A Kei truck, or Japanese mini truck, is a tiny but practical pickup truck available in RWD or 4WD version, built to satisfy the Japans class of light vehicles. They are known as Keitora in Japan alongside with their van version twins known as micro-vans.
Most eligible kei trucks feature a 550cc or 660cc engine, sometimes supercharged, due to Japanese government regulations on the size of a Keitora class. Combine this small, light package with 4wd and you have a nimble, fuel efficient but practical work truck.
Although mini trucks were designed for the Japanese and European economies, they are perfectly well suited in North America and are 100% legal for Canadian roads. With little HTA compliancy the trucks are ready for the roads.
Japanese mini trucks can reach speeds of up to 100-120 km/hour. Around city streets they are very comfortable for drive and reach be taken on Canadian highways if needed.
At RightDrive, we supply basic maintenance items (oil filters, spark plugs, etc) and can get hard parts from our suppliers in Japan in a timely manner.
Axle locks allows for 4 wheel drive whereas Diff. lock runs rear wheel drive (2 wheels) only. Many find the 4×4 platforms to be very practical for these trucks since they are taken on and off road.
Typically these trucks are capable of 15KM/L. They have relatively small gas tanks that are inexpensive to fill while still achieving several hundred KMs per tank.
Many manufacturers make their own versions of these trucks as stated above. Unique options to these trucks include hydraulic dump beds, high rise bed walls, front ploughs, crawler rear ends (2×2 wheels), hydraulic scissor lifts, rear lift gates, refrigerated beds, boxed beds and rear utility bars.
Kei truck do come with extended cabs but typically most are single cab.
Your average kei truck weighs approximately 2000lbs in standard trim and slightly more with rear bed options.
The maximum load kei trucks can carry is about 770 lbs. More weight can be carried with stiffer leaf springs.
Larger versions of kei trucks are commonly referred to as midsize in North America. Common midsize trucks include the Toyota Townace and Liteace, Mazda Bongo and the Mitsubishi Delica to name a few. Even larger variants include trucks like the Mitsubishi Canter, Nissan Atlas, and Toyota Ranger.
Minitrucks are popular amongst small and large business owners and have been popularized by farmers in Japan and Europe. Our customers have used them for small construction, landscaping, and general purpose use.
Driving a right hand drive vehicle is not difficult to drive. It simply takes a few outings to get use to but for the most part is very simple. Many of our customers are comfortable in them after their initial test drive.