Manual for


SMALL TRUCK. Christianshavn 2005


SMALL TRUCK is a lightweight, lowcost, human powered vehicle that enables persons to move loads up to about 300 kg at slow speeds. By transporting things using a SMALL TRUCK, the driver gets physical exercise while working. By combining these activities, time is also spared for other things. SMALL TRUCK provides shelter from wind and rain and can be equipped with various systems: platforms and trailers that can support micro-economical initiatives, like for example, a transport company, a small shop, restaurant, cinema or office, or it could be equipped to offer an unfoldable concert scene, public library, or a mobile home.

N55 recommend that the SMALL TRUCK is copied by other persons, and that the trucks are made available for others when they are not in use.

The chassis of the SMALL TRUCK has been realized through a collaboration between Pelle Brage and N55. The chassis will be used by both parties in different ways. This means SMALL TRUCKs will appear in various materials and shapes, depending on the context in which it is meant to function.

Small truck

Background: The current ways of transporting goods in populated areas, using huge cars and trucks running on fossil fuels, lead to pollution of local environments and contribute to the disturbance of the global climate. In addition, the lack of exercise is unhealthy for drivers. In general, it is inexpedient to have heavy, fast and hard machines in the same environment as the soft bodies of humans. In most traffic accidents, high speed is the direct cause, and accidents always become more severe the faster the involved vehicles move. Speed is a considerable stress factor in daily life and fast moving vehicles are a dominant factor in almost every environment, both rural and urban.
However, most transporting tasks could be solved by smaller, slower and lighter vehicles than the ones used today. This would in some cases imply some reorganisation, for example, the transport units would perhaps have to be more numerous, and consumption patterns would probably have to be changed. The advantages thus gained would most likely outweigh the inconveniences.


SMALL TRUCK is based on a simple design. For the chassis, standard square recycled steel tubes, recycled and altered bicycleparts are used. The superstructure can be made from steel tubes, a wood or metal construction, or as in the present version, from standard PE- containers. The measures of SMALL TRUCK enables it to carry one euro pallet at a time.
The maximum speed of SMALL TRUCK is about 10 kilometers per hour. At this speed, wind resistance has very little influence on the energy expenditure, and considerations about aerodynamics are virtually superfluous. This allows a very simple vertical design that fits the human body placed in an upright position, in which the driver has a good overview on traffic. The risk of severe injury to fellow persons is also minimized at this level of speed.


Extra equipment:

The SMALL TRUCK shown in this manual has been equipped with an electrical engine and a battery that can provide 200 W on full speed for 2 hours.
If the pedals are used along with the engine, the vehicle will move at the same speed, but the batteries will last longer. Since the vehicle is legally considered a bicycle with aid (Denmark), it doesn’t need to go through expensive procedures of approval. The battery can be charged with solar power.
Different platforms can be mounted behind the steering house. A trailer can also be connected, if one wants to be able to carry more substantial loads.


Persons are encouraged to copy SMALL TRUCK and make them available to other persons. The producer should then state which purposes the SMALL TRUCK may be used for, and when it is available. N55 will keep an updated list of available SMALL TRUCKS on If you want to participate with a truck, please send information about the position and the conditions to

SMALL TRUCK micro market system:

The SMALL TRUCK MICRO MARKET SYSTEM is a system that aims at supporting micro-economical initiatives. The cages fit the dimensions of SMALL TRUCK and can be stacked for transport as well as for sale directly from the vehicle. When it stands alone, the system functions as a small farm. It also contains equipment necessary for sleeping and cooking.
Public spaces are generally dominated by commercial interests that block the possibilities of smaller agents to make a living from small scale production and sale. SMALL TRUCK MICRO MARKET SYSTEM is a flexible, lowcost system that could break the monopoly of large shops in the cities, thus increasing diversity on the streets. Street sale in most places is regulated by permissions that could be an obstacle for small scale trade and impulsive micro markets. Coordinated action between many agents could facilitate establishment of micro markets, if not in highly regulated areas, then in borders zones, on empty lots, and so on.
SMALL TRUCK MICRO MARKET SYSTEM consists of equal sized cages made of welded stainless steel tubes. The cages are made for small-scale production and sales display of different goods.
The cages have a very simple, uniform construction which can accomodate many different functions. Any kind of product or item can be offered for sale through the SMALL TRUCK MICRO MARKET SYSTEM: food (baked, cooked, raw, dried, canned, bottled, alive or dead), clothes and shoes, books, electronics, furniture, etc. In addition, the kitchen unit makes it possible to offer food, hot drinks, etc.



Hen units:
The hen cages are covered with stainless net and left open in the bottom. In order for the hens to graze and pick earthworms, the cages can be placed on grass and moved as the grass is eaten. If no grass area is available, straw or sawdust can be used to provide a soft and comfortable bedding. The nests are inside the plastic box, to which the hens have access from two sides. The feeding and watering automats must be refilled regularly, and the bedding must be exchanged once a week. One can pick up eggs through the round hole.

Kitchen unit:
The kitchen unit consists of a cage of which two sides are covered in stainless steel sheet. A sink and a gas cooker provide the basic cooking equipment. Water must be refilled into the container. When mounted on the SMALL TRUCK, the kitchen unit can function as a mobile restaurant.

Plant units:
Depending on the sort of plant and the time of year, the plants can be kept either in a closed cage (with polycarbonate walls) or in an open cage. The plants grow in soil wrapped up in semipermeable fibrecloth, and water is introduced into every plant module by hoses that are perforated, allowing water to seep out into the soil.

The SMALL TRUCK MICRO MARKET SYSTEM will be further developed with shelves for different items, as well as systems for providing electricity such as micro wind mills and solar panels.


MICROSHOP: Vegetables etc.


SMALL TRUCK has to be regularly lubricated, and the tyres and brakes must be in good shape. The brake pads must be exchanged with regular intervals. If the SMALL TRUCK is equipped with an engine, the drive belt must be exchanged as well as the battery.

Technical specifications:

Weight: approx. 80 kg
4 gears: 3 forward and one reverse
Height: 210 cm
Width:80 cm
Length:160 cm

Component list:

30 x 50 x 1 mm square tube, steel
1 steel disc
4 pc. rubber wheels
gear wheel
2 pc.pedals
brake stick: welded steel tubes
steering rods

Steering house:
4 pc. Polyethylene tanks, 80 cm x 80cm X 70 cm
2 pc pocket mirrors, mounted on stainless steel plates.
rubber strips
window: polycarbonate, 3 mm
rubber door mats
detatchable lights with batteries
1 pc. windscreen wiper
bakelite spheres
bolts and nuts

200 watt elektrical engine
1:10 gear
driving wheel
motor controller

Kitchen unit:
2 cages, each 80 x 80 x 60 cm, of stainless steel square tube, 25 mm, welded
2 pc. stainless steel sheet, 1 mm, 80x 80 cm
3 polyethylene containers, Ø 35 cm, different heights
Gas bottle
Gas cooker
Steel sink
Water dispenser

Hen unit:
3 cages, each 80 x 80 x 60 cm, of stainless steel square tube, 25 mm, welded
2 polyethylene boxes, 80 x 80 x 60 cm
Stainless steel net
Rubber strips
Bakelite spheres, Ø 5 and 2.5 mm
Feeding automat, polyethylene
Water automat, polyethylene
Staw and hay
Hen feed

Plant units:
4 cages, each 80 x 80 x 60 cm, of stainless steel square tube, 25 mm, welded
Fertilized soil
Fiber cloth
Semipermeable garden hose
Nylon straps


The SMALL TRUCK is steered by the two rods next to the seat. They are connected to the disc that controls the rear shaft.
By pushing the center rod (the brake) forward, one brings the vehicle to a stop.
The 3-speed gear is attached to the right steering rod. The backward gear which is activated by pedalling backwards.


The window can be opened and suspended from the plastic knobs.

Gear wheel:

The vehicle has four gears: 3 forward and one backward.

Wheels, lights and bumper:

Lights: demounteable bicycle lights, red and white.
Bumper: rubber door mat.
Wheels: pneumatic rubber wheels.

Rear view mirror:

Spare wheel:

The spare wheel is located inside the cargo box behind the steering house.

Wind screen wiper:

One wipes the wind screen manually by turning the knob handle.

Current list of available SMALL TRUCKS:

N55, Copenhagen:
Please contact us on our email at to make arrangements to borrow our version of SMALL TRUCK. It may be used for micro-economical purposes or for situations like the ones stated above.

SMALL TRUCK situations

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