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Micro utility trucks to be legal on city streets
new deh city council  sand reeper pic web
Shown is an example of a Sand Reeper micro utility truck that will now be legal on city streets. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved an ordinances that will allow the so-called micro utility trucks on city streets.

However, the ordinance is very specific, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. It only covers the street-legal micro trucks as recognized by Kansas statute. It does not include such vehicles as golf carts and all-terrain vehicles.

The state defines these trucks as “any motor vehicle which is not less than 48 inches in width, has an overall length, including the bumper, of not more than 106 inches, has an unloaded weight, including fuel and fluids, of more than 1,500 pounds, can exceed 40 miles per hour and is manufactured with a metal cab.” The Kansas Highway Patrol notes they may be driven on county black-top and gravel roads, but gives cities the option of authorizing street usage. 

Now, they may be driven anywhere in the county, except of state highways where they remained banned. A driver may cross a state road, but cannot travel on it.

The next step, Suelter said, is to come up with a method of registration. He has been in touch with Garden City and other communities that allow the trucks for ideas.

As it stands now, vehicles will be inspected at the Great Bend Police Department. A legal driver’s license is required for those 18 years and older and owners will have to pay some sort of fee for a special, city-specific tag (a tag that would be somewhere between a motorcycle and a regular car).

Suelter will bring a finalized method of registration back to the council for approval at a later date.

The ordinance came at the request of Brian and Dillon Mitchell, owners of Mitchell Motors in Great Bend. Brian requested the City pass an ordinance, Suelter said.  

Brian said he has for months researched the Sand Reeper by Oreion Motors LLC. This company only builds “micro-utility trucks,” low speed vehicles. Sand Reepers are in many states in the U.S., with three of the four states around Kansas. 

Brian said these are quality products, built with National Highway Safety Administration safety features, such as turn signals and high and low beam headlights. “Sand Reeper has Department of Transportation components and is Environmental Protection Agency compliant. At 30-40 miles per gallon, they are a “reduced” dimensional vehicle that comes equipped with everything a regular vehicle needs to be considered street legal. They are a ‘street legal’ buggy, with full off-road capability.” 

“We think they have a value and a place,” Brian said.