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World's Lowest-Prices Truck
A low-cost Chinese-made truck got a lot of attention at the recent Farm Science Review Show near London, Ohio.
  "It sells for $5,495. You can't buy a new 4-WD ATV for that price," says Chris Lough, Wildfire Motors, Steubenville, Ohio. "It's built on some of the same principles of aircraft construction, so it has great strength yet is lightweight. Best of all, it gets up to 72 mpg."
  The 2-passenger mini truck is equipped with a cargo box with collapsible sides. It has a top cruising speed of up to 45 mph and is powered by a 248 cc, 17 hp liquid cooled engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. Load capacity is 550 lbs. It rides on 12-in. tires. An AM/FM radio and spare tire with jack are included.
  "You can't drive it on the highway, but it works great around the farm or in town on residential streets," says Lough.
  According to Lough, the vehicle's single front wheel makes it street legal. "It's classified the same as a motorcycle so it doesn't have to meet Department of Transportation auto standards. If it had four wheels it would be classified as a car and would need air bags and other safety equipment. Some states require a motorcycle license to drive it, while others require just a regular driver's license."
  Gear shifting is similar to a motorcycle. "The gears are in a straight line instead of an H pattern like they are in a car or pickup. You pull straight back or straight forward every time you shift gears."
  He says the 3-wheeled vehicle works great for small companies that want to advertise their business. "One company that delivers farm machinery parts painted their vehicle Deere green and yellow and put their address and phone number on both sides. I've sold two vehicles to NAPA store stores in Kentucky, which painted the vehicles to look like a race track. Feed stores can use them to deliver feed and to advertise themselves at the same time. We plan to add a manual dump bed on the 2-passenger model."
  Safety with a 3-wheeled vehicle can be an issue, says Lough. "You don't want to drive this vehicle on big hills or make sharp turns. You've got to drive carefully."
  A 4-passenger model without a cargo box is also available.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wildfire Motors, 11 Technology Way, Steubenville, Ohio 43952 (ph 866 658-7300; fax 740 283-6541;dsnyder@wildfiremotors.com; www.wildfiremotors.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6