Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Postman

Hello from the Thunder Bay area

23 posts in this topic

Hi all:I accidentally discovered this smart on Auto Trader right here in Thunder Bay. I've really been trying to figure out how to replace my '93 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 with a newer Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 (I live in the country so I sorta need a 4x4 truck for plowing snow, hauling etc.), and I happened to check on used Smarts for sale in Ontario (45 at last count). But this one was right here in town, so I went for a looksee last Sunday 23rd, chatted the dealer on Monday 24th, and got to try it out for 24 hours last Wed/Thurs 26/27th, by which time both it and I were sold! It;s just so darn much fun to drive. Kinda reminds me a bit of the Orange '74 Beetle I drove for 15 years. I think my Smart will tide me over for a few years as well as the old truck, but I anticipate the smart will become my primary means of transpo. I drive about 50 kms a day (country living), so it should be cost effective too (compare with 17L /100Kms on the 4x4). My 1 year old - 20,000km smart is in near mint condition. North Star MB here sold/leased it new and the owner traded up last April to a Mercedes. His loss. I've already updated the Smart database.Tuesday Oct.2nd will be the 1st day I get to officially drive it to work and my boss and I are planning a little gag (see the attached doctored photo). It's essentially the same color as the corporate vehicles. I'll park it in the Canada Post Fleet parking lot, with a couple of decals taped on and we'll see how many Posties ask my boss about it and if they can try it for a day (Definitely NOT! :smirk: ). Should be fun though. Personally, I think the Post Office should have a fleet of Smarts instead of the full sized V8 Ford Van gas-guzzlers, but it's not up to me, and besides, the Post Office is just not that progressive.As far as mods are concerned, I'm mainly interested in comfort/towing/cargo upgrades such as hitches, racks, trunk containment, armrests, mp3 connection, etc. and maybe a scan guage. The cupholder doesn't work very well for me, but the new 451 dual cupholder looks much better, as does the net/luggage cover combo (see other forums for what I am talking about) if they fit and when parts orders can be made. And the really exciting news (to me) is that receiver hitches are going to be available right here in Canada from SCU (again, another forum) which will create all kinds of options for ski/board/spare tire/ext.tray racks and towing.Well, that's about enough for now. I'd have posted sooner, but couldn't log in (thanks to Steve @ smartieparts for manually activating my account).

post-4534-1191207068_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the club! Those Canada Post stickers look right at home on your car.I work for the provincial government here and I think we should be using smarts wherever we can. People in the office don't take it seriously, even though they like my car.I notice in your signature that you don't have summer tires yet. I would suggest that you upgrade to the Continentals when you do get them, instead of the Bridgestones that the Pure comes with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice wheels! I got the black one that was next to it. Did we chat? Seems you talk to a lot of folks when you get one of these. Just a warning. :biglaugh: Will see you around town. Welcome (though just joined myself)!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, from another new "Smartie". Love that prank you're doing with your colleagues. It's not impossible that they could be converted... I've seen quite a few Golf TDIs owned by the City of Ottawa, and I saw in a newspaper that the Toronto police have a smart (and it's a VERY tall guy driving it). Aliza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved your picture.Do let us know what reactions you got! Enjoy! :drive:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need to post a photo of your smart with it's "trainer", the tractor, too :)

This is mine. It was very hard to find a car to match it. :biglaugh:

post-2693-1191453094_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOVED the pic! :lol: What kind of reactions are you getting from your neighbours with that one?And how did the prank go on your colleagues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the prank went very well. I parked the car in the Fleet parking lot, where people pretty much couldn't miss it, and taped the Post Office logos on the side and front. I also put the doctored image in the announcements book. Carriers didn't know what to think, and altho very few comments came my way (because no one knew it was really mine), my supervisors said they got lots of questions and requests to use it. One person badgered my boss 3 times that she should/needed to use it that day, and he played dumb, but finally he had to tell her it was a joke. She hasn't said two words to me since --- I guess she's one who "can't take a joke. Lots thought it was the first of many that the Post Office was going to acquire. And the next day, several people flat out refused to believe it was mine. Of course, when most people knew the truth a day or two later, I got all the usual questions, as well as the typical "yeah, but what happens when you hit a transport truck, eh?!?!?!". Fortunately, their vehicles are all certified for hitting tractor-trailers at 100 kmh :lol: I'm_now_smarter, yes it's impossible to convert Canada Post. They have a Fleet Management Dept. at Head Office in Ottawa, which insists that V-8, rear wheel drive, full size Ford vans are the only option, then they complain that fuel usage is too high. Those Fords are terrible for traction in Canadian winters unless fully loaded (which never happens) and they won't put sandbags in the back because that increases fuel consumption, so one Manager suggested front wheel drive mini-vans. Fleet Management responded that they considered the mini vans to be unsafe because they had 2 sliding doors!!!!!!! Can you believe that? Smart's catch phrase is "Open your mind", but these characters locked their minds many years ago and threw away the key. Canada Post is proud though, that last year they tested one (1) hybrid vehicle out of a fleet of 6,500, whereas Purolator (a wholly owned subsididiary) tested 11 out of 1,000 vehicles. But Corporate B.S. says Canada Post is proud of their committment to the environment.Dennis, I see you've got a Massey. Mine's pretty similar, but Kubota Orange and Ag tires instead of turf tires. Are you happy with the rear mount snowblower? I use my 4x4 truck with a SnowBear plow for snow removal. My tractor also has a box scraper and 5' rotary bush mower. One of these days I'll take a pic of the tractor and Smart side by each.NJV, my dealer said he installed Contis on another Smart and they were having trouble within 3 months. However, since I live in the country, I may just leave the Blizzak M+S tires on year round. We'll see.

post-4534-1191680613.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, didn't realize Canada Post was quite that backwards! Their Fleet types seem to have the same mindset as my 94-year-old grandfather: big rear wheel V8 is the only way to go, and length of car shows status. Might've worked in the 50s but things changed, yet he remained locked into the '83 Chrysler Fifth Avenue mindset until he had to stop driving. The good news: your fleet managers are probably due for retirement soon! And sounds like the younger sorts are far more open minded, if they're wanting smarts and fuel economy. G'luck... PS not all gov't departments in Ottawa are like that. NRCan had several smarts, even a roadster, before they were available here. In fact those were the first smarts I saw in person (at a vintage car show, oddly enough).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm_now_smarter:FYI, Canada Post Corp. has been a Crown Corporation since the early 90's (I believe) so they aren't quite a gov't department, although there is still a Minister responsible for them. Canada Post has made a profit every year since back then, and improved their standards of delivery considerably (although we often say sarcastically that "...Canada Post has standards of delivery, and if we can't meet them, then we'll lower them" :lol: ). So they have paid millions in dividends each year to the Federal Government. Nonetheless, the senior management at Head Office in Ottawa appears to work in a proverbial Ivory Tower, and indeed the entire workforce appears to be mired in the past. Canada Post jobs seem to be "jobs for life", coupled with the fact that the Post Office was a great source of employment for veterans in the 40's. So a military type of management prevailed for many years, which of course is diminishing now that those people are retired. The current crop of management suffered under their ex-military predecessors, so now its their chance to get even. Also, nepotism was (and continues to be) rife within Canada Post. So the offspring of those managers are firmly entrenched in the corporation. Ottawa tends to 'talk the talk', but they appear to have no idea how the corporation actually works in reality, so they rarely 'walk the walk'. I am a lowly letter carrier, the bottom of the pile, and this may sound like a rant, but it is what I have observed in daily practice, compared with the information that is disseminated to employees. But it is nevertheless, just one postie's opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like your choice of car, and the decals, priceless :doublethumb: . Too bad Canada Post won't go that route, Not all the government agency's are so close minded on the Smarts tho. I was quite surprised last fall when I went to Ottawa and saw a couple Smarts in an RCMP compound. I was curious so I just had to stop and ask, It appears they are part of their fleet and used for daily commuting (not work stuff). They also are testing differant Hybrids as well. Seems these are popular with their staff. No Identifying stickers tho. The BC government is also supposed to be going green, I haven't heard of any Smarts but they do have some Hybrids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gadget.... didn't know the RCMP had smarts. Given the annual sale of horses that didn't meet the Musical Ride standards is going on this weekend, I'm having the mental image of a Mountie on a smart, rather than a horse!Postman.... I worked for CIDA for ten years. It, too, was a bastion of ex-military types at the start and some oddities remain. And LOTS of lifers there. As for mail delivery: yup, Canada Post is pretty good. So now we just have to help you guys get better vehicles! If smarts will make postal carriers happy it will be good for morale AND save the managers money so fit the profit strategy... and mean Canada Post makes even more money for us other departments to then spend so that'll make us happy :smirk: Doesn't that sound like the perfect win-win strategy?Seriously: Maybe if enough other departments (F/P/T/L) go smart, word'll get out to the fleet management types in remaining departments, and peer pressure will do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.... Fleet Management Dept. at Head Office in Ottawa, which insists that V-8, rear wheel drive, full size Ford vans are the only option, then they complain that fuel usage is too high. Those Fords are terrible for traction in Canadian winters unless fully loaded (which never happens) and they won't put sandbags in the back because that increases fuel consumption, so one Manager suggested front wheel drive mini-vans. Fleet Management responded that they considered the mini vans to be unsafe because they had 2 sliding doors!!!!!!! Can you believe that? Smart's catch phrase is ....

So, um, when I send a parcel by Canada Post and there's a "fuel surcharge", they STILL complain??BTW, my front-drive minivan has a good balance of traction, space and fuel economy. These vehicles are about to become obsolete; CanPost has missed a 20 year opportunity for savings! (although, down here the independent contract mail carriers sometimes use them). If they move to smaller vehicles now (while mail volume is decreasing), there are still savings to be had...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canada Post should get a fleet of Sprinters....nice CDI engine and 10 L/100 km or better, versus 20+ in the US gas pigs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, Postman. Congratulations.It must be an optical illusion, but to me, in your picture, it looks like your front wheel is bigger in diameter than your rear wheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NJV, my dealer said he installed Contis on another Smart and they were having trouble within 3 months. However, since I live in the country, I may just leave the Blizzak M+S tires on year round. We'll see.

Are you referring to the Conti Winter tires or the summer ContiEcoContact's that come standard on all Pulse's and Passion's?I would stay away from using the Blizzak's year round as they have poor traction on dry roads, and will wear out very quickly. If you are concerned about traction on gravel/dirt roads, maybe consider the Vredestien Quatrac2 All Season tires.There is much discussion on tires all over the place here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More