Bullock cart

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Not to be confused with Ox-wagon.
A bullock cart in India.
Typical decorated Costa Rican ox cart
Mexican carreta in El Paso, Texas, circa 1885. Photo courtesy SMU.

A bullock cart or ox cart is a two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicle pulled by oxen (draught cattle). It is a means of transportation used since ancient times in many parts of the world. They are still used today where modern vehicles are too expensive or the infrastructure does not favor them.

Used especially for carrying goods, the bullock cart is pulled by one or several oxen (bullocks). The cart (also known as a jinker) is attached to a bullock team by a special chain attached to yokes, but a rope may also be used for one or two animals. The driver and any other passengers sit on the front of the cart, while load is placed in the back. Traditionally the cargo was usually agrarian goods and lumber.


In Australia, bullock carts were used extensively in Australia prior to the advent of trucks. Because of the size of Australia, farm produce, especially wheat and wool, had to be transported large distances across land to transport hubs. Before steam power, goods would have to be transported to coastal ports. With the advent of steam, goods simply needed to be transported to the nearest railway or wharf on the Murray River.

Large bullock teams of up to 12 animals would haul enormous loads of bulk commodities such as wheat and wool from farms to towns and cities. Often these journeys could last many days if large distances had to be covered.

Costa Rica[edit]

In Costa Rica, ox carts (carretas in the Spanish language) were an important aspect of the daily life and commerce, especially between 1850 to 1935,[1] developing a unique construction and decoration tradition that is still being developed. Costa Rican parades and traditional celebrations are not complete without a traditional ox cart parade.

In 1988, the traditional ox cart was declared as National Symbol of Work by the Costa Rican government.

In 2005, the "Oxherding and Oxcart Traditions in Costa Rica" were included in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


In Indonesia, Bullock Carts are commonly used in the rural parts of the country, where it is used for transporting goods and carriages and also people. But it is mostly common in Indonesia that there are horsecars, rather than bullock carts.


Bullock carts were widely used in Malaysia before the introduction of automobiles, and many are still used today. These included passenger vehicles, now used especially for tourists.[2] Passenger carts are usually equipped with awnings for protection against sun and rain, and are often gaily decorated.[3][4]

See also[edit]