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Cushman Ice Cream Truck

Ever thought it would be really "cool" to own a Cushman Ice Cream Truck?

Remember it puttering through your neighborhood, with its bell announcing its arrival, when you were growing up?

Talk about hometown nostalgia! These weren't just normal ice cream trucks!

These fun - yet practical trucks, more commonly known as "trucksters" are still around today and being used to sell ice cream, hot dogs, coffee and a sandwhich, elephant ears or funnel cakes--as well as many other novelties.

Where Do I Find a Cushman Ice Cream Truck?

Many trucksters and scooters with attached trailers or trailer beds can still be found today.

They have been available on and in the local paper.

Operating costs are much smaller than other similar type businesses, which make the Cushman Truckster a popular choice.

Cushman's Humble Beginnings

The Cushman company began in 1903 and was in operation for exactly 100 years, till 2003.

The company was started by brothers Clinton and Everett Cushman in Lincoln, NE. The company's official title was Cushman Motor Works (adopted in 1913).

Until 1936 the company manufactured small engines for farm equipment, lawn mowers, and boats. Cushman also manufactured the motorcycle - type vehicles, called motor scooters, you see used and driven in all the old war movies. It produced these vehicles mainly for the military from 1936 till 1965 .

After the war years, the company not only produced the Cushman Ice Cream truck, but also golf carts, and grass or turf maintenance type vehicles.

The Invention of The Truckster

Cushman Trucksters were manufactured from 1958 to 2002. These new trucks were small and light duty - perfect for ice cream sales.

During that same era they have also been used for mall and stadium maintenance and for parking patrol by the police.

These small trucksters resembled a large golf cart with a trailer attached that carried the freezer and ice cream products. They were usually highly visible because of the eye-catching paint jobs as well as the advertising decals.

Cushman Ice Cream Truck Mechanics

Cushman trucksters featured an automatic clutch, which allowed the driver to twist the right grip to go and step on the pedal to stop.

On the truckster, the throttle twisted forward to accelerate, which is opposite of the usual pattern. It featured a step-through design which made it easy to operate.

Cushman boasted 75 miles per gallon and advertised a whopping penny-per-mile operating cost!

The Cushman scooters usually weighed as little as 250 to 335 pounds and had as much as 9 horsepower.

Although production ended in 1965, there are still many of the trucksters and scooters around today.


By Jenn Fraiser

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