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                  Craft Shows, Music Festivals, Fine Art Fairs
      Festival Network Online Newsletter
 Commercial Vendors Edition  - February 2006

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A note from the editor...

Hey Commercial Exhibitors and Food Vendors,

This month, I bring you an article about the benefits of using golf and utility carts at festivals.  Ed Pearsall defines these vehicles and explains the process of renting them in advanced and in bulk with other vendors.  Be sure to check with show promoters before using these vehicles, and know that some festivals already have them for your conveniance.

Also, be sure to rate the shows you have been to!  Log in, search for the shows you know, and click on the "rate it" link.


Improve Festival Logistics with Golf and Utility Cars

Moving people and stuff around in a festival environment can be a challenge, and the larger the land area the event occupies the bigger this problem becomes.

An effective solution for dealing with the on-site festival logistics is the use of golf and utility vehicles.  Since most festivals are an annual event, renting make more sense than ownership, especially where many units will be needed.

Let's start with a definition of the types of units that are normally available for event rental.  The most obvious is the traditional golf cart.  This is a 2 passenger, bench seat vehicle with a small storage area in rear.   They may or may not have a top.  They may be powered by a small gasoline engine or by a rechargeable battery pack.  The electric powered units have the advantage of being very quiet and they do not produce any exhaust fumes.  These units are best suited for indoor use, or perhaps around animals.  However, the gasoline powered units have a much great operation range than the electrics.  Typical gas golf carts can run 150-200 miles on a tank full of gas, and can be filled up and used again immediately.   The electric units will only run 10-15 miles on a charge, and at that point they require a 6-10 hour charge, which also means a 110 volt electrical source must be available, one for each unit.   Gasoline powered units are the most commonly used type in festivals.  Uses for this unit include Parking lot patrols, security, management, and very light hauling.

Next is the utility cart.  There is no regularly used term to describe this vehicle.  We have heard all of the following used:  Workhorse, Trucksters, Mini-truck, Heavy haulers, Carryall, and Utility carts.  The unit is a modified golf car, where the golf related equipment behind the bench seat is removed and replaced with a small version of a pickup truck bed.  These are very handy for hauling food, supplies, ice, trash, audio visual equipment or just about anything you need to move around your event.   It is also important to know that there are at least 2 size versions of this type of vehicle.   The first is the converted golf cart, which give a cargo box area of about 41 by 35 by 10 (sizes may vary slightly in all dimensions).  The second is a larger unit, on a longer frame, with a cargo area of about 48 by 48 by 10-12.   The larger units typically carry a higher daily and weekly rental price than do the converted golf cars.   Most golf and utility cart rental vendors will have both types available.  In some cases, there is a third size, even larger unit available.  They will have at least the 48 by 48 bed, are often lifted to give much greater ground clearance, and may even be 4 wheel drive.   These are a lot less commonly available as rentals and will carry a significantly higher price tag.   We don't recommend the extra heavy duty units unless you have a significant rough-terrain need where the high ground clearance and 4 wheel drive are necessary to do the job.

People movers are another category of golf/utility cart.   These units will seat 4, 6 or even 8 persons in some cases.  The most common unit is a 4 passenger golf cart which is made by installing a rear-facing seat behind the original golf car seat.  Quite often, the rear facing seat will also fold down, resulting in a flat bed for hauling.  The fold down option gives you more versatility than the fixed rear seat, since the cart can be used for both people and equipment hauling.  Also available, often in limited numbers, are six and eight passenger units.   These are golf cars which have been stretched, similar to the way a stretch limo automobile is made, to give 2 or 3 seats all facing forward, and these are also often equipped with a fixed or fold down rear seat as described in the utility carts.

Occasionally available are golf car ambulances, equipped with a portable lay-down gurney which can very useful to remove an injured person from an area that is difficult to reach by regular motor vehicles.

In peak seasons, there is large demand for golf and utility cart rentals, so we recommend planning and reserving your units well ahead (say 2-4 months) of the event date.  Also, one of the major costs incurred by the golf and utility cart providers is hauling the units to and from your event.   We recommend discussing this in advance with your vendor, to determine what type of hauling equipment he/she uses.  This can help save you money.   For example, if the provider uses a trailer with a 10 unit capacity, your best pricing will be in units of 10, all on the same delivery and pickup date.

Article provided by: 
Ed Pearsall,
Co-owner, Cunningham Golf, Sport & Utility Vehicles, supplier of golf and utility cart rentals in Kentucky and surrounding states

Newsletter editor: Julie M. Cochrane
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