How to Find the Best Mini Truck Dealers

How to Find the Best Mini Truck Dealers

 You’re ready to put your money to work in a mini truck.

But before you drop your hard-earned bucks into one, there are a few things you’ll want to check out when deciding which importer/dealer to buy from . . .

First off, buying a mini truck is quite a bit different than getting say, a Tahoe, from your local Chevy dealer. With a traditional truck purchase, you can find the model you’re looking for at any authorized dealer. Your biggest decisions are normally what color to get and your choice in options.

With a mini truck, however, you’re limited to the vehicles that are available with each importer/dealer, unless you want to import a specific mini truck directly from Japan.

And one dealer may carry different makes and models than another dealer. This adds a little “spice” to the process, but once you know the ropes, you’ll find that buying a mini truck (used or new) is actually pretty straightforward.

If you’ve read our blog article then you know that most Japanese mini trucks (“kei” trucks) available for sale are used vehicles.

This is due to import restrictions and federal DOT and EPA standards for mini trucks.

New models of mini trucks can be purchased, of course, but there are fewer to choose from than with used models. If you want a new mini truck that you can’t find in stock in the U.S., most importer/dealers can order you a new Japanese mini truck from Daihatsu or Suzuki, for instance, directly from Japan. The importer/dealer will walk you through the steps. Usually it involves a 50% deposit (cashier’s check) and the balance upon delivery (2-4 weeks). Some importers require full payment up front.

On the other hand, if you’ve got your eye set on a Chinese mini truck, there’s more to choose from in new models, either through [link to Vantage] or [link to Tiger Trucks].  You can also get used Chinese mini trucks from these dealers, as well as through ads on the Internet from individual owners, such as on Craigslist.

  1. Importer or Dealer?

Most companies selling Japanese mini trucks keep a modest inventory on hand. A few are strictly importers, which means you’ll be looking at 2-4 weeks for delivery once you’ve decided on your mini truck. The upside to going the import route is that you have more options, since the importer has access to the entire mini truck market in Japan!

In the states, larger mini truck dealer/importers typically have 10-20 vehicles in stock (most are used). Smaller companies and “mom-and-pop-shops” carry fewer mini trucks, perhaps 4-8 vehicles at any time.

We recommend that you go through the list of dealer/importers at the end of this blog post and check out the individual websites to see what mini trucks are offered for sale. Keep in mind that inventories are not always updated timely on some websites, so you’ll need to contact the companies by phone or email to find out if a particular mini truck is available.

  1. Buying In-Person vs. Buying via the Internet

It goes without saying that when you’re buying a vehicle, you want to kick the tires, check the engine, and take if for a quick spin around the block.

But because there are only a dozen or so primary mini truck dealer/importers in the entire U.S., you could be looking at traveling hundreds of miles to inspect your future mini truck. If you have to travel to another state to physically look over your mini truck before buying it, you could rack up $500 or more in travel costs.

This is why some people buy their mini truck “sight unseen” as it were. By asking a lot of questions of the dealer/importer, and having them send you a bunch of photos showing every part of the mini truck, inside and out, you should be able to get a good handle on its value.

You can also ask the dealer/importer to allow you to take possession of the mini truck, and then if you’re unhappy with it, ship it back for a pre-agreed-to fee. Not too many dealer/importers are willing to do this, but it never hurts to ask!

Beyond this is the shipping cost. Since it’s illegal to drive a mini truck on interstate highways, your mini truck will likely need to be shipped to you. This could cost as little as $100 if you live only a few miles away from the dealer/importer. But if you live hundreds of miles away, shipping your mini truck could make you dip into your pocketbook a $1,000 or more.

Be sure to ask this in advance, so you know ALL of your costs beforehand.

Have the dealer/importer send all information and costs surrounding your mini truck to you via email so you have a record.

  1. Warranty, Service & Parts.

Each Importer/Dealer has its own level of sales support. As a general rule, don’t expect much in the way of warranty! You may find a 30-day warranty on parts from one dealer, a 30-day warranty on the entire vehicle with another dealer, and no warranty at all with yet a different dealer.

Since parts are sometimes hard to come by in the Japanese mini truck market, be sure to ask the dealer/importer about any repair service and access to parts that they offer.

  1. Paperwork & Licensing.

Japanese mini trucks can have confusing vehicle identification numbers, which may create problems at your DMV when you’re registering it (particularly older models). Ask the dealer/importer about all relevant documentation you will need, and be sure to get it by email prior to your purchase. That way you can verify whether or not you can register and insure it in your state.

Japanese Mini Truck Dealers and Importers (USA):

Duncan Imports & Classic Cars

2300 Prospect St.

Christiansburg, VA 24037

(540) 808-6433

http://www.duncanimports.com

 *   *   *

Star Truck Enterprises, LLC

12432 4050 Road,

Paonia, CO 81428

  • 261-0438

email:  startruckenterprises@gmail.com

http://www.coloradominitruck.com

   *   *   *

G&R Imports (Eaton Mini Trucks)

155 Bamboo Ln.

Jackson, MO 63755

855-484-8342

contactus@grimports.com

https://www.grimports.com

   *   *   *

Bogue Innovations Group

(America’s Mini Truck Center)

202 S. 19th St.

P.O. BOX 487

Beresford, SD 57004

(605) 763-2945

http://www.americasminitruckcenter.com

   *   *   *

Cape Portable Buildings

902 S. Kingshighway

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

(573) 321-8110

http://capeportablebuildings.com

   *   *   *

Mayberry Mini Trucks, Inc.

North Carolina

  • 337-5725

email: mayberryminitrucks@gmail.com

https://mayberryminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Fremont Mini Trucks

960 State Route 300

Gibsonburg, OH 43431

  • 308-8622

email: sales@fremontminitrucks.com

http://www.fremontminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Weatherford Mini Trucks

1899 NW Ric Williamson Memorial Hwy 

Weatherford, TX 76088 

(817) 565-6103

http://www.weatherfordminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Houston Mini Trucks

726 Herkimer St.

Houston, TX 77007

(281) 660-8270

http://www.houstonminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Super Mini Trucks

Oklahoma City, OK

(580) 443-5500

https://www.superminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

http://twinriversatv.com

Twin Rivers Mini Trucks

1763 US Hwy 70 East / US Hwy 71

De Queen, AR 71832

  • 642-8701

   *   *   *

West Coast Mini Trucks

7055 Speedway Blvd. Building E. Ste. 102

Las Vegas, NV 89115

(702) 823-5033

sales@westcoastminitrucks.com

http://www.westcoastminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Magic Valley Mini Trucks, LLC

5421 US Hwy 93

Jerome, ID 83338

(208) 410-0280

http://magicvalleyminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Bluegrass Mini Trucks

Elizabethtown, KY

(270) 737-1889

http://bluegrassminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

West Main Sales

10405 West Main Road

North East, PA 16428

(814) 725-5864

http://www.westmainsales.com

   *   *   *

Yamagin Corporation (import direct from Japan only)

310-498-4465 (CA)

email Contact: info@minitruckdealer.com

http://www.minitruckdealer.com  (strictly importer)

 

 

 

Chinese Mini Truck Authorized Dealers:

 

Tiger Truck International

(Authorized US dealer of Chinese mini-trucks made by ChangAn)

100 Tiger Drive

Poteau, OK 74953

(918) 647-4000

(918) 649-0226

email: info@tigertruck.com

 

http://tigertruck.com

 

 

   *   *   *

 

Vantage Vehicle International, Inc.

1740 N. Delilah Street

Corona, CA 92879

(951) 735-1200

email: info@vantagevehicle.com

 

https://www.vantagevehicle.com

 

 

 

How to Find the Best Mini Truck Dealers

 You’re ready to put your money to work in a mini truck.

But before you drop your hard-earned bucks into one, there are a few things you’ll want to check out when deciding which importer/dealer to buy from . . .

First off, buying a mini truck is quite a bit different than getting say, a Tahoe, from your local Chevy dealer. With a traditional truck purchase, you can find the model you’re looking for at any authorized dealer. Your biggest decisions are normally what color to get and your choice in options.

With a mini truck, however, you’re limited to the vehicles that are available with each importer/dealer, unless you want to import a specific mini truck directly from Japan.

And one dealer may carry different makes and models than another dealer. This adds a little “spice” to the process, but once you know the ropes, you’ll find that buying a mini truck (used or new) is actually pretty straightforward.

If you’ve read our blog article then you know that most Japanese mini trucks (“kei” trucks) available for sale are used vehicles.

This is due to import restrictions and federal DOT and EPA standards for mini trucks.

New models of mini trucks can be purchased, of course, but there are fewer to choose from than with used models. If you want a new mini truck that you can’t find in stock in the U.S., most importer/dealers can order you a new Japanese mini truck from Daihatsu or Suzuki, for instance, directly from Japan. The importer/dealer will walk you through the steps. Usually it involves a 50% deposit (cashier’s check) and the balance upon delivery (2-4 weeks). Some importers require full payment up front.

On the other hand, if you’ve got your eye set on a Chinese mini truck, there’s more to choose from in new models, either through [link to Vantage] or [link to Tiger Trucks].  You can also get used Chinese mini trucks from these dealers, as well as through ads on the Internet from individual owners, such as on Craigslist.

  1. Importer or Dealer?

Most companies selling Japanese mini trucks keep a modest inventory on hand. A few are strictly importers, which means you’ll be looking at 2-4 weeks for delivery once you’ve decided on your mini truck. The upside to going the import route is that you have more options, since the importer has access to the entire mini truck market in Japan!

In the states, larger mini truck dealer/importers typically have 10-20 vehicles in stock (most are used). Smaller companies and “mom-and-pop-shops” carry fewer mini trucks, perhaps 4-8 vehicles at any time.

We recommend that you go through the list of dealer/importers at the end of this blog post and check out the individual websites to see what mini trucks are offered for sale. Keep in mind that inventories are not always updated timely on some websites, so you’ll need to contact the companies by phone or email to find out if a particular mini truck is available.

  1. Buying In-Person vs. Buying via the Internet

It goes without saying that when you’re buying a vehicle, you want to kick the tires, check the engine, and take if for a quick spin around the block.

But because there are only a dozen or so primary mini truck dealer/importers in the entire U.S., you could be looking at traveling hundreds of miles to inspect your future mini truck. If you have to travel to another state to physically look over your mini truck before buying it, you could rack up $500 or more in travel costs.

This is why some people buy their mini truck “sight unseen” as it were. By asking a lot of questions of the dealer/importer, and having them send you a bunch of photos showing every part of the mini truck, inside and out, you should be able to get a good handle on its value.

You can also ask the dealer/importer to allow you to take possession of the mini truck, and then if you’re unhappy with it, ship it back for a pre-agreed-to fee. Not too many dealer/importers are willing to do this, but it never hurts to ask!

Beyond this is the shipping cost. Since it’s illegal to drive a mini truck on interstate highways, your mini truck will likely need to be shipped to you. This could cost as little as $100 if you live only a few miles away from the dealer/importer. But if you live hundreds of miles away, shipping your mini truck could make you dip into your pocketbook a $1,000 or more.

Be sure to ask this in advance, so you know ALL of your costs beforehand.

Have the dealer/importer send all information and costs surrounding your mini truck to you via email so you have a record.

  1. Warranty, Service & Parts.

Each Importer/Dealer has its own level of sales support. As a general rule, don’t expect much in the way of warranty! You may find a 30-day warranty on parts from one dealer, a 30-day warranty on the entire vehicle with another dealer, and no warranty at all with yet a different dealer.

Since parts are sometimes hard to come by in the Japanese mini truck market, be sure to ask the dealer/importer about any repair service and access to parts that they offer.

  1. Paperwork & Licensing.

Japanese mini trucks can have confusing vehicle identification numbers, which may create problems at your DMV when you’re registering it (particularly older models). Ask the dealer/importer about all relevant documentation you will need, and be sure to get it by email prior to your purchase. That way you can verify whether or not you can register and insure it in your state.

Japanese Mini Truck Dealers and Importers (USA):

Duncan Imports & Classic Cars

2300 Prospect St.

Christiansburg, VA 24037

(540) 808-6433

http://www.duncanimports.com

 *   *   *

Star Truck Enterprises, LLC

12432 4050 Road,

Paonia, CO 81428

  • 261-0438

email:  startruckenterprises@gmail.com

http://www.coloradominitruck.com

   *   *   *

G&R Imports (Eaton Mini Trucks)

155 Bamboo Ln.

Jackson, MO 63755

855-484-8342

contactus@grimports.com

https://www.grimports.com

   *   *   *

Bogue Innovations Group

(America’s Mini Truck Center)

202 S. 19th St.

P.O. BOX 487

Beresford, SD 57004

(605) 763-2945

http://www.americasminitruckcenter.com

   *   *   *

Cape Portable Buildings

902 S. Kingshighway

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

(573) 321-8110

http://capeportablebuildings.com

   *   *   *

Mayberry Mini Trucks, Inc.

North Carolina

  • 337-5725

email: mayberryminitrucks@gmail.com

https://mayberryminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Fremont Mini Trucks

960 State Route 300

Gibsonburg, OH 43431

  • 308-8622

email: sales@fremontminitrucks.com

http://www.fremontminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Weatherford Mini Trucks

1899 NW Ric Williamson Memorial Hwy 

Weatherford, TX 76088 

(817) 565-6103

http://www.weatherfordminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Houston Mini Trucks

726 Herkimer St.

Houston, TX 77007

(281) 660-8270

http://www.houstonminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Super Mini Trucks

Oklahoma City, OK

(580) 443-5500

https://www.superminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

http://twinriversatv.com

Twin Rivers Mini Trucks

1763 US Hwy 70 East / US Hwy 71

De Queen, AR 71832

  • 642-8701

   *   *   *

West Coast Mini Trucks

7055 Speedway Blvd. Building E. Ste. 102

Las Vegas, NV 89115

(702) 823-5033

sales@westcoastminitrucks.com

http://www.westcoastminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Magic Valley Mini Trucks, LLC

5421 US Hwy 93

Jerome, ID 83338

(208) 410-0280

http://magicvalleyminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

Bluegrass Mini Trucks

Elizabethtown, KY

(270) 737-1889

http://bluegrassminitrucks.com

   *   *   *

West Main Sales

10405 West Main Road

North East, PA 16428

(814) 725-5864

http://www.westmainsales.com

   *   *   *

Yamagin Corporation (import direct from Japan only)

310-498-4465 (CA)

email Contact: info@minitruckdealer.com

http://www.minitruckdealer.com  (strictly importer)

 

 

 

Chinese Mini Truck Authorized Dealers:

 

Tiger Truck International

(Authorized US dealer of Chinese mini-trucks made by ChangAn)

100 Tiger Drive

Poteau, OK 74953

(918) 647-4000

(918) 649-0226

email: info@tigertruck.com

 

http://tigertruck.com

 

 

   *   *   *

 

Vantage Vehicle International, Inc.

1740 N. Delilah Street

Corona, CA 92879

(951) 735-1200

email: info@vantagevehicle.com

 

https://www.vantagevehicle.com

 

 

 

Like this article?



Share on facebook


Share on Facebook



Share on twitter


Share on Twitter



Share on linkedin


Share on Linkdin



Share on pinterest


Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Tricking Out Your Mini Truck: Options & Customizing

Tricking Out Your Mini Truck: Options & Customizing

There’s no denying that a mini truck is a versatile workhorse.

With the right accessories, it can be even more versatile . . .

Plus your mini truck can also be a great source of recreational fun.

So let’s check out some of the many options available for both work and play.

Custom Vinyl Wraps.

The most commonly used vinyl wrap for a mini truck is a camouflage pattern . . .

And there are a ton of patterns to choose from, as well as a ton of suppliers. Whether you want to apply it yourself, or have the dealer/importer do it for you, the choices are practically endless.

Quality vinyl wraps are UV resistant, and use an airless adhesive so you can apply it yourself if you want for a smooth finish with little risk of trapped bubbles, even if you’re a novice.

Patterns can be purchased in squares or rolls (typically 24-inches or 48-inches wide) and will run you anywhere from $7 – $30 per linear foot, depending on pattern and supplier. You might find a supplier in a town near you, or you can order online.

Upgraded Wheels & All-Terrain Tires.

There is a dizzying array of wheels and tires available for your mini truck. The standard wheel size is 12-inch, but many upgraded all-terrain wheels/tires are 14-inches (you can also find some 13-inch wheels and tires).

Many mini truck owners want the ability to handle all weather conditions for not only work-related reasons, but also for the sheer fun of trekking in the great outdoors!

You can also get many different tires and wheels for your mini truck.

One of the many suppliers of mini truck wheels, tires, and accessories that you may want to check out is Super Mini Trucks.

Lift Kits, Hitches & Winches.

Mini truck lift kits are very popular! You can find information about them, as well as buy them, on the Internet from a number of suppliers. A simple Google search will net you a variety to choose from. Many importer/dealers also offer the service of installing a lift kit on your mini truck for you. If you decide to install one yourself, make sure you have all the correct information, as it can be trickier to get right than you might think. Expect to pay around $200-$300 for a DIY kit, and up to $600 for an installed lift kit.

Due to the specific dimensions of a mini truck, when it comes to buying a winch or a hitch, be sure to get the correct one. By contacting a reputable supplier of mini truck accessories, such as Super Mini Trucks, you can avoid a lot of headaches.

Roll Cages, Brush Guards, Racks, & More.

When it comes to roll bars, roll cages, brush guards, and similar accessories, you have a wide range of choices. There are both custom-built and off-the-shelf brush guards, bumpers, racks, and more. By spending some time on the Internet, you’ll be able to track down different designs of these popular accessories.

Mini Truck Truck-Bed Accessories.

It goes without saying that the truck bed is one of the most important features of your mini truck, for work and for fun. Bed liners are available, as are various bed add-ons, such as high-wall extensions. Again, the Internet is your friend in finding the right set-up for your mini truck.

You can also make your mini truck a versatile dump truck!

Or even with a bed lift!

Snow Plow & Arctic Track Kit.

One of the more useful add-ons for your mini truck is a snowplow blade. Not only is a mini truck ideal for handling confined areas, it’s lightweight construction allows it to do things and go places heavier trucks can’t. Mini truck owners I’ve spoken with who have a plow say it is indispensible in the winter months.

If you want an even more aggressive approach to attacking snowy weather, you can put an Arctic track kit on your mini truck, although this is quite a commitment!  Be ready to shell out a bit of cashola for this!

But if you need it, the mini truck gets it done!

We could go on and on looking at the variety of possibilities for accessorizing your mini truck. When you consider the customized approaches that mini truck owners have done to their mini trucks, quite literally your imagination is the limit!

 

Tricking Out Your Mini Truck: Options & Customizing

There’s no denying that a mini truck is a versatile workhorse.

With the right accessories, it can be even more versatile . . .

Plus your mini truck can also be a great source of recreational fun.

So let’s check out some of the many options available for both work and play.

Custom Vinyl Wraps.

The most commonly used vinyl wrap for a mini truck is a camouflage pattern . . .

And there are a ton of patterns to choose from, as well as a ton of suppliers. Whether you want to apply it yourself, or have the dealer/importer do it for you, the choices are practically endless.

Quality vinyl wraps are UV resistant, and use an airless adhesive so you can apply it yourself if you want for a smooth finish with little risk of trapped bubbles, even if you’re a novice.

Patterns can be purchased in squares or rolls (typically 24-inches or 48-inches wide) and will run you anywhere from $7 – $30 per linear foot, depending on pattern and supplier. You might find a supplier in a town near you, or you can order online.

Upgraded Wheels & All-Terrain Tires.

There is a dizzying array of wheels and tires available for your mini truck. The standard wheel size is 12-inch, but many upgraded all-terrain wheels/tires are 14-inches (you can also find some 13-inch wheels and tires).

Many mini truck owners want the ability to handle all weather conditions for not only work-related reasons, but also for the sheer fun of trekking in the great outdoors!

You can also get many different tires and wheels for your mini truck.

One of the many suppliers of mini truck wheels, tires, and accessories that you may want to check out is Super Mini Trucks.

Lift Kits, Hitches & Winches.

Mini truck lift kits are very popular! You can find information about them, as well as buy them, on the Internet from a number of suppliers. A simple Google search will net you a variety to choose from. Many importer/dealers also offer the service of installing a lift kit on your mini truck for you. If you decide to install one yourself, make sure you have all the correct information, as it can be trickier to get right than you might think. Expect to pay around $200-$300 for a DIY kit, and up to $600 for an installed lift kit.

Due to the specific dimensions of a mini truck, when it comes to buying a winch or a hitch, be sure to get the correct one. By contacting a reputable supplier of mini truck accessories, such as Super Mini Trucks, you can avoid a lot of headaches.

Roll Cages, Brush Guards, Racks, & More.

When it comes to roll bars, roll cages, brush guards, and similar accessories, you have a wide range of choices. There are both custom-built and off-the-shelf brush guards, bumpers, racks, and more. By spending some time on the Internet, you’ll be able to track down different designs of these popular accessories.

Mini Truck Truck-Bed Accessories.

It goes without saying that the truck bed is one of the most important features of your mini truck, for work and for fun. Bed liners are available, as are various bed add-ons, such as high-wall extensions. Again, the Internet is your friend in finding the right set-up for your mini truck.

You can also make your mini truck a versatile dump truck!

Or even with a bed lift!

Snow Plow & Arctic Track Kit.

One of the more useful add-ons for your mini truck is a snowplow blade. Not only is a mini truck ideal for handling confined areas, it’s lightweight construction allows it to do things and go places heavier trucks can’t. Mini truck owners I’ve spoken with who have a plow say it is indispensible in the winter months.

If you want an even more aggressive approach to attacking snowy weather, you can put an Arctic track kit on your mini truck, although this is quite a commitment!  Be ready to shell out a bit of cashola for this!

But if you need it, the mini truck gets it done!

We could go on and on looking at the variety of possibilities for accessorizing your mini truck. When you consider the customized approaches that mini truck owners have done to their mini trucks, quite literally your imagination is the limit!

 

Like this article?



Share on facebook


Share on Facebook



Share on twitter


Share on Twitter



Share on linkedin


Share on Linkdin



Share on pinterest


Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Finding a Mini Truck: Put Serious Bucks In Your Pocket

Finding a Mini Truck: Put Serious Bucks In Your Pocket

You know how it is . . .

You’re working hard to grow your business and beef up your bottom line . . .

And then the high cost of running your vehicles jumps in to chop away at your earnings:

·        Vehicle loan payments

·        Insurance premiums

·        Fuel Costs

·        Service & repairs

·        Registration costs

·        Property Tax

·        Regulations and Fines

Are You Tired of Throwing Your Hard-Earned Greenbacks into the Black Hole of Vehicle Costs?

 

Well then… a mini-truck (or van) might just be the surprising solution. 

OK… but what in the heck is a mini truck?

Mini trucks have been a workhorse staple in Japan and Asia for over six decades.

japanese mini truck

Believe me, if you visit Japan and China like I have, you’ll see mini-trucks and vans bustling around on city streets, at industrial centers, government facilities, on rural lands . . .

Pretty much everywhere – handling all sorts of jobs.

And mini-trucks come in all sorts of different models.

But what few of us in America know is that nearly 150,000 of these trucks are doing the same tasks right here in the good ol’ US of A . . .

. . . and putting serious bucks in their owners’ pockets over conventional trucks!

Whether it’s transporting goods on rural byways . . .

Working at docks and warehouses…

Delivering produce and other farm goods…

Doing landscaping and nursery care…

Maintaining hotels, resorts, and golf courses . . .

Servicing schools and college campuses . . .

Or performing an endless list of other projects . . .

You can find the tough and surprisingly durable mini truck on the job.

Mini-trucks might be smaller than traditional trucks, but they’re by no means less dependable. Fact is, mini-trucks are really well-made, manufactured by blue-ribbon automakers:

  • Honda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Toyota (Daihatsu)
  • Subaru
  • Mazda
  • Suzuki

Even better, they’re durable – engineered to run for over 200,000 miles. And their compact size offers a versatility that larger trucks can only dream about.

(On top of all that, a mini truck is a blast to drive! Just wait until you take one out for a little off-road fun . . . vroom-vroom!)

In short, mini trucks are a small package that carries a big punch.

Okay, that all sounds great, but what you want to know is . . .

Is a mini truck right for me and my business?

To find out, let’s look at some of the nuts and bolts of mini trucks, which are also called “kei” trucks (like the letter “K”) from “keitora” – Japanese for light-weight.

Kei-class mini trucks come in both 4WD and 2WD, and they can handle almost any normal work setting. They can reach 55 mph (though most sold in the USA have a governor for a 25 mph top speed to meet federal regulation standards).

Their 2, 3, or 4 cylinder engines are 550cc – 660 cc in size, run on gasoline, have between 35-50 horsepower, and average 40-50 miles per gallon or better – which beats the socks off of any traditional truck or ATV.

The cargo capacity is about 775 lbs, and they have fully-enclosed cabs with the steering wheel on the right side, which takes a little getting used to. (On Chinese models, it’s on the left side. See below).

Other than that, they come equipped with the same basics as traditional trucks – wipers, heater, headlights, independent front suspension, full instrumentation, optional air, etc.

Many accessories are available for mini trucks including hitches, winches, and plows.

So, how do you go about buying a mini truck . . . ?

In America, mini trucks are sold mostly by small, local dealers such as Duncan Imports. They’re sold as “off-road” vehicles only, so that federal safety regulations don’t apply, except in 5 states (NH, ME, IL, TN, KS). In 22 states, limited use on public roads is allowed.

Chinese mini trucks, which have been in the USA for less time than their Japanese counterparts, are sold through a more standard dealership approach. The two largest dealers are Tiger Truck Industries International and Vantage Vehicle International.

That’s all good info, you say, but how do mini trucks perform in the “real world?”

A crew of landscapers I know with four mini trucks in service in San Diego said they would never go back to using full-size trucks. The mini trucks save them “a ton of dough” on gas, repairs, and insurance (only about $30 a month with Geico).

It was amazing to see how much the mini truck beds could hold (two had custom cargo walls about 5 feet high that gave them more carrying capacity for cut branches and bags of cut grass). The mini trucks were licensed in California, but they even drove them back and forth to Las Vegas on I-15!

How Much Does a Mini Truck Cost?

Most mini trucks sold in the USA are used vehicles (to limit regulations) but you can also buy them new. You’ll be looking at between $3,000 to $15,000 for a used mini truck in good working order, and from $16,000 to $23,000 for a new model – many thousands of dollars less than a traditional truck.

And as far as operating costs go, let’s see how much moolah you can save over three years with a mini truck . . .

Fuel (12,000 miles a year for 3 years) = 36,000 miles

Mini Truck: 45 mpg @ $3.70 / gallon = 36,000 miles / 45 mpg x 3.70 = $2,960

Traditional truck: 20 mpg = 36,000 miles / 20 mpg x 3.70 =  $6,660

Savings = 6,660-2,960 = $3,700

About $4,000 just in gas. That’s not chump change!

And insurance . . . ? This obviously varies somewhat, but you can expect to see an annual cost of about $400 with a mini truck, compared to about $2,000 or more with a regular truck – a savings of around $5,000 over 3 years!

Combined, that’s about $9,000 extra dollars in your pocket! And with less expensive repairs, fees, and property tax, you’ll likely see even bigger savings.

Imagine what you’d do with all that extra cash!

So . . .

Are mini trucks unconventional? No doubt!

Is a mini truck good for you and your business . . . ?

Very possibly.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment