A customer of Zeal Motor recently told co-founder Amine Khimjee that their new utility vehicle saved him $10,000 a day. Khimjee was riding with that owner in Minnesota as they inspected power lines that ran above swamp forests, far from any roads. The customer explained the floodded areas they were crossing usually required a helicopter that cost thousands of dollars to put in the air. The added benefit to Zeal Motor's Fat Truck, he said, was that he could also bring a crew and tools.
For the casual observer, that might be a surprising review of a machine that looks like a grown-up version of one of the best radio-control scale models ever designed. To khimjee and anyone else who's sat behind Fat Truck's center-mounted joystick, it's no surprise at all.
''We started this project three years ago, '' said Khimjee, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Canda manufacturer. ''Throughout my career I've travelled a lot to pipelines, power utilities, telecommunication towers and wind farms. One of the biggest needs of the market was to transport people on job sites and there was no easy solution.