Delta-Q Technologies Launches New Charger for Utility Vehicles

Delta-Q Technologies used the recent expo, The Rental Show 2015, to launch a pair of new electric vehicle battery chargers,  the IC650 Industrial Battery Charger for aerial lifts and the QuiQ 1500 for utility vehicles. According to the company,

The QuiQ 1500 allows users to charge existing battery packs up to 30 percent faster than the QuiQ 1000 or equip machines with a bigger pack, meeting a 5- or 8-hour charging time. The QuiQ 1500 is compact and matches the exact dimensions and mounting holes of the existing QuiQ 1000, allowing swift replacement of any existing QuiQ charger. In addition, it can be used as an additional, off-board charger to charge battery packs faster.

The chargers have charging profiles for a range of popular batteries from brands such as Discover Energy, Fullriver, Interstate, Trojan and U.S. Battery. The company also provides generic profiles for different battery types and Amp hour ranges. Learn more:


GPS Industries Introduces New Fleet Management System

GPS Industries has introduced their Visage Resort Edition fleet management system for golf car fleets. The Visage Resort Edition includes navigation tools, maps and two-way communication capabilities, and the recently-launched Visage Media Network. The Visage Media Network consists of 10-inch color touchscreens affixed to guest-assigned cars and can deliver a range of content such as resort news, internal promotions for resort restaurants, special events like concerts and off-site excursions and information on resort real estate for sale. Sponsored content provides an additional revenue opportunity for the resort or golf course, and access to an affluent audience for advertisers. The Visage Resort Edition was launched at the high end Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic. According to management Visage  is installed in 900-plus golf-car fleets, primarily in North America, Europe and the Middle East for 80% global market share, GPSI predicts 35% annual growth over 2014.  Learn more:


Comment:  Golf courses are still experiencing a tough market and the net number of golf courses in the US are expected to decline slightly over the next few years. Products like Visage help course managers squeeze some more revenue out of their existing base of participating golfers. The fleet data can also help them manage their fleet more efficiently. The market for these type of products has grown significantly in the last few years.

Michelin Launches Non-Pneumatic Wheel For Mowers

The Michelin X Tweel non-pneumatic tire on a John Deere mower.

The Michelin X Tweel non-pneumatic tire on a John Deere mower.

Michelin recently launched their X Tweel non-pneumatic tire for some of their commercial mowers.  The airless tire and wheel uses

“…a combination of deformable polyurethane spokes, a steel-and-rubber outer rim, and rigid metal hub. The outer rim—called a shear beam—carries most of the load. The spokes and hub distribute the load across different parts of the shear beam as the tire rolls over objects.”

The tire is available for their ZTrak series of mowers and according to John Deere lasts two to three times longer than other tires. The X Tweel are only being used on slow-moving vehicles currently because at high speeds, airless tires tend to vibrate and make lots of noise. The company sees golf cars and small utility vehicles as the next likely market. The reported cost is $749 for a pair of tires. Learn more:

Comment:  Non-pneumatic tires are a likely to become more prevalent in the next three to five years. Polaris has also recently began selling their non-pneumatic wheel into commercial markets after first being used for some of their military vehicles. While it would seem ideal for high end side-by-sides being used on rough trails, Polaris has noted that the wheels have to be in effect “tuned” for a model’s and suspension, so it is likely that commercial users will be the first to use the wheels. Currently a set of four of the Polaris Terrainarmor wheels costs $4,000 and includes a speed key to limit vehicle speed to 25 mph.

Polaris Commercial Pushes Non-Pneumatic Tires

Polaris Commercial highlights potential cost-savings for non-pneumatic tires.

Polaris Commercial highlights potential cost-savings for non-pneumatic tires.

I recently came across a product listing from Polaris Commercial for Non-Pneumatic Tires (NPT). We’ve posted about the tires previously. Originally designed for military applications, Polaris has moved them into the commercial arena. While their basic pitch for the tire is the same, ability to handle rough terrain and punctures or travel where air tires can’t, they also added another potential benefit for commercial users, cost savings. While I haven’t seen any pricing for the NPT, it is more expensive than the standard UTV tire and probably considerably so. However, if you are operating a fleet Polaris is making the argument that with NPTs you can avoid carrying a spare and/or reduce the number of tires you buy and store for your vehicle fleet. In addition vehicle downtime can be avoided.  Learn more:

Polaris Adds Pro Armor Brand To Accessories Lineup

A Polaris RZR 800 with a Pro Armor door.

A Polaris RZR 800 with a Pro Armor door.

Polaris Industries recently purchased the Pro Armor Brand of ATV and side-by-side accessories from California-based of LSI Products Inc. and Armor Holdings LLC. Pro Armor had sales of $15 million last year. The company will continue to operate and develop products independently at their Riverside, CA location. Polaris has been collecting brands of late for its’ Parts, Garments and Accessories (PG&A) division including acquisition of KLIM branded snowmobile and motorcycle clothing and Kolpin Outdoors, another UTV/ATV accessory manufacturer. Learn more:

Comment:  Accessories account for over 50% of Polaris’ PG&A revenue which reached $611 million in 2013 and has nearly doubled since 2009 when it was $313 million. In 2014 management expects PG&A revenue to increase another 20%. Increasing sales of this division has been a strategic objective of the management and they have executed on that objective through both organic growth and acquisition of existing strong brands. Accessory spending on high performance UTVs is quite high, averaging around $1,500 and often ranging thousands of dollars higher. In a recent presentation to the investor community Polaris reported strong increases in dollars spent on accessories per vehicle for both Rangers and RZRs.

Pro Armor Recalls Doors For Polaris RZR 800 and 900

The Pro Armor door being recalled.

The Pro Armor door being recalled.

A closeup of the door's problematic latch.

A closeup of the door’s problematic latch.

Pro Armor is recalling about 300 doors that were sold as accessories for model year 2010 through 2014 Polaris RZR 800 and RZR 900 models because a problem with the door latch can allow the door to open while the vehicle is moving. The details from the Consumer Safety Products Commission follow.

Recall Details
Units – About 300


This recall involves Pro Armor doors sold as accessories for model year 2010 through 2014 Polaris RZR 800 and RZR 900 models. The doors have a black powder coated finish and have four major components: a large square sheet metal panel, a smaller triangular sheet metal panel, a tubular metal frame and a latch. The panels are interchangeable and come in two styles. One style has cutout vents along the top and the other style has none. The smaller panel has a white Pro Armor logo below the cutouts. The door frame has the logo and “Pro Armor” on the top tube. The latch is silver with a black locking mechanism that attaches to the vehicle frame and a handle that attaches to the door.

Hazard: – The latch pin can disengage from the latch and allow the door to open while the vehicle is moving, posing a risk of ejection of an unrestrained rider and impact or laceration hazards.

Incidents/Injuries – Pro Armor has received 23 reports of the latch pin disengaging. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy – Consumers should immediately stop using vehicles with these doors and contact Pro Armor for a free repair kit.

Sold at – Powersports dealers and online nationwide from June 2014 through October 2014 for about $550 to $600 for the set of doors.

Manufacturer(s) – LSI Products Inc. dba Pro Armor, Riverside, Calif.

Learn more:

Comment:  This is a pretty small recall in terms of the number of units. Polaris recently acquired Pro Armor.

Curtis Industries Introduces New Cabs For Gator UTVs

Curtis Industries has introduced new cab systems for the John Deere Gator XUV and HPX UTVs. The all steel cab enclosures fit 2013 and prior year models. Key features of the cab systems include:

  • Ventilation provided by dual sliding windows in both doors and the rear panel. The glass is double-strength reinforced laminated glass and meets industry safety regulations. The laminated windshield offers a locking, venting position and includes a heavy-duty 12V wiper.
  • Mounted, tuck-away heater
  • Optional LED strobe work and safety lights
  • Lower acrylic panels for visibility
  • Steel roof

The company will be introducing cabs for four passenger XUV Gators in the coming weeks.

Learn more:

How to Buy Used UTVs

UK dealer Murray Boss gives some pointers on buying a used UTV
Credit: Farmers Guardian

I came across an article out of the UK about how to approach buying a used UTV.  Not only is the article informative but it gives me a chance to make a few comments about the used UTV market.

In talks with dealers for our various research projects, most have told us that they do not sell a lot of used UTVs. One reason is that trade-ins are not that common. There is a good chance that the buyer has really worked their current UTV very hard and there is not much value left in it, if at all. In addition a lot of used UTVs are sold directly between private owners, bypassing the dealer channel. The UTV market has also seen a large number of first-time buyers in the last few years as ATV owners switch to UTVs and entirely new customers discover the advantages of UTVs, so they have no UTVs to trade-in.

It is likely in the coming years that the used UTV market will grow. The strong growth in the market over the last few years has built a large existing population of UTVs in the market. As that population grows the number of used UTVs available is likely to grow which brings us back to the article.

The heavy workload that many UTVs experience means buyer beware and knowledgeable about what to look for when buying a second hand vehicle. The article is worth a read if you are in the market for a used UTV and offers quite a few pointers on how to evaluate a vehicle and identify any potential problems. Some of these include:

  • Looking at tire wear for clues about the suspension
  • Using vehicle hours and miles to gauge how the vehicle was used
  • Considering the simplicity of the vehicle design in the context carrying out repairs

Learn more:

News from Lithium Boost Technologies

Lithium Boost Technologies signs manufacturing agreement with Bright Technologies

Lithium Boost Technologies, which produces a lithium battery system to replace the lead acid battery pack in golf cars, industrial and utility vehicles, recently announced a new safety feature and strategic manufacturing agreement. Their new interlock feature locks the vehicle in place to prevent the user from moving it while the battery is in the charging process.

The company also signed a manufacturing agreement with US/Mexico based Bright Manufacturing to produce wiring harnesses and electronic boards for the the battery systems. The agreement will allow the Lithium Boost to improve delivery time and meet growing demand.

Lithium Boost offers a variety of lithium iron phosphate battery solutions including, LithiumBoost Plus for leisure use, LithiumBoost Pro for industrial, and LithiumBoost Ultra for off-road. Depending on vehicle application, the product is available in 36, 48, & 72 volt systems and 60ah-200ah lithium-ion battery cells. Learn more:

New Electric 4WD Motor Kit for Golf Cars from SilverWolf Motors

SilverWolf Motors 4WD motor kit for golf cars

Exploded view of motor, wheel and tire

A new aftermarket electric motor kit from SilverWolf Motors can provide 4WD capabilities to golf cars. The sealed AC motors bolt on to the front suspension and “add independent electronically differentiated Drive System to the front wheels.” The kit provides a vehicle with more climbing and pulling power.  According to company information “The 4WD can be engaged by the operator using a dash mounted switch at any time. It provides additional traction in the forward direction as required.  Once the vehicle has attained a speed of approximately 10 – 12 mph (Hare Mode) it disengages automatically and re-engages when needed.” The MSRP for the kit is $1,195 CAD. Vehicle specific adapters are sold separately. The company is currently building up their dealer distribution network.

The kit can also be added on to gas powered vehicles to create a hybrid vehicle. The increasing use of hybrids is a market trend SVR expects to see in the next few years as more OEMs are expected to offer hybrid models.  Aftermarket kits like this one will only add momentum to the trend. Hybrids have applications for parts of the hunting market that require more range and in the parks/campus segment where organizations are “greening” their fleets but current all electric vehicles may not be feasible for some of their vehicle uses at this time. A kit like this opens up a range of personal use markets served by golf car dealers that offer rebuilding and customization services of new and used golf cars.

The press release follows:

4WD Kit for Golf Cars Delivers on Power Waterloo, Ontario – April 16, 2013

SilverWolf Vehicles Inc. has introduced a Motor Kit that bolts to the front suspension of a golf car to provide 4WD performance and act as an independent drive system. Two Motorized Wheels offer Ultra-High levels of Torque without limiting the vehicles top speed. “The motors provide over 250 Nm of torque to each of the front wheels”, says company CEO, Bill Jager, “which almost doubles the pulling power and traction of a standard golf car”. The Kit bolts easily to the existing steering and suspension system and works well with both lifted and stock vehicles. The 4WD is engaged by using a dash mounted switch that controls the amount of torque provided by the motors. The Motor Kit can also be adapted to gas UTVs and other vehicles to make them true Hybrids.

Contact Information: Claudia Demandt 1-888-398-7078 ext. 712