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Author Topic: loading a smart car  (Read 8117 times)
TomC
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2011, 10:15:37 PM »

Speaking of a 3/4 ton Dodge pickup pulling a big fifth wheel trailer-the trailer light cord (that also carries the electric brake current for the trailer) came unplugged.  When the driver stepped on the brakes-not much happened, so he really stomped on the brakes at which time the trailer really hit and actually folded up the pickup in half.  Luckily no one was hurt.  This is why Freightliner sells the rather expensive, but really nice driving SportChassis.  It's a Freightliner M2 class crew cab with a 9.5 ft custom aluminum bed.  As comparison to a pickup truck, the SportChassis weighs in around 13,500lbs. Nothing can replace good old steel in abundance.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2011, 05:29:35 AM »

I loaded a smart car this week too.

I put my stuff in it, jumped in and drove it from the rest area on I-40 EB near Daindridge, TN (& I-81 junction) to Greensboro, NC
Even though I've driven this little thing a 1/2 dozen times now it still amazes me how roomy it is inside and how well that little 3 cylinder 70 hp engine pushes it right along.

Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2011, 08:32:43 AM »

I'm waiting for the new Scion IQ to come out.  Granted it is about 10 inches longer then the Smartcar, but it has a back seat.  The area behind the driver would be hard for someone to sit, but the passenger seat has a deep foot well that allows the seat to be pushed forward to allow a regular adult to sit behind.  Plus it has front engine front wheel drive with a normal transmission (not the automated manual the Smartcar has).  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2011, 02:30:56 PM »

bk, YOU drove a smart car?Huh  i'm impressed now, with smart cars.  i'd love to have one of those little suckers, but i need my "garage", my chevy express van, to store all my tools and parts in.

obviously, smart cars work well.  Now if i can just find a way to fit it in between my bus and my van and still be legal.  thanks for all the hints.  anyone know how much a smart car weighs.  i'll bet that few hundred pounds will really make my drives overweight.  Maybe i can spread some of the weight to the van.

with gas as high as it is, it would be nice to have Fran drive a smart car around instead to the van when she goes shopping.
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Tom
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Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
Sean
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2011, 05:41:01 PM »

...i need my "garage", my chevy express van, to store all my tools and parts in.
...
with gas as high as it is, it would be nice to have Fran drive a smart car around instead to the van when she goes shopping.

Get a scooter, Tom.  100mpg, and you can shove it inside the Chevy when you move the rig.  We have no trouble getting our groceries home on a scooter, and Louise even manages to get the laundry down to the washateria (that there's a Texas word) on hers.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2011, 11:05:49 AM »

Yes Tom I've drive Setra's Smart car 1/2 dozen times now and to be honest first time they handed me the keys and pointed it out I said. "What? You want me to drive that? Uh I should be carrying it instead of it carrying me!"

But after having been handed the keys 5 more times I really enjoy driving it. It's fun to drive, it handles well on surface streets and on the interstate as well. I love the shift or not to shift option! If I'm in the mode to control the shifts I do, and other wise I put it in D and let it choose it's own.

3 cylinder engine over the rear trans axle puts out 70 hp and is way fun to drive.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2011, 12:55:16 PM »

If you have space to load a Smart at an angle surely it is possible to build a turntable, load it the "normal" way (as in the video) and then rotate it until is within limits. Just my 2 cents...
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2011, 02:27:44 PM »

  (snip) i'm impressed now, with smart cars.  i'd love to have one of those little suckers,  (snip)

    Having been on the business end of a rentacar Chevy Malibu* driven by a drunk (.016 breathalyzer) at about 115 mph, I'd have a hard time driving a "Smart Car" on any street with a speed limit over 20.  But that's just my feeling.

(* Said drunk was driving the rentacar because he'd wrecked his own car driving drunk about two weeks before.)
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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Sean
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2011, 02:41:50 PM »

If you have space to load a Smart at an angle surely it is possible to build a turntable, load it the "normal" way (as in the video) and then rotate it until is within limits. Just my 2 cents...

Umm, not really.  At an angle, it still only takes up as much tractor bed length as it is wide, maybe 5' or so.  To mount it lengthwise instead would take its full length, plus a couple inches, or about 9'.  That's nearly twice the length required.  Most HDT's will not have a full 9' available between the back of the cab and the trailer swing area -- that extra 4' makes a huge difference.

The angle in question, BTW, is vertical, not horizontal.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Sean
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« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2011, 02:48:05 PM »

In a case of a picture being worth 1,000 words, this is the angle we are talking about:



Note the car loads butt-first, and it loads from the street side of the rig, so that the car's driver door can be opened while loaded.

One more:



-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 02:58:10 PM by Sean » Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
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Van
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2011, 02:59:03 PM »

Sean, that could double as a smart car bungee jump launcher Grin good picture.
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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2011, 10:03:36 AM »

It should be said here that as the states, cities, towns, etc are going more and more in debt the 'revenue enhancement agents' are looking for more and more ways to separate you from your pocketbook.
I don't know anyone in this hobby that has been ticketed for any of the silly crap...yet.
I do see it coming though.
In 30 years off and on trucking I have got about 10 DOT inspections.  5 of them in the past 6 months.
On of FL's finest wrote me for 'Falsified logs, said I was not in Jacksonville, FL when I fueled.  The Pilot book says Jax, the address in in Jax, the mail is delivered to that Jax address, Fed-Ex, UPS, etc deliver to that address, the receipt in the 'Revenue enhancement agents' hand said Jax.  You would not beleive the process it takes to fight this crap.
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2011, 12:42:47 PM »

not to mention the 2 hrs they spend wasting your time and finding nothing...
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NEO/Russ
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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2011, 05:59:20 PM »

Well here I am trying to hide and still steal some of the great ideas I learned long ago that BusNuts have and Sean pulls me out of the closet. Roll Eyes  Yea, I gave up on the Neoplan about 4 years ago, lucky before the crash so I got a fair amount of my money back and while I was working on it and here night after night I had a ball working, dreaming and planning on how 320 sq ft of double decker would give the two of us plenty of fulltiming room.  When I started my bus those silly stick and staple fifth wheelers were toys, but IMHO they changed.  So I bought a used Teton 39' that weighs 18,700 empty, 14 tall frame rails, three axles, air disc brakes, triple slides (400 sq ft), solar panels, air suspension, hot water heat and more.  All the things I wanted in my bus but the trailer was all done and I got it when the market was falling so about half price of new and it was just over a year old. 

But then I needed something to pull it.  I fell for the Series 60 I had built for my Neoplan and had to have that.  I wanted the Autoshift, but the Gen I version so I had a clutch pedal to soften the hook up.  And I loved the looks of a Kenworth T2000.  So while a little like finding hen's teeth with that combination I did find one.  Lots of commercial miles, but a good service record, a DD series III rebuild, a rebuilt Autoshift and aluminum rims.  Sold the rear four wheels/tires and front differential, moved the back diff forward so it now is a two axle class 7 truck.  I've had a ball working on it and still quite a lot to go, but I drift from the smart car angle..........

We now have 39' of living space, PLUS 6' of driver/passenger area (like having a 45' bus that can turn sharp) including microwave, frig, TV, bunk, crates for wife's two dogs that she shows in agility and an APU to keep it all going plus keep us warm or cool.  And when that all is hooked up we can park it in many campgrounds and use the smart we bought in Jan '08 for errands, shopping, dog shows.  It is 106" long and to make it near 102" I had to tip it 27 degrees.  See a smart is like a brick and when you tip it, one end gets shorter, but the other gets longer and you have to go steeper than if you took a 106" stick and raised it.  Then a 12v. winch pulls up, tire straps secure it and a pair of folding 12' ramps unload it.

Why tip it for just 4 inches? I worked as an engineer for 31 years for Mercury Marine and had to testify many times how we made things safe.  But stupid people do stupid things and a fast talking lawyer can convince a jury of non technically trained, housewives, gardeners, etc that make up the typical jury to just give money from the deep pockets to the person hurt even if it wasn't the product fault.  I agree with JackHartJr that there is low hanging dollars out there as the state and local people wake up to all the highway violations out there.  Overlength racers taking money towing their cars with MHs/Busses and closed trailers.  Fishermen towing their fivers with an extended crew cab and boat behind in states that dont allow it. (Not to mention how the brakes on them ARE NOT SAFE FOR HEAVY FIVERS.  And lets say that I was in a highway corner on the white line and a car coming the other way was scared by the 2 of car hanging off, swerved and was hurt or worse.  Now it doesnt take much of a $200 hr expert witness to find that I was over the federal highway width and tape my rig so then what way does the jury turn? 

Its also interesting how when working on my bus all the legal things I had to learn (width, weights, brakes, lights, etc.)  On a HDT truck conversion many are fooled because they see a commercial truck, driven by a CDL pro that is 85 long.  But they pay BIG dollars for tags and insurance, plus other regs and the rules are different.  I have titled my KW as a MH in TN, tags are $75 and insurance for the truck and trailer is very reasonable.  So now I have to follow the same length and width rules that you do, lights, etc. Not that Im trying to convince anyone else here to switch, but there are other options to living and traveling.  And no, if I roll mine it wont hold up like an MCI, but the front windshield in my KW was $132 new and the one in the Neoplan was over $1,500 and came from Germany.

Just my opinion and thank goodness we all have different opinions.  Russ
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Well no longer a bus nut, but over the years I learned a lot here and still come back to see what I can apply to the conversion of my KW T2000 for hauling my Teton fifth wheeler.
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2011, 06:06:41 PM »

P.S. and why not lengthways some ask?  Well the truck has an Series 60 ahead of the cab, 6' of cab, 5' of smart crossways, 5' of clearance to allow a 90 degree turn for those tight places, 39' of trailer and it adds to about 64'-11" and just under the laws.  I see some the same with 45' trailers, but again, $$$$$$$$$$$ for the MAN!
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Well no longer a bus nut, but over the years I learned a lot here and still come back to see what I can apply to the conversion of my KW T2000 for hauling my Teton fifth wheeler.
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