Pickup trucks are great for carrying people and gear to locations far off the beaten path, but even they have limitations. When conditions get muddy, swampy and unpleasant most pickups hit the end of the line. Plus, they just don't float very well.
That end of the line is where the Fat Truck takes over. Quebec manufacturer Zeal Motor has designed the low-ground-pressure, amphibious machine to tackle virtually any kind of terrain, from rock to snow to swamp. And yes, it floats.
The Fat Truck 2.8C, powered by Caterpillar's C2.2 diesel engine generating 67 horsepower, carries up to eight people and a wide range of gear, and has been garnering attention from a range of industries. Zeal Motors co-founder Amine Khimjee said during a recent live demo that the Cat power is essential for propelling the Fat Truck across challenging terrain.
"Up until today there's been no easy solution for transporting people to jobsites - people have used pickups, side by sides, and even school buses, but when it gets messy there's no way to transport people - it's impossible," Khimjee said. "The Fat Truck is defined as an industrial off-road amphibious vehicle; it's an extension of a pickup, but where the puckup stops the Fat Truck will continue."
The Fat Truck is unique in that it sits on four 24-inch-wide tires that stand five feet high; the tires are run at a low pressure that allows them to grip the material under them firmly while spreading out contact across the ground surface. An onboard air compressor makes it possible to deflate the tires fully and reinflate them within under a minute to adapt to the terrain being crossed.
Fat Truck fits into a gap in the transportation market left by vehicles like pickups, rubber track dumpers and others used on jobsites. It's unique in that it is designed specifically for that role, Khimjee described.
"How do you get to the jobsite when it's raining or muddy or there's too much snow? The solution is the Fat Truck with this Cat engine and a hydrostatic transmission," he said.