Coach and Wagon Terms


Stagecoach parts diagram (PDF)


  • Axle - cross structure that wheels attach
  • Brake - device used to apply pressure to wheels to slow or stop wagon
  • Boot - a luggage compartment
    • Front boot - located at the front of the coach
    • Rear boot - located at the rear of the coach
  • Driver's box - the seat upon which the driver sits
  • Chock log - a block used to stop wagons rolling backward when resting animals on steep uphill grades
  • Doubletree - a crossbar, pivoted at the middle, with a singletree attached at each end. Used for harnessing horses side-by-side
  • Drag shoe - device used to slow wagons on downhill grades
  • Reach - structure that connects the front and rear axles
  • Rough Locks - chains used to lock wheels. Used when resting animals on steep uphill grades
  • Singletree - a crossbar, pivoted at the middle, to which the traces of a harness are fastened. Also known as a whiffletree, whippletree, or swingletree
  • Skeins - the metal spindle that attaches to the ends of a wooden axle on which the wheel box rests.
  • Springs - steel structure that suspended wagon body above the reach
  • Thorough brace - leather straps that suspend the coach body above the reach
  • Tongue - device that attaches to front axle of vehicle
    • Drop Tongue - hinged in the rear
    • Stiff Tongue - rigid
  • Wheel - a circular ring designed to rotate around the axle
    • Box - the metal piece that fits inside the hub and slides over the skein
    • Hub - the center of the wheel
    • Spoke - the spindles of the wheel
    • Rim - the steel outermost part of the wheel


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