4 truck. That way, if you decide you don't like it, your selling options are greatly increased.

Understand. However, the small short bed trucks are still too long for what I am looking for. My Ram 1500 is around 22' long. I think the short bed small trucks are in the 14 to 16' long range. I am wanting something not longer than 10 to 12' long to get in/out tight places.
 

KenB

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Running Arrow Bill":2ej8kpwh said:
brandonm_13":2ej8kpwh said:
From what I've seen of the prices, I would suggest looking at a used Toyota, Nissan, or other small 4x4 truck. That way, if you decide you don't like it, your selling options are greatly increased.

Understand. However, the small short bed trucks are still too long for what I am looking for. My Ram 1500 is around 22' long. I think the short bed small trucks are in the 14 to 16' long range. I am wanting something not longer than 10 to 12' long to get in/out tight places.

What about a Suzuki Samari, or a Jeep?
 

Jim62

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What do you do if you need parts for them? A guy that was trying to sell one of them told me that they are a kind of merry mix-up of parts from many different manufacturers.
 

Brute 23

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From what I understand, most parts can be bought at a local auto parts but you better take the part in with you to match it up. Its not like you can say... I need a X for an 04 Mini truck, 4wd, ect.

I don't know what you do about the big stuff like rear ends, tranys, and stuff.
 

HOSS

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I see these little trucks all over China and other parts of Asia. They are designed for tight spaces and little people. They are not designed for much off-road use despite putting mud tires on them. Most units that I have seen stateside are Chinese imports made by Joyhon, Safe, NGC and others. Part availability could be a problem and of course who wants the Chinese quality. These little machines sell for about 2 grand new in China. The import duties, shipping and middleman cost really drive the prices up in the US.
 

brandonm_13

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Running Arrow Bill":2if5fa69 said:
brandonm_13":2if5fa69 said:
From what I've seen of the prices, I would suggest looking at a used Toyota, Nissan, or other small 4x4 truck. That way, if you decide you don't like it, your selling options are greatly increased.

Understand. However, the small short bed trucks are still too long for what I am looking for. My Ram 1500 is around 22' long. I think the short bed small trucks are in the 14 to 16' long range. I am wanting something not longer than 10 to 12' long to get in/out tight places.


Just do like some farmers around here. Pull the bed off and put a small flat be on it. There even shorter, but still pretty handy.
 

whitecow

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My company has one at our farm. We put ATV tires on it. It's a 4-wheel drive. The farm is in black dirt country in Central Texas. We've never gotten it stuck. The folks at the farm love it. I'm 6'4" so its kinda tight for me. Sure is nice on cold rainy days to ride in it with the heat on.

The guy that sells them near Franklin, TX can get parts.
 

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