How much do you know about Japanese mini trucks?
If you live in North America like I do, you probably didn’t see much of these trucks growing up. Lately, though, there seems to be an interest in them. Look everywhere, and you’ll likely find someone driving it.
Whether you’re planning to buy one from Substar Inc or you’re just curious to learn about them, the facts in this article should answer all the questions in your mind. Below are some little-known facts about the Japanese Kei trucks. Read until the end and become enlightened.
Eight little known facts about Japanese Kei Trucks
1. Japanese Kei Trucks have been around for decades
Most people in the US, Canada, and Europe think Kei trucks are a new invention. But that’s not true. This toy-like vehicle has been around for decades.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The first Japanese Kei truck came into existence in 1959. It was called the Kurogane Baby, until 1962.
Today, we have many kei trucks manufacturers and models, including the Suzuki Carry, Nissan Clipper, Mitsubishi Minicab, Daihatsu Hijet, Toyota Pixis , Honda Acty, Mazda Scrum, and Subaru Sambar.
2. Japanese mini trucks are globally renowned and accepted
Everywhere you go today, you’ll likely find a Japanese mini truck somewhere in the streets. These little vans are generally accepted by all, and their designs conform to the vehicle requirements of most countries.
In the US, for example, Kei trucks are approved for use on local roads in several states.
3. Japanese mini trucks are just as efficient as traditional minivans
When you look at the design of Kei trucks, it can be tempting to assume there is a limitation on how far they can go. But I must warn you: Do not underestimate these vehicles. A typical Japanese minivan can move at the same speed level as a traditional truck, reaching speed limits of 100 km/h ~ 120km/h.
4. Not all mini trucks are the same
Due to the similar appearances of Japanese mini trucks, most people assume their functionalities are more or less the same. But this is far from the truth.
Japanese mini trucks come in different sizes and functionalities.
For example, some come with diesel engines, and there are those with gasoline engines. You can find some with static beds, whereas others with hydraulic dump beds. In some cases, you’ll find high walls surrounding the bed, and in others, you’ll find lift gates on the back.
All in one, different Kei truck models have different designs and functionalities.
5. Japanese Kei trucks can be used almost anywhere
There’s hardly any industry or field that doesn’t have a use for Kei trucks.
Golf courses use them for maintenance and security routines, schools use them for human transportation, retail stores use them as carts, SME businesses use them as delivery vehicles, hospitals, and construction sites use them for material transport, and the list goes on.
6. There is no limit on what a Japanese mini truck can carry
People who aren’t too familiar with Kei trucks often claim there’s a limitation on the amount of weight the vehicle can transport per trip. They claim this limitation is somewhere around 350kg.
But I beg to differ.
The weight capacity of a mini truck can be raised by simply upgrading the vehicle springs and other components. If your Kei truck can’t transport more than 350kg of weight per trip, get a mechanic to raise the springs, and watch how transformed your vehicle will be.
7. Japanese mini trucks can stand the test of time
It is true that their simple design and small size can make one question their durability. But then again, this toy-like vehicle never ceases to amaze.
Per some anecdotal evidence, a typical Japanese mini truck can record mileage running up to 300,000km in its lifetime.
8. Japanese mini trucks can be comfortable
Finally, don’t be quick to assume a Kei truck isn’t comfortable on the inside. Because this is mostly not true.
In most cases, Kei trucks come with music stereo, cigarette lighter, beautiful and comfy upholstery, AM radio, seat belts, Axle Lock, heating system, air conditioning, and so much more.