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DTU Working Paper: WP43 - African Ox-Cart Design and Manufacture

H.S. Pearson, C.E. Oram & T.H. Thomas (1994)

This paper covers work carried out by HS Pearson and colleagues in northern Nigeria in 1993 and 1994. The paper is divided into two parts: part A (sections 1 to 4) discusses animal carts in general, the design options available for their various components, the particular circumstances affecting the development of the DTU Borno oxcart, and its main design features; part B is a set of full manufacturing instructions for the basic cart and some minor variations of it. We have written the paper because there is a dearth of detailed information about cart design and manufacture - especially information that identifies the context of use and manufacture and the assumptions underlying the approach used.

The DTU Borno cart incorporates a mix of novel and traditional features, and it draws heavily of course, upon designs used elsewhere. We believe it to be substantially cheaper than most alternatives of comparable performance. It has been moderately tested in the laboratory and in the field where production in significant volume started only in late 1993. However certain components were already well proven and others have been fairly easy to test for performance. Every reader of this paper intending to use the design elsewhere should compare their own context and objectives with those described below and feel free to adapt the design to their own circumstances. We believe nevertheless, that the specifications and constraints worked to in NE Nigeria are representative of those in many other parts of Africa.

(PDF Document) Full Document: (62pp, 810kb)

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