Why Are Japanese Mini Trucks So Popular?

The Kei class vehicles have long been a product of Japan. Kei vehicles are lightweight vehicles and Kei trucks are small mini trucks that are used for a variety of purposes.

These small versatile trucks have become a popular export to the United States. Mainly the reason for their popularity is the import rules are not as strict on these vehicles as on others. The reason for the lax rules is because of their use for off road purposes and is typically used on ranches and farms.

This class of vehicle can be passenger cars as well as the mini trucks that you often see on farms and grounds. These tiny trucks are very versatile in their capacity. They are generally fitted with equipment on the rear of the truck so that they can perform their many tasks.

Their ability to move around in small areas makes them an excellent choice for hunting and use as an ambulance in crowded places.

During the 1980’s these trucks typically had engines that were 550 cc and 40 horsepower, but today you can find them with 660cc and 45 horsepower engines. This is the standard size engine on mini trucks now.

A vehicle is usually only driven six thousand miles a year on average in Japan, but when you are purchasing one of these used trucks from Japan be sure to check the miles.

The six thousand miles are often very hard driven miles.

The Quality Of Mini Trucks And Their Value

You will find that these trucks have evolved over the years from their original size and emission control equipment. The regulations that govern the safety and emissions of these trucks and vehicles are changing constantly and today’s trucks and cars are safer and cleaner than ever.

A vehicle is an expensive item in Japan. Not the cost of the vehicle itself, but the fees that are attached to keeping vehicles in Japan is quite high. The Japanese are required to pay a registration fee called ‘shaken’, the parking fees called ‘shakoshomei’ and ‘zeiken’ which means taxes. And then there is the insurance, which is called ‘hokken’. All of these fees and taxes means that the older used vehicles are not worth the costs.

All of these fees and safety inspections mean that the Japanese keep their vehicles in great shape. It also means that they depreciate quite heavily in Japan. This is good news for those buying these used vehicles in other countries. They are generally sold for very good prices.

The mini truck models that are the most popular are the Daihatsu Hijet, the Suzuki Carry, the Honda Acty, the Mitsubishi Minicab and the Subaru Sambar. There are new models introduced very year, but usually they are pretty much the same.

Specifications For Japanese Mini Trucks

The specifications on mini trucks in Japan have varied each year. And they also vary between models. Generally they follow a specific guideline. They are usually 10’10” in length, 5’8″ tall and 4’6″ in width.

The dimensions for the truck bed are generally 4’1′ X 6’6″. The wheelbase is usually 6’3″ and they weigh around 1400 pounds. These mini trucks are equipped with a manual transmission and generally have four or five gears. Some have six gears and ranges between high and low.

The tires can be changed to accommodate their use from regular tires to snow and mud tires. If they are to be used on a farm they can also be equipped with tractor tires or ATV tires. Sometimes these little work trucks will have air conditioning or radios installed inside the cab.

List Of Specifications

·1200 pound payload

·Weight of 1600 pounds

·4’6″ W X 10’6″ L

·Speeds up to 50 MPH

·Liquid cooled gas engine

·4WD on demand with a range of high and low

·550cc or 660cc 3 cylinder engine

·Fold down bed with removable sides

·4 Speed or 5 speed transmission

·Cabs with all functions including wipers, safety glass, horn, lights, seat belts, radio, heater, locks and sometimes air conditioning

·An average of 40 miles per gallon