CAT launches apprenticeship program

Welding is one of the skills taught at CAT.

Welding is one of the skills taught at CAT.

You’ve probably heard of UBI and Barnett. Now the Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT) and Human Powered Machines (HPM) are introducing the first cargo frame building school in the States.  Started in 1990, Human Powered Machines led the current revival of cargo bikes, trikes and trailers in the USA. This program will provide three apprentices per session with the skills necessary to replicate all or portions of the original CAT Oregon.

Some of what apprentices get:

  • A Long Haul cargo bike frameset (self-made).
  • What it takes to run a cargo courier business.
  • Skills to manufacture and assemble HPM products. Apprentices will be invited to be part of a federation of decentralized fabricators (a microfranchise).
  • Experience with youth programs such as Mobile School Presentations, Trips for Kids and Valet Parking.
  • Training in how to run a workspace rental shop.


The primary instructor, Jan VanderTuin, has a broad background in cargo vehicles.  In the early 80’s he traveled throughout Western Europe researching the subject.  He put together an extensive collection of information from around the world and became convinced that cargo bikes would do well in the USA. Since 1982, Jan has designed over a hundred unique vehicles for fun, for the alter-abled, and for cargo needs. He disagrees with the shipping of bikes around the world and has taught frame building classes to hundreds of students in Eugene. His favorite quote: “give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Other instructors include staff proficient at fabrication, sewing, business, distribution, retail and publishing.


July 15th 2009 – December 15th 2009

How much?

Apprentices will pay for training, fixtures, and usage of designs, depending on their individual plan. CAT offers on-site housing to apprentices.

Basic tuition: $5000 (Room and board is not included).

For more information, contact us at (541) 344-1197 or email