India is the leading global market for 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 the type in two categories: passenger rickshaw or loading rickshaw.
Also known as goods carrier or cargo rickshaw, loading rickshaw has become popular among low-income groups for cost, maintenance, and low operational costs. It is used to transfer goods from one place to another starting with the load capacity of 500 kg.
A loading rickshaw is the cheapest method of transporting goods and their low cost allows individual end-users to prefer them over minitrucks. They also offer longer life as compared to their four-wheeled counterparts. In fact, bank institutions have introduced new schemes for loading rickshaw loans owing to daily pay returns and low-cost credits.
High demand for cargo rickshaws can be attributed to infrastructure development. The Loading rickshaw is a better option for a wide range of infrastructure and mining activities for last-mile connectivity.
Characteristics of loading rickshaws
The different models of a goods carrier have different fuel requirements. The different variants use three types of fuels: CNG, Petrol, Diesel. Mostly, a loading rickshaw is powered by diesel. However, those running on CNG are derived from petrol versions.
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-wheelers rules apply.
Best Loading Rickshaws in India
The specifications and prices for the loading rickshaw vary based on the manufacturing company, in which the top 3 brands are Bajaj, Mahindra, and Piaggio.
Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd is an Italian company that offers a wide range of cargo vehicles based on customer’s needs. It was the first-ever company to introduce a three-wheelers 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.
Piaggio Ape Xtra LDX
Seating – Driver only
Fuel – Diesel, 10.5L tank capacity
GVW – 975
Wheelbase – 2100 with 245mm ground clearance
Price – Starting from Rs. 2.13 lac
Engine – Single-cylinder, water-cooled, 599cc
Transmission – Multi-disc, wet type clutch
Color – Multicolor options
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, long-lasting dry clutch make the vehicle highly durable. It is low maintenance, heavy load carrier rickshaw with five gear speed box, and car-like clutch pedal to bear heavy cargo.
Capacity – 447.03 cc
Power – 6.61 @3400
Engine – Single cylinder IDI diesel
Torque – 23 @2000
Seating – Driver + 1
Color – Multicolor options
Maxima Cargo offers 17% more pick up and 12% more power than other three-wheelers 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 muscular SCUDO design offers more cabin space.
The CNG variant of Bajaj Maxima Cargo has priced at Rs. 1.8 lac whereas diesel variant has a starting price of Rs. 2.3 lac.
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 fulfill 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.
Engine – Single-cylinder, direct injection (395 cc CNG/ 436 cc diesel)
Wheelbase – 2005 mm
GVW – 995 kg
Power – 9.3 bhp @3600 rpm
Torque – 18Nm @2000-2400 rpm
Turning radius – 3500 mm
Color – Multicolor options
Dimensions – 1700mm height, 3175mm length, 1460mm width
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 in 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 the nonsetting, best quality foam to maximize comfort. The effortless entry-exit and cross ventilation allow more room to 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.
The prices for Mahindra Alfa Load vary as it comes in three options –
Mahindra Diesel BS-lV – Rs. 1.9 lac
Mahindra CNG BS-IV – Rs. 1.9 lac
Mahindra Plus – Rs. 1.9 lac
Closing statement on loading rickshaw in India
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.