Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck

The Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is the oldest of Kei trucks on the market. Established in 1961, the vehicle has shown tremendous success as a miniature automobile. Currently, it is designed under the rebadged version of the Daihatsu. With past ties to the German-based Volkswagen, it has diversified the Kei market. But what has contributed to the overall success of the Subaru Sambar Japanese Truck? It is due to its many generations of models? Or is its variety of features, and its versatility? Read on to find out more.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is shown here in yellow.

Multi-Cultural Production

The Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck was designed for the Japanese market. It has branched out to other countries. China and Finland have both started to produce the truck. This is a partnership with Eclat Automotive. This is the most popular of Kei trucks on the market. It is estimated that other countries will follow suit and join the venture.

Currently, the Subaru Sambar Japanese truck is offered in a flatbed design. There is a microvan which is offered under the name Sambar. The selection is an effort to meet the Kei car guidelines. It also seeks broadening of the market for the brand. The Sambar is in its 7th generation of production. The first generation was produced up to 1966. The was to second to 1973, third till 1982, fourth till 1990, fifth till 1998, and sixth till 2012.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck Features

As is with most vehicles on the market, there are common features that are present in the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. Primarily, the key feature is the rear engine design. There is an option in newer models to have a front engine and 4WD third-generation vehicles on. Additionally, the vehicle offers:

  • 356CC and 544cc displacement
  • 3 automatic and 5 Speed manual Transmission
  • Intercooling
  • Side impact resistant power windows
  • Supercharger

Keep in mind that some of the older models will not have the same features available. Check your preferred model to see what standard features are available on your Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. For example, first-generation trucks will not have power windows.

Beds and rear fittings

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is the most popular of Kei trucks is due to the bed’s functionality. The flatbed offers a plethora of uses. With its fold-down sides, the bed’s design can be fitted to accommodate many more uses. Specifically, the option for a dump bed, scissor bed, refrigerated bed, and power lifts, make the truck a solution for any worker. Scissor and dump beds are hydraulic. Unlike the full-sized options, the mini-truck can perform in even the tightest and secluded areas.

Sambar trucks differ from other Keis on the market in their design. Most of the Kei trucks available are unibody. This means that the cabin and the bed are made from the same body. This is not the case for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. The Chassis is made from two pieces.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck with dump feature added.

Weight Capacity

Depending upon the bed that you choose for your truck, the load capacity will vary. As such, the base model (that being the flatbed), features a payload weight capacity of 1200 lbs. Scissor lifts are slightly lower. Dump bed trucks remain around the 1200 lb weight limit. Towing capacity for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini truck is 1300 lbs. This makes the combined weight load 2500 lbs. This is lower than the full-sized truck weight load. Because of this, it does offer adequate payload and towing day-to-day operations.

Other Unique Features

There are several features that are unique to the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. Many of these features have been implemented by other manufacturers. The Subaru was the first to use them. These features include an air cooling engine and cabover designRear wheel drive

Please note that the newer generation uses a water-cooled system and does not use the air cooling system. The older models use the air cooling system. Subaru Sambar was the first to use this method and still has some models on the market with the rear-engine, air-cooled feature.

Diverse Designs

Those seeking more of an aesthetic feature will be pleased to know that the Subaru Sambar is offered in a top trim package similar to the Volkswagen Type 2. Additionally, the vehicle even sports the logo on the front of the cabin. The design is so close to the Samba. The advantage of the Subaru Samba is that you get the look, but you do not have the high fuel consumption. The Samba is very fuel-efficient.

Apart from the top trim package, the Samba is one of the most versatile in designs. This includes the boxy look of the older generations to the slick and stylish curves of the newest generation, the overall design has multiple variations. In addition to this the van option, the color schemes, and the bed customizations offer one of the most diversified designs in automotive history.

Is the Subaru Samba Mini Japanese Mini Truck right for you?

Those who need a truck but do not have the finances to purchase a full-sized option may find that the price point for the Samba to be more in their budget. Able to handle 57 HP, the vehicle is ready for most roads. Businesses that require a smaller vehicle to perform day-to-day tasks, such as those in the construction industry, or those in agricultural fields, may find that the Subaru Samba Japanese Mini Truck offers the advantages of a larger vehicle without the access limitations.

If you wish to purchase a Subaru Samba Japanese Mini Truck, check with your local transportation authority as to the registration, importation, and regulations concerning the truck. Also, it is recommended that you look for a truck that is 25 years old or older to minimize any importation regulations which may currently be in place for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck.

Businesses can benefit from Kei vehicles – Here’s how

Businesses can benefit from Kei Vehicles by incorporating them into daily functions. As businesses are driven toward finding measures which increase capital while decreasing spending, the Kei is an excellent choice. While there are several reasons a business may wish to use a Kei truck. Here are a few of the top ways a business can benefit from Kei vehicles.

A low-cost fleet

Vehicle price points continue to rise. Currently, the average cost of a full-sized truck is around $33K. This is the cost of a basic, no packages or upgrades added, truck. The benefit from Kei vehicles on the price point is substantial. On average, a Kei truck costs around $5K for a basic truck. That is the cost of 6 full-sized trucks! Because of the reduced cost, a business can quickly build a fleet of vehicles at a fraction of the normal cost.

Businesses can benefit from Kei vehicles like this delivery truck.
Image taken from:

Use a Kei vehicle for delivery services

The world has become more and more secluded because of the pandemic. More businesses must turn to delivery services if they wish to stay open. Services such as DoorDash have shown that consumers are seeking goods and services which can be delivered right to the doorstep. Going alongside the fleet is the ability to use the vehicles to efficiently provide delivery services.

The fuel economy of the cars, vans and trucks is one of the primary ways you can benefit from Kei vehicles. Kei trucks such as the Honda Acty can cover 50 mpg. Compared to some of the full-sized vehicles on the market which get 24 mpg, this is a tremendous benefit. Theoretically, a Kei can deliver twice as much goods. More goods delivered means more profit for the business.

Delivery usage for a Kei vehicle

While there are innumerable ways in which you can use a Kei truck, car, or van, there are some which favor better than others. Some ways in which you can really benefit from Kei vehicles in delivery include:

  1. Food to door
  2. Packages and mail
  3. Materials to construction site
  4. Hay to livestock

Keep in mind that larger packages can be delivered without the same restrictions that a standard size truck encounter. Most Kei vehicles have fold-downside panels on the bed of the truck. Larger packages can be loaded and unloaded from any angle. As the bed of the truck is lower than full-sized competitors’ vehicles, loading and unloading is easier.

Use a Kei Vehicle for Security

Golf carts have been used as a security vehicle in many industry parks. The problem which has arose from this is that they are both conspicuous and are very low speed. Perpetrators can easily identify who is watching them and flee, as the golf cart cannot possibly keep up with the average vehicle. A business can use a Kei vehicle for security. The vehicles look just like any other car, truck, or van, just smaller. Patrolling tight spaces is easy as the vehicles have a sharp turn radius. If used in a parking deck, the incline of the ramps does not slow the vehicle down as most Keis can handle slopes up to 20ᵒ. And as the average Kei has similar mph as that of a standard size vehicle, you can easily follow, and record tag numbers as needed.

Kei Vehicles for construction

Apart from business use after the business has been erected, is the use of the Kei during the construction of the building. Depending on the type of model that you choose and the features, it is quite possible to have a diversity of services offered by the Kei truck. For example, you could have a Kei truck equipped with a scissor lift. That truck can haul materials to workers where a full-sized truck cannot go because of other site conditions. When arriving at the location, the scissor lift can hoist the goods to the level of the scaffolding, where workers can easily unload what is needed.

Another option is the dump truck bed. The best benefit for Kei vehicles with dump truck beds is for sites requiring minimal construction. They are not intended for major construction sites.

Agricultural use of a Kei vehicle

You may find that the best use of your Kei is for farming and agricultural purposes. Many states offer street legalization for Kei vehicles which can prove that they are for such. Agricultural purposes include farming, mixed farming, produce, crop fields, as well as any job associated with those fields. This may include transportation of workers to the job site, hauling hay for cattle, and transportation of fruits and vegetables to the local farmer’s market.

Using a Kei vehicle in the fields is beneficial because there is less risk of damage. The lighter weight and narrower body allow the user to avoid trampling or side swiping crops such as cotton, corn, or fruit trees. If the vehicle must navigate in muddy conditions, there is less potential that the vehicle will become logged in the muck. Even if it gets stuck, the lightweight makes it easy to pull out, minimizing the risk of damaging fields.

As the laws pertaining to on-road usage differ from state to state, it is highly recommended that you check with your local and state transportation services.

Other Kei vehicle uses for businesses

Other usage of the Kei vehicle for business include tourism, chauffeuring, catering services, laundry pickup and delivery, and more. Any business can benefit from the use of a Kei. As the vehicles are a low cost, highly efficient, and able to navigate even the smallest of spaces, what is not to like.

Please note that importation of Kei Vehicles to the United States is regulated. Vehicles, which are over 25 years of age fair better in the process than some of the newer models. That being stated, newer models can be imported if the use of the vehicle is clearly stated. Ensure that you know your state’s standards for importing a Kei prior to importation.

Classic Kei Trucks – Are They Worth Buying?

Classic Kei trucks have a unique style to them. The United States does not allow for the importation and registration of Kei Trucks less than 25 years old unless they are being used for off-road purposes (21 states allow this). Because of this, many people have turned to the classic Kei. But are they worth buying? We think so.

Classic Kei Trucks can have either smooth or boxy design. Many have a combination of both.

The Styles are amazing

If you are looking for a vehicle that has the look and feel of an older Voltz wagon but does not have the size or the price tag typically associated with the full-sized vehicle, then the classic Kei trucks are the option for you. Customizable and aseptically pleasing, they give the user versatility in the design. Most of the older models could be turned into Kei campers, further enhancing the style of the vehicle. Don’t want to change your Kei truck? No problem, some of the classic Kei trucks have accompaniment to campers and/or trailers available.

If you choose one of the classic Kei trucks to turn into a camper, keep in mind that you will need to maintain the weight distribution. As most of the Kei trucks are unibody, meaning that the cabin and the bed are made from one chassis, customizations should not alter the overall weight balance. When looking at the classic Kei trucks, you find that they have a smoother design than many of their modern competitors. Even the trucks have rounded edges instead of the boxier design associated with the Kei.

Great Working Vehicles

There is a reason the government has stated that the Kei must be 25 years old to import. They have proven their reliability and durability. The standards of the Kei are made for great working trucks. Small and versatile, the trucks can navigate the smallest of alleyways or the steepest of hills. The trucks can handle inclines up to 20ᵒ. With a variety of Kei beds for the truck, such as the flatbed, dump bed, and scissor lift, you can have a classic look that also meets functional needs. Regardless of usage needs, the Kei truck can help in most cases.

Keis are versatile. The classic Kei truck is ideal for construction jobs, agriculture, storage and supply, and general everyday use. There are state limitations for on-road use. Check with your state and local registration office to know the limitations of use. Off-road use has many functions, from material transporting on a farm to leisure riding.

Classic Kei trucks go off-road

The off-road ability of classic Kei trucks should not be underestimated. Besides the trucks’ ability to navigate steep inclines and narrow passageways, is the ability to go where full-sized trucks would have difficulty. For example, if you have a truck that needs to navigate the muddy terrain, you risk getting stuck. Towing would be required to get the truck loose. However, because of the lighter weight of the Kei truck, you are less apt to get stuck in the mud. Another example would be navigation along creek beds, hiking trails, and dirt roads. These are problematic to full-size vehicles but are not an issue for the classic Kei trucks.

Easily repair common issues

While we do not want to have our vehicles break down, inevitably, service and repair will be needed at some point. When this occurs, it is better to have one of the classic Kei trucks than it is to have a standard classic or modern vehicle. Modern vehicles have several computer-related sensors which make working on them difficult. Also, the alternator, spark plugs, and other components are hard to get to and repair.

The classic Kei trucks are very easy to repair. Most of the vehicles have an engine in the vehicle’s rear. They allow for quick and easy access. Though the various components, such as the fuel line and fluid locations, may differ once you know where to look, service and repairs are simple.

Should you need to replace parts on a Kei truck, you will find that the overall cost of the parts is far less than that of the modern day full-sized truck. Most of the repairs and replacement parts are so simple to change that even the novice can perform service and maintenance without any trouble.

Low HP but high fuel efficiency

In today’s world, the focus on vehicle efficiency has increased. Modern vehicles have struggled to keep up with the demand to produce fuel-efficient, low emission vehicles. However, the classic Kei vehicles tend to already have the features needed to meet fuel emission testing. The design of the classic Kei trucks also allows for high mileage (km) before refueling.

Due to the lack of modern electronics in the classic Kei truck, there is less of an electronic footprint. Compared to modern vehicles which emit a substantial amount of electronic emissions, the Kei truck is the best all-around option economically.

Classic Kei Trucks–Are They Worth Buying? Yes. Look at this blue Kei truck. Stylish and still running after 25 years.

Classic Kei Trucks–Are They Worth Buying?

If you require a truck that is versatile, easy to work on, and can navigate to most areas, then choose a classic Kei. There is little risk that you will have trouble importing the vehicle. Most classic cars must be at least 25 years old to gain that status. When you have your vehicle imported, 21 states allow a level of on-road navigation. True, there are limitations depending upon which state you live in, but all states allow for off-road use.

We believe that the classic Kei trucks are a brilliant investment. They have stood the test of time and still perform as though they were manufactured less than 10 years ago. Small, stylish, and economical, what is not to like?

Although we love classic Kei Trucks, there are stipulations to importation. Classic Kei trucks that are over 25 years tend to have less trouble then those which are under 25 years of age. To find out more about the legality of your Classic Kei truck, contact your state or local tax and registration office.

Best use of a Kei truck in Georgia

There are many ways in which you can use a Kei Truck in Georgia legally. Georgia law states that you can drive the Kei truck on the road if you can prove that the truck is being used for agricultural purposes. Knowing various agricultural uses for the Kei truck is therefore necessary to ensure legality. There are three key areas in which you can focus your attention these are mixed farming, cotton/peanuts, and fruit and vegetables.

Mixed farming supplies and produce

Georgia is an agricultural state. From Peanuts to the Georgia peaches, the state has become well known for the crops they produce. Mixed farming is the growing of food, feed crops, and livestock on the same farm. This is common for the state of Georgia. If you have a mixed crop, then you can use a Kei truck legally.

One use for the truck on a mixed farm is to haul feed to pasture. Toting feed across multiple acres is inconceivable for many farms without a truck. Purchasing a full-sized truck costs thousands of dollars. You can purchase a Kei truck for a fraction of the cost. When compared to the full size, the loading capacity is similar. Whether you use the truck to haul feed, fencing material, harvested produce, or seed, the Kei truck can handle the load.

Mixed Farming, Livestock

Short-range transport can be completed using a Kei truck. The truck can be customized to accommodate small livestock with ease. It should not be used for larger animals, as this could cause you to have an uneven load which could affect the balance of the bed. However, chickens and goats would do well in the bed of a Kei truck. Ensure that you meet local and state laws for transporting if you plan to use the truck on Georgia’s roads.

When customizing your Kei for livestock, it is strongly recommended that you weld the fold-down sides of the bed. Livestock are apt to bump and kick against the sides of the bed. The last thing that you want is to have the sides fall down and the cage become dislodged.

Kei truck in Georgia showing how you can use the truck for livestock.


Cotton and Peanuts remain Georgia’s top produce. You can easily use the Kei truck to transport harvested bushels. Because of the small size, the Kei vehicle can get between the rows to make harvesting easier. Steep inclines are not an issue for the trucks as most can handle up to a 20ᵒ incline. Worried about the Georgia clay? Getting stuck happens. Yet, with a Kei truck, you do not have the same weight as a full-sized vehicle and so getting out of the mud is easier.

As cotton bushes and peanuts tend to grow in tighter clusters than other crops, having a full-sized vehicle can become problematic. With the larger vehicle scratches, dings, and other damage may occur. And while there is no guarantee that the Kei truck will go without such, the risk is far less. Alongside the considerations for the truck are the cotton and peanut crops. In many instances, larger vehicles pose a huge threat for cotton and peanuts. This is a navigational issue. Plants are far more likely to be crushed or damaged by a large truck trying to navigate the field than a smaller and lighter Kei truck.

Fruits and Vegetables

Harvesting fruits and vegetables require that you have an abundant flat space in which to put the crates or barrels. As the bed of a Kei truck is lower than that of a full-size truck, there is less loading strain upon workers, making for a more productive day. They also equipped many of the Kei trucks with fold-down sides, giving access to the full bed and eliminating the need to line up to load the produce.

While loading produce and hauling is the primary function of the Kei Truck, being able to get the product on the roads and highways is critical if you wish to sell your produce. As a large stack of fruits and vegetables is obviously agricultural, you should not have any issues in going to a farmer’s market. Just be sure to register your truck for agricultural use when purchasing your tag and registration.

Use a Kei Truck in Georgia

You do not have to have a farm in order to use a Kei truck in Georgia. For example, if you have a restaurant and want to have the freshest of ingredients, you could register your truck as agricultural and only use the truck to visit the local farmer’s market or surrounding farms to purchase your product. So long as the truck is used primarily for agriculture, you can use it on the roads of Georgia. Another example would be those who harvest hay. While you may not have any livestock or produce on the land, your property can be considered a feed crop and you can register the vehicle as agricultural.

When registering for on-road use, you may need to update the vehicle with the proper seat belts, lighting, and other standard vehicle equipment. Most Kei vehicles come equipped with such. However, older models may require you to customize the vehicle to meet local and state regulations.

Showing an agricultural field of Georgia.

The best use of a Kei Truck in Georgia

You can only legally use a Kei truck in Georgia for agricultural purposes. However, if you have private property and want to own a Kei truck, you can do so legally. Because of its small size, you can also transport trucks to use on jobs, such as construction. There are various uses and types of Kei trucks available.

To find out more about the use of a Kei truck in Georgia. If you wish to register your Kei vehicle in the state of Georgia, contact your local tag and registration office. Importing of a Kei has regulations within the state of Georgia and so you are encouraged to research all the laws, regulations, and import/export guidelines before you purchase your vehicle.

The different bed types of a Kei truck

Understanding the different bed types of a Kei truck prior to purchasing your vehicle is important. And though the construction of the Kei truck bed may all be the same, as most are sheet steel, they are completely different in functionality. The four types are the flatbed, the scissor lift, the dump bed, and the camper/hardtop.

The flatbed on Kei Trucks

The different bed types of a Kei truck includes the flatbed, a standard for Kei Truck models.
Image of a white flatbed Kei.

Most Kei trucks on the market are flatbed trucks. Their intent for use is to carry light loads. Much like a full-sized pickup truck, the micro truck’s bed is intended for transportation and storage of light to medium weighted goods. Some models can fold down the side panels of the bed in order to gain quick access to the flatbed.

Buyers of this bed type of Kei truck should note that they design these trucks with a unibody construction, meaning that the chassis is one unit from the cabin to the bed. Because rarely will you find a Kei truck without a unibody. Because of this, pay close attention to your weight loads. Poorly managed weight can cause the truck to rock, as well as increase the risk of damage to the bed.

Flatbeds have several uses, such as:

  •   Agricultural (toting of hay, milk, feed, or tools)
  • Shipping (crates and pallets can be loaded easily)
  • Recreational
  • Electrical (wire spools can be transported easily)
  • Plumbing (toting of larger pipes, water heaters, and well parts)
  • Versatile for any use, the flatbed Kei truck is the most popular bed selection.

There are several different styles of flatbeds. Keep in mind that the construction of the vehicle may differ as well. Some beds are unibody, meaning that the cabin and the bed are all on the same chassis. However, there are some Kei vehicles that have separate beds and chassis. When you have this type of vehicle it is critical that you load and distribute weight evenly to avoid tipping or driving hindrances.

Scissor Lifts minimizes work strain

A picture of a scissor lift Kei truck bed in the air.

This is the ideal bed type for Kei trucks on construction sites. As the Kei is a small vehicle, access to small areas, strenuous inclines, and worksites is obtainable. Using the scissor lift as a material transportation truck is only part of the benefit. The scissor lift bed allows the user to raise up the bed of the truck. This gives you the potential to avoid risky toting of heavy materials up ladders and scaffolding. Workers can pull materials directly from the truck onto a secure workspace. For example, shingles can be pulled from the truck directly to the roof instead of using a ladder.

Again, weight distribution is critical when using the scissor lift. As they will hoist cargo into the air, it is ill advised to have the materials. Centrally located is the best. Besides this, check the lift load capabilities for the scissor jack on the Kei truck like prior to purchase. As the name suggests, the lift has a scissor-like design. When operating the lift keep others clear and avoid any interaction with the lift components. If the bed starts to sway or show any strain, lower the lift immediately and reduce the load.

Dump beds for construction work

A black Kei Dump Truck

As with the scissor lift, the Kei dump truck bed is ideal for construction jobs, small residential jobs, or for neighborhood clean up projects. The bed is not intended to be used for heavy debris, but as a small to medium-sized dumpster, depending on the model Kei you choose. While some of the bed types of a Kei truck, you have the lever on the exterior of the vehicle, there are a few models which allow you to control the dump bed from within the cabin. These vehicles make inclement weather irrelevant, as the controls are within the warmth and safety of the interior.

Dump bed Kei trucks are electrical hydraulic.

Before operating your Kei truck as a dump truck, check the local regulations for dump trucks. You may be required to purchase additional registrations and tags for your Kei to lawfully operate the vehicle. Additionally, certain states have restrictions pertaining to on-road use. Ensure that you know these rules and regulations if you plan to go on-road. Off-road, but on-site use can be accomplished by simply carrying the small vehicle to the job site.

Campers and hardtops and customizations

The different bed types of a Kei truck can be customized as is the case with this Kei Camper.
White Kei camper with foldouts and a custom hardtop.

Kei trucks, which are used primarily for recreation, may have the option of a camper or a hardtop enclosure. Both options turn the truck into something like a van. With the bed types of a Kei truck, there are two basic options. The first is the camper which is included as part of the design by the manufacturer. In these instances, the customer can have a variety of choices and colors. They include manufactured campers and hardtops with the warranty of the vehicle in most cases.

The second type of camper and hardtop is one which is added postproduction. In these instances, it is crucial that you check the way the unit was mounted to the chassis or bed of the vehicle. Campers should not be weight mounted, especially if you intend to use your vehicle on rugged terrain.

Hardtops accompany camper designs and can adjust upward to give a little more headroom. Kei trucks which use the hardtop have rear access to the bed. Campers use side sliding doors and rear door access. You may also find tow behinds. However, with the tow behind, you will need to equip your truck bed with the towing hardware.

Bed types of a Kei truck considerations

Ensure that the bed of your truck is not rusted. As they make most of the beds from anti-rust sheet steel, this should not be a problem. However, with older and classic Kei, you may find it. This is to be expected, especially when you consider some vehicles are over 60 years old.

While these are the different bed types of a Kei truck, there are others available. And there are other materials that may be used in the bed. Bed lining, latching, and other package options may be available on your Kei, especially if you are purchasing a new vehicle.

The best Kei campers in 2021

Kei Campers allow a quick and efficient way to enjoy the outdoors. While they are smaller than the RV or your typical pull behind, they offer a solution to those who require little space. There are several styles and brands in the market. You may wonder which is the best KEI campers of 2021. Here are a few.

Daihatsu Hijet

A Daihatsu camper with sliding doors.

The Daihasu camper is one of the best Kei campers because of the top fold-out option. Most campers have a hard top which constricts a person of height. Most of the Daihatsu models have a hardtop, but it folds up allowing for additional head room. The Diahtsu Hijet camper is a changed Dishtsu Hijet. The camper is just an add-on to the standard Daihatsu truck. You can expect:

  • ·       Led Headlamps provide brighter lighting than the standard lights that you find on some vehicles. Check to see what headlights are compatible with your Kei’s make and model.
  • ·       Around 2,000 x 1410 floor space (not including the cabin)
  • ·       2 wheel or 4-wheel drive options
  • ·       Anti-rust steel plate upper body and surface area

The Daihatsu Hiject Kei Campers are typically sided door access, meaning that they look and feel more like a Kei van than a kei truck or camper. Depending upon the year, you may have a rear access option available. . When designing your camper, ensure that you keep a clear path for the rear door access. Keep in mind that the overall design is to be for one to two people. These are mini campers. Those with large families may find that a camper is a great temporary retreat for summer trips.

Honda N Box Kei Campers and Truck

Kei campers can be tow behinds like this image.
Image of a micro truck and camper.

Those seeking a bit more sleeping space may want to consider the Honda N Box tow-behind camper. This trailer/camper appeared at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, showcasing the Kei style and a glamping aesthetic. The camper is equipped with a hard fold-up top. Access to the space is by the back, though certain models have side entrances as well, giving it a homier feeling.

Because the Kei Truck is unaltered apart from adding towing capabilities, you can expect to find:

  1. Bright Color Selections
  2. Split color or classic designs
  3. Soft Touch interior materials
  4. 64HP 600 3-cylinder Engine
  5. Back-up cameras
  6. Auto on Headlights
  7.   Heated Seats
  8. Apple Carplay compatibility
  9. Modern safety features

Should you not wish to have a tow-behind, there are many custom-made Honda N Box campers available on the market. Usually, these customizations are to the existing model, allowing for one person to camp comfortably. Tow-behinds do require additional equipment in order for the camper to be securely fastened to the Kei truck.

Subaru Sambar

Kei campers are highly customizable. Image of a Subaru Sambar camper.

The Subaru Sambar Kei Campers have a very strong resemblance to the 1951 Voltz Wagon. Though a fraction of the size, and the cost, these campers are very much an aesthetic tribute to that classic vehicle. However, the Kei Subaru Sambar campers follow the design of the Sambar. This means that you have a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and a separate chassis rather than a unibody. The Sambar camper is ideal for those who:

  1. Wish to have a classic look but modern features and functionality
  2. Want customizable colors and graphics without compromising the integrity of the vehicle.
  3. Seek a dual sliding door and/or rear access. Most campers have side door access for both functionality as well as to keep the camper aesthetics.
  4.   Do not care about a hard-top fold-up. Most campers increase headroom by allowing hard-tops to fold up. While you get some extra space, a tall person may still have trouble.
  5.  Want direct access from the cabin to the camper because of unibody design. This is accomplished by either having an access door to the cabin or by having the cabin and the body of the camper designed as one unit.

Because of the design, the Subaru Sambar looks and drives more like a microvan than it does a Kei truck or camper. It is important to note that it falls under the standards and the requirements for import/export. While it is uncommon to find a Subaru Sambar Camper with a fold-up top, you may find customized vehicles which offer this option.

A note about customized Kei Campers

While there are many manufacturers who offer tow-behinds or hard-top camper modifications, there are also many campers on the market who are personal customizations. These customizations must be checked against the current regulations for Kei trucks. There are height and length requirements for Kei vehicles. If importing remember that the standard is that Kei trucks should be 25 years old to easily import the vehicle in the United States.

Besides the regulations and standards, you must consider the weight and the means of attachment. Weight which is not distributed properly can cause the bed to wobble or increase the odds of rolling. Attachment should be secure, not loose-fitting or weight-driven. The ability for Kei trucks to travel up steep inclines (sometimes at a 20ᵒ angle) makes it critical to have the camper secured or towed properly.

Which Kei camper is the best for you?

There are pros and cons to every Kei camper. Finding the right camper for you should be based on your needs. If you require a bit more space than the Kei Truck allows, then your best option would be a pull behind camper. Keep in mind that if you choose a tow camper that the weight and pull of the addition will need to be with a Kei truck which can support the needed HP to do so. Should you desire to have an all-in-one option, the camper van may be your best selection. And if you just require space for you and one other, then the fold-up top may be your best pick.

Be sure that you check the year, the model, as well as any regulations for importing/exporting the vehicle in 2021.

Kei construction trucks, a new use for micro trucks .

Kei construction trucks can be used for both personal as well as commercial use. The construction industry a prime place to use a Kei truck. With the growth of the market, general contractors need to have vehicles with versatility. Kei trucks as well as the available kits for micro trucks offer that versatility. Here are a few ways in how you can use a Japanese Kei truck with your construction job.

Gain access to tight spaces

With the standard-sized truck, you may find that getting from point A to point B is problematic. The wide and larger trucks have their advantages in terms of overall bed weight capacity. However, for accessing steep inclines, tight spaces, or low overhead areas, the Kei trucks may be a better option. Depending upon the model, you may use the Kei truck on construction grades as steep as 20°.

Kei trucks have measurements of about 10’-8” x 4’-6” x 5’-9” making it the ideal truck to get around a construction site. They make the frames of these trucks of steel. This means you do not have to worry about dings and dents, something which is a concern for fiberglass full-size vehicles.

Kei constuction trucks have several loading options

Kei construction trucks may be small, but they can carry a large load. For example, the Subaru Sambar has a flatbed for materials. The sides of the bed fold down for quick access. The rear also has a cargo rack. This makes boards, planks, glass, and steel bars something easily carried.

If you choose, a ladder rack is easily attached to the cabin and bed of a Kei truck. This would make three areas where you can store or transport materials. Because you can transport in the bed, the cargo rack, and using a ladder rack, Kei trucks are great for a construction site.

When loading your Kei truck, be sure to load evenly. Kei trucks are good for construction, but the loading must be done evenly to ensure safety. This is true for any micro vehicle.

Image of a Kei construction dump truck

Kei dump trucks

Not every job requires a full-size dump truck. Small excavation jobs may only have minimal dirt displacement. Because of this, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase a Kei dump truck than it would be to lease a full-size dump truck. Companies that already own full-size dump trucks may wish to purchase a micro dump truck, as the small size and weight load are less strenuous on the site.

Kei dump trucks also have a smaller hydraulic system. The smaller hydraulics make the dump truck safer than full-sized construction equipment. On the Subaru Sambar, the dump truck’s hydraulic system is located inside the cabin. This location enables the driver to dump the load from the dash when it is raining or in other inclement weather.

Lifting materials

Lift kits are available on many Kei construction trucks. The design is typically a scissor lift. When using the scissor lift kits, you can raise larger loads of materials to scaffold and other areas with ease. Depending on the model of the Kei truck being used for construction, the weight load can reach 700 lbs. Shingles, brick, and wood can easily be carried and delivered to workers.

Besides delivery of materials, the lift offers a quick and easy way to store and access materials while on a site. When in use, the materials can quickly be unloaded, or if preferred access to materials can be done on an as-needed basis. Whether storing or unloading the Kei scissor lift is a great way to use the Kei truck for construction.

Image of a truck with a scissor lift

A cheaper option for your fleet

Apart from the usability of Kei trucks, there is a price point to consider. Modern full-sized Kei construction trucks can easily top 40 thousand dollars. If you are building a fleet of construction vehicles, the cost can quickly add up. However, if you have a Kei truck for construction, you find that the price point is around 8 thousand dollars. That is 1/5 of the cost of the standard-sized truck. Even with additional packages, the cost of a Kei truck is far less than that of the modern full-sized heavy-duty competitor.

Using a Kei Truck for Construction

Overall, the Kei truck is ideal for construction sites. It has ease of access and precision steering. The trucks are safe to drive, may include GPS and Smart Assist, and are affordable. For those who are looking for a construction vehicle for small to medium-sized jobs, the Kei dump trucks are helpful.

Check the make and model of your Kei truck to determine if it is right for your construction job. All Kei construction trucks have a variety of features and kits available. Weight loads and lift loads will vary depending on the model you choose.

Kei Trucks: Are they safe?

Kei trucks are great for getting around town, on a construction site, for outdoor adventures, or for agricultural purposes.There are a few videos showcasing uncommon occurrences with Kei trucks. Some have questioned its safety. Are Kei trucks safe? This article explains why they are.

General arguments

There are statements that Kei trucks are front-end heavy. This would cause them to tip over when brakes are applied. However, customers have also stated that the truck only does so if the weight is improperly loaded, and the brakes are slammed on instead of engaged properly. Another argument is that there is a lower grade to the suspension system, which causes issues. Yet, tests have shown that the suspension system, while different, is not below industry standards.

The last argument is that there is a lower horsepower than full-sized vehicles. This argument does not diminish the safety of the Kei trucks. Studies have shown that vehicles traveling at a low speed are less likely to have problems. This includes severe injuries or death in the event of an accident. Also, studies have shown that vehicles traveling at lower speeds are easier to control than those traveling at a faster rate.

The practical of designs lends to safety

Kei trucks have a practical and economical design. This means that the overall design is simplistic but functional. Because of this, focus is given to the overall safety features of the truck. The trucks are not made to be classified as luxury vehicles. Allowances are given to the exterior shape. Most of the Kei trucks have a boxlike appearance because of the steel construction. This steel is a safety factor, as it is stronger than the fiberglass used in most modern vehicles.

Driving Safety Features on Kei trucks

Once behind the wheel, the drivability is a huge safety factor. Kei trucks maintain the safety of the driver by having various models available. Typical safety features include four-wheel drive (4WD) and power steering capabilities. The ultra-low forward and reverse gears, when paired with the differential lock-in system, make it safe to operate. Many of the Kei trucks offer a manual 4-speed transmission. This is considered by some to be a safer option than automatic transmissions.

Customers state that the driving of Kei trucks is very precise and that the vehicle’s brakes are usually decent. It is important to note that older models will have substantial differences from new generation models as technology and the automotive industry have changed dramatically since the 1960s when mico vehicles first emerged.

A picture of an older micro truck.

Airbags minimize risks

Depending upon the type of micro truck you purchase, you might have airbags installed. Airbags prove to be one of the best safety features in a vehicle. Research shows that having airbags reduces the likelihood of death or injury, specifically brain injuries. Because of the lower acceleration speeds of Kei trucks, the necessity for airbag deployment is minimized. Most airbags protect not only the driver but the passengers as well. In a Kei truck, the size of the cabin and the size of the airbag would affect everyone.

Airbags are not standard on Kei trucks. Check with the manufacturer to see if your Kei truck has airbags or if airbags are available for your chosen model.

Modern Safety Features

Demands for technology safety features increases in standard vehicles, the trucks answer the call. Some vehicles have Smart Assist safety systems, such as the 2018 Hijet Truck, keyless entry, and GPS. Other safety features include adjustable side mirrors and anti-locking brakes.

A picture showing how the sides of the bed of a kei trucks can be folded down.

Are Kei trucks beds safe?

Loads for the Kei truck beds are subjective to the type of truck purchased. Most truck beds are made of steel and are therefore safer than those of fiberglass. Dump kei trucks and scissor lift Kei beds have extreme standard testing before they are allowed on the market. Additionally, due to the small size, there is a minimized risk of mechanical failure. The smaller size means less hydraulic fluids for Dump trucks and scissor trucks. This minimizes the risks for injury in the event of a leak.

Overall, are Kei trucks safe?

Kei trucks are safe. The videos which have peppered the internet show the trucks being improperly loaded and used. When any vehicle is operated outside of the way it was driven, the risk of injury increases. Trucks, when loaded properly, do not cause the vehicle to tip over or to swerve. Braking works based on the acceleration and the rate at which you stop.

Built of steel, packed with driving and riding safety features, and with the availability of modern driving and safety equipment, the trucks are as safe a vehicle as any other car or truck of a similar building. For the safest vehicles, look to the top five brands on the market.