Thursday, July 20, 2017  

Golf Carts
From Cart Paths to City Streets  

Golf carts were originally invented so golfers could more quickly move throughout a course without having to haul their bags on foot. Today, there are very few golf courses that do not offer the usage of golf carts. While this may have been their intended usage, it is very far from being their only usage.

Many industries and communities use golf carts as a means of travel. We see golf carts at airports, college campuses, farms, warehouses, and many other locations. With golf carts filling so many needs in private and corporate setting we are beginning to see an overhaul in their design. The back space that used to be used for holding golf bags may now be extra seating, storage, or a bed on the back for hauling equipment. In some instances they are even built from the ground up with the specifications necessary to haul heavy duty equipment and machinery or even a lift kit.

If you are looking to purchase a golf cart the first question you will need to ask yourself will be what you plan on using the cart for. Standard carts are all that will be necessary if you plan on using your utility vehicle for personal use or golfing. If you intend to use your cart for heavy hauling you may want to go with a commercial or industrial model.

Since there are so many options available in golf carts it is important for the consumer to know exactly how they plan to use the vehicle before they make their purchase. Some things to keep in mind are the number of people you are interested in transporting or the weight of cargo. Even the size of the cart may impact your purchase, so be sure to do your homework.

Another decision to make is whether you would prefer a gas or electric powered cart. While this is not quite the toss up it once was, this is still a question that must be addressed. Most people prefer the electric models as they have little environmental impact, are inexpensive to fuel, and are often quieter. Gas carts still have their benefits in being able to carry extra fuel, which is beneficial to those who may be away from a power outlet, carrying heavier loads, or running for longer at night with the head lights on.

Recreational use golf carts that are only intended for transport are beginning to have many new accessories to compliment the needs of the driver. We are even beginning to see many options added so they may meet the needs to be used on public roads. In Virginia Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), such as golf carts, can be driven on roadways where the speed is thirty-five miles per hour or less unless the locality specifically restricts the use of LSVs for safety purposes. To keep from hindering the use of LSVs, the law provides that operators may drive through intersections of higher speed roadways.

Low speed vehicles, like golf carts, can only be operated on highways by individuals who hold a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. They are subject to all of the same Department of Motor Vehicle requirements that a standard car are such as titling, registration, and insurance.

To ensure proper safety Virginia state law requires that every low speed vehicle that is operated on a public highway be equipped with head lights, brake lights, tail lights, reflex reflectors, and emergency or parking brake, an externally mounted rearview mirror, an internally mounted rearview mirror, a windshield, one or more windshield wipers, a speedometer, an odometer, brakes for each wheel, a safety belt system, and a vehicle identification number. While these requirements may seem like a lot there are LSV golf carts made with these as standard features at very affordable prices.

For those looking for a vehicle to use inside town limits or small communities with speeds no higher than thirty-five miles per hour the new “street legal” golf carts are the perfect option. There are also options available to suit a wide range of other needs. Talk to a golf cart distribution center or sales person to see which options may be right for you.