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Old 01-16-2009, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Robotrak has a new home! And what, you ask, is Robotrak? Well let me tell you. It's a short story and it begins thusly....

First, the earth cooled... OK, OK, I'll skip that part.

Hi everyone! I've been away from the forum for a while now, busy with stuff. I had some time to catch up today and see what everyone is up to and boy do I miss all you ecomodders. I did check in at one point to see the Bennelson parking ticket saga. My sides are still healing.

So on to the story at hand... It starts with the snow. Where I live, on a small island off the wet coast of BC, precariously close to the 2010 winter scams, we usually get 6 inches of wet snow tops. When It snows our precariously (yes i like that word) steep driveway becomes a luge track. A luge track without banked turns.

Normally, with our old 6" snows we could get by driving the driveway with chains and shovelling the worst parts. This would last for a few days, a week tops. Our driveway is about 1000 feet long, winding down from the main road, across the creek at the bottom, past our house and up the other side of the valley about another 500 feet up to my parent's house

Recent years has brought more and more snow and not the wet variety. This year we got 12" then another 12", then when we thought it was all over we got another 12" followed by another 6". Then it started to rain and rain and rain and rain then it froze. You get the picture. Shovelling roofs, digging out the Previa from behind 4 foot snow walls, etc. You know, a nice light Ontario winter, in BC. Now we are in siege mode. We have to hike in, uphill both ways carrying our provisions on our backs.

We have no plow, or any other large scale method of moving snow. Remember, this is Vancouver, where a snow blower is someone who does a lot of coke.

In a moment of desperation we fitted my parent's 4WD Tercell with chains on all four wheels and started down the hill from my parent's into 22" of wet snow. One giant snow wedge later, the Tercell was stuck with it's wheels hanging limp at it's sides. FAIL! On to plan B. Wait, there is no plan B? We need a plan B.

I started looking for a snow blower, hoping to find a solution to our little problem but everyone was sold out and craigslist was full of people trying to cash in selling junk for way too much money. "Wait, here's one in Chelan... where the hell is Chelan?"

On one of my searches I came upon an Elec-Trak with a snow blower attachment and I knew I had found my plan B. Problem was it was in Vermont. Much searching came up empty until I tried the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association. I had seen an Elec-Trak at the last VEVA show and had been impressed with the solidity, size and weight of these buggers. They have six deep cycle batteries stowed away giving about 4 acres of mowing power! The gentleman showing his Elec-Track was very helpful and complimentary about my Auranthetics. This was in the summer of 08.

I sent out my request on the VEVA email list and I got a reply from a Dave Kohen, who turned out to be the same guy who was at the show. He had an Elec-Trak that was looking for a new home...but there was one problem: It was remote control. Wha? Wait, this is a problem...how? The ET was converted to remote control by another member, an electrical engineer, naturally, who liked to mow his lawn from his porch. He even had a video camera hooked up so he could mow from indoors in inclement weather. The member had moved to a condo so he had no more lawn to mow. Alas, the video attachment is no longer with the vehicle but it's still all there. AND IT'S ORANGE! It was obviously meant to be.

I went to look at it yesterday at Dave's place. Dave has several Elec-Traks and some super cool projects like a micro hydro power plant and a suspension bridge. We negotiated a deal and so now I anxiously await delivery of the Robotrak sometime next week.

So now, my job is to fabricate a plow, and look for a snow blower attachment, and spruce up the Robotrak to befit it's new multi task role as mower, plower, driveway maintainer, log skidder, trailer tower and general electric doitall.

It will be legen.... wait for it... dary!

This is Robotrak in happier times and warmer climes with it's previous owner.


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Last edited by orange4boy; 01-16-2009 at 10:43 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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lol, wow that is cool.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Electraks are great!

The toughest thing is prying them from the cold, dead fingers of the previous owners....


If anyone has one they want to get rid of, please let me know!!!


PS: Doax is EXTREMELY JEALOUS!
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
PS: Doax is EXTREMELY JEALOUS!
Its sooooo true.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What a great story. Well told! Thanks for the chuckle.

I'm looking forward to more... and the YouTube video, ahem.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well I tried to get Dave to let me take it home yesterday. "I'm sure it will fit in the back of the van" I said. But to no avail. I think Bennelson hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

Quote:
The toughest thing is prying them from the cold, dead fingers of the previous owners....
The owner kept saying: "I'll deliver it next week" every time of the 76 times I asked. I guess he's not dead yet.

Daox: You can always buy a brand new one if you have a few extra dollars kicking around: modernelectrictractor - Home
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unfortunately I don't have that many extra dollars kicking around. I'll just continue with the existing ecorider project.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Robomower rides again! Awesome.

That is one sweet piece of kit - saw it in person a very long time ago.

You have remarkable taste in EVs - two Auranthetics and a Robotrak. Far too much awesome.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do feel very lucky to have found the Auranthetics and the Robotrak.

I was kicked by a horse once. Shoe must've stuck somewhere.
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Finally pictures!

First chance I've had to post pictures of the partly reworked Robotrak with my new plow attachment. I found an orange crazy carpet to use as a friction reducing surface for the blade. Fabbed it myself in three days using sections of a 45 gallon drum. Too much fun. Will have to wait till spring for a coat of orange paint.

Just picked up the snow thrower yesterday. Will post more soon.



I installed some Volvo seats from the wrecker, and they are heated!



This is a 75% completed plow. Added angle detents and release springs.

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