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ATV for sidewalks?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by rcpd34, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    Anyone use them? Straight or V? Where to buy them? Thoughts?
  2. Lawnscape89

    Lawnscape89 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    I'm using one and would highly recommend it. Had a straight plow and I switched to the V...Now I go straight down the middle of the sidewalk...no problems. Two things though - The angle arms on mine aren't that strong and the cutting edge didn't last long at all.

    You can check out some pics of some ATV's with plows and other info here:


    You can see my Brute Force on page 3 before I got the V plow.
  3. has anyone ever use a rino or something similar to plow?
  4. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    How about something that has a heated cab for sidewalk plowing?


    I just found a local dealer for these Japanese minitrucks and they have me very interested. They cannot be registered in any state as a road vehicle due to EPA import regulations. However, they can be registered as an ATV. They are also half the price of a ATV based utility vehicle -- starting at $4000. They are 4'6" wide and 10'6" long and weigh about 1500 lbs. They can easily fit on a small landscape trailer.

    I'd suggest spending some time on http://www.minitrucktalk.com to find out more. You can post on there to find the closest dealer.
  5. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    Are they 4X4?
  6. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    For anyone interested:
    I just checked into the ATV regs in MN, and here we have class 1 and 2 atv's. Your normal ATV is a class 1. The ones with side by side seating or over 800cc's are class 2. So those minitrucks are class 2.

    I called the County Sherrif's office to see if I could drive a class 1 on the street from job to job if they are the same neighborhood. They said it would be illegal, and that I would need to trailer, even if it is only a block. I asked if it would be ok with a blinky light if it was obviously being used for work during a snowstorm and the reply was "We have some cops that will let that slide, and some that won't, so you should trailer it." (I know what cop he's talking about and its not our fault officer Andy is an @ss since his wife left him for a woman, why does he have to take it out on the public...)

    Then he said if I got a class 2 atv like a Rancher or one of those minitrucks that would be fine, because our county goes by the DNR rulebook allowing class 2 ATV's on the road.

    I know a guy that sells them and was looking at his, it had a suzuki 3 cyl liquid coold engine, a cab for 2 small ppl-or 1 person and a lunch box lol. Looked like a neat little rig. He said he gets $4600 for a 4x4 one. Could be a good little rig for alot of jobs.
  7. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    we use a KUBOTA RTV on walks it's got a cab and all but they are a little costely about $15000 and a little large for small walks this year we added a TOOLCAT to the fleet so we'll see how that does.?

    the mini trucks are O.K. we use to buy and sell them by the container load they cost us a little less than 2G and we did'nt buy hat many so we may have not got the best deal, the thing about the mini-truck is they are tough to get parts for even though the guy selling it to you says no prob. i had a dificult time getting parts for my own rigs, if you get a mini make sure you get one with 2sp transfer case and at least a 550cc in my experience the honda's were the best but they were just 2cyl we kept a suzuki for ourselves with A/C and hyd-dump but it ain't got alot of power,

    This year we are going to give the suzuki to the sidewalk crew to carry salt and blower etc. but we don't have a plow for it

    Do a search on the suzuki carry there is a guy on here that has a carry and a gator and does small lots and stuff maybe he could give you insight?

    or PM me and i'll tell you what i know
  8. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    Yes, most have 4x4 including high and low gear. There are six different models that are imported into the US:

    Daihatsu Hi jet
    Honda Acty
    Mazda Scrum
    Mitsubishi Minicab
    Subaru Sambar
    Suzuki Carry

    Seems like the Daihatsu, Mitsibishi and Suzuki have the best 4x4 systems.

    Here is a video that shows the truck and plow but unfortunately not in snow:


    They have an incredible turning radius due to its short wheelbase and forward cab design. I test drove one and I could practically turn around inside myself.
  9. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    I agree that you can't get the all the parts from your local NAPA. However, these vehicles are getting much more popular now. The consensus is that the 3 cyl 660cc is easier to work on and get parts for. The 550cc is not as popular so the parts are harder. Also, the Honda is rear engine which adds to the difficulty of repairs.

    Some dealers are now ordering containers filled with vehicles cut in half so they can use them as parts sources and not pay the extra import fees for whole vehicles.

    There is also a company here in Maine that strips the bodies, rebuilds anything that needs it, converts to left hand drive and paints your choice of color. I priced one out with an extended cab, 3" lift, and ATV tires for just under $7k delivered to my yard.
  10. corey1977

    corey1977 Member
    from maine
    Messages: 50

    h canonbuilder what is the name of the dealer I live in bath maine?
  11. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    East Coast Mini Classics in Sanford on Route 109. The airport is in their backyard. Route 109 is off Exit 19 on Tpke.


    I haven't bought one yet but we will probably wind up buying at least two from him this winter/spring to use on our property.
  12. Novi plow boy

    Novi plow boy Member
    Messages: 38

    I plowed with a Quad for 8 years and loved it. I had the County plow and it worked great. My friend has a mule to plow and it works great also, It has a 54'' blade but could easily handel a 72.
  13. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Do you know if these things are used, new or stolen for that price
  14. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Definately not new......must be 15 years or older to be imported. Not stolen either. Most all with right-hand drive from Japan with fairly low mileage.....like 50 to 80K miles equivilant. However, some were imported new to the US for use on large industrial sites (ie not for public roads) and show up on the used market.

    Could use them for sidewalks in some areas and perhaps store one or two in an on-site container for plowing/salting/snowblowers for sidewalks or pedestrian areas of shopping mall or collage campuses. Farmers & ranchers use them also.
  15. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    I agree with everything you said except the 15 years or older. I have seen models up to 1999 for sale in the US legally. I will have to research but I think that the EPA regulations don't allow the last generation imported -- about 2000 to the present.

    According the the EPA regulations, these vehicles are only allowed offroad and have to be speed limited to 25 MPH. This is accomplished by bolting or welding a plate over the manual transmission restricting it to 1st and sometimes 2nd gear. Minitrucks with automatic transmissions are not allowed to be imported but some have slipped through to dealers in multi unit shipments.
  16. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

  17. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    Another reason they can't be tagged is because they would never pass safety regs.
  18. canoebuildah

    canoebuildah Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    But motorcycles and scooters do?

    Please, I would much rather get hit riding in one of these than a motorcycle or scooter. Japan has much higher safety standards than the US. These trucks have mufflers and catalytic converters. They have been proven to pass US emissions tests already. They have a maximum of 50-60 MPG on roads and real world, 4x4 use of 25-35 MPG. I would sell my F150 and buy one of these trucks for daily use if I could drive it on the two miles of public roads between our properties, the transfer station and gas station if I could legally register it

    I am not a conspiracy theory nut but I am sure that if there was a serious push to make these road legal, John Deere, Polaris, Yamaha, etc would lobby their butts off to not allow it since their vehicles are twice the price and 1/4 the vehicle these trucks are.
  19. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    I was mixing some aspects of US importation restrictions and Canadian. Canada requires them to be 15 years or older, but in most provences they can be road licenced with no speed limitations.
  20. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    I'm not trying to get into a debate over their safety rating, but that's exactly why you won't see them for sale here in their current form. Same reason the old VW Bug and Minis continued to be sold elsewhere, but not here.