Electric Dump Truck Tricycle Is No Toy

There are some utility bicycles on the market, some with electric motors to help carry a good bit of cargo. If you really need to haul more weight than a typical grocery-getter like this, you’ll want to look into a tricycle for higher capacity loads. Nothing you’ll find will match this monstrous electric tricycle hand-built by [AtomicZombie] out of junkyard parts, though. It’s a mule.

Since [AtomicZombie] sourced most of the underpinnings of this build from the junkyard, it’s based on an old motorcycle frame combined with the differential from a pickup truck, with a self-welded frame. He’s using an electric motor and a fleet of lead acid batteries for the build (since weight is no concern) and is using a gear reduction large enough to allow him to haul logs and dirt with ease (and dump them with the built in dump-truck bed), and even pull tree stumps from the ground, all without taxing the motor.

[AtomicZombie] documented every step of the build along the way, and it’s worth checking out. He uses it as a farm tractor on his homestead, and it is even equipped with a tow hitch to move various pieces of equipment around. Unlike a similar three-wheeled electric contraption from a while back, though, this one almost certainly isn’t street legal, but it’s still a blast!

27 thoughts on “Electric Dump Truck Tricycle Is No Toy

    1. It certainly could! I have learned a valuable lesson when creating a 500 pound electric vehicle with endless torque…

      “I never build anything I can outrun”! Or in this case, out walk.

      In reality though, I traded speed for torque.

      Brad

      1. torque is important for this kind of vehicle, thats understandable. my moms scooter could use some more torque going up hill, i feel sorry for that poor poor motor. one of her previous scooters was so overstressed that the magnets in the motor just shattered.

  1. Electric Zombie (https://www.atomiczombie.com) has built (and sold plans for) any number of interesting homebrewed recumbent/adaptive bikes and other interesting projects over the years, including the Yard Mule electric tractor (let’s call it what it is) and a device called the “PortaPen Poultry Tractor” which means that you too can build…
    .
    .
    .
    (wait for it)
    .
    .
    .
    Poultry in motion.

    1. Thanks for the comments! I go by Radical Brad in the winter when I do my electronics projects, like this one…

      https://hackaday.com/2015/08/11/vulcan-74-a-masterpiece-of-retro-engineering/

      And in the summer when the homestead steels me, I go by AtomicZombie, and build projects to help around the farm as well as the recumbent bikes, which are just pure fun.

      Thanks to the world-wide DIY community, here and on my own forum… all of the amazing projects posted here are my source of inspiration.

      Cheers!
      Radical Brad aka AtomicZombie.com

      1. Of course! I was known as “rykoala” on your old forum and contributed a lot back in the 2007-2009 era. Your tutorials and site gave me the confidence to do something I thought I could never do, and I’ve always appreciated it. Much of my own site is inspired by your “you can do anything with a few simple tools” mentality.

  2. Looks to me like it could use a small (like 80W) PV roof. Most likely the mule is not used every day, so a top up system would be good to prevent a slow decline in charge. In addition, if you only need it once in a while, the small top up could be used as the main charger.

  3. “Self welded frame”
    ?
    That sounds like a HaD article in itself!
    Getting metals to weld themselves together.
    I wonder if they could do a better job than my (lousy) welding?
    B^)

  4. Many (all?) US states allow farm equipment to be used on the road for farm business, so, yeah, it may be close enough to street legal. I would put a “slow moving vehicle” (SMV) triangle on the back – you can get reflective ones at farm supply stores. I don’t know if it’s required, but I know I’ve seen those triangles around dawn long before I realized I was looking at a tractor or implement.

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