Small Wheels on mutant vehicle?

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Small Wheels on mutant vehicle?

Postby drewbot » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:58 am

Veteran burner here. I've never done a mutant vehicle but have plenty of experience riding on other peoples, riding bikes on the Playa, and so on.

I found this train engine for sale online. I'm super tempted to buy it, but am concerned about its wheels on the playa....and the wheels of the trailers (it comes with 6).

The engine is some sort of forklift vehicle. I'm not sure how much it weighs, but I'm thinking a heavy vehicle like this with its small front wheels is a bad idea?? any opinions?

The ground clearance of the trailer(s) is obviously bad for the dust. Do you think they will work at all?

I guess I could get new/different trailers if we all thought the train could make it.

thanks Burners

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Postby Sham » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:53 am

That's a cool little train, but there are several things to be concerned about.
That does look like a forklift base. If so, it's extremely heavy and it will get stuck in the soft playa. The solid base is meant to stay stable while lifting large pallets high in the air. The tires are not designed for sand and will sink in easily and may tip the forklift if it hits some soft sand dunes.
Keep in mind transporting something that heavy to the playa. It would require a one ton truck just for that.
Next, it doesn not appear to be mutated enough to pass the DMV sniff test. If the trailer carried many more passengers, they would give a bit more consideration, as it would be more of a benefit to the community, but this looks like personel transportation.
It's still very cool looking. Some thing to think about.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:46 am

The trailer seems like it’d be a teeth rattling ride and definitely, as Shambala said, mire up in any dust dunes. But another trailer could be built to better suit the playa and the people on it pretty easily. The core of the thing does look like some sort of forklift. It’s really hard to say without seeing it firsthand, isn't it?. It seems to sit higher up a bit and makes me think that it might not be all that heavy. And if it is, perhaps some of the weight could be shed by removing it? This assumes it’s just left over from being a forklift and not integral to the operation… batteries for instance.

The small front wheels would make me hesitant. If you could see it in person, you might assess it for the possibility of using different wheels. On the hard pan, though I’d say it’d work fine. In ‘08 we steered clear of the dunes when we could since they’d bog us down. However, this was due to a weak engine and not wheel size.

Can you find out more about it?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:09 am

The configuration of it is all wrong to have been a forklift, it looks more like one of those little tow-tractors they pull baggage cars at the airport with. It won't be as heavy as a forklift that size (generally 8000 - 9500 pounds) because forklifts have a few tons of ballast weight, but I bet it's still a lot heavier than it looks.
You'll probably need a stout trailer. Truck beds sit pretty high and you'd need very long and very sturdy (and heavy!) ramps to get it up into a truck.

It looks ill suited to the playa as-is because of the wheels. However, anything can be modified to work - it's supposed to be a MUTANT VEHICLE after all - and bigger, softer tires would help a lot. More easily said than done on that thing for sure.
It's also got zero suspension... harsh ride on the playa!
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Postby drewbot » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:17 pm

thanks for giving me some feedback....

its not a forklift, its some kind of heavy duty towing vehicle made by Clark, the forklift company. Still very heavy and probably not great out there on the dust, like you guys said. Part of the problem is the guy doesn't know the model or serial number or what kind of engine is in it (just that it runs). I'd be towing it in on a trailer, it would be nearly impossible to get this in the bed of a truck.

I wouldn't be worried about a bouncy ride...i mean, you go 5mph on the playa, its not like its zooming a highway.

Yea, maybe the front wheels could be replaced.

We'd be putting a previous art piece(s) that was in our theme camp last year onto a trailer. It would hold a lot of people. I'm not worried about this passing inspection or being unique enough....I've never seen anything like this on the playa....and the mods we would do on it would make it awesome.

thanks, drew
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Postby phil » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:11 pm

Some of these look pretty close but newer:
http://www.victorygse.com/equipment1/baggage/index.php
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Postby drewbot » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:07 pm

phil,

thanks, those are close...its def. a warehouse or airport vehicle

I think its a Clarktor.

http://images.google.com/images?q=clarktor&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

So, I guess its just a question of whether those wheels would work on the sand considering how much it weighs. Or If I could swtich out the wheels (probably could).

If I drive 2500 miles to look at it, I'm pretty much going to buy it......so I'm not sure if I can take the risk. We may never know.
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Postby shroom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:58 pm

It reminds me of this train.

Image

We had one similar to this at a local carnival to transport people or just ride kids around.

I can see it with some cool upgrades to be an art car.
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Postby Elliot » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:06 pm

:D
I agree it is probably an airport/industrial tug. Those things need a lot of cast iron for traction -- pulling a whole bunch of freight... in the rain. Look at all those lug nuts -- that thing is h-e-a-v-y. So I fear it would get stuck in the Playa and need a bulldozer to extract it.

The one Shroom posted a picture of is probably a lawn tractor / riding mower. Around here, used ones in decent condition, without mower deck, sell for $200 to $400. And there would probably be more room for bigger wheels.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:53 pm

Our old friend, Thomas.

I can see why you have the itch. I have it, and I have no skills to make that into a playa vehicle. Can you ask how much it weighs? That seems to be the crux. Although the whole lawn tractor thing seems promising.

(Remember, I have no skills, take my advice with that grain of salt.)
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:30 pm

I've done a few mutants starting with a riding lawn mower, and overall I'd say if you're interested in that Clark train, think hard about a mower instead. They're cheap second-hand and are made to operate on unpaved surfaces, and don't weigh anywhere near as much. The main mod they need is higher gearing, but if you get a belt-drive unit it's easy, you just change pulley sizes. They're seriously too slow-geared as-is, but even after re-gearing they've got plenty of "tug".
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Postby gyre » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:45 am

If it's ballasted, that may be easy to remove, as on forklifts.
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Postby shroom » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:14 am

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire." Fred Shero
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