Jugaad are locally-made motor vehicles that are used mostly in small villages as a means of low cost transportation in rural India. Jugaad (also sometimes jugard) literally means an improvised arrangement or work-around, which has to be used because of lack of resources. This is a Hindi term widely used by people speaking other Indian languages, and by people of Indian origin around the world. The same term is still used for a type of vehicle, found in rural India, made by carpenters by fitting a diesel engine on a cart.

low-cost vehicle

Jugaad carrying passengers to a political rally in Agra, India

Jugaad colloquially means a creative idea, or a quick workaround to get through commercial, logistic or law issues. As such, the Jugaad movement has gathered a community of enthusiasts, believing it to be the proof of Indian bubbling creativity, or a cost-effective way to solve the issues of everyday life

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Indian jugaad at its best? A John Deere tractor bolted atop a combine

Jugaad found in Delhi-Agra road!

Alternative to patent and utility models a Legislation on Jugaad
Alternative to patent and utility models a Legislation on Jugaad

A three-wheeler ‘Jugaad’ being used by a sugarcane juice vendor.
Fatehgarh Sahib, June 9
“Jugaad” machines/devices should not only be restricted to local levels, rather it should be marketed and utilised all over.A study conducted by a student of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Satbir Singh, proved that tools, electronic equipment and other gadgets are combined to make a useful gadget by using innovative techniques.
A three-wheeler ‘Jugaad’ being used by a sugarcane juice vendor. Photo by the writer



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There are numerous manufacturers of the Listeroid & Petteroid diesel engines in single cylinder and two cylinder configurations, though Kirloskar was the first manufacturer to build them in India. Locally, these engines continue to be known as Kirloskar engines, even though made by a host of manufacturers. Brands include Ashwamegh, Noble, Kapson and Grover among others, and the manufacturers are spread over western UP from Ghaziabad to Meerut to Agra. Jugaads use these engines as the powerhouse. Generally, a single cylinder water cooled Petteroid engine is used.

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These are usually vertical single cylinder DI diesel engines with displacement ranging from ~500 cc to ~650 cc, depending on the bore of the cylinder, with power output ranging from 5-8 HP. The basic components like crankshaft, connecting rod, bearings etc. are sourced from a standardised common pool, and the foundry work & assembly are carried out by each manufacturer (some just assemble the engines from components sourced from the market).

Preference is for water cooled engines to cope with the extreme summer heat and severe overload conditions that these vehicles face, though similar air-cooled engines are also available. The water pump is driven via a drive belt on the rear end of the engine, with the radiator coming in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. Chhakdas in Gujarat use the air-cooled variety of these engines.

Engines are started by cranking a handle, and the gravity feed fuel tank is attached above the engine itself. Though diesel is the preferred fuel, these engines will continue to run comparatively happily even on kerosene, vegetable oils and spent engine oil, or a deadly cocktail of all these. Do NOT discuss pollution control measures with owners/drivers of these vehicles, because that may be even more detrimental to your health than breathing in the exhaust fumes.

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