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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
2/6/24 9:51 a.m.

Electric Utility Vehicles | Taylor-Dunn

 

If you've ever been to a pro race, you've seen these things zipping around the paddock loaded with fuel, tires, etc. They're awesome.

They're also expensive.

And they're (relatively) huge. Compared to a scooter, they take up a huge amount of space on the trailer. 

So here's my dream:

  1. Find a cheap golf cart
  2. Cut pieces off until it fits in a short-bed pickup truck (5.5 feet long)
  3. Throw the plastics away and build some sort of a practical sheetmetal body

So am I crazy, or could this just maybe work? What am I missing?

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 Reader
2/6/24 10:03 a.m.

What's the intended use? Paddock hauler?

If you go too small, it'll be hard to haul/carry/tow much weight, especially in venues like COTA, where getting into and out of the main paddock involve some inclines.

Electric, or gas? Electric will be heavy, need some hefty batteries to provide enough power without stopping to charge all the time. Gas can be geared down for torque, but slow isn't much fun. CVT will burn up belts towing heavy loads all the time.

Look into utility UTV's, you could cut off the roll cage, remove the dump bed and weld up a flatbed pretty easy. They use the same 4 x 110 hubs as golf carts, lots of rolling stock available.      

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
2/6/24 10:12 a.m.

Yeah, intended use is paddock hauler. I want to be able to easily carry a set of tires or fuel jugs or people or whatever from one end of the paddock to the other. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/6/24 10:15 a.m.

What about a quad? We had a large quad, put two pieces of tubing on the rear rack that we can stack a couple tires on, put the jack and toolbox on the rear rack and fuel jug on the front rack. 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
2/6/24 10:22 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Yeah, intended use is paddock hauler. I want to be able to easily carry a set of tires or fuel jugs or people or whatever from one end of the paddock to the other. 

Big folding cargo wagon and an electric motor?

NY Nick
NY Nick SuperDork
2/6/24 10:25 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I say it is very possible. That is exactly what I did to make my picnic table. My use case was different so the platform is a different size but what you are talking about is pretty straightforward. 
The platform here is 4'x6' so with the over hangs this one is 10'6" long but I am making another one right now that I went more vertical with and it is less than 8' long, I think you could shorten it to get to what you want. 
in this pic the front steering is done with trailer hubs and a tiller, it actually works well but I did it because I had to, the golf cart I used was wrecked and the front was gone. Version 2 has the standard golf cart front end but I relocated the steering box to have the shaft going straight up to save deck space. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/6/24 10:57 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Down there in God's Waiting Room, there must be disregarded electric mobility/electric wheelchairs.  

I envision two sets of drive wheels.  Single drive for light load and conservation.  Dual motor for heavy loads.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/6/24 11:38 a.m.

How about something third world style?

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/6/24 11:41 a.m.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/6/24 12:11 p.m.

Easiest is gas golf cart (lighter than battery),  deck behind seat, small deck with tiedowns where the dash was.

Even so, its a bit of hassle to load in a modern pickup truck.

I'm more into a rolling cart with tools, nitrogen bottle, and top for helmets and laptops.  Roll it in and out of trailer to uuse in paddock, roll it to pits for race (e.g. NASCAR).  Fits in front of trailer, or back of trailer, depending on weight balance.

Otherwise, pretty soon you need a semi....

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/6/24 12:19 p.m.

Cushman made a similar style utility cart, you may want to look for them too.  The ones I've seen would fit in a truck bed, they were gas or electric.  Fixer uppers are out there for cheap money, here's a couple in your general area: https://treasure.craigslist.org/snw/d/port-salerno-toro-and-cushman/7707814969.html

AxeHealey
AxeHealey SuperDork
2/6/24 12:35 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

This is what I was going to suggest as the easy button as long as the size was OK.

nocones
nocones PowerDork
2/6/24 12:46 p.m.

If I was building what you are discussing I would have it use standing controls like a commercial mower or mini skid steer.  When size for cargo is the goal why waste space for meat bags?   Also generally would be low speed so standing would be fine.  Could have fold down "seat" for some comfort and carry some folding camp chairs for sitting where you end up. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
2/6/24 12:50 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

A Segway with a trailer hitch, basically?

NY Nick
NY Nick SuperDork
2/6/24 1:07 p.m.

To get down to 5'6" you are going to have to work for it. I googled it and a CC Precedent is listed as 91" long. I was doing some laying out to see how big to make my platform and this is a 8' 2x4 laid on the cart, that makes the 91"seem pretty plausible. 

Here is a pic with it laid on it's side. If you build a platform above the tire line you could put the brake system up which would help you with spacing. Everyone takes a poo on electric carts but in this application it may work well, they are smaller length wise (compare this pics to the gas one above). Being a pit cart the range is a non issue. The new electric stuff can be pretty awesome, albeit pricey if you want to have fancy things like lithium batteries and Navitas controllers. A set of standard batteries are a 3 figure proposition though and lead to less ball busting about taking a gas cart out of an electric truck...

Last pic shows the steering box turned up, you could also turn it down and run a shaft to the back and drive it from the rear, this one may end up like that?

EDIT: I recant my statement about shorter length wise and for clarity I meant the engine components, not the whole cart. It seems like there are more things around the rear axle that have to stay there on a gas cart but I could be off base. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
2/6/24 1:11 p.m.

Alternative- add a trailer to the scooter?  This danger wagon was an excellent way to get fuel around at Oregon Trail Rally and could totally have handled more weight at a nice smooth racetrack:

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
2/6/24 1:31 p.m.

Could just get a proper truck with a proper 8' bed, seems easier than cutting up a golf cart to fit in a 5.5' bed

Rons
Rons Dork
2/6/24 1:47 p.m.
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
2/6/24 2:20 p.m.
93gsxturbo said:

Could just get a proper truck with a proper 8' bed, seems easier than cutting up a golf cart to fit in a 5.5' bed

Nobody sells an electric truck with an 8' bed, and it's way easier to shorten a golf cart than it is to lengthen a new F-150.

Plus, a 5.5' golf cart fits in a 20' trailer with a Miata. A full-size one doesn't.

sevenracer
sevenracer HalfDork
2/6/24 3:03 p.m.

Probably hard to find a used one, but could you modify a cricket "folding" golf cart for more cargo?

I saw one of these at a race, and they are find of silly, but also kind of awesome. 

 

Forget fitting it into the 5.5 bed, make it fit the frunk! 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/6/24 3:03 p.m.
EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
2/6/24 3:06 p.m.
nocones said:

If I was building what you are discussing I would have it use standing controls like a commercial mower or mini skid steer.  When size for cargo is the goal why waste space for meat bags?   Also generally would be low speed so standing would be fine.  Could have fold down "seat" for some comfort and carry some folding camp chairs for sitting where you end up. 

Seems like it shouldn't be too hard to remove the deck on a used standing mower and fab a frame and flat bed on front reusing the original caster wheels.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
2/6/24 3:53 p.m.

Get a stupid cheap dirt bike or other small bike and add a flat bed side car. You can make it so the flat bed folds up.

Or get a 4 wheeler with beat plastics and add racks front and rear.

pkingham (Forum Supporter)
pkingham (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/6/24 4:47 p.m.

A competitor at Road Atlanta 15 years ago had one of these, and I bought one shortly thereafter.  

It's generic cheap Chinese junk, but it's still running and in use for exactly the same purpose you're looking for.  I took off the 'roll cage' so it would fit under the car stacker setup in the trailer.  It's about 53" long and 29" wide.  Enough pep to get into trouble. Ergonomics suck for driving though.  The pedals are 3-4" above the floor.  I just velcroed a 4x4 to the floor for my heel to rest on.  The guy with the first one I saw had added a hand throttle lever to the wheel.

Looks like it might still be available.  https://taoatv.com/utv-125cc/

Edit:  I forgot to mention that you'd have to extend the rear rack to get tires and wheels on it.  I run Formula Fords with 13" wheels, so I was able to add a removable post and board on the rack to carry wheels.  That's not included in the 53" length.  The 13" left to get to 5'5" should be enough to make it work for larger stuff.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
2/6/24 4:50 p.m.

If you find an M-274 you can't afford it.  BUT,  using this idea you can make anything!

These have a 2 cylinder boxer out back, flat deck and the driver's feet hang off the front; gives about 90% use of space.

Not applicable in the pits, but you can run under helicopter blades.

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