AfriCart – a handcart for Africa

ED302 – design & technology

02.0 Research – General

thecarryall

General Research

My research began with a general internet picture search on what was all ready in the public domain and I found there was quite a lot of data out there ranging from the plans of handcarts of the early settlers in America to high-tech postal carts for use in urban areas.

Some designs, such as this uni-wheeled handcart from Angola where very innovative but unsuitable for my target market as they require a great deal of upper body strength just to keep stable on flat ground, let alone rough rural tracks.

angolan_uniwheel

However, many designs were inappropriate but served as good reference points. My remaining research into materials, jointing methods, sustainability and wheels has been broken down into manageable sub-sections.

wire

A modern hand cart – the type that is often found on university campus’ for delivering parcels. Many of these handcarts are unsuitable for use in rural SSA – the ground clearance and carrying capacity are too small.

old

An old cart – note the iron wheels and iron body – sturdy but overly heavy for man power. Note the iron leaf springs.
wooden-old-styleAnother old handcart – note the spoked iron wheels, wooden legs, wooden decorative backboard and body.

This is the basic handcart design most commonly used in the past. Often derided, I think it might be the basis of my own design as it is the product of the iterative design process that happened over a long period of time of “trial & error”.

The use of cycle wheels in the production of hand carts and bicycle carts is not a new one and so the problem of supporting the two stub axles has meant that a number of different designs like superficially similar. I gained alot of inspiration from this bamboo bicycle trailer:

Bamboo_2

Bamboo

This traditional wooden handcart was also great inspiration:

prattopenhandcart3

This is the basic handcart design most commonly used in the past. Often derided, I think it might be the basis of my own design as it is the product of the iterative design process over a long period of time.
prattboxcornerdetailI don’t know if this is an example of the Drawboring technique or just pined joints.

pdtopwagon

A modern handcart design – but it offers no height or length – in other words it must be child’s cart.
plan_karl
A eurocentric one man “handcart”.

india-1

1296715491_6af91f9382
A handcart in use in India – see how heavily loaded it is. Note also the small wheels.
bok-hand-cart
A more modern cart – note the wooden body and small heavy duty wheels.
scotchcart_side
A cow-powered Scotchcart. Note the all steel construction – very heavy!
scotchcart_harness
Scotchcart harness – due to the weight of the cart it requires some serious beast power.
scotchcart_axle
A homemade Scotchcart axle with 750/16″ wheels. Most Scotchcarts use the rear axle, including the centre differential from “retired” vehicles.
milprototype_ref
African Scotchcart using a metal frame and bicycle wheels – a good balance of lightness and strength.
mzuzu1
Wheel barrows are often used for transporting goods.
small-world
A Kenyan all metal handcart tied to a bicycle – very heavy and difficult to repair in the bush.

Written by Mr. Elphick

February 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm

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