David Zuhlsdorf crossed a scooter with an ATV and made a stand-up, off-road vehicle like no other. The platform on wheels gives him more visibility than a conventional ATV and is just plain fun.
"I started building scooters with big wheels for the kids. Then I decided to make one for myself," says Zuhlsdorf. "It has 2-wheel drive powered by a 10 hp engine and it really goes. I even have a hitch on it so I can use it for pulling a trailer."
The frame was made with 1-in. square tubing, and the front axle is 2-in. pipe. With four, 20-in. high wheels, the stand-up rig is just under 40 in. wide and 6 ft., 3 in. long. Except for brake pedals on the floor, all controls are all mounted on the T-bar handlebars. It stands about 54 in. high.
Zuhlsdorf opted for a thumb throttle like on ATV's after finding a hand throttle too dangerous.
"I used a 10 hp Briggs & Stratton with a torque converter clutch," says Zuhlsdorf. "I have shock absorbers on the front and back and 2 sets of springs on the platform to keep it stable."
Front and rear ends have independent frames connected at a pivot point. The platform where the operator stands is semi independent of both sets of frames. An axle-like shaft runs beneath the floor and connects to both front and rear ends at bearings. A stabilizer plate keeps it from wandering.
"The front end can twist one way and the back another," explains Zuhlsdorf. "When I go up a hill or straddle a ridge and then start down the other side, I can feel the ends twisting one way and then back the other."
The platform is suspended from both rear and front frames by springs. This keeps the operator stable as the front and rear ends are flexing.
"Initially I thought I could lean into curves with a solid frame, but I quickly found that didn't work," says Zuhlsdorf. "With the springs on the platform, I can stay upright and in control."
With the rear-mounted engine, the entire rig weighs about 400 lbs.
Zuhlsdorf has patented the unique off-road vehicle and is looking for a manufacturer to build and distribute it.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Zuhlsdorf, P.O. Box 2185, Wickenburg, Arizona 85358 (ph 928 684-7522; firstname.lastname@example.org).