Hat Over the Fence: DIY Super Truck!


| 5/29/2012 11:33:00 AM


Tags: DIY, Hybrid, Plug, in, Pickup truck, Revolt, Open Source, Ben Nelson,

Well, it’s time to throw my hat over the fence.

What? You’ve never heard that term before? Ok, let me explain. Let’s say that you really  want to get yourself over the top of a fence. But it’s tall, and the top is pretty pointy. Maybe you’ll do it tomorrow... So here’s what you do. You throw your hat over the fence. Now you HAVE to get over the fence. If you don’t you’ve just lost your hat!

Not that too many people are climbing over fences recently, or even wearing cool hats for that matter, but here’s why I bring it up.

A couple summers ago, I built an electric car. In the end, it was a fantastic project. I was amazed at how much I learned, how many neat new people I met, and how proud I was to have my own personal transportation that didn’t use one lick of gasoline.

If there was any single “secret” that I could give to anyone else on building your own electric car, it’s this: Tell everyone you are building an electric car. I mean it, everyone. Your friends, your boss, the postman, everyone. Why? Because there is magic in it. Ok, well magic might be a stretch - maybe it’s more meta-physical. Did you watch THE SECRET? Yeah, I know, it was a bit “airy-fairy” for me too. But there were a few things in that film that were pretty self-evident to everyone, things that you simply knew to be true. And one of those things is that saying you are going to do something MAKES it happen! At a bare minimum, you friends will start pestering you - “Hey, how’s that car project going?” and at best, the Universe will reward you for your intent, and start helping you on your way.

When I told all my friends I was building an electric car, people came out of the woodwork to help me. A friend who works in construction said that they were scrapping out their welding cable, and asked if I wanted it. “Sure!”. He showed up a few hours later and dropped off 150’ of 2/0 welding cable in my driveway. Wow - several hundred dollars of battery cable for free! Thanks Mike!


brenda martin hrivnak
6/13/2012 1:54:32 AM

This sounds like a very cool project. I hope to follow your progress. I made a hybrid Avalanche (www.hrivnak.com) and while I learned a LOT it was not my best return project.


david gaudio
5/31/2012 7:42:22 PM

I have to agree about throwing a hat over the fence as the only way to get things done, but I'd like to modify it just a little bit. Throw your friend's hat and your own over the fence. With a partner and a friend to commit, especially one you see often, it becomes easier to make that first step. This helped me tremendously when we were starting to brew our own beer. Anyway, I run a blog on Energy Efficiency, and I feel a lot of the readers would find it interesting. http://energyefficient-homes.com/ Anyway, great post. I'll be back, and good luck!


carla coleman
5/31/2012 6:33:55 PM

Hello Ben; I have to agree with you about the 'throwing your hat over the fence bit'. I have two 1948 travel trailers that I am renovating and have been telling everyone that I really, really need to find a new/different tow vehicle. I currently have a 2000 Toyota RAV4 and although it does, reluctantly, tow the smaller canned ham it won't budge the bigger one. So I look at the full size trucks but simply cannot bring myself to buy something that gets such insanely low mileage. Then I look at the mid-size trucks but not only are they just about as expensive as the others the mileage isn't very much better. For years I've wanted a truck with a diesel engine, both for the reliability and the ability to use biodiesel, but we simply don't get the range of diesel vehicles here in the States that they do overseas and everything I've seen here is way out of my price range. Anyway, long story short (or shorter) I've been quite loudly throwing my hat over the fence and suddenly I spot your DIY Super Truck project! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be following you very closely from here on out! Carla




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