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Wisconsin Newbie Request

Discussion in 'Mini Lounge' started by Ledge, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Ledge

    Ledge New Member

    Ok, so who lives in Wisconsin, and is willing to help out a fellow Wisconsinite?

    My story:

    I live a little southwest of Fond du Lac.
    I'm 68 years old, and retired.
    I've heated my home 98% with wood for the last 16 years.
    It's done with a hot water furnace located in an out building.
    All firewood for the furnace has been harvested from the property I live on.
    I cut and haul the wood using a 3/4 ton truck, or a 55" x 34" trailer pulled by a large frame garden tractor.
    My garden tractor has been "reassigned" tasks for the summer, and is sitting over 100 miles away until this fall.
    My 3/4 ton truck is a bit too "nice" to be driving through the woods and hauling wood out.
    I was considering buying another garden tractor to pull the trailer, and maybe blow some snow for me in the winter.
    While searching Craigslist, I saw one of these Kei mini trucks for sale.
    I knew small vehicles of this type were around over seas, but thought they were just a "novelty" and not available in the US.
    With the help of Google and YouTube, I have developed a new opinion.
    It appears one of these little trucks could be a big improvement over what I am presently using to retrieve my firewood from the "jungle" I harvest it from.
    Before I can make that decision, I need to see one.
    I need to sit in it to see if I can deal with the small cab space.
    Talking with the owner would answer many of my questions.

    There appears to be several Wisconsin mini truck owners that post here.
    So who will help me out?
    Who is willing to show me their "baby"?
    I'm willing to drive to you at your convenience.

  2. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    You need to sit in several, and then gain an idea of the brand you want to buy. Cab space depends on the truck AND the options the truck has.. A Daihatsu with the jumbo cab is going to be the most leg room. I find the early 1990's Mits seats to be pretty comfortable BUT is not the most roomy.. Subaru's are said to have the most room but I have not sat in one... Suzuki is probably the easiest to find in decent shape along with a Daihatsu. The Suzuki comes in 2 seating arrangments. One has adjustments and one does not.. I've sat in both of those ( My DD51T is no adjustment model ). When you gain the adjustment the seat is pushed forward an easy 1-2" and so if your taller, go for the non adjustment model. Actually, go for the non adjustment model unless you have an immediate need for a really short person to operate the truck

    That is for EPA/ DOT exempt models ( July 1992 production and older currently or 25 years to the month )

    In 1999 The cabs got bigger, EFI was standard I think and they are overall more comfortable. Those trucks tho, you will spend the same or more on and you cannot register them as a road vehicle, you cannot go faster than 25 MPH and in years past the EPA has had a crackdown on them
  3. Ledge

    Ledge New Member

    Thanks for the reply.
    I would love to sit in several, but I'll start with one.
    I don't think there is a dealer in my area, and I would have to drive a pretty good distance to get to one.

    I have been reading.
    Yes, 1999 was the start of generation three with EFI and power steering became standard.
    I've read about the 25 year road-registration problem, and how it is handled differently in different states.
    I believe Wisconsin is non-road use only.
    I don't know if it is important to have one 25 years old if you live here.
    Perhaps a Wisconsin resident can answer that question?
    Have there been any successful road-use licensing of any year mini truck in Wisconsin?
  4. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    The confusing part of " Mini Trucks " in the USA is that some states have exemptions allowing them to have limited road use without having to be 25 years old ( meaning even newer ones would be legal )... So this gains some confusion because there are essentially 2 ways to register a mini truck

    Pretty much a 25 year old mini truck imported when it was legal to import with the proper paperwork ( Export cert, translation, CBP7501 and HS7 declarations ), is not a " Mini Truck " anymore. It is a federally DOT/EPA exempt imported motor vehicle good for 49 states ( 49 because California emissions restrict them ). Just call your local DMV/ tag office on the process for registering one. There is also an import dealer in Wi. They don't do Kei trucks but would probably answer your questions. http://www.jdmautoimports.com/contact-us.html

    FWIW, I'm in NY which is listed by the IIHS page as non road vehicle only, yet through the 25yr exemption I drive my truck daily to work and is titled with the state as a 1992 Suzuki pickup
  5. Ledge

    Ledge New Member

    Apparently I did not understand correctly what I had read about registration.
    Your're right, it is confusing.
    I have new hope.
  6. Little Jon

    Little Jon Member

    I have a Suzuki in the West Bend area. Although it's currently in Door County. I will be bringing it home for some welding if you wasnt to take it for a spin.
  7. woodhe1

    woodhe1 Member

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