Watch: World’s First 6×6 Minitruck
Going off-road is always better in something small and fun. And also unique. That’s definitely what we have with the Grind Hard Plumbing Co. Polaris and Mitsubishi mashup. No, you can’t buy one, but you can build one like it. So let’s dig in to see what this 6×6 off-road freak is.
What chassis and body does the 6×6 minitruck use?
The plumbing company folks started with a complete 2014 Polaris Ranger 6×6, which is a good and cheap starting point. Its chassis layout is pretty straightforward, able to crank up to over 40 mph in stock form. Both the front and center suspensions are independent, with a swing arm for the rear wheels.
For the body, they chose a 1990 Mitsubishi Minicab service truck, which is also fairly abundant here and elsewhere. You’ll see them used by golf courses or high school groundskeepers. They’re not street-legal, but that doesn’t matter for off-road use. Daihatsu and Suzuki also make them, and they, too, are inexpensive.
Why make a 6×6 minitruck?
In the case of the plumbing company build, it starts with an imported truck cab, so it is right-hand drive. You can watch the progress, trials, and tribulations in the video. Obviously, the Polaris chassis is conventional. So the body needs alterations for the left-hand drive chassis. And about 25 inches need to be removed from the chassis to mate to the cab.
The advantage to the switchover, besides the fun factor, is that the Polaris Ranger 760cc engine has more power than the stock truck. And, though you can get these service trucks with 4×4 systems, the mashup has 6×6. Also, with the body in a much higher position relative to the wheels, there is a lot more suspension travel.
Was the 6×6 minitruck as easy to make as it looks?
So this is a conversion of an open Polaris Ranger into an enclosed-cab pickup truck resulting in a 6×6 minitruck. Looks pretty easy, right? Well, as with any mix-and-match endeavor, there are always hiccups and surprises. For one, the body had to be reinforced since a lot of its structure was removed to fit the Polaris chassis.
And the coil-over shocks needed new mounting points, which entailed making brackets. With CAD and a programmed plasma cutter arrangement, these DIYers make it look easy. The brackets were designed to allow several attachment points to play around with once they get to dialing this whole thing in.
Are you inspired?
The biggest problem encountered with the 6×6 minitruck project was the rack-and-pinion steering. After a series of trial and error mockups, they were able to make it all work. And, it has a tighter turning circle than it originally had.
The project isn’t over, but the video gives you a good idea of what the Grind Hard guys encountered and solved. We look forward to seeing how the project looks like when completed, and it is hoped that other crafty DIYers out there might be inspired to do something similar, or even better.