QHDC TQ Series
(2017)

  • A truly iconic vehicle that you can use for free
  • Incredible practicality
  • Cared for examples showing excellent reliability
  • Available in most of super markets
  • Many examples have been abused
  • Abuse can result in horrendous tracking issues
  • Can be quite noisey when unladen
  • Lacks individuality
Overview

Behold, the shopping trolley. Humankind’s greatest four-wheeled achievement.

Few other vessels of mobility and utility approach the sheer perfection demonstrated by the device used in all corners of the globe with names such as cart, basket, buggy, carriage, barrae, coohudder, bascart, wagon, trundler and, of course, trolley. If it qualified for inclusion in any big-name car(t) of the year awards regimes, the humble grocery-getter’s outstanding excellence in all criteria of Function, Technology, Efficiency, Safety and Value would see it dominate over anything motorized. If the shopping trolley indeed fitted a motor (though some obscure examples do…).

Henry Ford, Enzo Ferrari, these icons pale against the titan that was Sylvan Goldman, owner of Humpty Dumpty supermarket, Oklahoma. Internet lore states that Goldman debuted the first shopping cart in mid-1937 before evolving a metal-framed, wire-basket version he’d secure patent for in 1940, making him extremely wealthy.

Six years later, another trolley innovator, Orla Watson, developed the trolley’s signature rear swinging door allowing ‘nesting’, for elegantly convenient telescope-style storage. Of course, Goldman and Watson would confront each other in a court of law, but their combined legacies changed mobility forever.

The shopping trolley is functional purity at its finest. It’s fitness for purpose is 11 out of ten. No other device capable of transporting payload offers the same degree of packaging smarts, or can carry quiet as much payload for its given physical size. And Watson’s genius nesting design means no other forms of mobility can be parked or stowed in multiples quite so succinctly.

From ‘small-shop’ compacts to jumbos and Ikea-grade furniture flatbeds, there’s a body style for every need and none demand licensing, age requirements or specialized tutorial for operation. Indeed, some supermarkets offer kid trollies.

Child occupancy? When used as directed – usually via a female voice between yacht rock tracks over the supermarket PA – they’re perfectly safe, with child lap-sash belts, high-impact construction and oh-so-clever self-locked travellator wheels almost universal fitment today.

As countless instances of late-night drunken excess have proven over the decades, adults can also fit into shopping trollies even if, in terms of social acceptability, shopping trollies aren’t necessarily ideally fit for adults-as-juveniles. Besides, intoxicated shopping is generally frowned upon…

That’s not to say carts are completely imbecile-proof, as the spatially unaware demonstrate frequently in shopping aisles, but thankfully shopping trollies are so robust and durable that they’ll come off better than any painted concrete wall or Toyota 70 Series Land Cruiser they might confront in the carpark.

Forward, backwards, sideways at any angle or trajectory, the shopping cart offers the sort of maneuverability a Honda Jazz only dreams of. Even a wobbly wheel, the scourge of older, well-used examples, won’t impinge desired progress as it might do your average Audi Q7 with a flat tyre or a bent axle.

Visibility in all directions, due to the see-through construction, is virtually uninhibited. Ease of parking is such that no electronic sensors or cameras are required. And they even come with dedicated parking area allocation for utmost convenience.
Performance? Like motoring’s finest, the shopping trolley is really as fast as you want it to be, gravity allowing. That said, much like even the world’s most-capable Autobahn stormers, high-speed stability can become compromised with extremes in velocity. And fun? A humble cart can drift to lengths and breaths that even Japanese underground car culture would be jealous of.

Pricing and ownership costs are also highly seductive. ‘Free’ is measurably thriftier than Uber or Car Next Door though actual range and A-to-B convenience can be somewhat limiting. Don’t like the one you’ve got? Swap it out in an eye’s blink, no paperwork, credit card or government tariff required.

Insurance premiums and excess? Nil. Depreciation factor? Nothing. Obligations? None. The only running costs only potentially sail as high as a two-dollar coin if you’re particularly clumsy dealing with ‘deposit lock’ tyranny adopted by some retail establishments.

The shopping trolley is elegant and simplified perfection. Its proof of concept is that it’s remained largely unchanged for so long, despite the occasional and superfluous meddling such as the odd cupholder, info-shopping tablet integration or proximity-activated electronic wheel clamps that tend to disappear as quickly as they arrive. It’s been so right for so long that it doesn’t need as much as a face-lift, let alone any revolutionary change.

For sheer staying power, the shopping trolley is untouchable. As doomsday cinema is always quick to remind us, the only things that will surely remain after the apocalypse will be zombies, cockroaches, rubble…and supermarket carts.

And what a fine testament to human achievement that will be.

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What goes wrong
  • There are quite a few reports that the handle sections can become squeaky and loose with age, it’s not a major health or safety issue but it can be annoying.
  • Damaged bumper caps can catch on certain clothing. For example a lace unitard or anything made from mesh.
  • We do know of reports where the welding on some examples can fail to be up to scratch and can leave little sharp sticky putty bits that may cut you, or others.
  • Many trolleys are abused and vandalised, so chassis can bend and flex to a point where they break and prongs of metal can stick out, becoming dangerous.
  • Due to children being obsessed with touching and exploring everything,
and due to many moving parts surround the hinged rear panel, we do know of reports where children have trapped a finger or pinched their skin when exploring the trolley.
  • The mechanical issues we see with these have less to do with the trolly itself, more so the previous user.
  • In the less serious scenarios we see is caster wheel flat spots (from skidding on a grape or nut for way too long) ? This can result in an annoying d-dmp
  • In the worst case scenarios (like genuine abuse situations), we see HVCO issues, or High Velocity Caster Oscillations, basically in layman’s terms, this is where the wheels shimmy or shudder,
  • In catastrophic circumstances, can result in “death wobbles”.
  • Another problem we see is chassis misalignment from accident damage generally results in the trolley pulling to one side or another but the resulting issue can be from dodgy repair work where excess welding spatter can catch on clothing or even
  • skin.
  • Now some newer models we see, are actually now made of recycled plastic, which is great for the planet and everything, but time will tell if they can stand the test of time.
Model range, pricing & features

100-Z

  • Price when new: Free - $2
  • Price used: Free...people do steal these you know.

The 100 litre shopping trolley, sort of like a full-sized trolley with its bottom half cut off.

This trolley is quite useful for quick shops, but quickly disappointing when you finally realise mid-shop you need a larger trolley for the cans of coke, potato chips and the ice cream on special that you didn’t mean to buy, but you’re going to anyways.

Features:

Zinc frame construction
ANCAP Safety Rating: probably 3-stars (tested in 2022, bravely by Adam)
Plastic bumpers/end caps
Travelator wheels
Anti-static wheels
Advanced safety security locking mechanism (ASSLM)
Sliding coin unlocking mechanism system
Customised artwork
Cup holder

165-Z

  • Price when new: Free - $2
  • Price used: Gratis

The 165 litre shopping trolley, much like the 212, but smaller, actually worse than the 100-Z because you think it is like a normal trolley from every angle, but it’s actually narrower and shorter, thus a potentially more inconvenienced shop.

Features:

Airbag system in the form of pillows (if you’re carrying them)
Child seat

212-Z

  • Price when new: Free - $2
  • Price used: Wolny

The daddy, the king, the original, the trolley that’ll cover your full shop…unless you have 7 kids, in which case you’ll probably need two of these.

Features:

Separated basket
Perhaps a disused wet wipe

Should you buy it?

At the moment, you’re making life bloody hard for yourself if you don’t use a trolley.

Don’t get us wrong, we applaud the attempt to physically carry dozens of kilos of groceries around a supermarket, trying to perform some sort of interpretive dance choreography to hold onto everything you want to buy, let alone carrying it all to your car, but using a trolley just makes more sense.

And sure, you might be able to show off your strength and endurance by carrying several heavy shopping bags in each hand but most people will assume you’re an idiot because using a trolley is the more intelligent option.

Short of being presented with a faulty, broken or disease riddled trolley, it’s a yes from us.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

7 days

Servicing:

Whenever a boo boo arises, but probably won’t get serviced anyways.

Tech specs

Body Style:

1-door trolley

Engines:

~5.1 litre blood filled human being, fed food

Power:

~100 watts (5.1 litre blood filled human being, fed food)

Torque:

~150 N (5.1 litre blood filled human being, fed food)

Transmission & drivetrains:

1-speed automatic transmission, sent typically via two legs

Fuel Consumption:

240-300 calories/per hour

Length:

960 – 1060mm

Width:

590 – 605mm

Height:

1020 – 1025mm

Kerb Weight:

21 – 26kg (depending on variant)

Disclaimer

Information correct as of April 1, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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