Motorization of the tricycle for disabled people

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University of Dar es Salaam
People with physical disabilities who use tricycles for mobility in Tanzania face many challenges in integrating into everyday life. The long distance travel on hand pedaled tricycles affect their daily activities; it demands a lot of energy, which leaves them tired or makes them unable to reach certain destinations. A motorized tricycle would very much alleviate these problems. The objective of this study was to motorize the tricycle for disable people. Field study by use of questionnaire on the current hand powered tricycles was conducted. This involved tricycle users, manufacturers, organizations dealing with issues of the disabled, donor organizations and suppliers of mobility aid. The field study indicated that the main buyers of tricycles were the donors, who showed interest also to pay for motorized tricycles. Motorization of the tricycle involved the use of a spark ignition single cylinder two stroke engine (2.0 hp), with two chains and two idler sprockets. The throttle control of the engine was attached on the right-hand pedal while the clutch control was attached at the brake lever of the tricycle. The motorized tricycle was tested for performance on the road. Performance tests showed that the engine performed well; the tricycle was stable and easy to maneuver, no engine overheating, maximum noise was 80 dBA at 300 mm from the engine, it cleared hills of around 10% gradient, and the maximum speed attained was 35.1 km/h. The study concludes that hand powering led to various physical problems to tricycle users; thus, motorization was important. It was also concluded that tricycle motorization was possible. It is recommended that manufacturing and assembling of motorized tricycles should be implemented for the benefit of tricycle users.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF TL440,M37)
Motorcycles, Handicapped people, Disabled people
Marco, M. (2013) Motorization of the tricycle for disabled people,Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.