Kids mini bin truck / garbage truck project

Kids mini bin truck / garbage truck project

My nephew Broden loves bin lorry's. He has quite a few toys of them and even told his mum he wants to be a bin man when he grows up. So I thought the best thing to make him would be his own little bin lorry. I didn't really draw any plans for this, I did a few sketches and had a few ideas of how to do it. I started by scanning the local ads for an old Mobility scooter and came up trumps when one down the road for me went up for sale so I went and collected it.
It has a 300w motor and 2 good 12V batterys. The usual thumb controller for direction, variable speed pot, indicators, horn, hazards, front and rear lights etc… It was all in pretty good condition so this was the ideal donor vehicle.
I wanted the truck to look good aswell as perform the task. I've seen some other mobility scooters converted into small vehicles but a lot of them have a weird scale thing going on, really tall and narrow. What I did was to use the wheels as the basis to my scale. The wheels are 250mm diameter and by looking at other trucks I found it was about 5 wheel spaces for the wheel base and around 2 and a half wheels high. "coincidently" I had just made a new workbench at work so I drew the side profile down on to it.
With that worked out I stripped the whole mobility scooter down to its chassis and separated the rear from it.
Working from the drawing I stretched the chassis using some 50×25 box.
The first main brain teaser was the steering. It took me a little bit of figuring out how to do this. As the steering wheel is now in front of the front wheels I came up with a L shape brackets and hastily tacked it up with some temporary flat bar to act as rods so I could get my sizes for the final thing.
After I had all that settled I moved onto the body. Another thing I saw on other converted mobility scooters was really sharp corners which I didn't want. My boss said I could use all the scrap 3mm plate I wanted which was great but unfortunately we don't have a bender at work so the way I got a nice bend was to cut 25mm pipe into quarters and then tack that along the edge of the 3mm plate to create a nice bend.
I liked building the body this way, its double welding but looks much nicer. Also I know 3mm plate is over kill but this is meant to be played with by a 4 year old and sometimes accidents happen. If it was thinner gauge or fiberglass the body would just smash and dent. After a while I got the majority of the cab done.
Oh, I also wanted to make sure adults could play with it too so here I am setting up the seat height and working out the steering wheel position. Its hard to try and make it useable for heights of 6ft to 3ft but I managed in the end. The seat is from the mobility scooter as well. The whole seat runs on an adjustable runner which was good but the back was fixed so later on I also made that on sliders and was able to move the back move forward independently to the base for better back support.
Cab taken on its final basic shape. I used some more 50×25 for the rear of the chassis to support the bed.
Then I took the body off and free styled the rest of the chassis. I used the nice new shiny chop saw from work for all my angles. Its made from 25×25 box section. I also made a steering pivot point better than the one shown using an old bearing and an old socket.
With the body back on I could get the steering shaft in place and the seat in place.
At first I had intended it to have pedals for controls. I used the steering bar from the scooter on an adjustable pivot so it can be raised but after a lot of faffing about I decided it would actually be simpler for the controls to be used by the thumbs on the steering wheel. The steering wheel is something my bro gave me that he picked up from an auto jumble years ago.
Back to the body. I had started to drew a lights and grill design on the front in chalk so I could mess about with the design a bit. For aesthetics I added a grill to the rear portion of the cab. I also stitched the whole cab up. Full welds weren't really necessary.
Here's a better look at the final steering assembly.
For easier access to drive it I thought a door would be a good idea. I cut one out from the side and used a door hinge to put it all back together I also made a little pull latch for a handle. You can see I had started on the floor too, used some nice chequer plate.
Looking mean eh .
With the cab nearly finished I started on the electrics. I put the main motherboard of the electrics into the right hand side wing and extended all the light, controls and horn wires to fit into the dash board.
I also started on the rear bed. I made this from more 25×25. Now, once a bin lorry is full of rubbish you need some way of getting that rubbish back out.
I looked into liner actuators, which if you don't know is pretty much an electric version of a hydraulic ram. I managed to get one for free from an old hospital table that thankfully ran on 24v.
Which was great, but after spending the time to shorten the ram down and work out the electrics for limit travel I managed to shred the plastic teeth. Oh well, atleast it worked long enough for me to set the whole thing up and I just bought a more heavy duty one from ebay.
I also have a video from the bed lift test on youtube here.

It was also at this point I could have my first test shot of it, which is also on youtube here.

Once the bed was done I started on the top half.

bed up again
That was the basic rear done.
To line the rear I used some galvanise sheet to give it a more industrial look.
It was a bit tricky trying to figure out a way for the bin to attach, flip up and back down again without falling over. This was my first attempt. In the end I made the C claws a bit larger to stop the bin from flying on the down stroke and to also make taking the bin off easier

I have a test video of that here too.

Getting to the final stages now, the bin truck is pretty much all there so its just the little details needing done like a grill, lights and paint.
I stripped the cab and bed off to leave the chassis which I painted semi gloss black.
I was able to use the mobility scooter rear lights and indicators, they had a nice shape. I also ordered up a set of number plates on Ebay.
The front of the cab got a pair of nice new lights. They are designed to be used as reverse lights for a truck so there safe for 24v. I popped the indicator bulbs inside the housing as well. I had to wrap them in some orange jaffa cake wrapping as I didn't have proper orange bulbs, works a treat. The grill is fine mesh attached to a bit of sheet. My brother told me about one of his toys has the brand name "MAN" on the grill that Broden points out so I thought id include the good old BARLAS brand on this one .
Stripped the body down and started to fill in all the gaps and smooth stuff over.
I never had any orange paint at work so I mixed some up from red and yellow. It took a while to mask off the rear but was worth it in th eend.
Let the rebuild begin. I was finishing off a few things at the same time. I lined the inside of the cab with some fake leather I had.
I was down to my last day here so I never took the time to take more photos before presenting it to my Nephew.
I went round to his house on Sunday there. We spoke to Ruaridh and he was a good sport, realising that I was giving his brother a gift when it wasn't his birthday or anything. He understood that I had been busy and had already made him 2 special things so that was cool. My Mum and Dad also came round to see it. We all went outside and I said to Broden I had a present for him. So whilst he waited patiently for me I unloaded it from the van and drove it round. As soon as he saw he shouted " A wee bin truck!". As soon as I heard that I was happy. If he could tell it was a bin lorry then I had done a good job. I was trying to explain to him all the things but I could tell he was all excited and just wanted a shot.
His brother also got a shot.
Then my dad got in on the action .
Oh, the tuck is also modular, you can remove the bin picking up part and then the top so it turns into a pick up style truck.
My brother had a good idea to get the other toys out and show all 3 of them together. The digger, trike and bin truck.
Me next.
I hope you have lots of fun with the bin truck Broden, I had fun making it.
My brother sent me this photo today of how cutting the grass is so much easier for him now, he just gets the boys to do it.
Source : kevbarlas from Reddit