Friday, August 31, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2

"Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1", is mostly about transportation three-wheelers. Think wind-in-the-face trikes for grownups. Best-known might be those that Harley Davidson manufactures. This article is about motorized three-wheelers that pertain to lower-speed vehicles, mostly for short-distance transports for people and goods, the primary focus being forklifts.

Not having worked in environments with forklifts for a long time, I'd been unaware of three-wheeler forklifts, which seem very common these days. I had been about to publish my three-wheeler article when I saw a three-wheeled vehicle in motion during one of my walks. I hadn't seen the front end to know what it was; I I asked the driver and other person what it was. A forklift, a Spyder brand, so they said. I took a few pix.

They pointed to a flatbed truck and said the vehicle fit at the back. Turns out that the method of forklift transport is "piggybacking". (I had arrived after the operator already unloaded and moved the forklift onto the homeowner's driveway.)

In my previous article, I mentioned having spotted the forklift. Before I reviewed my pix, I Googled "3 wheeler spyder forklift", based on the guys' declaration that it was a Spyder. I found scant Spyder forklift info. Amusingly, however, the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. Then I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder"; Google never returned a hit for the forklift.

About a week later on another walk, I spotted a flatbed with house siding on it, with a forklift piggybacked. Turns out the load was headed to and arrived on the street I picked for my route. As the workers hadn't unloaded anything yet, I was able to take pix of the goods and piggybacked forklift.

The tiled images are of the two forklifts I spotted. I'm glad I captured identifiers, especially for the first one ("Moffett, NX series, HIAB, M88"—no "Spyder" ID anywhere). The second forklift had Palfinger identification ("Palfinger GT55,").

Three-wheeler Forklifts
Various brands abound for three- and four-wheeler forklifts. This section pertains to three-wheelers, although I'd say some of those forklifts technically have four.

This is the forklift I spotted after the driver detached it from the flatbed truck. The MOFFETT M8 NX webpage claims "specialist for high lift capacity … compact enough to be carried on almost any truck or trailer". "Home Depot 16177-Moffett M8 NX fork lift-2/8/18" shows the process of forklift detachment from flatbed, unloading and delivery of construction material, and forklift re-piggybacking onto the truck. For additional safety details of the forklift piggybacking, view "LOADING MOFFETT PIGGYBACK ON FLATBED TRAILER".

This company is huge! Visit "Truck Mounted Forklifts site" for info. Then hover over the Products index.

Hyster's title text says"3 wheel electric trucks", followed by "Energy efficient and productive 3 wheel electric forklift trucks". The text seemed a bit indirect or less than clear. "Electric" seems like the word should be in all three models. And if all three are three-wheelers, the text should be consistent.
  • The J30-40XNT image "HYSTER ELECTRIC FORKLIFT" shows two wheels in front, and a double-wheel setup in back.
  • The A25-30XNT image shows two wheels in front, one wheel in back, but caption says "THREE WHEEL ELECTRIC FORKLIFT".
  • The E30-40HSD image's text says "HYSTER 3 WHEEL FORKLIFT"; however, a diagram I found shows ID for "Steering or Rear Wheels" (plural) rather than singular. Other wheels had text "Drive Wheels".
In my research, I found cases where three wheels actually technically amount to four.

"three-wheel Electric Forklift" shows two wheels in front and a double wheel setup in back. The video clearly shows a rear rotating wheel set.

"ERP025-030VC" shows two wheels in front, single-wheel in back. "ERP030-040VT" shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back. "ESC030-40AD" shows front view. The product summary says "Three-Wheel Stand". Googling for further info, I found a document for the forklift with "Electric 3-Wheel Stand-Up" on the cover, which shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back (Page 7 shows an image with text "Three-wheel configuration with dual steer tires".)

Princeton Delivery Systems seems to lay claim the term "piggyback", even naming their forklifts "PB" something something. Noteworthy and informative videos: "Princeton PiggyBack Unloading and Loading Demo", "Piggyback Forklift", and "Princeton PiggyBack EZ Hitch Mounting Kit".

Contrasting Three- and Four-wheeler Forklifts
"Key Differences between 4-Wheel Forklifts & 3-Wheel Forklifts" is very succinct, without naming brands. One way to make info even more succinct could be a formatted table with features in 1st column and contrasts between two types in 2nd and 3rd columns. Additional links for contrasting forklifts: "3 Wheel Electric Forklifts vs 4 Wheel Electric Forklifts" and "3 And 4 Wheel Forklifts – What’s The Difference?".

Three-wheeler Transports
These vehicles transport people and goods. Apparently, three wheels do the job well enough.

Motrec MP Series shows personnel transporters, several that have three wheels. Some have the single wheel in front. A couple have the single wheel in the back, although the "single" wheel looks more like two attached together to make a small-diameter wide wheel. Motrec MS 260 shows a "stock chaser", which has two wheels in front very close together, two in back.

"KMH Systems - Cushman Commercial & Utility Vehicles" shows some vehicles with one wheel in front, two in back. View sections "Tug" for towing, "Minute Miser" for transportation, and "Stock Chaser" for moving loads.

Circling Back to Forklifts (Miscellany)
In case you are curious about how and when forklifts came about, or wondering about forklift types and capabilities, visit the links in this section.

  Forklift History
  Forklift Types ("Shopping" Guides)
Discount Forklift and ForkliftCost provide images and types. Channeling Spock, I'd say, "Fascinating", but with maybe a little more enthusiasm.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1

A couple of months ago, I spotted a motorized vehicle with three wheels. This vehicle had two front wheels and one rear wheel. Thanks to a friend, I learned it was a Polaris Slingshot. Previous motorized three-wheelers I've seen resembled motorcycles with one front wheel and two back wheels. (Occasionally, I've seen pedal-power three-wheelers that resemble "tricycles for grownups". A different slant on pedal-power three-wheelers is recumbent adult tricycles.)

A Google search for "three wheel motorcycle" yielded some sites for Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, two vehicles that have two wheels in front and one in the rear. "Best Options for Riders Looking for Three-Wheel Motorcycles", besides info and images for the Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, also includes info on Harley Davidson three-wheelers (one wheel in front, two in back). Be sure to view that article's gallery of three-wheelers.

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Slingshot)

The Polaris Slingshot site shows that the vehicle operates like a two-seater manual transmission car. It has a steering wheel, a passenger seat next to the driver, and glove box. In "How to: Polaris Slingshot | Royalty Exotic Cars", the vehicle resembles a convertible with recent tech features and a small storage area behind the seats. View more Slingshot info at "2018 Polaris Slingshot First Ride Review" and "How It Works: The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeled Supercar".

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

  Can-Am Spyder
The Can-Am Spyder site shows that the vehicle operates like a motorcycle, with most controls in the handlebars. "How to Ride a Can-Am Spyder" provides very rudimentary instructions about the controls.

  Yamaha Niken
The Yamaha Niken site shows the three-wheeler resembling a motorcycle with two side-by-side front wheels. Click index items for closer look-see for features and 360° viewing option. "Yamaha NIKEN - LMW Product Overview" packs a lot of info in less than two minutes. (This vehicle's controls might be more like my perception of traditional motorcycles that require 4-limb coordination than the Spyder.)

  Honda Neowing
I Googled and found very little 2018 info about this three-wheeler. An op-ed from February mentions it in passing—"History is littered with esoteric three-wheelers, but is now their time to shine?"

"Auto Expo 2016: Honda Neowing Concept Showcased" writes glowingly. (Apologies for copy/paste link for HREF URL results in a hung-up redirect, and Blogger hyperlinks anyway.)
Honda Neowing is a trike motorcycle with two wheels up front and one at the rear offering excellent cornering capabilities and impressive low speed stability. …Under the sporty and well scalpted [sic] bodywork, the Neowing is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with electric motors.
Google results mentioning "concept" and lack of Honda site info makes me wonder about the Neowing's viability against the the two other cycles that have two front wheels and one rear wheel.

One Wheel in Front, Two in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

Harley three-wheelers seem to be street- and highway-oriented. Honda three-wheelers seem to be all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

  Harley-Davidson Freewheeler and Tri Glide
"2018 Trike Motorcycles } Harley-Davidson USA" shows an intro and image for a three-wheeler. (For vehicles in action, visit YouTube and use "harley three wheeler" for search term.) The "See the Bike" link goes to "2018 Freewheeler | Harley-Davidson USA", where you can scroll for pix and info. A fancier three-wheeler Harley is the Tri Glide Ultra.

  Honda ATV/ATC
Info regarding Honda one-wheel-in-front-two-wheels-in-back seems to center around all-terrain vehicles. I find it odd that so many Google hits for "honda three wheeler" are historical info and selling links, and nothing pointing to an official Honda website.

Dirt Wheels Magazine has extensive coverage about Honda's three-wheeler background "THE BEGINNING & END OF HONDA 3-WHEELERS".

Another look at Honda and ATVs:
Honda brought the world’s first ever three-wheeled ATV or rather ATC (All-Terrain-Cycle) to the United States in 1970 and it was a hit.… The three-wheeled US90 had a seven horsepower engine and sold for $595.
Some Odds and Ends

  The Ultimate Three-wheeler?
"Indiana Trike Builder Believes Bigger is Better" is about a hybrid truck and motorcycle, built by someone who is a semi truck builder and owner of a trucking firm.
The Tower Trike features 15-inch wheels and an 80-gallon diesel tank that fuels the supercharged, turbocharged Detroit Diesel 6V92 engine. Mated to an Allison HT-740 transmission, the powertrain produces 335 horsepower and a staggering 1020 lb-ft of torque. It can reach a top speed of 84 mph and is equipped with an air suspension.

  Banning and Unbanning of Slingshot in Texas
In 2014, the Slingshot ran into a snag regarding its street legality in Texas "Texas Bans The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeler" (published in Jan. 2014). Then Texas gave it the green light the following year "Texas reverses ban on Slingshots; Polaris hits the gas on production" (published May 2015).

  Coincidental Kinship between Harley and Polaris
As I'd previously associated Polaris with only the North Star and missiles, my recent research found it coincidental for news that included Polaris and Harley Davidson—"Polaris May Join Harley-Davidson In Overseas Production Move".

  Three-wheelers Spyder Motorcycle and Spyder Forklift
A chance spotting of a Spyder forklift, which has three wheels, led me to Googling for "3 wheeler spyder forklift". Odd that the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. When I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder" while researching for this article, Google never returned a hit for the forklift.  More about the forklift and related items in "Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2".
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