Horse-drawn carriages tourist transport is an additional attraction found in almost every place, referred to as “tourist mecca”. Vienna, Rome, Copenhagen, Paris, Krakow or New York and New Orleans. In each of these places, carriages allow tourists to discover places full of history in a way that gives them even more unique character. Touristic horse-drawn carriages are also a popular method of transport in agritourism and in areas with strong rural and highlander culture. The most commonly used carriages for commercial transport are: Landauer, Vis a Vis, Victoria, Wagonette, Touristwagen and the most popular of them, the Planwagen model. All carriages can be ordered at the production plants of the Polish brand GLINKOWSKI.
Horse-drawn carriages intended for the commercial transport of people require special adaptation to the Highway Code and the Code Approving Vehicles for Road Traffic, especially in the case of carriages transporting large numbers of people, such as the Planwagen or Turistwagen carriage.
In the first place we put the safety of transported people and the safety of other road users. The structure of the carriages should protect passengers from injuries in accidents and minimize their scale and effects. The well-being of horses, i.e. the total weight of carriages pulled by horses, is becoming an increasingly important issue. Finally, for many buyers, it is important to individualize horse-drawn carriages at the stage of their production. On the one hand, it is about visual elements distinguishing a given carriage, on the other, about the readiness and technological capabilities of the producer to take into account the special wishes of the ordering party in terms of carriage equipment that affects the comfort of travelers.
Requirements for safe horse-drawn carriages structures which are compliant with animal protection rules are high. The carriage should have a stable structure taking into account its weight and purpose. For example, Planwagen intended for transporting 16 people will have a different weight than the same for 24 people. In the case of the GLINKOWSKI brand, for which the main export market is the German market, the local provisions allowing vehicles to road traffic precisely specify the permissible total weight, axle load and its size.
Horse-drawn carriages exported to Germany must also meet the guidelines of the German Welding Technology Association as regards machining, fastening and joining, as well as comply with German vehicle construction technique standards.
An important structural issue that increases safety is the use of steel profiles of adequate quality and strength. Carriages should also be equipped with a lighting system and reflective elements. And those structural elements of the carriage, especially important for the communication and exploitation safety, that wear out quickly, must be easy to control and easily replaceable.
Finally, from the point of view of safety, the position of the driver is important, which on the one hand has to ensure unrestricted visibility of the road, and on the other hand safe reins control without touching the horse's back. The driver should also be able to use the parking brake without leaving the seat. In the case of the above-mentioned Planwagen carriage, the Glinkowski brand installs an additional mechanical parking brake.
In the case of the Planwagen carriage, usually finished with a Western type roof, the quality of the tarpaulin is an important issue. It should not weigh much, be waterproof, weatherproof and not flammable. The tarpaulin supporting frame must be made so as to be able to withstand forces caused by rolling, oscillation or side wind.
Structural correctness is one thing; the quality of the materials used, especially steel, axles, braking systems, springs and even bearings remains an important issue. All these elements should guarantee reliable operation.
- We use only the services of reputable suppliers who have confirmed their quality in the automotive industry – says Damian Glinkowski responsible for horse-drawn carriages production department – I am thinking of such producers as Bosch, Brembo, ADR, SSAB, PPG. The most important issue for us is the safety of users of our carriages – he emphasizes.
There are so many elements that affect the safety of horse-drawn carriages users that it is important to choose the carriages producer who will guarantee it. The GLINKOWSKI brand, with its traditions of carriages production going back to 1956, is today the world largest and one of the most experienced producers. Carriages for transporting tourists constitute about 15% of the brand's annual sales, i.e. about 300 horse-drawn carriages per year. Planwagen carriage dominates among them. Carriages of this type are exported to all markets of the world, especially to German-speaking markets.
Modern times are a period of greater awareness of the requirements and needs of draught animals, especially horses. The latest technology helps with caring for horses welfare.
Less weighting innovative materials but with high strength parameters enable the production of lighter horse-drawn carriages than in the past. However, their use requires extensive engineering knowledge and many years of experience in the production of carriages that allow, without the risk of reducing users' security, apply solutions that reduce their weight.
The comparison of carriages from different producers shows that this is not such a simple thing. The weight difference of Planwagen carriage can reach up to 200 kg
GLINKOWSKI horse-drawn carriages are one of the world leaders in terms of their total weight. The producer's readiness to look for unusual solutions that reduce the weight of carriages even more is important. The driver, for whom the issue of horse welfare is the most important, will find a team of empathic engineers and designers at GLINKOWSKI company.
Individualization of horse-drawn carriages
Speaking of business in terms of transport of persons, marketing comes into play. The carriage design and the comfort of traveling can be decisive for gaining or losing an order. That is why owners of horse-drawn carriages attach great importance to the choice of model, colours, decorating elements, seats quality or the choice of wheels. A good example is the production of the Landauer carriage for the Tiffany jewelry brand, where the basic condition for acceptance the carriage was its color matching with the famous "Tiffany Blue" colour.
Planwagen horse-drawn carriages have already been equipped by GLINKOWSKI brand with advanced sound systems, elements of kitchen equipment for preparing food, special beer tables (Octoberfest Edition), as well as WEBASTO brand heating system. The challenge, which the brand coped with perfectly, was ordering a Planwagen carriage equipped with an electric elevator enabling the transport of disabled people, as well as prepared for serving a delicacy of the Swiss cuisine - Fondue (hot cheese), realized for a customer who runs the so-called “gastronomy tourism” in Switzerland.
"Planwagen" - the most popular horse-drawn carriage for tourist transport
In the category of horse-drawn carriages for tourist transport, we can distinguish between small carriages carrying a small number of people and those that can transport even 24 people at the same time. In the first case, for example, these are Landauer or Vis a Vis models that allow transport of up to 4 people. They provide a moodier atmosphere of sightseeing, and due to their classic design, they fit perfectly into places full of historical architecture like: Vienna, Krakow or Paris. In the second case, these models are Planwagen and Turistwagen.
Planwagen is the most popular horse-drawn carriage for commercial transport in the GLINKOWSKI brand offer, from the prestigious Performance Line. Although the most commonly chosen version is the model for transporting 16 people, the offer includes the production of the Planwagen carriage that can carry up to 24 people.
In the standard version, the carriage has spring suspension (three-point front, semi-elliptical rear), Bosch and Brembo braking system (front and rear) with the mentioned additional mechanical brake, characteristic roof with Western type windows made of light, durable and fire-resistant material (tarpaulin roof mounted on request), basic lighting (lamps, direction indicators, shaft lighting), wheel fenders, acrylic or metallic lacquer. For greater comfort, the brand as standard uses wheels typical for agricultural tractors.
Optionally, it is possible to order for Planwagen carriage: air suspension system, painting with pearl varnish, mounting boxes under the seats and/or above the passengers’ heads and many options for individualization of the carriage, described above.
Planwagen is most often ordered by customers from the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. An alternative to it, also popular, is the Turistwagen carriage. Turistwagen also allows the transport of a large number of people, up to 24 people. It is a horse-drawn carriage with a more classic design, referring to the Wagonette carriage. Its characteristic feature is the shape of the structure connecting the front seat with the “swan neck” passengers’ section, flat roof or large diameter wheels that can be made of wood. This model finds customers in Russia, Spain and even in Oman.
In conclusion, is transporting tourists in horse-drawn carriages good business? We do not know this; however, we are convinced that if someone decides to start such a business, GLINKOWSKI will be a partner who will produce a unique horse-drawn carriage, guaranteeing reliable operation for many years and safety for the driver and the passengers.