talk to me about pedicabs!

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
kembear
kembear's picture
talk to me about pedicabs!

I'm thinkin of buying a pedicab company! Right now they operate two cabs and I know a couple of people who drive them. I will of course be talking to them, and the owners of a now defunct pedicab company in SLC about the prospects of doing this here. I know several of you have done some pedicab driving, so I thought I'd ask a few questions here as well.

Which pedicab brands are quality made? Are there any that should be avoided?

How long do most people last as drivers?

How much maintenance is involved in keeping these things on the road?

What kind of advertising did your cabs have on them?

What was the lighting situation? The owner of this company didn't really think the lights on his cabs were all that great. (main street cabs)

How did you check in/out your cabs? Where were they stored? I'm not sure I'll want to stick around till 3am to check in cabs every night, considering I live 15 miles from downtown. I'm trying to think of a more automated system that will allow me to get cabs turned in at night and secured safely.

Other problems or pitfalls you have come across?

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 00:13
GRHebard
GRHebard's picture

dont do it.
stickdog kills all companies. idk how they do it

ask jonathan at the collective about it

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 04:06
kembear
kembear's picture

GRHebard wrote:
dont do it.
stickdog kills all companies. idk how they do it

ask jonathan at the collective about it

What do you mean they kill all companies? Stickdog is the company I am thinking of buying.

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 04:45
DangerCat
DangerCat's picture

kemmer wrote:
GRHebard wrote:
dont do it.
stickdog kills all companies. idk how they do it

ask jonathan at the collective about it

What do you mean they kill all companies? Stickdog is the company I am thinking of buying.

well then buy it bc clearly they are the most brootal and will kill any competitor, with sticks..and dogs.

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 05:41
fixed
fixed's picture

Which pedicab brands are quality made? Are there any that should be avoided?

I've only ridden Main Street cabs. They're very nice. What model does he have?

How long do most people last as drivers?

Not long at all. However, craigslist ad postings tend to have great results.

How much maintenance is involved in keeping these things on the road?

Depends how experienced your drivers are. If you're not an idiot and don't shift under massive load (ie just soft-pedal for a second during the shift) you could go forever without doing maintenance.

What kind of advertising did your cabs have on them?

Those full-wrap plastic jobs that companies make up.

What was the lighting situation? The owner of this company didn't really think the lights on his cabs were all that great. (main street cabs)

It depends how the ambient light is in the area. In DC the lights were fine because it's so damn bright all the time. If you're riding through any areas without streetlights, I agree, main street cabs could use some extra light.

How did you check in/out your cabs? Where were they stored? I'm not sure I'll want to stick around till 3am to check in cabs every night, considering I live 15 miles from downtown. I'm trying to think of a more automated system that will allow me to get cabs turned in at night and secured safely.

Our owner just sits in the warehouse until people come back. I have no advice here.

Other problems or pitfalls you have come across?

We should talk about how you pay your drivers. It's a pretty interesting economic issue that should not be taken lightly.

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 07:24
chevy42083

pedicabs in the Downtown Houston area all run low level blinkies (2 maybe 3 rear) and mid-level (~$30) led headlights. Nothing crazy bright, but not knogs either. Areas are all well lit. Different cabs have Xmas lights, rope lights, blinkies added on for effect.

I remember pay being an issue for a friend that rode them. He stuck in it for the big games and weekends, but wasn't worth the money on regular nights. When the Astros or Texans are doing well... tips are nice, people are drunk (and don't want to walk), and they go out to bars afterwards.
I was thinking he said that he rented the pedicab, then i THINK he was supposed to pay the pedicab owner per customer. Not sure where the tips fell, but pretty sure straight to his pocket. It worked as a 2nd job for him (1st being fulltime at a bike shop), but he quit after ~2yrs.

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 09:59
Whippin Skidz
Whippin Skidz's picture

AVOID TRAILERS AT ALL COST KEMMER!!! They are unsafe and bad for the industry. There are a few good trailers out there (Pedaltek), but even then you're relying on the rider to have a properly maintained and safe bike, and skills necessary to handle pulling a loaded trailer. Every year there is talk locally of outlawing trailers, and this year it may actually happen.

Main Street Classics or Broadways are your best bet. As far as maintenance goes, clean and lube both chains, checking daily for wear. Same goes for the rear disk and front v-brake. Wheels can and do go out of true more often than you'd like, so check them weekly, like on a Sunday when no one will be out. Check the rear differential for play weeky (we had a few that had lots of issues and needed several rebuilds, but most of our cabs never had any issues).

Check the body and frame for stress cracks weekly. If you have a cab with a unicrown fork, look in replacing it with the current triple-tree fork. There have been several old forks that snapped off at the crown after lots of use. My buddy Paul (you may have met him, not sure) had his snap in the middle of 5th and Congress (BUSY!!!!) with 3 passengers. Bad news. The lights on the Broadways are really good, in that they all flash. I rode a Classic, and we installed a relay to make the front and rear lights flash, since older models were simply on or off. For a headlamp, get a bright-ass battery (as in the cabs main battery) powered mofo.

For storage, our company had two places. One was at the owners house (few blocks away from Downtown, and he had a HUGE warehouse in back), one was a huge storage unit on the other side of downtown. Cabs are stored on a dolly on their back. We would check in/out our own cabs with a dedicated log sheet in each cab, with a dedicated cubby to charge our batteries and store shit while out riding. Maintenance was done by riders who also had mechanic experience and given a discount on lease in exchange. Most mainenance work was done on Sundays or Mondays. If you had an issue with your cab, you would write it down on a dry erase board next to the work bench and it was always fixed come Thursday. The owner was there since he lived there and would smoke weed and drink with us after shift, but aside from emergencies or something, the guys who worked out of the west side storage were completely autonomous. The east side shop was too for the most part, since we didn't NEED the owner there to function, but it was nice having him around.

I know nothing about the advertising, but it varied from small panels to full wraps depending on what the client wanted.

Feel free to call me or email me or whatever if you have any more questions!

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 11:08
kembear
kembear's picture

fix wrote:

Other problems or pitfalls you have come across?

We should talk about how you pay your drivers. It's a pretty interesting economic issue that should not be taken lightly.

Right now he works on the honor system splitting tips with drivers. I know a lot of companies charge a flat rate per night/week and this is how I would prefer to do it.

Jim, SLC won't allow trailers anyway and they require a $3,000,000 insurance policy. This actually drove the last pedicab company out of business since they couldn't find someone to write them a policy that they could afford. The owner of this company has found a good insurance company, but if that policy ever got dropped for some reason I might be in trouble. The current mayor has offered to lower that requirement, so I will pursue getting that done as my first order of business.

How did the west side warehouse thing work? did the drivers have keys?

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 14:36
GRHebard
GRHebard's picture

they put wasatch pedicab out of business, they have contracts to deliver food for a bunch of restaurants downtown.

i didnt know the owner of stickdog was looking to sell... seems like he' doing pretty good right now

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 15:32
kembear
kembear's picture

Actually Wasatch went out of business before stickdog started up from what I understand, and it was over the insurance thing. Bret will be continuing with the food delivery, he will ask me to agree not to do the food thing as part of the agreement.

Thu, 10/29/2009 - 18:29
San antonio

What ever happened with stickdog? Why did he sell? What kind of things went on with his business? Any info would be nice. Any mean tactics

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 17:00
NOVELTYNAME
NOVELTYNAME's picture

"Folks want options!"

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 17:46
lofarkas
lofarkas's picture

Interesting first post. Your chances of getting help without introducing yourself and saying why you want to know... approximately zero.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 02:14
ergott
ergott's picture
(Reply to #13)

lofarkas wrote:
Interesting first post. Your chances of getting help without introducing yourself and saying why you want to know... approximately zero.

How can we even tell this anymore? I can barely keep track of the regulars changing their names without the stuff that used to be below our screen names.

Tarck is about bringing your forum A game.

If someone on here did it, I'd probably like it. Since it was done by someone I don't know, they're a fucking idiot.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 09:02
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

History:
Member for
1 day 5 hours

emor wrote:
Bicycle commuting is the worst way to get anywhere except for all the other ways.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 09:34
turpencat
turpencat's picture
(Reply to #15)

ergott wrote:
lofarkas wrote:
Interesting first post. Your chances of getting help without introducing yourself and saying why you want to know... approximately zero.

How can we even tell this anymore? I can barely keep track of the regulars changing their names without the stuff that used to be below our screen names.

Tarck is about bringing your forum A game.

not having the locations ruined it for me.
because then I could be like yeah there is only one person in salt lake or somewhere else.

johnnyraja wrote:
If you've never done it then yes, it's very surprising.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 10:21
lofarkas
lofarkas's picture
(Reply to #16)

ergott wrote:
lofarkas wrote:
Interesting first post. Your chances of getting help without introducing yourself and saying why you want to know... approximately zero.

How can we even tell this anymore? I can barely keep track of the regulars changing their names without the stuff that used to be below our screen names.

Tarck is about bringing your forum A game.

Oh I can't keep people straight. Well, not nearly all of them anyway. In this case the name was unfamiliar and the question kinda creepy so I clicked on the username and checked if the guy posted on other threads. Nope.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 13:37