Blog posts for May 2014

Identifying Your Cart: EZ-GO

It is sometimes difficult to identify which model you might have especially if it isn’t a brand you are used to working on regularly. This is common and we hope with these series of articles we can help our dealers in identifying not only the model and year but also explain the slight differences in the years that make identification necessary. To begin with we will start with EZGO’s later we will include Club Car & Yamaha as well.

The EZGO Company was born in Grovetown, GA in 1954. The company’s main goal was to deliver state of the art technology while using batteries designed in B-17 flying fortresses during WWII. Soon after, EZGO was merged with Textron, Inc. and together they developed and delivered a reliable and powerful line of vehicles.

Marathon thru-1994

The earliest model of EZGO that you will encounter is the EZGO Marathon this model was manufactured between 1986 to 1994. The top supports were bolted to the outside of the front cowl. Rather than the top of the cowl like the earlier models.

MarathonThe Marathon is also known for:

  • Having split seat backs
  • A metal body
  • A front black plastic bumper
  • A controller with four 1/4” tabs
  • Flat metal rear fenders

Medalist 1994.5-1995

After the Marathon EZGO released a short run known as the Medalist from 1994 to 1995. This line can be distinguished by its rounded medal body in the front and rear of the cart.

TXT 1996 – Current

txtFrom 1996 to the present EZGO is still manufacturing their TXT model. This model is very popular and has worked well for EZGO. These carts have a rounded front plastic cowl and handholds molded into the roof. The TXT also has 3/4” front top supports.

Freedom Package

There were many packages that were offered with the various models that EZGO had released over the years and the most common is the Freedom Package. This package just indicated that the model was equipped with factory lights and turn signals. Everything else on the cart was stan­dard.

 RXV 2008 – Current

rxvAfter twelve years EZGO came out with a new model known as the RXV this is generally easy to identify since it runs on an AC motor and has a motor gear lock. Some other unique features are the additional gauge cluster above the steering column and the valleys in the roof, this cart also uses 11/4” posts instead of the 3/4” front top supports that were used in the TXT model.

2Five

2Five_SideThe 2Five is the newest addition to the EZGO model line. This model is built on an RXV frame so many of the RXV interior accessories will work with it but as you can see that is where the similarities end. This is EZGO’s street legal or slow moving vehicle and the top and top supports are entirely unique. This model comes equipped with headlights, turn signals and brake lights.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Processing Credit Cards on the Go

Smartphone credit card processing

            There are a few great inventions out there that make our lives a little easier and the credit card has to be in the top 10 for businesses.  This allows your customer to feel more comfortable about purchasing large dollar items without the need to carry around all the cash.  Instead they can turn to a secure way to complete the transaction, but are you set up to accept such a transaction?  Credit card machines today have evolved into something that is small and light weight no need to pull out that large dinosaur that took an impression on carbon paper just a simple swipe and you are good to go.  These devices attach to many smartphones or even Ipads to give you a mobile credit card processor.  There are several different choices when it comes to readers and these are only a few.  I have used the Square before for some of my non-profit work and it works great, and I know that many businesses who work with websites use Paypal so there option might be work taking a deeper look into as well.

            So how does this work?  Well first you will need to have a smartphone so either an Iphone or an Android or even an Ipad (you will need a data plan).  You would need to download the app to your device, and finally you would need the device itself.  When you have all of these pieces you can either manually key in the card number or swipe the card.

Here are my top 3 Readers you should look into:

Square Register
www.Square.com

Square RegisterSquare Register has two ways that you can be billed.  Either a pay-per-transaction or $275 monthly flat fee (if you accept large payments on a regular basis such as cart sales this is for you).  You get transfers released the next day.  Square also allows you to customize your receipts to include your company logo and you can even create a product inventory so you can easily tally customers’ orders.  There is also a way to build a loyalty program but I haven’t tried this feature.  One other good point is that the actual device is free so if you sign up at their website they will ship it to you on their dime.

Fees: 2.75% (swiped), 3.50% + $0.15 (keyed-in) or a flat rate of $275 a month.

Download: iOS | Android


Paypal Here
www.Paypal.com

Paypal HereMany of our dealers who sell online use Paypal for their transactions because it is simple and secure so what a perfect choice but to add a Paypal reader that will deposit funds within minutes of swiping the card.  One other advantage to Paypal Here is that you can also accept and process checks by taking a photograph of the front and back of the check.  You can also use this app even if you don’t have the reader on you but there is an additional keyed-in rate.

Fees: 2.70% (swiped), 3.50% + $0.15 (/keyed-in)

Download: iOS | Android


Intuit GoPayment
www.Intuit.com

Intuit GoPaymentThis would be the option for small businesses with a few sales staff or on the road technicians because you are allowed to have up to 50 users that can take payments on the road.  Some other features include full refunds allowed on the spot and transfers take about 2-3 days.

Fees
Non-subscription (free) – 2.75% (swiped), 3.75% (keyed-in)
Subscription ($12.95/mth) – 1.75% (swiped), 2.75% (keyed-in).

Download: iOS | Android


            If you currently aren’t set up to take credit cards or even credit cards in the field you may want to at least look into these options they are free and can be a huge benefit to your sales.  If you are like me you don’t carry much cash but you don’t want that to be a reason why you can’t purchase something on the spot.  In this technological world we live in accepting credit cards is a must and if you can accept them on the go or in the field you are right were you need to be.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Ignition Switch Options

This might be a small part but it sure has a big job.  We have recently added a new part to our line that we thought you would like to hear about.  It is our new universal 2 & 3 position keyed ignition switches.  Your carts ignition switch has several purposes but most importantly it gives you control over your cars accessories, this way you won’t run your carts batteries down.  However with most carts the key to that ignition is a standard flat key.  This is great when you are on the golf course, but what if you take your cart to the store?  With these keyed switches your key is yours alone.  This gives you a little added security when you make your trips around town.  Another great advantage to these switches, over the standard switches, is that we offer a 3 position option that allows you to wire to your accessories.  Similar to your car you will have on/off/accessories.

When an ignition switch fails there are two main items that fail: the switch or the lock cylinder and both have very different symptoms.  If it’s your ignition switch that fails it is usually an electrical wiring problem.  The cart won’t start when the key is turned to the on position.  However, when the lock cylinder fails it is the key that develops the problems.  When the tumblers are stripped the lock will turn with the key.  Another lock cylinder issue is if your key can be removed when the cart is in the on position.  The final issue you could see is if the tumblers shift.  If this happens you won’t be able to turn the lock cylinder and the key will become stuck.  If you encounter these problems you should replace you ignition switch.

Replacing an ignition switch on a golf cart isn’t as difficult as replacing a car’s ignition switch.  With these switches you have either 2 or 3 terminals to wire into.  There is also a large locking washer allowing for a nice surface to grip on the dash eliminating the chances that the unit would slip over time.  The mating nut of the ignition switch has a knurled texture making hand tightening a breeze.

When you put all of these features together the 2 or 3 position universal mount, the wide mounting nuts, the knurled finish nut, and a custom key it really makes a great product.  So the next time you need to replace your ignition switch take a moment and think if your customer might benefit from this new addition to our inventory.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Save your Sanity with this 18 Minute Routine

It happens to all of us.  We start the day with a mental list of things that we would like to accomplish that day, and then the phone rings you find you have to answer a few urgent e-mails and the next thing you know the day is almost over and you haven’t been able to scratch one thing off your list.  If you’re like me you do one of two things, you take your work home and finish it their or you push it to the next day’s list.  Well this can get you into trouble fairly quickly.  The good news is there is a better way.  Peter Bregman author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done says that to stay on track “It needs to be an ongoing process we follow – no matter what – that keeps us focused on our priorities throughout the day.”

His plan is broken down into steps to make them easier to follow.

Step 1: Plan (5 min.)

As soon as you sit down at your desk take out pen and paper and jot down the tasks that you need to complete that day to make your day feel accomplished.  Next schedule those tasks on your calendar to make sure that you have sufficient open time to complete them.  When you right your tasks down you are more likely to follow through with completing them.  Always make sure that you prioritize by hardest and most important first to make sure that these items are addressed right away. Generally earlier in the day you will encounter few distractions.

Step 2: Refocus (1 min. each hour)

Bergman suggests getting into the routine of setting an alarm to ring on the hour this way you can stop and refocus to make sure that you spent your last our productivity.  This will help you get back on track if you happen to get sidetracked.  I have found a great free app in the app store called 30/30 it is a simple time program that allow to set alarms at any interval I find this is a great way to stay focused.

Step 3: Review (5 min.)

This step is important to do every day.  You need to evaluate what worked and what didn’t for you.  Where did you get distracted?  Where did you lose focus? Is there something you did that really worked well?  What can you do differently tomorrow to ensure that your goals are met?

For example, did you accomplish a lot in the morning but found you lost focus in the afternoon?  Well then you may want to schedule taxing tasks like getting inventory numbers updated, creating purchase orders, or writing marketing materials, that require more focus for those early hours and easier tasks like replying to e-mails and review web posts for the afternoon.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Keeping Your Cart Clean Inside & Out

Before you can really start scrubbing your cart you want to make sure that everything is in its place and to accomplish this we have our under seat storage areas these removable trays that are made from ABS material provide storage while covering unsightly batteries (these are for electric carts only).

To alleviate some of the elbow grease needed to get your cart sparkling we would suggest first simply hose the cart down to remove any heavy dirt.  Then begin with the Clean All which is best used on the cowl, vinyl and interior parts.  Our Boldly Black is best used for the tires, pedals, and rubber mats.  Finally, if you have a haze or light scratches on your windshield you will need our windshield wonder Plex Polish.  All of these great cleaning products are always in stock at Stenten’s Golf Cart Accessories.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.