Why we no longer import minitrucks for off-road or private property use
We will still import and sell Low-Speed vehicles for campus use. They will all be electronically limited to achieve their maximum speed permitted under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This speed is usually limited to 25 MPH. This speed is not adjustable by the purchaser and the speed calibration is permanent.
A few months ago I had some vehicles being held by the US Customs office. Eventually they connected me with a representative from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). He told me in no uncertain terms, since the vehicles look like they could go on the highway, they are not permitted to enter the US as they cannot meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Now, you can argue your point from now until the end of the earth, “they are off-road, they are private property, they won’t be used in traffic,” whatever. In the end, there is no narrative that is going to get them to release your product from US Customs. You are given two choices though. You can either re-export your vehicles or you can destroy them under US Customs supervision. Nice options.
You also have the Box 7 option of importing them for research, testing and other purposes. This is a short term importation, less than three years. I applied for this indicating we would research them for various purposes and after a few more months went by, they declined my request, but all the while the storage fees accumulated daily. So, back to the first two options.
A special thank you to our customers
My experience with you, our customers on the off-road minitrucks portion of the business, has been incredible. I want to take a moment to thank all of our past buyers of our minitrucks and say I have appreciated your business and your friendship over the last decade or so. I cannot thank you enough. I really have enjoyed your patronage and learning from you folks all over the US.
Questions about getting into the minitruck business
Over the years I have had many people ask me how to get started in this business. In light of our recent developments, I think the first step would be to talk to the people pulling the levers at NHTSA. They determine if you are going to get your product and they have said they will stop the ones they see, so its just a matter of time before you are the one they stop.
If you are still determined to spit in the eye of someone with infinite resources, I can provide you with the contact information of the people at NHTSA and you can try your argument with them. You know, see how it goes.
I wish the best of luck to everyone.
Our recommendation; since we no longer sell minitrucks for Off-Road or Private Property use.
Since we posted this a few days ago, we have had many people ask us who we would recommend to buy a minitruck from that is still in business. I can only think of the founder of minitruckdepot.com, Bruce Hildenbrand. From his site and new location in Coldwater (closer to Quincy), Michigan, it looks like he is importing thousands. I know his site says he doesn’t provide parts, but I am sure that is just an oversite.
Also, we would like to thank the smart operators of Minitrucktalk.com. This site is very helpful to new owners of minitrucks!