Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ramp It Up

In my "Practicing For Retirement" post, I mentioned that the Smart Car idea was out. Well, I think it's back in now. In 2008, we ordered a Smart Car but when they called to tell us it had come in (it takes about 18 months to get one), we weren't ready to take delivery of it so we sent it off to the Smart Car orphan pool.

Well since we went to look at them again we've been discussing more about how we can carry it on the truck. Our original idea was to carry it on the trailer, but since items on the trailer are considered "freight", there are all sorts of things we'd have to do each time we moved the truck from one location to another in order to transport it with us.

Our new idea is to carry the car on the tractor itself, right behind the sleeper. We've been working on how exactly to position it though. The width of the tractor is 102" and the Smart Car is 106" in length (we'd pud it sideways on the tractor frame); those 4" could be a problem. Technically it wouldn't be freight, and although the marker lights and side view mirrors on the truck itself stick out beyond that 102", the car isn't part of the truck so we think we still have to shave inches off somehow.

We already looked at the frame of the car and there is absolutely no way to take off any components to make it smaller. The kicker is that the original version of the car was only 96" long, but the "new" generation car is 106". Oh, if only we could get our hands on one of those cute European or Canadian models!

I think we made a bit of progress at the truck show though; we found a guy who builds custom ramps. And he's done this application before. He's familiar with our plight and knows that we have certain restrictions to work within. The new idea is to make a ramp on an incline, enough to take up the 4" we need to clear. This might just work.

So the ramp guy is supposed to be getting in touch with soon with some drawings and some ideas. If it works, I'll totally be posting about it. If it doesn't work, we'll just resort back to car rentals.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Shouting From The Rooftops
View From Fifteen
The Sun Before The Storm
This Is No Joke


Gil said...

A big bell has rung in my head! Now that you bring up the size of the original Smart car I think I know why the one that is now available in the US is bigger. I remember reading that Fiat is redesigning the Cinquecenta (sp?) or the 500 for Americans as they are on the average taller and heavier that Italians. I wonder if there are some old European imports that might fit your needs.

Lipstick Trucker said...

One word...Motorcycle....