Loading Rickshaws in India

India is the leading global market for the production and sales of three-wheelers. India exports three-wheelers to regions including Europe, Middle East & Africa, and South Asia.

Rickshaws are the most used three-wheelers in India. Rickshaws can be distinguished by type into two categories: passenger rickshaws or loading rickshaws.

Everything you need to know about a loading rickshaw

A loading rickshaw is known as a goods carrier or cargo rickshaw. It is popular among low-income groups in India for several reasons including:

  • Low cost
  • Moderate maintenance
  • Low operational costs

It is used to transfer goods from one place to another starting with a load capacity of 500 kg.

What are the benefits of owning a loading rickshaw in India?

  1. A loading rickshaw is the cheapest method of transporting goods and their low cost allows individual end-users to prefer them over minitrucks.
  2. They also offer longer life as compared to their four-wheeled counterparts.
  3. Banking institutions have introduced new schemes for loading rickshaw loans owing to daily pay returns and low-cost credits.

Why are loading rickshaws in demand?

Infrastructural development is responsible for the high demand for cargo rickshaws. The loading rickshaw is a better option for a wide range of infrastructure and mining activities for last-mile connectivity.

Characteristics of loading rickshaws

1. Fuel

The different models of a goods carrier have different fuel requirements. The different variants use three types of fuels: CNG, Petrol, and Diesel. Mostly, a loading rickshaw is powered by diesel. However, those running on CNG are derived from petrol versions.

2. Engine

The loading rickshaw comes with a long lever for manual cranking of the engine that is placed by the side of the driver’s seat. Newer variants running on diesel come with self-starters.

The petrol or CNG-based engines are either 2-stroke or 4-stroke. The engine size of less than 500 cc displacement is ideal for rickshaws as per Motor Vehicle Rules. These rules are similar to the rules for two-wheelers. However, if the engine size exceeds, four-wheeler rules apply.

Best Loading Rickshaws in India

The specifications and prices for the loading rickshaw vary based on the manufacturing company, of which the top 3 brands are Bajaj, Mahindra, and Piaggio.

1. Piaggio

Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd is an Italian company that offers a wide range of cargo vehicles based on customers’ needs. It was the first-ever company to introduce the three-wheeler loading vehicle concept in India.

With spacious cabins and excellent mileage, the company offers a range of cargo rickshaws – Piaggio Ape DX, Piaggio Ape City, Piaggio Ape City Plus, Piaggio Ape E City are among the most popular products in passenger rickshaws. Ape 50, Ape Classic, and Piaggio Ape Xtra LDX are cargo-loading rickshaws.


Driver only


Diesel, 10.5L tank capacity




2100 with 245mm ground clearance


Single-cylinder, water-cooled, 599cc


Multi-disc, wet type clutch


Multicolor options


Starting from Rs. 2.13 lac

2. Bajaj

Bajaj is the leading producer of three-wheelers in India. Bajaj Maxima Cargo is one of the best-selling loading rickshaws with a powerful diesel engine. The reinforced chassis, uniaxial balancer, and long-lasting dry clutch make the vehicle highly durable. It is a low-maintenance, heavy-load carrier rickshaw with a five-gear speed box, and a car-like clutch pedal to bear heavy cargo.


Driver + 1


447.03 cc


6.61 @3400


23 @2000


Single cylinder IDI diesel


Multicolor options


The CNG  is priced at Rs. 1.8 lac

The Diesel variant is priced of Rs. 2.3 lac


Maxima Cargo offers 17% more pick-up and 12% more power than other three-wheeler cargos. The three vortex combustion chamber helps inefficient combustion, lower emissions, and better mileage by allowing optimum air-fuel mixture. The CV shaft comes with zero maintenance for about 1,00,000 km. The 5-speed gearbox makes the drive easy to handle for different road conditions; thereby, increasing fuel efficiency.


The less hanging over the structure of reinforced extended chassis leads to uniform axle weight distribution for structural rigidity. The chassis design supports the long life of the vehicle due to its enduring power. Halogen Twin Head Lamps ensure maximum visibility and the muscular SCUDO design offers more cabin space.

3. Mahindra

Mahindra is known for several cargo minitrucks. Alfa Load is the smallest cargo offered by the company which carries 520 kg of load allowing high payload capacities as compared to Maxima Cargo (430 kg) and Piaggio Ape (497 kg).

It is available in CNG and diesel variants.

Alongside the robust body, it offers good mileage and power. The availability of two different load-bearing options makes this a better option for small businesses to fulfil their needs.

The improved engine mounting technology reduces engine vibrations and noise levels. It ensures a smooth and comfortable ride for the driver as well as the safety of the large cargo.


9.3 bhp @3600 rpm


18Nm @2000-2400 rpm


995 kg


2005 mm


Single-cylinder, direct injection (395 cc CNG/ 436 cc diesel)

Turning radius

3500 mm


Multicolor options


1700mm height, 3175mm length, 1460mm width


Mahindra Diesel BS-lV – Rs. 1.9 lac

Mahindra CNG BS-IV – Rs. 1.9 lac

Mahindra Plus – Rs. 1.9 lac

The body has a monocoque chassis, two doors, and a cabin. It contains a handlebar steering that allows the vehicle to make easy turns at sharp turns and on narrow streets. The front McPherson strut and rear rubber springs with leaf spring telescopic shock absorbers ensure a bump-free ride.

The seats are made with non-setting, best-quality foam to maximize comfort. The effortless entry exit and cross ventilation allow more room for the driver. The brake system is designed with front and back hydraulic drum brakes to ensure safety. It allows the heavily loaded rickshaw to stop at a higher than usual speed.

In short, Alfa Load is the top-selling loading rickshaw among the leading cargo three-wheeler manufacturers of India.

Final Thoughts

The loading rickshaw specifications, prices, and features in India vary based on the manufacturing company, yet they serve as the more desirable option to carry heavy loads at low maintenance cost because of their capacity to transit in narrow spaces.

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