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Looking at a truck like this, will it do the job?

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by BoCRon, May 14, 2013.

  1. BoCRon

    BoCRon New Member

    I have been considering a mini truck for a while. My husband is looking at a Gator. We are weighing the pros and cons at this point. We have a 12 acre property with a paved road from the public road to the house and down to our kennel. The rest of the property is trails that have wood chips down (we get a couple loads a month from local tree services).
    I would like to use the mini truck to go from my house down to the kennel and back. Usually I am hauling anywhere from 3-6 dogs with me, German Shepherds. The paved road from the house to the kennel is pretty steep and my husband questions whether a mini truck can make it up and down with approximately 500lbs of people/dogs on board. He also wonders if the tires we see in most of the ads are suitable to drive around on the trails. We will also use it to move wood chips around back on the trails where it's kind of tight for the tractor.
    Here is a truck I'm looking at, I like the high sides and the ability to let dogs jump in and not be able to see out as easily as the low sided mini trucks. It also looks like it may have a fabric cover to pull over the bed.
    Also, is it feasible to pull a small trailer with a mini truck? I have a small 4x4 open trailer that I pull with my MINI Cooper and we also have a 4 hole dog trailer that we would like to pull around the property on occasion (it weighs about 500lbs empty).
    Thanks for any input!

  2. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    Pretty cool rig.I have a Scrum, which is a Suzuki that's been branded as a Mazda, and I haul heavy loads all over my place, which is in avocado country and much closer to vertical than horizontal, all the time with no problem at all.I think these trucks are a much better work rig than any of the UTV's and a whole lot cheaper.A 500 lb load is nothing,I load mine til I'm almost ashamed of myself with sandy looking decomposed granite and take it where I want it and it handles it easily.I just have stock tires on it and have no complaints.As far as pulling a trailer I have a 20 ft. Carson flat deck that I pull around my property with my little truck because it is more manuverable than my big Dodge.
    I did put a set of overload springs on it that I got from Amazon for less than $40 but I would think the truck you're looking at has some kind of overloads on it.
    All and all I would strongly recommend the mini trucks for a work truck in most situations and that nice warm heater is great on those cold mornings when you have to get it done.
  3. BoCRon

    BoCRon New Member

    Thanks for the reply, Jim. I really think this will work out for me but my husband is concerned about keeping it maintained. I am researching parts availability and mechanics who could work on it should the need arise.
    Is there a certain type of mechanic I should look for?
  4. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    It sure helps if you are mechanically inclined and willing to do it yourself but if you can find a general mechanic ,that is not a prima donna and willing to try, they are really not that tough to work on.Most problems come from their size and tight spaces.It really helps if you have a lift to get them up.Parts are readily available from vendors like G&R imports who advertise on this forum.They are pricey but for most regular maintenance stuff like filters,belts,thermostats and such you can get them locally from a parts store.Usually if you do routine oil changes etc. there is very little to do as they are very tough little units.If you buy from a dealer they should be able to help point you in the right direction but as always used car dealers aren't the most reputable folks around quite often.
  5. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    You certainly tracked down a sweet unit.

    There is no comparison between this and a UTV or similar industrial work unit.
    This is a real truck, with windshield wipers and air conditioning. Not to mention a Radio; news, weather.

    Parts are not a problem. You may have to wait, you will pay, but they are easily had.
    A local friendly mechanic would be nice, but, just think. If you bought a UTV, you'd be hauling that sucker down to the local dealer for repairs. Then you really would pay. ;)
  6. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

  7. firejonny89

    firejonny89 Member

    Spaner that's no fair yours in supercharged but they will climb I've had 1200 pounds of firehose in the bed of mine and it still had plent of spring left. I have even hooked up my 16 foot trailer to load the mower 1500 pounds to back it across the creek a few times and then pull the trailer and mower um one of the hills he have at low speed in granny gear. Had no room to speed up and hit it. Does fine and that's with street tires. Nice looking truck the high sides would be good for what u need.

    As far as u pulling a trailer around I wouldn't worry to much if its on the property just remember its not a full size truck so it might take a few more feet to stop if you are running at speed.
  8. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    One thing we have all failed to mention is they are addictive but you have already found the greatest support group around in this forum.
  9. BoCRon

    BoCRon New Member

    Thanks all for the great responses. I have been wanting a mini truck for years but some other expense always comes up. I've also been nervous about buying a vehicle sight unseen as there don't seem to be any to be found in Georgia. This dealer has the truck I posted in California and says to estimate about $1000 to ship to Georgia, or he has another similar one in Japan which would be $1500 to ship. Do most people buy them sight unseen?
  10. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    Never. That would not be a good idea.
    You are going through a dealer, the dealer takes all the risk, that's why they make a profit.
    I've bought 2 vehicles now through internet sales adverts by registered dealers. You expect some service. Via internet and direct phone conversations.
    My 09 Ford was a completed sale with no money down.
    My 93 Suzuki was a completed sale with $1000 down.

    Both times I went for final inspection, in person. Both times the vehicle was in my name plated, ownership, insurance.
    Everything is done for you, before you get there, to a drive away condition.
    Final inspection, me or a shop, or whatever. Test drive, whatever you want to accept the vehicle.
    Final payment, or payment agreement.

    Drive away.

    In some states, that maybe tow-away...
    Regardless, if this is not how he has layed it out for you I would not be locking into a large purchase until I was 100% sure I was happy with what I was getting.

    But, then again, I think people are crazy to spend half a million dollars on a house without at least living there for a week...:p
  11. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    That shipping on top of the premium price he is asking would be a deal killer for me.I have bought 4 mini trucks and drove 3 of them before buying and knew the seller and something about the 4th before I bought it.My first truck was a Mitsubishi 2 wd with dump from a state university,paid $1800,ran perfect.#2 was a '95 Scrum 4x4 ran fine needed minor repairs,$2700,#3 '93 Daihatsu Street Legal, 2 wd my daily driver now,$3000.#4 '92 Suzuki Carry 4x4, ac,6 spd trans. and 2 spare engines a bunch of parts and manuals $2750.I'm still working on #4 and have put about $1500 more into it but it's for my son and grandsons so I want it right.All my trucks were close enough that I could easily drive to them and work it out.A coast to coast deal would be really tough for me to do.
  12. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    The truck you show would easily do what you are asking. Especially since it has a Hi-Lo range. You may want to add some offroad tires for your trails. Some folks have been successful at mounting 23x8x12 tires such as Carlisle All-Trails on the stock rims. These are a good choice, by the way, as they have a higher load rating than most ATV tires.

    Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to find local dealers to test drive trucks. I did, in fact, buy my truck sight unseen and it felt risky. I've never spent that much money on something blindly. However, I bought it from the same place you are looking at and have been perfectly satisfied. They provided me with lots of pictures, information, and helped find a shipper.
  13. TamiPaulus

    TamiPaulus Member

    I think you are considering the right choice as it is perfect mini truck for you, and I have seen people using this with less resource than you. Your husband should not worry about maintaining this. You should go for this without any worry.

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