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Sleigh. Ukraine , 2012

A carriage ( ahd. Slito , glides') (also: Rodel ) is a skid car , so one with runners equipped Land Vehicle , which for the transport of persons and goods or as sports equipment is used.

It is usually used for transport on surfaces with low friction , such as ice , permafrost or snow ( snow vehicle ), but can also be used on wet meadows ( tundra ). Sometimes round river pebbles or sand are also suitable for using a sledge.

A sledge slides downhill by itself on sloping ground due to the force of gravity , is pulled on the flat or uphill by people, draft animals , tractors or other vehicles or it has its own drive, which is mostly motor-driven, as with snowmobiles and propeller sleds , but also, can utilize wind power through sails or towing kites .

Design, pulling methods and use

A loop drawn by oxen chains (South Africa)

The slide develops parallel to the rod loop , which, like the travois , was pulled across the ground without runners.

There are different sledges, some of which also differ in size and functional purpose.

Winter use

Toboggans are small and simply built, whereas horse-drawn sleighs are built so that you can ride in or on them. Sledges can also be pulled by teams of dogs . Human-pulled nansleds were the traditional means of transport for British Arctic and Antarctic expeditions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dogs were used by expeditions in other countries, such as Roald Amundsen . Sledges are also used as toys, using the force of gravity to go down a hill. Modern competition sleds go back to the first steerable sledges from 1870, which were invented for British hotel guests in St. Moritz as a pastime.

Magnificent sledge (around 1700) at Monbijou Castle

Externally driven sleds are called skid vehicles (animal-drawn sleds, but also snowmobiles ). The Aerosani, a historic Red Army motor vehicle, was propelled , an ice yacht sails like a sailing ship. Nowadays paragliders are also used to pull tub sleds, the so-called Akia , without fuel .

Different purpose

The early sleighs in Mesopotamia were threshing sleighs , shown in two illustrations from the temple district of Uruk (approx. 3,500–3,370 BC). It is believed that the Egyptians used sleds to transport materials to construction sites.

Sled types

Snow-independent horse-drawn mail sledge with retractable wheels

There are different types of sleds:

  • Aroser sledge , a traditional handcrafted sports and leisure sled
  • Bob ( racing bob ), a piece of sports equipment
  • Boards slide , a skid-free carriage
  • Cutter , a light, two-seater and one-horse sleigh. Widespread in the United States from about 1790 to 1910, particularly on its east coast and the Great Lakes.
  • Davos sledge , the most popular leisure sledge in Switzerland
  • Threshing carriage , a device for threshing
  • Ice sledges , an aid for water rescue
  • Horn sledge , originally a tool used by mountain farmers to transport hay or wood, for years mostly only used for races
  • Dog sledges, also known as Greenland sledges or Nansen sleds, are used to transport people and goods in polar regions
  • Kreek , a traditional box sleigh from Hamburg-Blankenese
  • Küttiger Frog , a skid sledge from Küttigen
  • Freight carriage for moving (transporting) goods on sufficiently smooth and stable ground (see also picture)
  • Cross-country ski sleds used by para-athletes for biathlon and cross-country skiing
  • Steering carriage (Ghosky slide), a controllable with weight transfer carriage, fun sport device
  • Papa hōlua
  • Peekschlitten , an ice sled in northern Germany
  • Horse-drawn sleigh , a horse-drawn skid vehicle
  • Mail carriage
  • Propeller carriage , propeller-driven vehicle
  • Luge (sports sledge)
  • Reindeer sleigh (also Ackja or Pulka )
  • Toboggans , a winter sports equipment for sledding
  • Sailing sleigh ( ice yacht )
  • Chair sledge (also push sledge), a sledge that is primarily used on ice
  • Kicksled (Spark, Kicksled), a sports and locomotion device particularly popular in Scandinavia
  • Troika is a vehicle that is pulled by three horses. Mostly it is a sledge, but there are also carriages with wheels with this name.
  • Skeleton , a special toboggan run for skeleton
  • Skibob , a piece of winter sports equipment
  • Toboggan , a skidless sledge used by the North American Indians of the subarctic
  • Pulling sledge , the toboggan , historical transport device of the Alps for hay and wood
  • In order to mow reeds on the frozen water , the self-propelled bar mower pulls a carriage for the operator on which the operator can stand or sit
  • Support base for semi-stationary machines and equipment, with the ability to be moved in a controlled manner, for example by means of a rope pull
Large cargo sledge pulled by a wheel loader at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

Sledges can typically be equipped with 4 wheels that can be tilted downwards in order to enable rolling travel.

Guiding, steering, braking

As a rule, a sledge stands on two elongated, parallel runners. These are rather longer than the contact width and bulge or rounded in one or both directions of travel. As a result, protruding grains of the ground are pressed flat into the ground when driving in order to produce the smoothest possible sliding surface. Compacted soil is created under the skid, the upper edge of which is lower than the uncompacted environment. The form fit on the side edges of the runners results in the lateral guidance, the maneuverability of the slide.

A drawn carriage can be steered by introducing tensile force at an angle at the front and / or by additionally introducing laterally acting tensile and / or compressive forces. Horse sleighs usually have two pairs of runners; the front short one is connected to the main part of the slide via a turntable and is aligned by the draft animals by pivoting the drawbar to the side.

Even sleds moving downhill or with momentum can be steered by distorting the geometry of the pair of runners (typical for racing and horn sleds) or by braking on one side. This can be done by pressing iron spikes into the snow next to a runner, or by loading a foot or hand on the side of a runner, which in turn can be done a little in front of or behind the slide depending on the sitting or lying position on the sled.

The slide can be braked by applying steering brakes on both sides. When sitting on a small wooden toboggan and putting weight on the soles of the shoes, the front part of the toboggan can even be raised so that the rear edges of the runners scratch the snow or ice. On Akjas, which are guided by hand by one or two skiers and are lifted, lowered and tipped in the process, transverse brake chains are also fitted if necessary for steep sections.

Ruts, curve superelevation and the lateral bulge to the walls of sunken paths can exert lateral guidance on the runners. Exercise the side walls of bobsleigh runs where they have a rectangular cross-section at the entrance and exit, possibly also on the shockproof clad bob sides.

A slide begins to move when the forward driving force, be it pulling force or the gradient-dependent driving component of the weight force, becomes greater than the force of the static friction. By powerfully jerking forwards and backwards the person sitting on a toboggan with his body mass, starting can be triggered as soon as the sliding friction is exceeded or even jerky locomotion can be generated. The sliding friction under the runners and the force required to track, to compress the snow under the front bulge of the runners acts as a draining counterforce, as does the force of air resistance that increases with speed. When driving quickly and unevenly, the impacts of the roadway on the sled and the passenger and their damping have an energy-consuming effect.

The maximum speed of a sled moving down a 45 ° incline can be estimated as follows:

The driving component of the weight G is T = √1 / 2 x G = 0.707 G.

A smooth toboggan runner on hard-pressed snow or ice has a low coefficient of friction. If the descent is sufficiently steep, the air resistance becomes the decisive counterforce. The air resistance increases with the square of the speed v.

If one estimates the free fall speed in the direction of the tobogganing of an upright or stretched lying toboggan roughly at v F = 100–200 km / h, the 45 ° steep slope toboggan achieves √√1 / 2 = 0.841-fold of this, ie 84–168 km / h top speed.

See also


  • Stefan Bauer, Stefan Donecker, Aline Ehrenfried, Markus Hirnsperger (eds.): Fault lines in the ice: Ethnology of the circumpolar north . 1st edition. Lit-Verlag, Vienna 2005, ISBN 978-3-8258-8270-9 .
  • Katharina Dubrowsky: The magic of old carriages and sleighs . Rombach, 1982, ISBN 978-3-7930-0740-1 .
  • Fritz Fischer: For the people to see, baroque sledges . 1st edition. Hirmer, Munich 2003, ISBN 978-3-7774-9710-5 .
  • Andres Furger: Carriages and sleighs in Switzerland: From the chariot to the city coupe . Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1993, ISBN 978-3-85823-402-5 .
  • Liz Gebistorf, Yvonne Villiger (ed.): The sledge book. Toboggan runs - toboggan runs - sledging stories . etcetera-Verlag, Lucerne 1995, ISBN 978-3-905551-02-0 ( Helveticat ).
  • Christine Januschke, Martin Januschke: The East Tyrolean Toboggan Book . 1st edition. Edition Löwenzahn, 2003, ISBN 978-3-7066-2347-6 .
  • Frank Matthias Kammel : Hot runners. Sledging: representation, fun, sport (=  cultural-historical walks in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Volume 8 ). Publisher of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum , Nuremberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-936688-22-1 .
  • Joachim Köninger: Loop, sledge, wheel and wagon: on the question of early means of transport north of the Alps . Janus, 2002 (round table Hemmenhofen October 10, 2001).
  • Heinrich Kreisel: float carriage and sleigh . KW Hiersemann, 1927.
  • Walter Lorch (translation: Ferdinand Hediger): History of traffic on snow and ice . Orell Füssli, Zurich 1978, ISBN 3-280-00991-X .
  • Marstallmuseum (ed.): Masterpieces on runners and wheels; Carriages and sleighs from happy days . Herbig-Haarhaus, 1954.
  • Herta Maurer-Lausegger : About sledges… In: Documentation of old folk culture in dialect . Hermagoras, Klagenfurt 1999, ISBN 978-3-85013-684-6 (synchronized German version).
  • Dietz-Rüdiger Moser: Masquerades on sledges. Student carnival sleigh rides in the Age of Enlightenment . Süddeutscher Verlag, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-7991-6433-2
  • Stefan Nunner, André Kaiser: Reintroduction of the tourist horse-drawn mail sleigh rides in Saxony . In: Forschungsgruppe Kursächsische Postmeilensäulen e. V. (Ed.): Circular No. 84 . November 2007.

Web links

Commons : sled  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Entertainment Box: If It Were Not Filmed No One Would See These Failure - 2, Video 2: 56–5: 32/13: 14, October 13, 2017, accessed November 1, 2017.
  2. TIME MACHINE: Awesome Innovative Farm Machine - Best Modern Agricultural Machine, Video 9: 54-10: 44/16: 03, December 13, 2016, accessed July 18, 2017.