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EPA Certificate of Conformity from Gung Ho Trucks

Discussion in 'EPA Regulations' started by Gung Ho Trucks, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Gentlemen:

    I have made a mistake. We were contacted by the EPA and our certificate boundaries were clarified. We are allowed to import ONLY new Suzuki minitrucks. The trucks are not required to be speed limited, but they must be NEW vehicles. I am sorry if this caused any inconvenience to anyone. We are good to go for the NEW so that is not too bad.

  2. canadian1

    canadian1 Member


    what happen to the- each certificate is good for each engine family?
  3. Bob,

    I must say that I'm disappointed for you but I can't say I'm surprised. This sounds like just another government hose job.

    Unfortunately, I think the price you will have to charge for new Mini Trucks is going to be a problem unless they can be made street legal from the get go. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the low price has had a lot to do with the growth in sales of these little dudes.

    They are OK off-road vehicles but I'm not sure I would put one up against a Rhino or Mule or Gator or Ranger without first speeding a bunch to change tires/shocks/lift kits/etc/etc/etc.

    Dang, I wish the government would find something better to do besides hassling small business people.
  4. The Mini Trucks are very impressive but I don't think they match up to a true UTV if the head-to-head comparison would be with a Mini Truck "in stock condition." The last time I hit the trails with my Mini Truck I did damage to the muffler because it didn't have enough ground clearance. I suppose I could lift it higher but at some point it starts to look really silly if you are going to drive it on the road as well.

    For hitting the trails hard, I'd go with a Yamaha Rhino which incidently can be made street legal.

    Having said that, though, the Mini Truck is by far the best all around vehicle. When properly equipped, it can do it all while riding in comfort!
  5. Canadian 1

    You know its two steps forward and one step back. I will let you know if it changes. Thanks for your question.

    Donald Shimoda:

    Let’s clear the air here Donald Shimoda. It was only a few days ago that you called me an extortionist, liar (about cert costs) and insulted Kepow because his opinion is different than yours. If you desire to have your questions receive standing in this thread I ask that you first cease from accusing myself or my company of capital crimes (extortion, etc.). Second, I ask that you understand that there is nothing political about the EPA. The EPA is beholden to no one. You mentioned several times that we smooched up (ass kissed) to the EPA to get what we wanted. If there was any smooching going on it was when I kissed my money goodbye for all of the compliance efforts. Third, I ask that you apologize to Kepow for your dismissive insulting criticism of his post. I have never met Kepow and I have only been a member since December 31, 2008. I am sure he has a family and would have found your sexual innuendo insulting and embarrassing. If you choose to rip anyone who doesn’t agree to your point of view you diminish the importance of the forum and discourage members from participation. Everyone is important to someone.


    Are you the only person besides me that sees the tremendous advantage over any other utility vehicle these truck have? These trucks are designed to travel thousands of miles. What do you think a Gator with 10,000 miles would look like? My guess is that it would be pretty used up. At 10,000 miles these trucks are just beginning their stride. I am excited that business, facility managers, farmers, schools and such will be able to have the best of the best from Japan. There are also buyers that absolutely will not buy used no matter what. These customers will now have a choice.

  6. What are the group numbers?

    Why do you think the group for on-road use is less? How are you slicing the numbers in the statement "While there is a group that want's these legal for the road there are greater numbers than don't care about such things. They are the ones that USE them in their work." IMHO the trucks were sold to a specific market (yes, that would be the large group right now) but its hard to keep a good thing a secret. Those dynamics of groups would change based on places you can go with it etc.

    However, I'm sure you could "filter" the groups wanting these trucks by denying/allowing sales and bias the info released. If you are not going to sale for on-road choice, then you eliminated a group from the get go.

    I would say: While there is a group that want these legal for on and/or off road, there are greater numbers that don't care about such things.
  7. Bob,

    I find no record of me using the words "extortionist" or "liar" in any of my communications. Those are your words, not mine. I did, however, compare your current prices with other pricing you have provided, and I pointed out discrepancies. And I also provided my opinions regarding the manner in which you announced your EPA Certification and the way you treated specific members such as Donald Andrews.

    If anyone would like to read my comments, here is a link to that thread:


    You will notice that that specific thread is now locked so nothing further can be added. Perhaps now is a good time to let it go and move on.

    My only other suggestion based on your announcement here yesterday would be to wait until the new Suzuki Mini Trucks actually show up before making more announcements.

    I sense that many members are scrambling to get extensions and other certifications, and I'm sure they'd welcome any help you could provide that is shared in the spirit of this forum.

    As to your comment that "everyone is important to someone," I must agree without reservation.
  8. chickendumpling,

    I will go so far as to predict that the sales of these Mini Trucks would explode if the government would get out of the way. In fact, once the gas prices go up again, you'll hear people start screaming for fuel economy like they were a few months ago. Oh, how quickly we forget but, alas, the Middle East will probably remind us why fuel economy is a good idea in the not too distant future.

    These Mini Trucks have it all. They are tough, reliable, fun to drive, and extremely versatile. That they aren't being built by the BIG THREE is a major disappointment, especially given the fact that they've been around for years.

    All we need is what's called a Tipping Point. When enough people recognize the wisdom behind driving one of these little marvels, the policies will change. Until then, it's smooch the dark side of the government or you don't get to play.

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  9. Dan

    Dan Member

    You've got to be kidding:D ...these trucks are silly no matter what height they are sitting at and i think i could out perform the stock utv's with my stock mitsu any day. I've seen all of them stuck in the sand, mud, rocks and backing down the hills they can't get up...just like me...:rolleyes:

    here's a video i made of mine out in the dirt.

  10. tmikewww

    tmikewww Member

    Did'nt GM try once, with the "LUV" pick-up? I remember selling those "pices of s**t"!
  11. Dan,

    Great video footage. It does appear that your truck isn't stock, however. Didn't you lift it and put on more aggressive and wider tires? That makes a big difference. I was comparing a stock Mini Truck to a stock Rhino.

    However, I actually had my choice between the two and chose the Mini Truck because I use it more on-road than off-road.

    If you have more videos, please post them!


    I wasn't familiar with the GM "Luv" pickup but I just looked it up online. That looks quite a bit bigger than a Mini Truck.

    I noticed that you are selling your Subaru Sambar. Are you getting something newer or getting out of the Mini Truck game?
  12. Dan

    Dan Member


    They are stock... Mitsubishi sent them out just like that until the mid 90's( US spec. Lefty's) with a 12 x 7 rim with those tires, flared fenders and a highcab. no lift either.
  13. Dan,

    Interesting. I think most if not all of the new Mini Trucks have the skinny tires with less ground clearance or less of a lift that you have.

    I loved your video. That's a little beast you have.
  14. Badgerland

    Badgerland Member

    I agree. But let's also not forget what a similiarly-equipped new UTV would cost walking out of a dealer in comparison... still, advantage mini truck.

    Also agreed... this is a double-edged sword that we have before us. If anyone thinks that the mini truck industry in North America is dead then they seriously need to reconsider. :sly: It is simply evolving from the days of everyone-and-their-brother becoming a dealer and importing container-load after container-load to where we are today. Lots of consumers were taken advantage of by the shady shop selling running parts trucks at premium prices. I'm not implying that I agree with any of the EPA actions to date in our industry (because I don't). But, this is another example of adapting to change when there is no other option sitting before us. I have no doubt that there will be more used Japanese trucks available to the end-consumer in the future as this plays out, but I'm also VERY excited that we will have access to NEW trucks as well. Whether it be to the average Joe or the businesses that utilize these trucks to their maximum potential, there is a market for new trucks being sold as off-road vehicles.

    Amen to that! I would also be happy to match-up equipment any day of the week. Whats the turning radius on that Gator Steven? A football field? :D
  15. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member

    I think something like the Polaris Ranger has an advantage off-road because it is designed for big wheels and tires and high ground clearance. The 4wd kei trucks are capable off-road with the right tires and are much more suitable for highway driving and for hauling cargo. The small size and cab over front wheels design makes the kei truck an attention getter in the U.S. Issues of maintenance and repairs probably favor the ATVs and UTVs but I am not sure about that.

    My 1993 Hijet has not yet been to a mechanic and is still starting and running about 11 months after I bought it unseen over eBay.

  16. I just got off of the phone with the EPA where I proposed the idea that once an engine has been certified, it's silly to keep certifying the same engine over and over again with each separate importer. I said that it would make the most sense to open up the importation on any engine that has been certified by anyone. He agreed but he said that it would ultimately have to be approved by the BIG GUNS in Washington.

    We are being treated as manufacturers rather than importers but we shouldn't need a separate certification for something that the government already knows is certified.

    This seems like an idea that we should be pursuing.

    More to come.
  17. Badgerland:

    If you get in the area please stop by. If you need to be picked up at the airport, let me know. We should have the 2008 Suzuki trucks sometime next week. If you need any pics or prices, please give me a call.

    I hope I can help you.

  18. tmikewww

    tmikewww Member

    Selling because of a "health issue". Sure don't want to. The "little thing" started in -13 degree weather!!!
  19. tmikewww,

    I'm sorry to hear that. Your price seems very reasonable so I bet it will go fast.
  20. Krakatoa

    Krakatoa New Member

    Are you sure?

    You spent 80-100K and don't know what you paid for, and you want 3.5k just for the privilege of buying from you?

    Sounds very shady! Are you sure you even have a certificate? Why do they not have to be governed?
  21. EPA rules have not been set in stone on these trucks as yet. We were the first to convince the EPA that we should not be speed limited. If I would have known what I know now there is no way I would have gone forward. It’s like I mentioned before, you get started and you commit resources you have to see it to fruition. We try to adapt to the situation and make the best of it. Like I say, once you start, you cannot stop unless you want to waste the investment.

    The trucks do not have to be speed limited and you do not have to buy from me. I heard there are many others in the process of getting certificates, so hang on; it is only a matter of time before someone else is good to go.

    Thank you for your interest.

  22. Krakatoa

    Krakatoa New Member

    You just "convinced" the EPA?

    Dear Bob,

    Everybody I know and anybody who has been stopped from importing mini-trucks under the new regulations has been importing them as nonroad vehicles, and most do not have a clear understanding why, they just know it works.

    The reason for having mini-trucks classified as nonroad vehicles is so that they meet the exception that states a nonroad vehicle older than the 2004 model year is not subject to the Clean Air Act, i.e. does not require a certificate of conformity. Importers have been able to get mini-trucks classified as nonroad vehicles under a regulation that it was a nonroad vehicle if it was governed to go no faster than 25 mph over a flat surface.

    The EPA has not re-written or amended the regulation pertaining to that 25 mph standard.

    So unless you are importing mini-trucks as something other than a nonroad vehicle you are breaking law. So either you are importing mini-trucks as something other than nonroad vehicles or you have been breaking the law for some time by selling as your website advertises 2004 and newer mini-trucks that are not covered by a certificate of conformity.

    And, no the EPA cannot just decide that you have “convinced them” that mini-trucks don’t need to be governed, if that were the case the EPA would have just told everybody to get a certificate of conformity or stop importing without changing the regulations as they did on 12/08/2008 so that mini-trucks take on the model year that they were modified, i.e. governed to 25 mph, to be nonroad vehicles, that way the EPA has assured that no one can import a model year older than 2004 that is not subject to the Clean Air Act, i.e. requiring a certificate of conformity.

    So has someone shown you a way to import mini-trucks by classifying them as something other than nonroad vehicles or are you just that unaware of what you are doing and have not been caught yet and forced to do things right? And how far is the EPA’s Ann Arbor office from you?
  23. Give it a break...

    If I were "Bob" at "Gung Ho Trucks", I would not spend anytime justifying anything more here. If they broke the bank etc and worked with the EPA, why should they just give up the information? Valued information is worth something. If anyone here does not like what they see or trying to extract information that cost someone their time...go do the leg work yourself.
  24. MichTrucks

    MichTrucks Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Wow there is sure a lot of mud slinging going on.

    This is not directed at Krakatoa or any specific forum member.

    It sure seems there is a lot of concern about ones ability to sell what another perceives as not legal. I'm not weighing in on those issues because THEY ARE NONE OF MY BUSINESS! One of us on the forum just bought a 2007 and was the truck engine EPA certified…I don’t care!

    It appears there is so much government regulation that it would take a team of lawyers to sort it all out. If I have questions about how Bob or anyone else is doing something I ask them and not shout it to the four winds.

    Today, I can import a mini truck that is capable of up to 70mph, is CARB and EPA certified. Whether it is imported as an ATV, UTV or horse and buggy just does not matter to me. The fact is I am able to import them and you can choose to buy or not. If I'm the importer and I screw up, I get nailed NOT YOU.

    Nearly a year ago I posted that “BOB” was getting trucks certified. Go find those posts and you will see comments like "who cares" "I will never be selling new trucks", etc. These aren't exact quotes but that was the jest of some comments. So now it has come to pass and every NON importer is all excited about the cost: it's too much, a killing is being made. Hey guess what? When GM or Ford sell a Pick-up truck...the factory makes over $10,000 per truck. So What! I am currently advertising new trucks for sale. Who does that hurt…probable nobody. Who does that help…perhaps nobody or perhaps many.

    Unlike 90+% of us mini truck sellers, Bob runs a full time business selling vehicles and has been successfully doing so for some years. He had the foresight to plan ahead when others didn’t.

    Since my first day on the forum I have attempted to treat it and all posters with respect. I make posting and comments when I felt I had something to contribute. Certainly there are a lot of anonymous posters that don’t treat others with respect and just like to see themselves in print. (this is a general comment and not directed to any one individual)

    Oh yea, I’m about 25 miles from the EPA office here in Michigan! Again SO WHAT!

    Yes I have met the people at Gung-Ho…remember we are almost neighbors and I can say the mud slinging is not warranted.
  25. miniman

    miniman Member

    Agreed, but aren't you basically just a sub-dealer for them? It looks like you're just getting "new" trucks from them and just reselling them and pretending to be an importer? I don't know if that's how it is but that's how it looks
  26. Timetripper

    Timetripper Moderator

    Your first and last comments are important enough for everyone to read a second time.

    Lets try to back it down a notch and stay civilized to each other or some posts might have to be deleted. :rolleyes:
  27. Gotta give credit...

    I have to give much credit to any importer/dealer that has to deal with "government". After some of us get a quick education in this and go through some of the processes...I believe the tone would be a little more humble. I had to go through some of the calls to DMV and EPA...and that was only as an owner.
  28. MichTrucks

    MichTrucks Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    MichTrucks is a bonded importer. I don't know how it looks. Nowhere have I ever stated where or from whom we purchase our inventory. Yes we are getting new trucks. Just contact us if you wish to preorder one to your liking.

  29. Krakatoa:

    Thank you for your questions. I answered your first question and now I am thinking I should have gone with my first thoughts which are to let you know that we do not comment, or much less publish our legal strategies.

    You seem to have all the answers. You should no trouble getting a certificate of conformity if you so desire.

    From the GPS the EPA office is 37 miles from our store.


    Thanks for your kind words. I am not sure if going public through this site is the best way going forward. I did not expect the withering (at times) criticism of myself or my small company. I don’t mind a little mud after all this is a site for Off-Road vehicles, but if everyone can keep the comments reasonably civil that would be great.

    Not to forget the good points that have been raised. As a result of many comments about our prices being too high relative to the perceived values in the marketplace we have cut our prices across the board. Check it out; very low prices. Show me better pricing from comparable products and we will go further.


    Yes, you did spill the beans a year ago, thank you very much. No matter, it wasn’t important then. It is important now because it gives the small business owner a chance to compete with likes of the huge retail outlets with millions of dollars in inventory. Dealers who sign up will be able to compete with the likes of John Deere Co and Kabota without spending millions and they will be selling a better product. What an awesome opportunity!

    Also, as you have noted, your customers will have a choice to buy new Japanese products.


    Nobody is a sub anything here. There are no restricted areas of distribution. Not even in my own state. If I wanted to be a hog on the retail market I would not let someone as smart as Steven compete against me with him being just an hour away. It is my desire to have the new Japanese minitrucks available in all states without limitations. As MichTrucks grows we hope to be able to help them get their own certificates of conformity. What difference does it make if you are the importer or the retailer to the customer? They do not care one bit.

    Have a nice weekend everyone!
  30. krakatoa,

    Interesting points. I think we need to follow up on this point about Bob at Gung Ho "convincing" the EPA to ditch the speed limitation junk.

    I think this is the kind of thing that would benefit all of the members.

    Let's figure out how to do a collective "convince the EPA that we should not be speed limited." Now that's good stuff.

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