Towing a Piaggio Ape Three-Wheel Scooter Rickshaw
When it comes to getting your morning pick-me-up, most people turn to a delicious cup of coffee. In a competitive coffee retailing landscape, our clients found a unique niche – offering mobile barista services to corporate events and private functions.
To promote their business, the client decided to participate in Mississauga’s Italfest happening on August 16-18th at Celebration Square in Mississauga. Italfest is one of the largest Italian-themed events in Canada, attracting thousands of people. This is the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their delicious drinks to thousands of people. The client can also meet people who are planning a birthday, wedding, or a corporate event.
Just a few days before the event, the client had imported a vintage Piaggio Ape from Italy. This three-wheeled light commercial vehicle based on the Vespa scooter has a single seat in the front, and a cargo bed in the rear – making it a popular choice for urban deliveries in many countries. With the growing food truck trend, many of them are even being used as food trucks. Our client had the brilliant idea of importing this unique vehicle to Canada and using it for their mobile barista business.
The three-wheeled Ape cannot be licensed for road use in Canada, however, due to its maximum speed of 45 km/h and lack of safety features. More importantly, the client’s Ape didn’t have a functional engine. For our client to use it at their events, they would need to have it towed. When they called us at Abrams Towing, our dispatch noted the requirements of the vehicle and decided to tow it on a flatbed truck from Etobicoke to Mississauga. The Ape weighs just 550kg – which is less than half the weight of a compact sedan. However, it has only a single wheel upfront, making it incompatible with a wheel-lift tow truck.
Our flatbed driver John was in charge of the tow. On the afternoon of the 16th, he arrived at the client’s address in Etobicoke and winched the Ape onto our flatbed. As the Ape did not have an axle in the front to secure the winch, the vehicle was winched backward onto the flatbed. He then secured it using wheel straps – one securing the front wheel tied to the back of the flatbed, and two securing the rear wheels tied to the sides of the flatbed.
Then it was a 30-minute drive to the heart of Mississauga where the event was taking place. John arrived on site, met with the event staff, and drove to the client’s booth.
The flatbed was then tilted and the wheel straps were removed. The winch slowly released the vehicle onto the ground. Since the vehicle wasn’t functional, it needed to be pushed to the booth. John helped push the Ape to the client’s booth, while the client sat inside and steered it.
While most of the vehicles we tow have at least 4 wheels, it was a unique experience getting to tow this unique three-wheeler. John was able to understand the vehicle’s unique characteristics and secure the vehicle correctly. The client was satisfied with the service and professionalism provided by John, and requested he come back to pick up the vehicle as well after the event. We hope to work with the client again at their future events.