The Harley-Davidson Package Truck

After a short two year run, Harley-Davidson canceled production of their motorcycle truck in 1914.  For the next model year, they debuted their second attempt at a commercial motorcycle, the Package Truck. 

In comparison to the motorcycle truck, the package truck was a very basic design.  Harley's engineers used the sidecar frame which they had developed for the previous model year and mounted a cargo container to it.  This made production of the package truck both easy and cost effective since it shared most of its parts with a sidecar.  It also could be attached to the same low compression models recommended for sidecar use.

When the package truck first came available in 1915, Harley sold them for between $70 and $72.  Customers could also request custom lettering for 10 cents a letter.  Ninety-eight package trucks were sold that first model year and due to their continued success, they were available until 1957.

Like a sidecar, the package truck could be easily removed from the motorcycle.  This was a great selling point since the owner could use the motorcycle commercially during the week and then remove the package truck for recreational use on the weekends.  The simple design also lent itself to customization right from the start.  The stock cargo container was often discarded in favor of a custom built container of the owner's own design.  This led to numerous variations of package trucks that were often a mix of specialty transportation vehicle and rolling advertisement.



Arnold said...

Servi cycle next, please. Dad stuffed my brother and I and his carpenter's box in the back as his daily transportation in the early sixties.

Panhead_Jim said...

The servicar is next on my list of commercial vehicles. Should be online soon.