Cart for Carrying Gear : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This isn't a question or even an answer to a question but I'm so pleased with the cart I bought to carry my gear that I wanted to tell folks about it. It's a modified golf cart from the Riksha company:

They don't have a picture of it on the website but if you ask about their Photo Cart they'll send pictures. It's basically a light but sturdy hand truck with large (20") wheels so it will roll over any kind of terrain with no trouble. It slows down a bit in deep loose dry sand but doesn't bog down, and goes easily over other surfaces, including grass, gravel, dirt, rocks, and of course pavement and curbs. I haven't tried taking it over a log yet but I bet it could handle a log if it wasn't too big. It doesn't fold down like the carts on the Riksha website, but it comes apart and reassembles in a flash with a few quick-release pins. It's very well balanced and tracks quietly and nicely; I don't have a sense that I'm pulling or pushing any weight at all. I'd guess between my camera, tripod, lenses and backs and holders, I've been carrying at least 50 pounds. I know you young strong guys think nothing of hauling that much on your back, but I'm older and not very healthy, and with this cart I can move my stuff effortlessly. And the people at the Riksha company are just great, very accommodating and might even be willing to include some custom features if you asked. The downside for U.S. customers is that the company is in Canada, so there's some extra shipping charges.

-- Katharine Thayer (, September 23, 2001



I can certainly understand your desire to find a better way to transport your gear. I have one concern about your solution. I would think that hauling it on something like a handtruck, even one with pneumatic tires, would expose your equipment to more vibration than it would experience while being carried on your aching back. Have you addressed this in some way, and have you noticed if your gear is showing any problems like screws loosening? Oops, two questions in a run-on sentence. Sorry.

Thanks, Bruce

-- Bruce M. Herman (, September 24, 2001.

Katharine: I've thought about this a lot, though I haven't acted yet. Those concerns in the previous response have occurred to me. I wondered, for instance, what about having a cart of some sort (I've actually thought about just a golf cart) but carrying the camera itself on my back. Nothing can beat an "assistant". Even I, who have a touchy back, can do 25 lbs. to somebody else's 25 lbs. A good alternative to the golf cart, by the way, is the jogging baby carriage type things. Easy to find used. -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

-- Jeff Buckels (, September 24, 2001.

Well, gee, let me think. On the one hand, if I don't use the cart, here's what could happen: (1) I could put too much strain on my heart by carrying more than I should be carrying, with serious or fatal consequences, or (2) I could give up large format altogether, rather than to risk (1), or at the least (3) I could decide to photograph only things I can drive up next to with my car. On the other hand, with the cart, I can photograph wherever I want to without risking my health and wellbeing. And what I trade off for that is....vibrations? I'm not going to worry too much about vibrations, but thanks for your concern. If a screw gets loose, I'll tighten it. Actually, I haven't had the thing long enough to loosen any screws, but I don't get the sense that there's much vibration with it. I've taken it on surfaces that would have your teeth rattling if you tried to drive on them in a car, but the cart just floats along; there's no feeling of vibration in the handle at all as I guide it along with one hand So, I'll take my chances.

The jogging baby stroller is an interesting idea but I don't quite see how you'd balance a big tripod on it. But that's someone else's problem; I'm happy with my own solution, and just thought it might be of use to someone else. Cheers,

-- Katharine Thayer (, September 25, 2001.


i'd worry more about putting a strain on your back and simple physical exhaustion rather than possibly to much strain on your heart, unless it is already weak.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 25, 2001.

I made a cart with a golf bag cart (two wheeled). It looks dumb, but if I was too woried about looks, I'd ditch the old D2 and buy a Leica. I was also worried about vibrations. The solution for me was to just put my lens and spot meter in a gaget bag on my sholder and rumble away with the tank on the cart. Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (, September 25, 2001.

I wouldn't worry too much about vibration...we have a pretty beefy cart that we use to carry our gear around our building, and at times, as much as a block or two away, basically rolling along sidewalks and through buildings, parking lots, gravel etc. our cart is a more basic version of what our art handlers use, which is a big flat about 3'x5' with 4 pneumatic tires. It has a pretty beefy removable handle, with wire baskets on it as well....not something you'd want to take on a hike necessarily, but it's great for lugging alot of LF gear & strobes around....when we shoot on location, we generally don't stray too far from our vehicle though...

-- DK Thompson (, September 25, 2001.

Well, Ellis, I could provide a note from my cardiologist, or a thick medical file full of EKG readouts, but why wouldn't you just take my word for it when I said that lifting 50 pounds is not good for my heart? My back is the least of my problems, not that I understand why you should concern yourself about it at all. Have a nice day,

-- Katharine Thayer (, September 25, 2001.

sorry for your problems Katherine. since you now present information you hadn't presented before. I'm glad you havefound a tool that works well for you. I agree with you entirely about the need to reduce the strain on your cardiovascular problems and wish you better health in the future. i recall seeing sometime in the past two years a similar device that modified a tripod into similar type of equipment caddy.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 25, 2001.

I was the first user of the Riksha cart for photogrpahy. I have been working with the owners of the Riksah for the past year, making design changes so it's more photo friendly in serious nature travel. I have logged 100 + miles on mine, the product has great potential. I am awaiting the shipment of the final version in a few weeks.

The major advantage of this cart is it's large 16" wheels and the modifield upper ground clearance vs. their golf cart model. I also introduced tripod holders onto the cart, which are still being modified to hold 20 lbs of gear with out coming loose. Overall, I lug 100lbs on the cart and it has held up very well. If anyone is interested in the final design improvements and their completion status, conatact me off list.

-- Bill Glickman (, September 26, 2001.

I've just got onto this thread about the carts. They sure look good with their big wheels, well at least the images of their other models do anyway. In Australia there isn't much along these lines, certainly not with the big wheels. What we do have, along with golf carts, are a variety of joggers baby pushers. Usually they have three (small 9") wheels. (unfortunatly) I find this idea works well. The gear lays flat in your own Lowpro bag, suspended by a flexable base hung by rubber straps in leu of baby. This effectivly dampens out the viabrations mentioned. The upside is the three wheels, it won't fall when you let go so it's just push with out lift. It is much easier to leaver the thing over obstructions. They also have brakes! great down steep tracks. But more importantly, when traveling, folk are more used to seeing a baby pusher and will readilly accept the folded frame knowing what it is. - Without a fight. Less incline to draw attention in the city either. Oh well thats my penny's worth.

Should any one be interesed, do look out for one thats not built with plastic bits! I've managed to find one built like a push bike. Oh yes skip the swiveling front wheel, no help there.

And there is nothing wrong with my heart or back. I'm just plain plum lazy and with this jigger there is no constraints as to what to take. Esky, lunch, grog and we're off. -- Cheers.

Oh yes the camera.

-- Greg Pratt (, September 28, 2001.

OK, Greg, I'll bite: what's Esky?

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 28, 2001.

Hi Sal, An esky ( as in eskimo from old advertising )is a generic term for a chilly bin to hold pic nic food etc. but in the Ausi context usually cold beer. -- Cheers!

-- Greg Pratt (, September 30, 2001.

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