Dog Carting

When most people think of a husky team, dog sledding comes to mind, like the Iditarod.  But outside of the extreme north, there just isn’t enough snow for a dog sled.  Dog carting is the term used for a team of dogs pulling a cart with wheels rather than a sled.  A dog cart can be used any where.

The WooFDriver has taking the sport of dog sledding to an entire new level.  He started with commercial carts, like the Sacco, but found that they are limited in theiruse, and require a lot of extra physical exertion on the dogs.  See below for the WooFDriver’s progression of carts over the years in finding the perfect cart for him and his dogs to enjoy the outdoors together!

Sacco Cart

The sacco cart is specifically designed for over land dog carting.  It’s the dog version of horse and buggy. It’s a simple steerable cart with a harness that allows the attachment of 2-4 dogs out front just like a horse team.   The WooFDriver found many issues with this style of carting.  It puts the dogs in front of the cart, with the cart following.  The cart will only go where the dogs go– other than voice commands and brakes to stop, he was at the mercy of the dog team as to where and how fast he went. It required a very high level of training to get the dogs to follow the commands needed for safe use.  The length of the dogs in harness and cart also made maneuverability poor.  It also removed the dogs from the driver too much for the WooFDriver.  He and his dogs had separate experiences, rather than the shared experience he was looking for.

But most importantly the Sacco cart was ONLY dog powered.   They performed great on flat ground, but it was difficult and very unfair to expect the dogs to pull him up hills.  So where he could bring the cart and team was very limited.

Modified Recumbent Bicycles

After the Sacco, the WooFDriver’s first attempt at designing his own cart was to modify a three wheel electric recumbent bicycle.  He was able to designed in many solutions to the problems he has with the Sacco cart.

First he placed the dogs to the side of the cart rather than out front.  This solved many issues.  He could now use the cart to control where the dogs were going much easier.  they were side by side rather than dogs in front.  The entire rig was much shorter, half as long, so the manuverability was much better, turn radius was half what it was with sacco.  With the dogs where beside him rather than in front, he could not only see them better to monitor their health, but also interact with them and share the experience better.  They were a team, rather than dogs and master.

But most importantly the bicycle had foot peddles and electric motor assist, so the dogs didn’t have the entire burden of pulling the cart.  Up hills and even on level ground, the dogs just needed to run alongside. This made it much funner for the dogs, yet they still got their exercise.  Their range vastly improved with this method, allowing for a lot more exploring.

After this break through, side attached dogs on self powered carts, every dog cart of the WooFDriver from this point on was just attempts to make better and better carts of the same basic design.  Several more recumbent bikes were modified for dogs use.  Mostly the newer bikes/carts increased the off road capabilities.

Custom Designed and Fabricated Carts

With the success of the modified bicycle, the WooFDriver decided to improve on the design.  The basic idea worked great.  But the bike/cart itself needed improving.  Several more bikes were designed specifically to meet WooFDriver’s needs and ideas.  Larger wheels with fatter tires.  More storage room.  One cart had four seats rather than two, another had only one seat to make it smaller and faster.  The most advanced cart had four wheel drive and steering.  

During this entire period, he was blazing the way in electric powered off road personal vehicles.  Advanced aluminum alloy frames, advanced motor and lithium battery systems.  innovative and effective dog attachment systems.  No one was doing anything close.  These were the Ferrari’s of the vehicles of their type in their day.

 

The Swincar

After years of custom design and fabrication, and the WooFDriver’s associated exponential costs, the market finally caught up with the technology.  And cool new mass marketed small electric vehicles became available.  The Swincar is at the top of the market right now.  Based on similar motor and battery systems to his custom designs, the Swincar had one huge addition:  extremely advanced suspension.  

Each wheel is not only motorized, but it is mounted on an articulating arm.  This allows it to crawl over terrain the before the dogs could only handle.  Ruts and revines, rocks and boulders, the Swincar could handle it all.   the Swincar also has advanced hydraulic brakes, and very robust frame including many driver safety enhancements over his previous carts.  All of this in a vehicle that was only a little larger than his previous carts.