CS (JulAug10) - Suite Seats (United Commercial Upholstery)

gcn-julaug10-coverSUITE SEATS – A FAST, EFFICIENT WAY TO DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE AND COMFORT OF A CUSTOM CART


When thinking of customizing a cart, the first thing that comes to mind for most cart dealers is “custom paint”. While special paint is an attractive way to customize a cart, it is time consuming. Removing accessories, disassembling body components, and scheduling time for the body to go to the paint shop can add weeks to the time before a cart is ready for sale. After the cart comes back from the paint shop, customizers usually realize that “something” needs to be done with seats, because now they stick out like a sore thumb.

For years, the usual answer was to staple on some seat covers to color coordinate the seats to the new paint, or to hide some wear and damage to the old stock seats. But while covering the old seats may help the appearance, it does nothing to improve the comfort of the cart – you still have the old, worn out seats underneath. Stock seats are designed for fleet applications, where the most important criteria are utility and being inexpensive to produce, with little attention paid to comfort or lateral stability.

Cart customizers are increasingly turning to Suite Seats to finish their carts. Manufactured in Nicollet, Minnesota, Suite Seats are available for over 12 different cart models, and are offered as stock in 72 color combinations. Because Suite Seats are also offered in custom colors and fabrics, along with custom embroidery, the options available for customizers to set their carts apart from their competition are as broad as the customer’s imagination. “My carts just never look complete without doing something with the seats”, says Charlie Roden, owner of Caddy Shack located in the Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri. “Because Suite Seats are so easy to install there’s really nothing I can do to a cart that is as cost effective in terms of price and shop time.” According to Charlie; “Once I hit my customer’s hot button…what they are passionate about….then I am able to design a cart that they love and the additional accessory sales really help my bottom line.”

Custom embroidery on Suite Seats helps draw out what a customer is passionate about, and is a valuable sales tool for cart customizers. Sports & hobbies such as golf, football, hunting, fishing, family names & crests, or even business names embroidered on Suite Seats make the cart owner feel that the cart has been truly personalized for them.

Suite Seats bolt in just like the stock fleet seats, with no special cutting or drilling, and are made to line up with the factory mounting holes. Suite Seats are also available for virtually every rear seat kit, in both flip and stationary models. With the investment of less than a half hour of installation time, carts can quickly be upgraded and be ready for the showroom floor.

Contact United Commercial Upholstery at (507) 232-4224 or www.ucuinc.com to find out more about what many cart dealers already know – Suite Seats great looks, comfort, and ease of installation help pave the way to increased sales.

Industry News - July/August 2010

NIVEL PARTS & MANUFACTURING ACQUISITION ANNOUNCEMENT
We are pleased to advise you that on May 28, Nivel Holdings, LLC completed an acquisition of Pro Master Industries, which will operate as a subsidiary of Nivel Parts. It is our belief that this transaction will allow us to bring the strengths of these two solid companies together, with the end result being improved service to our customer base and an increase in our capacity to be a one-stop-shop. Looking forward, here are some of the benefits that you can expect to share:

  • An ongoing commitment to be the design and quality leader for windshields and accessories
  • Improved shipping response time, as we add Pro Master products at Nivel locations and Pro Master Industries to our network of shipping locations
  • Manufacturing control over Pro Master’s patented windshield designs, which are considered the gold standard in the industry. Efficient manufacturing will allow an increase in inventory availability to our customers along with improved cost control over our end product
  • Continued commitment to provide our dealers with the best products presently available, and product development support to expand the offering to meet the changing needs of the golf car aftermarket

As you can imagine, our organization is very excited by the potential of this marriage, and hope that you will support us with your business as we integrate these companies.

KOLLMORGEN AND FLIGHT SYSTEMS INDUSTRIAL SYSTEMS INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS (FSIP) ANNOUNCE AFTERMARKET SERVICING AGREEMENT ON DRIVES AND CONTROLS FOR ELECTRIC FORK LIFT TRUCKS
Agreement provides OEMs with a lower-cost, remanufactured solution supported by world-class expertise, service and technology

Kollmorgen, a leading global manufacturer of drives and controls for electric fork lift trucks, and FSIP, a leading provider of remanufacturing services for electric vehicle control systems, have agreed to an Aftermarket Service Agreement, effective immediately.  Under terms of the Agreement, FSIP will be the exclusive remanufacturer of Kollmorgen drives and controls for the North America electric fork lift truck market.  Kollmorgen is most widely recognized under the company’s previous branding of Danaher Motion, as a supplier of drives and controls to OEMs of electric fork lift trucks.

“Partnering with FSIP helps us better support and bring additional value to our OEM customer’s aftermarket businesses in North America,” says Brian Lubin, Business Unit Director, Kollmorgen Electric Vehicle Systems.  “These customers will have ready access to a lower-cost, high-quality remanufactured drive and control solution through FSIP, and directly supported by Kollmorgen through revision control and testing.  Additionally, the Agreement will extend the availability of legacy Kollmorgen drive and control products.”

“This Agreement aligns with our strategic focus of nurturing alliances with industry-leading manufacturers of electric vehicle components and systems, and doing so allows us to provide our customers with the most recent upgrades to the control hardware and software,” explains Barry Bowman, President of FSIP.  “As the intellectual property of today’s electric vehicle controls become more complex, these alliances enable us to truly remanufacture the control and not just ‘repair it’ or ‘swap it out’ as may be the case with other repair facilities.  It also provides the market with an alternative to ‘new,’ while maintaining the integrity of the control as a remanufactured product.”

Between now and May 2010, Kollmorgen and FSIP will be sharing data, test capabilities and other important drive and control functions.  The companies anticipate that the full launch of remanufactured Kollmorgen drives and controls for electric vehicles will begin in May.

HOME ON THE RANGE!
Not sure what the deer and the antelope are doing now days to get around, but if they had the new Limited Edition EVE LSV DELUX they could roam about 60 miles.

Most customers who purchase an LSV want to know the age-old question, “What’s the range?”  Typical lead acid battery configurations in two passenger vehicles have six, eight-volt batteries and provide a range of around twenty-five miles.  Now, thanks to the efficiency of their new AC drive system with Fullriver AGM batteries; Fairplay’s 2010 Limited Edition EVE LSV DELUX has posted an impressive sixty plus mile range.

“We are very excited about the range we are seeing in this model”, says Keith Andrews, President of Fairplay Electric Cars.  “Our combination of maintenance-free batteries with our reliable AC powered motors now puts our package way ahead of the pack.”

The AC motor and AGM Full River battery package is standard equipment on the 2010 Limited Edition EVE DELUX.  However plans are to expand the offering.  “In late summer we plan to introduce more vehicles with AC power and the AGM extended range packages”, adds Andrews.

For more information on the 2010 Limited Edition EVE LSV DELUX with the extended range AGM batteries and to see the complete line up of Fairplay Electric Vehicles go to www.fairplaycars.com or www.evelsv.com.

INTERSTATE BATTERY SYSTEMS OF AMERICA NAMES U.S. BATTERY MANUFACTURING COMPANY ‘SPECIALTY BATTERY SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR’ FOR THE EIGTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR!

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company has been Interstate Battery’s supplier of choice when it comes to manufacturing the best deep cycle and special application batteries. Providing the best quality product available is not just a request by Interstate, but a requirement that has been the basis for the Interstate Battery distributor systems continued growth year over year in their domestic deep cycle market share. U.S. Battery has taken this responsibility to heart and has worked very hard to become the best supplier possible. During this long business relationship, U.S. Battery has been awarded Interstate’s “Supplier Excellence” award for ten consecutive years. “While this may be achievement enough for some” stated Donald Wallace, executive vice president, “we were going for the gold.” To that end U.S. Battery has been chosen to receive the “Specialty Supplier of the Year” award by Interstate Battery for the past eight consecutive years as well as receiving “Plant of the Year” each year during this same period of time. The criterion used to measure suppliers consists of on-time shipping, percentage of fill rate and overall warranty.

Using Interstates scoring system, U.S. Battery has consistently been in the high 90th percentile and has actually hit 100% in two 12 month fiscal periods, the only supplier in Interstates history to do so. Wallace stated, “This year on year achievement became somewhat of an internal battle cry. We worked towards that 100% goal no matter the cost. It is always so difficult to measure the cost of good customer service so this is an area where the company chose to focus on excellence in customer satisfaction rather than the bottom line. In the process of our attempts to hit Interstates goals we were able to elevate the levels of both customer service and satisfaction to our entire customer base, while at the same time maintaining a company wide warranty rate of .14%! We constantly have the IBS distributors telling us how good the product is, where they use terms like “bullet proof”, stated Wallace.

We are proud of our long relationship with Interstate Battery Systems of America and we are deeply gratified to have helped them consistently grow their deep cycle market share by providing exemplary products and service. Every U.S. Battery employee takes great pride in being the best they can be and our continued ability to prove this by winning Interstates quality and service award is a testament to those efforts.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company has manufacturing facilities located in Corona California, and Evans, and Augusta Georgia. Visit www.usbattery.com for more information.

CLUB CAR CELEBRATES TWO MILLIONTH VEHICLE ON EARTH DAY
Small vehicle manufacturer doubles production in nine years

The two millionth vehicle produced by Club Car is an achievement company founders never would have imagined when they began producing golf cars 52 years ago. In fact, the low-speed passenger vehicle that came off the production line today in a ceremony marking the manufacturing milestone wasn’t even made here until last year.

Golf cars and utility vehicles dominated production at Club Car during its first half century. But the vehicle chosen to symbolize the manufacturing milestone, which fell on Earth Day 2010, was a Villager LSV, an eco-friendly zero-emission vehicle that incorporates a number of features as defined by federal regulations that enable LSVs to be driven on specified public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

LSVs are the fastest growing segment in the light transportation vehicle market. They’re especially popular for short commutes, shopping, transpiration and deliveries in campus-style environments, including hospitals, clinics, schools and universities.

“One of the hallmarks of Club Car over the years has been innovation and the ability to produce vehicles that meet – and sometimes even anticipate the needs – of our customers,” said Gary Michel president and CEO of Club Car, “Zero-emission low-speed vehicles, which reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and provide an environmentally friendly mode of travel, are an example of that ongoing commitment.”

Michel credited Club Car employees as the “champions’ responsible for producing a million vehicles in record time. “We have a great team of people who come and work with one thing on their mind every day: How to improve on yesterday” Michel said.

The ceremony was attended by Club Car associates, executives from parent company Ingersoll Rand and a number of local political and civic leaders. Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver read a proclamation that declared April 22, 2010 “Club Car Day in Augusta.”

The event coincided with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the global celebration of environmental awareness. In recognition of its commitment to sustainability, Ingersoll Rand on Thursday launched its Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES). The center will focus on identifying and implementing best practices for the long-term use of energy and other resources for customers and communities.

Speaking at the Club Car ceremony, Jim Bolch, president of Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Technologies Sector, said the CEES would partner with non-governmental organizations and universities, as well as technology and industry leaders to fund research, support scholarships and host seminars on the subject of environmental sustainability. “Maybe most importantly, we’ll engage and educate our won employees about ways to bring green solutions to market and to make our own organization and the communities we serve even more green.” Bolch added.

Club Car’s two millionth vehicle was produced nine years and one month after Club Car reached the one-millionth milestone.

“Our business continues to evolve as our customers’ needs and the types of customers we serve continue to evolve.” Michel said. “It’s hard to predict the vehicle that may symbolize the three millionth Club Car, but I’m sure it will be one that is right for the times.”

For more information, visit www.clubcar.com.

TROJAN BATTERY TO POWER E-Z-GO’S NEW TXT® 48 FLEET GOLF CAR
Trojan extends contract with E-Z-GO to be its exclusive deep cycle battery supplier for its newest electric fleet vehicles

Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries, today announced that it has extended its contract with  E-Z-GO as its exclusive supplier of deep cycle batteries for all new electric fleet golf cars made by E-Z-GO, including the Industry-leading RXV® and the recently introduced TXT® 48 fleet golf cars. As part of this new contract, E-Z-GO will also offer Trojan’s HydroLink™ single-point watering system as an option. The HydroLink watering system will be available as an aftermarket accessory as well as factory-installed on Trojan batteries in select golf cars, like the RXV and TXT 48.

“Trojan is pleased with the extended opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with E-Z-GO,” said David Godber, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Trojan Battery Company. “E-Z-GO’s decision to use Trojan Battery in all of their fleet golf cars is an undeniable testimony to the quality products and services we provide.”

“Extending our partnership was an easy decision stemming from the outstanding collaboration that existed between our two companies,” said Kevin Holleran, president of E-Z-GO. “Trojan’s innovative battery technology has enabled E-Z-GO to integrate vital technological advancements such as the TruCourse Technology featured in our TXT 48. In addition, we rely on Trojan for its exceptional field support, which has resulted in improved efficiency and a higher level of customer service provided by E-Z-GO dealers and service locations nationwide.”

E-Z-GO’s new TXT 48 is an update of the proven TXT electric golf car platform with a 48-volt DC drivetrain and E-Z-GO’s exclusive TruCourse Technology system, offering more customization settings than any other fleet golf car on the market. The combination of the 48-volt DC drivetrain and TruCourse Technology also makes the TXT 48 10 percent more energy efficient than the previous 36-model, and its improved regenerative braking system provides up to 10 percent more power back into the batteries under normal operating conditions – lowering operating costs for the golf course operator.

As of mid-April, the TXT 48 and other new electric vehicles from E-Z-GO will also feature Trojan’s new T2 Technology, a series of refinements integrated for enhanced performance in Trojan’s most popular deep cycle golf batteries. Engineered to address the increasing performance demands of advancing OEM requirements, T2 Technology builds upon Trojan’s historically proven technology and incorporates improvements in electrochemical processing and battery design to achieve maximum sustained performance and deliver more total energy.  Improvements include enhancements in Trojan’s Alpha Plus® Paste and the Maxguard® separator design. The T2 Technology will be available to the general public in Trojan’s flooded, deep cycle batteries starting in June.

For more information visit www.trojanbattery.com

CART MART CONTINUES TO GROW ITS WORKFORCE IN SPITE OF TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES

Cart Mart is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Richard Cook for the new position of Director of Sales and Marketing. Cooks responsibilities will be to increase revenue across all departments, with a primary focus on new vehicle sales and in growing accounts through relationship management. He will use his extensive sales and marketing experience to develop new sales strategies and programs that will enhance our market share. Additionally, Cook will work with sales individuals in our organization to improve their sales skills, sales process’ and to develop, train and motivate.

Some of Cook’s prior sales experience includes over 20 years serving the automotive, utility vehicle, and battery industries. Cook spent 4 years in fleet sales and dealer management with Volvo Car Corporation Sweden (VCCS). As North American Sales Manager to Volvo Car Corporation, Cook was also responsible for setting up the infrastructure with Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) and Volvo Car Corporation Sweden to handle logistics, distribution, parts and service. Cook comes to us from a recent engagement as a former Sales Consultant to the golf and utility vehicle industry, with a local lithium battery manufacturer. We are excited about his future contributions to our organization.

In 2009, the company increased it’s workforce by 18%. For more information on Cart Mart, visit www.cartmart.com.

POLARIS ON-ROAD DIVISION EXPANDS BREEZETM FAMILY OF PRODUCTS
Polaris Neighborhood Vehicles Launches 2-Passenger and Street-Legal Models

Continuing a tradition built on more than 55 years of innovative and well-built off-road products, Polaris Industries Inc. has unveiled its new BreezeTM Neighborhood Vehicle model line-up.

“Since our launch in fall of 2009, the Breeze and its MyChoiceTM  rear seat conversion capability have been very well received, so we’re thrilled to offer two new models to our customers,” said Greg Thompson, marketing manager for the Breeze family of vehicles. New to the line-up is Polaris’ first street-legal electric-powered neighborhood vehicle, the Polaris Breeze SL; and a new 2-passenger version of the Breeze.

Built by a company whose name is synonymous with redefining recreational vehicles, each new model features an advanced, adjustable suspension and plush contoured seating that delivers an extremely comfortable and smooth ride which has become the hallmark of the Polaris Breeze. Boasting an automotive look, premium cut-and-sew seat design, and metallic paint colors, each Polaris Breeze promises to stand out from other neighborhood vehicles.

“The Breeze SL and two-passenger Breeze are yet to more examples of how Polaris is offering new and exciting ways for consumers to enjoy a master-planned community lifestyle,” said Marc Tullemans, director of Polaris’ Neighborhood Vehicle business. “We’ve added the innovation consumers have come to expect from Polaris into all-electric vehicles, making every Breeze a smart and fun choice for the whole family.”

The new Polaris Breeze models will be available for test rides and purchase beginning June 1st, at select Polaris Neighborhood Vehicle dealerships. Specific dealer locations can be found at www.polarisbreeze.com. In addition to Suede Metallic, the vehicles will also be in premium metallic colors Pearl White and Northwoods Green.

“Throughout 2010, we’ll continue to expand our dealer network and product availability, and hope excitement around the Breeze thus far continues as consumers see and ride these wonderful new models we’ve added to the line,” said Tullemans.

TS (JulAug10) - New Use For Manual Chargers

By: Matt Vallez

Upon returning to the garage where his golf car has been stored for several months, the owner plugs in his automatic charger and finds it will not come on.  He did not feel comfortable leaving it plugged in for the entire off season, but now the battery charger won’t come on. This is one of the most common problems with electric golf cars left sitting for several months without a charger connected to them. They appear to be dead; next a technician is called to check it out. The typical technician will check the car over and tell customers the batteries or the charger is the problem, transport the car back to the shop where they have a method of charging batteries that are under the critical 80% discharge level (70% nominal voltage level), and or checking the charger.

There are still many automatic chargers in use today that will not come on until there is at least 70% nominal charge voltage in the battery pack. That is how they were designed; this keeps them from working if there are major issues within the system. That is why they need to have a 70% nominal charge voltage to start; it was a designed safety feature. The nominal pack voltage of a 36 volt system fully charged is around 38 volts. A 48 volt battery pack fully charged would be around 52 volts. On the low end 70% (voltage) of a 36 volt pack would be close to 25 volts and a 48 volt pack at 70% (voltage) would be close to 33 volts.

The good news is that in the last five years charger technology has improved to the point where most automatic chargers only need to detect one or two volts to start a charge cycle. Also many chargers are now built with multiple fail-safe systems. Now, if the relay fails the charger will not continue to run until unplugged as some older chargers did. The problem with wet cell lead acid batteries is they discharge at a rate of 4% per week. In higher temperatures the discharge rate is even quicker. That means 16% per month. If you do the math it will only take two months and you are below the 70% nominal voltage. Newer charger technology also allows maintenance charging for storage.

I will give you a couple of solutions to fix this problem, in order of expense. One, you can add a relay by-pass switch to an existing automatic charger (Ferro-resonant only) see following diagram
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Locate timer board relay on the main PC  board. Splice into the normally open contact wire and the common terminal wire. Connect each wire to a toggle switch or push pull switch you will mount on the charger case. Plug the charger into the car and wall AC plug. Flip the toggle switch on and this will now by-pass the relay contacts. Allow charging to occur for 1 to 2 hours or more. Turn switch off and then unplug DC cord and plug back in. The timer board should now time out as normal.

Two, you can take an existing manual (timer) charger 36 or 48 it makes no difference. Put a SB50 amp DC plug on the end. This will allow you to use it with any Nivel modular DC cords we offer to fit any current DC receptacle, and a lot of old ones also. Connect the manual charger using the appropriate Nivel DC cord set and let the pack charge 2 or 3 hours which will allow pack voltage to rise to a level where the automatic timer will accept. Before completing the charge cycle, check battery cell water level and you should be good to go. A general rule of thumb is to charge the batteries every 30 to 45 days to prevent over discharging to start with. The final option is to switch to AGM batteries which have a slower self discharge rate of 1% per month. This way the car could sit for many months before needing additional help charging.

In any case I believe a good idea is to take an old manual charger and have it ready to use in these situations. A technician can put the manual charger on the car, go to lunch or another call and circle back to check on the progress. Most of the time this is all that is needed. Good luck.

ATG (JulAug10) - Connecting Battery Gauges

QUESTION:

How do I connect a battery gauge?

Wayne From Villages, Florida

ANSWER:

First let’s talk about what those things are. Some call them charge indicators and some call them discharge meters. So which is it? The market offers two styles of meters to monitor battery voltage. One meter is digital and one is analog. The difference between the two is the analog is basically a voltmeter. The digital meter is more of a battery discharge indicator (BDI). However, during non-use (no load) the meter can tell battery pack charge. But its real value is reading discharge voltage to prevent over discharging the batteries. The value to this is we do not want the cell voltage during discharge to go beyond 1.70 volts per cell. That will be close to 80% discharge of the battery pack. Without monitoring the amount of discharge, damage to the batteries can occur. So, how do we connect the meters?

Analog or Digital will connect the same way. It has always been an industry standard to connect directly to hard positive and hard negative. What this means is connecting as close to the main battery car connections as possible. There are several good reasons for this. One reason is the activation wiring is usually too small and does not truly represent the power side of the system. So connecting to the small activation wiring is not as accurate as connecting directly to the battery pack. Another area of concern is connecting to the key switch. I do not recommend this at all! The reason being is the key switch has resistance. This resistance will give you a false reading. The other reason for not using the key switch is not all key switch circuits are positive voltage. If a key switch activation is desired I suggest utilizing a relay in that circuit. This will allow on/off of the meter if you want to do that. However, it is not necessary to turn the meter off. The draw on the batteries is so low it will not cause battery discharge.

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Note: some digital meters do utilize a third connection for key switch activation. You can use this if it is indeed a positive circuit. Still connect the other two wires to hard positive and negative.

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