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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thing showed up in my commercial feed. I gotta admit I have absolutely no use for an electric tricycle pickup truck, but it sure looks like fun. There's even a dumptruck version!

Looks to be quite a lot of stuff for $3 grand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where is it made? My guess is China or India. It only does 15 mph. Great for around a piece of property I suppose.
I'd guess China almost certainly. The motor or controller would likely fail within the first year, but these components are starting to become generic and readily available.

I understand that the Piaggio Ape, ( from the makers of Vespa ) which was first offered for sale around 1948, and is still available, is a similar machine, but gas powered and considerably more expensive:

There was also the Cushman Truckster, which might be easier to find here in the US, but these haven't been made in quite a few years.
 

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I'd guess China almost certainly. The motor or controller would likely fail within the first year, but these components are starting to become generic and readily available.

I understand that the Piaggio Ape, ( from the makers of Vespa ) which was first offered for sale around 1948, and is still available, is a similar machine, but gas powered and considerably more expensive:

There was also the Cushman Truckster, which might be easier to find here in the US, but these haven't been made in quite a few years.
There's a Cushman for sale in my area for $2800. Are they good vehicles? It says it has a Suzuki engine. I was thinking I could start a business and haul stuff away for people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's a Cushman for sale in my area for $2800. Are they good vehicles? It says it has a Suzuki engine. I was thinking I could start a business and haul stuff away for people.
My experience with Cushmans is limited to examining machines that belonged to other guys at shows. My impression is that they are simple, and solidly built, but I'm definitely no expert. The two speed transmission is said to have reliability issues. I believe that the two speed was the top of the line and the other option was a centrifugal clutch. One Cushman I saw had a Briggs Vanguard V-Twin installed, and the owner said that this machine was capable of freeway speeds and that his uncle who had built it, would ride it cross country to Cushman rallies. Another option, if power is limited, is a Continuously Variable Transmission, such as is used in go carts. It's also possible to install a gearbox from another machine, which is something I'd consider if I was doing a resto-mod rebuild. Motorcycle engines can be reworked into standalone transmissions, by removing some parts and exposing the input shaft.

If the engine has been replaced, presumably the drive train has all been replaced as well, and reliability of engine and trans. if well executed, would be that of the replacement unit. Although this lowers the collector value, it's probably the wiser path for a vehicle that will be used hard.

I would put more faith in the long term survival of the Cushman, over the Chinese machine, but in either case, I think one is kind of on their own in terms of mechanical support. No dealer and not many mechanics would be willing to work on a vehicle like that. Practically speaking, for use in a small hauling business, I think one would be better off with something like a Dodge Dakota or Ford Ranger. You'd consume more fuel, and it wouldn't be as much fun, but the vehicle would be an expendable tool, rather than having your blood and sweat in it.

The interesting thing about the electric trike, to me, is that it might be over the line of what would be considered to NOT require registration, or insurance, or a license to operate. For a those of us who might be approaching the age where we may be required to give up our driving licenses, it's nice to still have some options to do what we enjoy.

Here's another idea that I've been thinking about:
 

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They race the Piaggio three wheelers.
I had an electric scooter, made in China, plus three spares. I gave them all away. A guy said he could fix his wife's scooter if he had some spare parts. I told him he had to take the lot. My diesel heater made in China is still not working. But my new coffee maker seems okay. I would willingly pay a bit more for better quality.
My made in USA Ampzilla power amp is still running fine, and fixable if something blows. It is about 1980 vintage. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My made in USA Ampzilla power amp is still running fine, and fixable if something blows. It is about 1980 vintage. UK
I favor electronics from even an even earlier era. I like the sound of Fender, but also had Vox in my playing days. There's nothing like the sweet distortion of a tube amp, and it's fun to see the orange glow modulating as you push air. My dad was an electrical engineer and he gave me my first tube radio to play with when I was six years old. He never discouraged me from taking those things apart and I have felt high voltage and hot solder more than a few times. He didn't like the electric guitar so much, but still helped me fix my first Vox, an AC30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There's a Cushman for sale in my area for $2800. Are they good vehicles? It says it has a Suzuki engine. I was thinking I could start a business and haul stuff away for people.
Here's a Truckster available in my area of the country for $600. Has an Onan engine and a 3 speed trans. Either I was wrong about Cushman's top of the line trans being a 2 speed, or this one has had an upgrade. Looks like a lot of metal for the money.


Cushman Truckster - $600 (Braidwood)

"I bought the Truckster for 2.5 years ago now with the purpose of fixing it up and showing it. As they say...life happens. It has sat in my shed from the day I brought it home. So now I need the room more than the Truckster. It is the 3 wheel version with a fixed box bed. It is not the dumping bed. Twin cyl. Onan engine with a newer carb. 3spd. Drives good and shifts through all 3 forward gears and reverse. Current price is as is.

$600 obo"
 

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Here's a Truckster available in my area of the country for $600. Has an Onan engine and a 3 speed trans. Either I was wrong about Cushman's top of the line trans being a 2 speed, or this one has had an upgrade. Looks like a lot of metal for the money.


Cushman Truckster - $600 (Braidwood)

"I bought the Truckster for 2.5 years ago now with the purpose of fixing it up and showing it. As they say...life happens. It has sat in my shed from the day I brought it home. So now I need the room more than the Truckster. It is the 3 wheel version with a fixed box bed. It is not the dumping bed. Twin cyl. Onan engine with a newer carb. 3spd. Drives good and shifts through all 3 forward gears and reverse. Current price is as is.

$600 obo"
Dang!!! Where are you located? Too bad it doesn't have the dump. That part is REALLY attractive to me. I'm not 20 anymore ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dang!!! Where are you located? Too bad it doesn't have the dump. That part is REALLY attractive to me. I'm not 20 anymore ;)
I'm on the NW side of Chicago. That $600 Truckster is SW of Joliet, which is SW of Chicago.

Every Truckster I've seen for sale previously was between $800 and $1600. None were in good or restored condition. The $2800 you mentioned is the highest price I've heard being asked for one, but I'm no expert on Cushmans and was looking more for two wheeled scooters than for the three or four wheeled utility vehicles.

Here's another $600 Cushman, out Oregon way:

Cushman Three wheeler/w Trailer - $600 (Salem)

Cushman Three wheeler/w Trailer - motorcycles/scooters - by owner -...

Three wheeled Cushman scooter with trailer. Not for on the road. Runs and drives but has not been started for a couple of months. Needs a new battery. No brakes. Year unknown. Needs TLC. Was used as a jump rig at a trucking company. Had a battery on the back with jumper cables hanging on the side.
 

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Gotcha. That's smack dab in the middle of the rust belt isn't it?

Here's the one I was talking about.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gotcha. That's smack dab in the middle of the rust belt isn't it?
It is indeed, and the weather gets quite humid in the summer, but the majority of rust is due to the generous use of salt to melt the winter snow.

However, I've found that the rust doesn't seem to affect 9 out of 10 motorcycles, which generally are garaged by late October and not brought out again until April. As a result, and also because of high population density and general affluence, folks around here are treated to a large and deep range of low mileage motorcycles available on the second hand market at good prices.

With their relatively larger size and utilitarian nature, that scenario may or may not apply to Trucksters.

That Truckster in Snohomish looks to be in quite good condition. A 1995 would have been produced in the period while Cushman was owned by Ransomes of Ipswitch, England. It doesn't look like any of Cushman's current products.
You might want to inquire with them if any spare parts for the 1995 are still available. If they are, that might make that vehicle more attractive as a working vehicle.
 

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It is indeed, and the weather gets quite humid in the summer, but the majority of rust is due to the generous use of salt to melt the winter snow.

However, I've found that the rust doesn't seem to affect 9 out of 10 motorcycles, which generally are garaged by late October and not brought out again until April. As a result, and also because of high population density and general affluence, folks around here are treated to a large and deep range of low mileage motorcycles available on the second hand market at good prices.

With their relatively larger size and utilitarian nature, that scenario may or may not apply to Trucksters.

That Truckster in Snohomish looks to be in quite good condition. A 1995 would have been produced in the period while Cushman was owned by Ransomes of Ipswitch, England. It doesn't look like any of Cushman's current products.
You might want to inquire with them if any spare parts for the 1995 are still available. If they are, that might make that vehicle more attractive as a working vehicle.
l have bailed on the idea for now due to other costs we have coming in currently. Maybe down the road.
 

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My experience with Cushmans is limited to examining machines that belonged to other guys at shows. My impression is that they are simple, and solidly built, but I'm definitely no expert. The two speed transmission is said to have reliability issues. I believe that the two speed was the top of the line and the other option was a centrifugal clutch. One Cushman I saw had a Briggs Vanguard V-Twin installed, and the owner said that this machine was capable of freeway speeds and that his uncle who had built it, would ride it cross country to Cushman rallies. Another option, if power is limited, is a Continuously Variable Transmission, such as is used in go carts. It's also possible to install a gearbox from another machine, which is something I'd consider if I was doing a resto-mod rebuild. Motorcycle engines can be reworked into standalone transmissions, by removing some parts and exposing the input shaft.

If the engine has been replaced, presumably the drive train has all been replaced as well, and reliability of engine and trans. if well executed, would be that of the replacement unit. Although this lowers the collector value, it's probably the wiser path for a vehicle that will be used hard.

I would put more faith in the long term survival of the Cushman, over the Chinese machine, but in either case, I think one is kind of on their own in terms of mechanical support. No dealer and not many mechanics would be willing to work on a vehicle like that. Practically speaking, for use in a small hauling business of electric tricycle for adults, I think one would be better off with something like a Dodge Dakota or Ford Ranger. You'd consume more fuel, and it wouldn't be as much fun, but the vehicle would be an expendable tool, rather than having your blood and sweat in it.

The interesting thing about the electric trike, to me, is that it might be over the line of what would be considered to NOT require registration, or insurance, or a license to operate. For a those of us who might be approaching the age where we may be required to give up our driving licenses, it's nice to still have some options to do what we enjoy.

Here's another idea that I've been thinking about:
My sister in law walks with a stick and has a fairly narrow front hall. Her idea is to buy an electric trike to help her get around that would fold narrow enough that she can keep it in the front hall and still get past it. I have no experience of folding, electric or trike but a little research on DuckDuckGo shows me only one which folds to get narrower, the DiBlasi R34. The only comments on in it I could find said it was underpowered and handled poorly. Does anyone have any experience/comments on this or any other such trikes? It costs a bit short of 拢3000 so it鈥檚 not the sort of thing to buy on spec. If relevant, she lives in London with one or two slopes but I don鈥檛 think she habitually goes up anything like a real hill. Many thanks for any suggestions.
 

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If it is narrow it will be unstable.
 
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