Eight months after beginning the project, mechanics at Pechanga Resort & Casino’s auto shop unveiled their custom showpiece last week — a golf cart modified into a tow truck, which was made from parts of retired carts that were about to be dumped.
The cost was only $381 for the overhaul, but the finished product could compete in a car show. The new service truck has chrome plating and a fiery orange paint job, and each component was reborn from its original history.
“The tow boom is made from the overhead handrails from a passenger shuttle,” said Mike Lemire, supervisor at Pechanga’s auto shop, part of the casino’s 500 acres of resort property. Onsite mechanics maintain more than 150 vehicles.
The service truck was designed to pick up any of the resort’s 48 golf carts that may need a tow, but it doubles as the auto shop’s courtesy cart for guests stranded in the parking lot.
Lemire said patrons only need basic stuff for their vehicles, such as gasoline. The shop gets radioed for guest support up to seven times a day, on average.
“Most of it is a lot of jumpstarts and flat-tire repairs,” Lemire said.
The service truck has a large capacity alternator hooked up to it for providing battery power; it is also outfitted with an air compressor and a floor jack, he said.
Much of the body of the service truck is made from built-in toolboxes that were removed from the bed of an old utility truck. A discarded trash dumpster also was helpful in the creation, as the dumpster’s wheels were used to feed a cable to the truck’s winch.
“The tires and rims are combinations from different carts,” Lemire said. giving Yamaha, Club Car, and E-Z-GO models credit for their contributions. Even the engine was recycled from a riding lawn mower, he said.
Lemire came up with the idea for the service truck after the casino purchased new shuttle carts and five broken or outdated carts were lined up to be tossed out. He said that his group of five mechanics worked on the vehicle during downtime at the auto shop.