Cart Specifications

1. Soapbox carts are powered by gravity only.

2. The driver must sit in the cart, facing forward and control the cart using only hands and feet.

3. Drivers must fit in the cart. This means they must be able to get in and out of the cart easily and steer and stop the cart in the normal seated position without stretching or straining.

4. The centre of gravity, with the driver in place, should be as low as possible without violating the minimum road clearance (2.5”) specification.

5. Carts must have four wheels with minimum diameter 6". Wheels from manufacturers may not be modified but must be used ‘as is’. Wheels must have solid or inflated rubber tires and not be made of wood.

6. Measures must be taken to prevent wheels from departing the cart when in use. Use cotter pins or other positive means to keep the wheels in place.

7. Fasteners used in the steering and brake systems must be prevented from loosening when in use by the use of lock nuts, cotter pins, wire-tying or other means.

8. Maximum overall cart length: 84”.

9. Maximum wheel base (distance between front and rear axles): 56”.

10. Maximum cart body width, 28”.

11. Maximum axle length: 35”. Axles must not rotate - wheels must rotate on the axles.

12. Road clearance to any part of the cart, including fasteners, must be 2.5” minimum.

13. Minimize front and rear overhang to prevent getting hung up on the starting ramps.

14. All basic structure parts must be securely fastened to each other using bolts, screws or other suitable hardware. Plywood and solid wood are permitted structural materials. Particle or strand type board is not permitted for any structural part. The basic structure is defined as the chassis on which the driver sits and to which the axles, steering, brake mechanisms, and body parts are attached. The cart body or shell may be part of the basic structure. It must be made of rigid impact resistant material. Make the structure stiff and non-flexing .

15. Springs and shock absorbers are not permitted.

16. Important! Steering shall be only by means of rotation of the front axle on a central pivot. Total back and forth movement of either front wheel on this axle shall be limited to 1" (+/-0.5"). Stops must be installed to prevent over-steering. The steering movement must be smooth.

17. The carts must have a braking system capable of slowing the cart to a smooth, short and safe straight line stop without damaging the road surface. Drag chutes are not permitted.

18. Cable links used in steering and brake systems must be secure and not slip under stress.

19. Adjusting hardware must be lockable. Turnbuckles must be lock-wired in the final adjusted position.

20. All brake and steering components should be readily visible and accessible without disassembly of the cart.

21.  The driver’s lower torso, legs and feet must be within the body shell.

22.  There shall be no exposed sharp edges or points. Exposed edges that may be contacted by the driver shall be rounded and smooth. Protective cushioning material may also be fitted.

23. There shall be no hard-protruding ornamentation on the cart.

24. It is recommended to incorporate convenient hand-holds for ease of lifting and handling.

25. You may decorate/paint the cart any way you wish, but in good taste. Funny and humorous is good.


The Really Important Points!


  • It is vitally important that the cart can be driven repeatedly without steering and brakes adjustment.

  • Thoroughly test steering  and brake mechanisms for strength, repeatable and effective operation.

  • Test the whole cart on a sloping surface. Make certain, through testing, that all the intended drivers can safely operate the cart.

  • Do not show up at the derby with untested soapbox cart and drivers.



If you have questions or need help, contact .