In honour of yesterday’s question about mini-trucks (I know, I couldn’t get this article published in time yesterday), I think it’s only fair that I submit a little bit of research I’ve been doing on my own in the last little while. I submit, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that there is indeed a market for mini-trucks, considering just how mini these trucks are. If people want these things badly enough to import them from Japan, a mini pickup — produced in limited volumes — should not be a failing proposition. I’m not sure how common these little beasts are in the US, due to their arcane import restrictions and nannying safety and emissions regulations, but up here in the land of the free, kei cars are everywhere. The most popular of late have been these little pickups and vans; after years of never seeing them at all, I’m now seeing all conceivable variations showing up in the most unlikely of places. Well… come to think of it, anywhere in Alberta is pretty much the “most unlikely of places” for these things. This is the land of the Rig Rocket — a lifted three-quarter or one-ton pickup spewing as large a cloud of black unrefined diesel as allowable by the four-inch exhausts hanging menacingly under the rear bumper. To say that these are a breath of fresh air would be horribly cliche, but also completely true. The point that I think so many people miss about these little critters, and the one that is so crucial to get across, is just how functional these little things are. They’re not powerful, they’re not luxurious. They are not going to serve the same purpose as a 500 lb-ft diesel dually. But then again, these can be parked anywhere. The vast majority of people who have a truck really need it, what, once a month at the absolute most. Some only need it once or twice a year. The rest of the time, all it does is suck up gasoline and prevent you from occupying prime parking spaces. These little suckers will fit happily wherever you like, and can easily run virtually any task you need them to do. Sure, if you need to haul a pair of quads, or an octet of snowmobiles, this is not going to be the ideal choice. But if you need a truck for all those runs to the greenhouse, or because you need to get your riding lawnmower over to your mom’s house to do her lawn because she won’t move into a nursing home, or to carry all those trinkets home from Pier One, or for hauling those weekend auto parts back and forth to your project car without getting the inside of the wife’s Mustang dirty… this really is an ideal option. If you honestly think you need anything bigger than this, it’s just because you feel you have to compensate for something. Enjoy the gallery of kei trucks I’ve found in the last few weeks, and the enormous amount of effort I put in to getting them to you using nothing more than an iPhone!