Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Bullock Cart Speed and Payload
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There are a couple of nice little snippets in the following that may be of interest - See p 44

The Supply and Quality of Rural Transport Services in Developing Countries A Comparative Review (SWP654), 1984, S. Carapetis, H. L. Beenhakker, J. D. F. Howe, WORLD BANK STAFF WORKING PAPERS, Number 654

Ive taken the liberty of copying the two most important to this discussion see below. Essentially, the short article argues that:

a) bullock carts accounted for over two thirds of total goods tonnage [of all transported goods] in India [presumably 1970s / 80s]
b) despite the introduction of pneumatic tyres, large diameter iron-rimmed wheels continued to predominate
c) the payload of a typical cart is around 1 ton
d) bullock drawn carts move at a speed of between 3.0-4.5 km/hr

I take it that although cost would be a factor constraining the introduction of the pneumatic tyre, the iron-rimed wheel was also preferable due to its [greater] efficiency on muddy tracks. The article does not mention if the bullocks used in India are shod.

1. Rural goods transport in India has always been, and remains,
dominated by the bullock cart. Currently it is estimated to account for 67%
both of the goods tonnage and ton-km (1). There are estimated to be in
excess of 13 million bullock carts in India; the majority of these carts are
of traditional design.
2. The traditional cart costs US$100-180, has a maximum payload of
about 1 ton, and moves at 3.0-4.5 km/hr. It has large diameter narrow
iron-rimmed wheels, which enable it to operate on very muddy tracks, though
they cause damage to surfaced roads because of the very high contact pressure
at the rim.

1. Indian Institute of Management. The Animal Cart in the Rural System.
Submitted to Ministry of Shipping and Transport, New Delhi (circa 1979).
2. Dhir, M.P., and Bindra, S.R. The Relative Tractive Efficiency of Steel
Tyred and Pneumatic Tyred Bullock Carts on Earthen Tracks. Road Research
Papers No. 66. New Delhi, 1965. (Central Road Research Institute).
3. Sabharwal, M.M. Modernization of Bullock Cart Transport. (Paper to
Inter-Agency Meeting on Modernization of Bullock Cart Transport, New
Delhi. December, 1976).
4. International Labor Organization. Transport Technology for the Rural
Areas: India. (Submitted by The National Council of Applied Economic
Research, New Delhi, July 1981). World Employment Programme Research
Working Paper No. 83.

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