TS (SepOct08) - Structural Failure

By: Matt Vallez

This article was originally published in the Golf Car News Magazine and has been reprinted for use in this issue.

 

Recently the big three OEM golf car manufactures are using more plastic where previously only metal or aluminum had been used. This is a direct result of the challenges  of manufacturing an electric vehicle that uses lead acid batteries. 

 

The most common cause of structural failure of any golf car is due to corrosion. A simple example of structural failure is when a battery falls through the battery tray and drags for a while before the battery cables give way, stopping the car dead. The golf car had a structural failure that allowed the battery to fall out. Any type of structural failure will usually involve numerous components and costly repairs.

 

Corrosion is the primary means by which metals deteriorate. Most metals corrode from contact with water (and moisture in the air), acids, bases, salts, oils, fertilizers and other solid and liquid chemicals. Metals will also corrode when exposed to gaseous materials like acid vapors from lead acid batteries.

Big deal, you haven’t read anything you don’t already know. The real story on corrosion is what is the more resistant material to corrosion, steel or aluminum? The answer is a lot more complicated than the question. I recently heard from several golf car dealers that were having real problems with structural failure of newer aluminum frame golf cars due to corrosion of the battery trays. I said, “ that is a problem that I have always associated with steel battery trays not aluminum”. However, it turns out that aluminum in certain situations can be more susceptible to corrosion then steel.

 

There is a type of corrosion called galvanic corrosion, also known as dissimilar metal corrosion, and sometimes erroneously called electrolysis. This type of corrosion takes place when two dissimilar metals are placed against each other in an assembly, creating a galvanic couple. One of the metals in the couple becomes the anode and corrodes faster than it would all by itself, while the other becomes the cathode and corrodes slower than it would alone. So aluminum will corrode at a slower pace than steel unless it is part of a galvanic couple. Aluminum coupled with almost any other material will be the anode because of its high placement on the galvanic corrosion chart.

 

In order for galvanic corrosion to occur three conditions must exist.  First there must be two electrochemically dissimilar metals present, i.e. steel and aluminum. Second, there must be an electrically conductive path between the two metals; they touch each other without an insulating barrier. And third there must be a corrosive electrolyte present, lead acid battery gas or moisture will do the job. 

 

This is the only logical explanation as to why a newer aluminum frame golf car will corrode faster than both an older aluminum frame golf car and a newer steel frame golf car. The newer aluminum frame golf car has a lot more steel components than the older one had. The steel and aluminum are forming a galvanic couple; this is causing the aluminum to corrode at a rapid rate.

 

I never want to end an article on such a sour note. There are things that can be done to slow galvanic corrosion. You can electrically insulate from each other dissimilar metals whenever possible, just as you would insulate electric wires from each other. It is also helpful to use paint or plastic coatings at the connecting joints. When painting or coating, it is important to coat both the steel and the aluminum otherwise if the aluminum was the only metal coated it would only accelerate the attack on the imperfection in the coating. And finally the thing that will slow any corrosive attack, keep the surfaces clean and free from harmful gasses and chemicals, like fertilizers and battery electrolyte. Wash the underside and battery compartment often, especially if the golf car is used on a golf course.

Industry News - September/October 2008

NIVEL ACQUIRES CART-PARTS AND BUGGIES UNLIMITED

Nivel Parts and Manufacturing Company, LLC, announced on July 30, 2008 the completion of two important acquisitions. This included Cart-Parts, Inc, Miramar Florida and Buggies Unlimited, Richmond, Kentucky which will be operated as subsidiaries of Nivel Parts from their facilities in Miramar and Richmond. “Each of these businesses are built on solid foundations and their management teams have outstanding records of service in the golf car industry,” said Bill Bugg, President and CEO of Nivel Parts. “Nivel plans to build upon this strength while maintaining our long standing commitment to the golf car dealer market.”

 

These additions reflect Nivel’s growth through acquisition strategy, and build upon the company’s prior two successful acquisitions of HT Electric, Tucson, Arizona and Intercoastal Manufacturing, Portland, Oregon, in 2005 and 2006 respectively, which had a tremendous impact on the shipping reach and product capability of Nivel.

 

The addition of the Cart-Parts and Buggies Unlimited businesses to Nivel Parts will enhance Nivel’s ability to service their customers through added distribution locations, expanded product line and increased purchasing power. Bugg added, “It is very important that we have constant focus on improvement efforts which add value to the services that we provide to our customers. “We think that both of these businesses bring expertise that we can leverage to improve our overall capability to supply quality products that meet the changing needs of our industry.”

 

The acquired companies are happy with the mergers. Tim Ahern, Cart-Parts owner and President said, “we have always strived to have the best parts, service, prices, and be the best place to work. With Nivel acquiring Cart-Parts, I feel that our mission is accomplished. We can now offer a complete line of parts and accessories to our customers at competitive prices. Our whole staff is looking forward to working with the Nivel team.” Buggies Unlimited founder and President Bart Mahan added, “This marriage is good for the industry. We have put three leaders together and the final package is a very strong provider that can really meet all of the parts and accessory requirements of our changing industry. We feel that the technology needs that will be driven by the golf car industries’ added alternative use focus including the NEV application can be better served by a parts company with resources that this transaction provides.”

 

The entire Nivel organization is excited by the potential that these acquisitions provide and the early industry reaction has been quite positive. In the immediate future Nivel has asked their customers to keep doing what they are doing and has promised to keep the industry posted as to future changes and/or developments as they move forward with the integration process.

 

FORE CONCEPTS, INC. INTRODUCES DOORWORKS™ ENCLOSURE FOR CLUB CAR AND E-Z-GO UTILITY VEHICLES

Fore Concepts, Inc.  maker of the DoorWorks™ enclosure and DryClub™ golf club canopy introduces new enclosures for Club Car and E-Z-GO utility vehicles. The enclosures are offered in marine grade vinyl, solution dyed polyester and Sunbrella® acrylic.

 

The enclosures feature DoorWorks™ patented hinged door that allows easy access in and out of the vehicle. On warm days the vehicle doors can also be secured in an open position while driving or they can be easily removed and left in the cart barn or maintenance building. If additional air flow is needed, the rear clear vinyl windshield is easily rolled up or removed.

 

Installation of DoorWorks™ enclosures does not require any drilling into the body or roof of the vehicle.

 

For more information on the DoorWorks enclosures, call Fore Concepts, Inc. at 1-866-888-3667 or visit their website at www.foreconcepts.com.

 

JACOBSEN UTILITY VEHICLES GET AN OVERHAUL WITH NEW, MORE POWERFUL DIESEL ENGINES

Charlotte, N.C.  – Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. Company, announces a switch to new Kubota® diesel engines for all diesel-powered Cushman® Turf-Truckster utility vehicles. The change comes as part of an ongoing effort to improve the quality and functionality of all Jacobsen equipment and will fully comply with new Tier 4 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
 

“The new diesel engines for the Turf-Trucksters are more environmentally conscious and will provide customers with more torque, more comfortable operation, and reduced noise,” said Rob Arthur, Jacobsen product manager. “The Trucksters feature the industry’s highest payload and are among the most versatile and most productive machines on the market. This switch to newer, better diesel engines will allow them to perform at an even higher level for our customers.”

The new Kubota engines operate at a lower sound level, have almost 8 percent more torque in the mid-range (where most typical use occurs), and feature an increased cooling capacity that results in more efficient engine operation and a lower operating temperature. “Jacobsen is committed to providing turf maintenance professionals with premier turf equipment of the highest quality,” Arthur said. “These upgrades to our utility vehicle line will result in more capable machines and better all-around performance.”

Additional information about the company, its products and commitment to customer support is available at www.Jacobsen.com.

JOHN DEERE 2020A ProGator™ HEAVY DUTY UTILITY VEHICLE
Heavy-duty and versatile 2020A ProGator™ Heavy Duty Utility Vehicle is designed for customers who need to spray, topdress, haul heavy cargo, and perform other heavy duty tasks over various improved surfaces. The large cargo box can be easily removed to install other attachments that make maintaining golf courses and other grounds easy and efficient.          

The 5-speed synchromesh transmission allows operators to not only change gears on the go, but also start in any gear, giving unparalleled flexibility and productivity.

The 2020A also now offers manually engaged 4WD so operators can rely on the power when they need it but can conserve fuel and energy when they don’t.
- Zero grease points on 2wd machines, and only 3 on 4wd machines, make service easier than ever, so technicians have more time to attend to other tasks throughout the day.
- Strength also comes in the form of a 7-gauge steel frame, allowing for more capacity while providing more reliability.
- The front and rear suspension of the ProGator 2020A vehicle features dual leaf spring suspension instead of coils, providing the smoothest of rides in uneven terrain while loaded.
- Hydraulic power steering provides for precision control and a tight turning radius of only 18 inches on 2wd models.
- A versatile, 3-pin system lets you take the cargo box on or off in minutes without tools.
- Comfortable, high-back seats; a walk-through operator platform; easy-to- reach controls; and smooth steering increase operator comfort and productivity.

For more information visit; www.john-deere.com.

 

COLUMBIA® GENERATES NEW ENERGY WITH REDESIGNED WEB SITE

Reedsburg, WI – Columbia ParCar Corp. Announced the release of an entirely new web site at www.parcar.com. The site provides graphic and text based information for their complete line of electric and gasoline powered vehicles. Navigation to and through its three primary product families – Passenger Vehicles, Industrial and Commercial Vehicles and MEGA Vehicles, has been streamlined to make each user session a more content rich experience. Columbia’s broad product line of vehicles and the pertinent data associated with each model is available with just a few “clicks”.

 

Scott Breckley, Columbia Executive Vice President notes, “With our growing product line of electric vehicles, we need to assist our energy-smart customers with the information they need in making an informed choice when considering the variety of energy efficient vehicles we offer. Plus, with the addition of our new website, we are introducing our new MEGA electric vehicle. The perfect vehicle for transport of goods in and around universities, governmental installations, closed campus facilities, and anywhere that Low Speed Vehicles are considered street-legal.”

 

Each of the vehicle pages are separated by broad category type (Passenger, Industrial & Commercial, Mega and Government Sales) and then the individual model type. Each vehicle page has information on the vehicle’s Description Overview, Features, Popular Options, Load Capacity, Towing Capacity, Maximum Speed, Bed Size(s), Power, Passenger Capacity, and Wheels. In addition, Columbia’s website offers additional pictures on the model in different applications, literature on the vehicle which may be downloaded, similar product/vehicle page links, and a link to “Request a Demo”. Other features of the website is their search function which allows for quick and easy access to vehicle information, and a Dealer Locator which helps facility the location of the Columbia authorized dealer nearest the visitor’s location.

 

“While we are very pleased with the new and dramatically improved site, we are already working on the next release,” Breckley stated. The company will soon complete and release a revamped “Partners” section of the website that will provide Columbia’s Dealer network with sales aids, tools and communications capabilities to streamline the sales and promotion of Columbia’s vehicles throughout the world.

           

Because Columbia deals with many levels of the government sector, a separate section connects government users with the information necessary to expedite the purchase of Columbia’s vehicles. Links to GSA contracts for “non-road” industrial, commercial, utility and passenger vehicles (GS-07F-5596P) as well as “on-road” Neighborhood Electric or Low Speed Vehicles (GS-30F-0006P) are available in the “Government” section for use by government buyers.

 

Parcar.com also contains a “News” section incorporating noteworthy events concerning Columbia.

 

For additional information or the location of your nearest Columbia dealer, contact Columbia ParCar on the web at www.parcar.com.year.

ididit INC’S 22nd ANNUAL CAR SHOW & OPEN HOUSE
Mark your calendars for October 4, 2008 when ididit inc. your Steering Column Specialists, will make the last days of taking your ‘79 or older vehicle on the road once more memorable.  Enjoy a fun filled day with the ididit folks to celebrate another successful

 

For more information, please visit their website www.ididitinc.com or call (517) 424-0577.

 

CLUB CAR PROVIDING CAPTAINS’ CARS, PLUS 300 VEHICLES FOR 2008 RYDER CUP
Augusta, GA – One of the only things more consistent than European dominance in the most recent Ryder Cup matches has been the sight of the team captains following their players in their specially equipped Club Car golf cars.

In addition to the golf cars with the team logos, Club Car is providing utility and hospitality vehicles for TV crews, marshals, rules officials, media and emergency personnel. Club Car, the preferred supplier of golf cars and golf utility vehicles for the 2008 Ryder Cup, will provide more than 300 vehicles for the matches. Club Car has been associated with The Ryder Cup and the European Tour as a sponsor since 1999.

Azinger and Faldo recently got their first looks at the Club Car Precedent captain’s cars they will use at Valhalla. The four-passenger electric models (blue for Europe, red for the U.S.) feature the U.S. and European team logos on the front of the car and the front seat back and the Ryder Cup logo on the car’s side panels. “The new car looks great and I’m sure it will be put to good use as everyone knows the importance for me being in the thick of the action when key matches come to a close,” Faldo said.

For more information, visit www.clubcar.com

CS (SepOct08) - M&M Vehicle’s LSV Line-Up

SepOct08 CoverCOMBAT HIGH GAS PRICES WITH M&M VEHICLE’S LSV LINE-UP

With gas around $4.00 a gallon, everyone is looking for an alternative means of transportation. All electric, low speed vehicles (LSV) may be the answer. Club Car’s CarryAll 6 is a street legal low speed vehicle in most states. M&M Golf Cars is Missouri’s first LSV new car dealer, selling Club Car and Tomberlin LSV’s.

 

M&M Vehicle Corporation has made kits and accessories for golf cars since 1989. In addition to the stretched cars, ambulances and four passenger conversions, M&M Vehicle provides a Utility Van Box that allows the owner of Club Car’s CarryAll 6 to get the most out of their LSV. The Van Box provides 68 cubic feet of storage plus the option of a roof rack. One to three doors and shelving to meet the customers needs turns the LSV into a practical “in town” service vehicle.

 

Perhaps just as important in today’s struggling economy is the prominent advertising space and the public’s perception of a “green” vehicle. Owners of the M&M Van Box equipped LSV will be seen using leading edge technology in a practical way. With the company logo and contact information prominently displayed for easy recognition, it’s an eye catching, money saving, practical (LSV) utility vehicle.

 

Mommen’s Heating of Mexico Missouri is using its M&M Van Box equipped LSV to make service calls within the city limits. Charged over night during non-peak hours, the Club Car CarryAll 6 has proven to be a reliable electric, LSV vehicle that travels approximately 300 miles for the cost of one gallon of gasoline. The Van Box holds all of the required HVAC service equipment with room to spare and the ladder rack is easy to use with a tie-down to secure the ladder to the roof of the car. Dennis Mommens, owner of Mommens Heating and Cooling says “The advertising is very cost efficient, a one time cost that will last the life of the vehicle. M&M customized the van box to fit our needs and that’s exactly what it does.”

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