Purchased a mini instead of a UTV

  
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Number15

Number15

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Lots of new build here now but Spring City is good too if you like rural.
It's going to take some getting used to but I am up for the challenge. Spent my whole life basically in the city and have always wanted some land and be a bit away from stuff. Once the covid restrictions ended and traffic really shot up in the Cleveland/Chattanooga area we realized we were to close in and started looking further out. Still there were 2 properties in the area that I loved, one in Cleveland and one in Sale Creek. I lost both at the last minute, Cleveland failed inspection bad and I was outbid in Sale Creek by someone from California who never even saw the place.
 

plastikosmd

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Nice choice
I went with cj5 over the mini but they were both very close and the cj only won because the one I wanted came up at a good price along with the 3pt hitch.

I still got carry space and the amount I need to dump (along with the quality) really meant a dump trailer anyway unless I wanted to beat the living heck out of the bed
 

ElSueno Farms

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I have a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 with 5 speed manual club cab, bought it new and only 90000 miles, does great as a pasture hauler and farm store errand machine, v6 engine will also pull my 10 ft utility trailer around the pasture for chores. Every time I take it to town somebody wants to but it, body is in great shape, my mechanix says it easily has another 100k miles left in it, will likely out live me.
 

ultrarunner

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My samurai was $1000 with bad transmission bearing and ripped top.

It's done everything asked and the parts for the transmission and clutch came in under a $100...
 

ArlyA

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Some of our grooming cronies use Japanese mini's and work on them themselves and order parts from Japan..... Doesn't sound all that good to me. :oops:
 
  
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Number15

Number15

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Super interested in a mini. My only issue is who can work on them if there is an issue? Or is that not a concern?
Mine doesn't look hard to work on. All the bolt on parts are have Toyota part numbers. I guess if I needed engine internal stuff it might get difficult. Also if I break any glass I would probably be in a bind.

So far it has been one of the most used pieces of equipment I have purchased. The dump bed is very nice and it fits in places other vehicles won't. I did high side it in a big rock once 😂 but it's so light I got it off pretty easily.
 

arto98607

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Glad to hear you like it!

I suppose it is like any other "gray market" piece of equipment - you take your changes and hope for the best when it needs repairs and parts.

Shipping cost of Toyota spare parts directly from Japan to a customer is likely pretty expensive, unlike the subsidized shipping from their big neighbor?
 

Complete Turf Care

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Mine doesn't look hard to work on. All the bolt on parts are have Toyota part numbers. I guess if I needed engine internal stuff it might get difficult. Also if I break any glass I would probably be in a bind.

So far it has been one of the most used pieces of equipment I have purchased. The dump bed is very nice and it fits in places other vehicles won't. I did high side it in a big rock once 😂 but it's so light I got it off pretty easily.
I had a Honda mini truck. It was not difficult to work on. Mine needed lots of repairs. Most of the parts I had to order from Japan. Some were delivered within 48 hours from Japan to South Louisiana.

I did need a windshield. I tried all sorts of places around here, including having one made with plexiglass. I ended up getting one from Japan for about $400. It took about a month to be delivered because it was shipped to Los Angeles on a boat, then delivered to my local Greyhound bus terminal.

I was able to find a used radiator in Japan that was in good condition. No one here could rebuild the old one.

Not many of the Honda parts were available here. I did find break pads were the same as a Honda Civic.
 

plastikosmd

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^
nice, at their much better price point and the utility of them (dump.4wd, street-able in places, size etc) it makes sense to get into the parts business

next come the ev versions!
 

jigs_n_fixtures

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I would never buy another ATV/UTV for personal use. I bought my Hijet to put a snow plow on. Figured it would be lots nicer to do with a heated cab. Then I got the thing, and decided driving it is the most fun I’d had on the street, since Daddy took my go cart away for driving it on the street.
A7D623EA-7BE1-4B25-912A-37EC5D55AAF0.jpeg

With the electro-hydraulic Black Line plow, the 6 sacks of concrete in the back as a counter-weight to the plow, and 4wd low range with full lock up, it stays hooked up and plows like a champ. Plus I get to do it in a tee shirt, with a cup of coffee.

And, with a scissor lift/dump bed, it is really handy for just hauling lumber or topsoil.
 

ArlyA

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I would never buy another ATV/UTV for personal use. I bought my Hijet to put a snow plow on. Figured it would be lots nicer to do with a heated cab. Then I got the thing, and decided driving it is the most fun I’d had on the street, since Daddy took my go cart away for driving it on the street. View attachment 718928
With the electro-hydraulic Black Line plow, the 6 sacks of concrete in the back as a counter-weight to the plow, and 4wd low range with full lock up, it stays hooked up and plows like a champ. Plus I get to do it in a tee shirt, with a cup of coffee. And, with a scissor lift/dump bed, it is really handy for just hauling lumber or topsoil.
Every UTV I ever operated, had a heated cab. How did that happened? There suspension is made for rough off-road ridding. Not the same as a mini.
 

lman

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I've never been in a UTV with a heated cab. I did just put a windshield on my Polaris Ranger 900 and thought I was really moving up until I saw that little truck.
 

wawajake

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There is one or two UTVs with heated cabs,, my Kubota RTVX1100 has it and air conditioning and radio and hydraulic dump box and 4wd locking and fitted easily for plow and I can drive and insured for the roads in my rural town. And its diesel drivetrain has typically a decade or two lifespan.....but each of us has different needs overall.
 

arto98607

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I think 4x4 Ford Ranger or similar size Toyota etc. street legal pickup would work also.
Yes they are little bit larger...

Come to think of it, I have such 83 Ranger just waiting for it's turn to be revived.
It's been in a coma since about 2001 or so.
 

plastikosmd

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Awesome machine jigs!
Probably reasonably quiet and can get over jogging speed also!

I have seen a few around town here, out at Home Depot etc

the scissor lift bed must be awesome!

looks like the perfect “around the property” work horse

love my cj and my yanmar crawler dump and the fleet of atvs, ..now do I really need another machine….Hrm
 

jigs_n_fixtures

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There is one or two UTVs with heated cabs,, my Kubota RTVX1100 has it and air conditioning and radio and hydraulic dump box and 4wd locking and fitted easily for plow and I can drive and insured for the roads in my rural town. And its diesel drivetrain has typically a decade or two lifespan.....but each of us has different needs overall.
I drive the tiny truck legally on any non State maintained roads. (There are only two state maintained roads in Lemhi County.)

And, I can run it on US 93, the seven miles I need to, when I run to the county landfill. It runs at 55-mph with the bed full and pulling the dump trailer. last run to the dump, the speed limit is 65-mph, so I turned on the rear light bar in flashing hazard mode. About a mile short of the turn off to the dump, the Highway Patrol came up behind me and didn’t pass me. When I turned off the Highway, he followed me and hit the lights. I pulled over and he came up and thanked me for using my flashers and light bar when i was going slow. He reminded me the truck isn’t street legal. Then said that he wouldn’t really worry about it so long as I didn’t go too far out of town.
 

LittleBill21

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If you buy them in the US used usually start around 6k and new start around 18k depending on options. Mine is auto, I had to get the auto because it was the only one with AC available at the time. I would have prefered stick but I am not really that disappointed. The 4x4 still works good. You can save a lot of money if you import one yourself.

2020 Daihatsu HiJet S510, imported from Japan. IMO Daihatsu is one of the uglier ones, but it has the best reliability reputation as far as I can tell. Plus it was available ;)
so can you explain the import process, did you just show up with a trailer? and an onsite contact? did you buy from tc-v.com?
 

jigs_n_fixtures

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so can you explain the import process, did you just show up with a trailer? and an onsite contact? did you buy from tc-v.com?
I bought mine through a dealer who handled all of the import issues. I’m in eastern Idaho, so going to get one from the docks really isn’t an option. It was worth the few hundred dollars the dealer made on the deal to have him handle the imports and customs, and get it close enough that it was not too expensive to have it shipped the last little bit.

There are guys on the minitrucktalk.com website who do buy them from auctions in Japan and handle the import and customs process themselves. You might go check over there.
 
  
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Number15

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so can you explain the import process, did you just show up with a trailer? and an onsite contact? did you buy from tc-v.com?
I purchased mine from a dealer as well. I was working with an importer from Japan but the dealer was easier.
 

LittleBill21

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I purchased mine from a dealer as well. I was working with an importer from Japan but the dealer was easier.
how much of a difference are you guys talking 500 bucks sure. 3k no.
 

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I am planning to visit a mini truck dealer next trip downstate. I have had a Ranger 800 XP and RZR 570; and now have a Kawasaki Mule.

I would be nice to have something I can use year round that does cost $20k+. The mini truck specs say that running the AC uses a pint of fuel per hour. Nice to have a cab, windshield, wipers and heat. Being able to park it outside is another feature.

I had a used 16 year old beater pickup for a while; and plates, insurance and repairs were about $1500/yr.
 
  
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Number15

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how much of a difference are you guys talking 500 bucks sure. 3k no.
The place I went had used ones from 3k and new ones from 18k.

I got one with a dump, ac, heat, air bags etc for around 20k. Brand new.

They are out there for if you search. I wanted new so I payed for it but they had nice used ones for 6k and up. Seems stock is low now https://www.duncanimports.com/mini-trucks.htm
 

houska

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I strongly considered one a couple of years ago, before buying a Kawasaki Mule.

Mini trucks have many advantages. Until you actually try getting into one, and then getting out again. And imagine yourself doing that over and over. At least for me, since I'm 6'4" with long legs. If you're more average-sided, you may well be fine, but just noting this in this thread so tall people like me don't get their hopes up too high before trying one in real life...
 
  
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Number15

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I'm 6'3" 230lb and while I will admit that it is not super easy to get in and out, it's not that bad. About as easy or hard as some of the sxs vehicles I have been in.
 

Torvy

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Minis might work on some properties, but like many recommendations, your situation may dictate otherwise. No way a mini could do what a UTV can do on my land. The mini is more expensive than the equivalent UTV. You cannot compare to the most expensive UTV to justify the expense. I can get a UTV that will do what I need for about 10k. By the time I upgraded the mini to handle my minimum needs, it would be twice that at least.
 
  
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Number15

Number15

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Minis might work on some properties, but like many recommendations, your situation may dictate otherwise. No way a mini could do what a UTV can do on my land. The mini is more expensive than the equivalent UTV. You cannot compare to the most expensive UTV to justify the expense. I can get a UTV that will do what I need for about 10k. By the time I upgraded the mini to handle my minimum needs, it would be twice that at least.
As I said earlier in the thread. Horses for courses. Threads like this are so people discuss pros an cons.

For me it has been a great purchase. I use it all the time and I am happy with its performance. It's been almost everywhere on my property without to many issues. The AC and now the heat are welcome when I need a break. The dump bed works a treat. And it's a great vehicle to get supplies in town or to make runs to the transfer station.

It has limitations and I am aware of most of them. I can't go speeding across my land and I don't see it doing well in the woods. I'm fine with that. I probably would have been fine with a Kawasaki mule/ Kubota rtv as well, but not available at the time and more money similarly equiped.
 

Shutesbury

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Nice choice
I went with cj5 over the mini but they were both very close and the cj only won because the one I wanted came up at a good price along with the 3pt hitch.

I still got carry space and the amount I need to dump (along with the quality) really meant a dump trailer anyway unless I wanted to beat the living heck out of the bed
You have a Jeep CJ5 with a 3 point hitch??
 

ultrarunner

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There had long been a move to get all older vehicles off the road and car clubs are always on the watch...

Existing legislation for 35 years or older was a standard just about everyone could work with and understand.

California changed it to 1975 and older. Soon the reach back will continue back to include 50 year old.
 

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Have you tried plowing with a moldboard plow?

Regarding the arguments about horsepower - my 63VW only had 34HP and I think my friends VW vus of the same vintage only had about 50HP.
 

ultrarunner

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Very cool...

Only seen a Jeep with post hole digger and it was in use all the time as the owner in the fence business.
 

plastikosmd

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^ it may have been this jeep
Prior owner bought it from a fence company that kept it as post hole digger

I have not needed to plow (moldboard) with it, there are pics on the net of some plowing

As noted in this mini truck discussion, there is no “one” ideal sxs for everyone.

I prefer this for my wet trails, on/off road use, shuffling tools, plowing and 3 point attachment (frankly forks are used the most)

gravel, rock, wood etc I prefer my dump trailer or the track dump as beds can take a beating



ymmv
 
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arto98607

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Thank you for the photos - nice equipment!
 

jigs_n_fixtures

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Minis might work on some properties, but like many recommendations, your situation may dictate otherwise. No way a mini could do what a UTV can do on my land. The mini is more expensive than the equivalent UTV. You cannot compare to the most expensive UTV to justify the expense. I can get a UTV that will do what I need for about 10k. By the time I upgraded the mini to handle my minimum needs, it would be twice that at least.
Not sure how you can get to $20K on a mini truck. I’m into mine about 10k, which includes three sets of wheels and tires (ATV for offroad, and two sets od Mud and Snow tires, one with studs), the steel for my bumpers, the four tongue jacks to act as outriggers so I can level it up when I use the scissors lift as a man basket (also handy for getting all four wheels in the air to rotate/change out tires as the seasons/mission changes), some steel to build a second set of bed sides, and tailgate which are 42-inch high as OSHA compliant guard rails. a new carburetor, new radio and speakers, the winch, and the wiring and plow lights.

The minitrucks can get expensive fast if you need to pay someone else to work on them. Or if you don’t know enough about what things you can substitute common parts for instead of buying factory parts fro Japan. Fr example my front struts are bad. Almost $500 for new ones from Japan. solved that by installing a set of shocks for a Chevy half ton, like I was setting up a dual shock system, but now the inexpensive shocks do all the dampening, and the struts are just acting as guide rods ofr the suspension.

One of the things I like about mine is that it has a carburetor, and distributor, which means that I can trouble shoot problems and make repairs myself. My newer vehicles with fuel injection, distributorless ignition, and computerized engine management all jammed into an engine bay too small to get your hands into, are impossible for me to work on.

I’m planning another $500 or so on a new exhaust system. And, might spend another $750 to install a small Roots style supercharger. Halfway thinking about installing a Roots blower on the tiny tractor. Need to take a better look at what it would take to upgrade the fuel injection system to handle that.

There is another $3000, in the BlackLine electro-hydraulic snow plow, but I would have spent that regardless of whether I went with the mini or a UTV.
 
 
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