Wheels, Tires, and Treads.
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There are comparatively few companies exhibiting only wheels, but the stands of Tangent Wheels, Limited, Smith, Parfrey and Company, Limited, and the Automobile Wheel Company (1907), Limited, have each a representative display, including wooden wheels of various sizes, and for vehicles of assorted weights.
Tangent Wheels, Limited (Stand No. 308, . Gallery), manufacturers patent wheels, in which the wooden spokes are arranged tangentially at the hub, and fit between the sections of the follies with a wedge action. These wheels are stronger, weight for weight, than the ordinary artillery pattern, and are more resilient, as the road shocks cannot be transmitted direct through the spokes to the hub, as with radial spokes.
Smith, Parfrey and Company, Limited (Stand No. 297, Gallery), has a particularly fine display of heavy lorry wheels, of which it manufactures a large number. The Pimlico wheel works of this company, at Fulham, are of vast extent, and motor omnibus wheels are made in quantities for all the leading London operating companies. Specimens of these, for yarious types of motor omnibuses, are exhibited, as well as artillery wheels for all sizes of commercial motor vehicles.
The Automobile Wheel Company (19o7), Limited (Stand No. 3o7, Gallery), is showing a very strong type of twin-spoke artillery wheel, which has remarkable lateral stability, and is, therefore, particularly suitable for delivery vans, and all heavy motors.
A very neat form of steel wheel is exhibited by the Electric and Ordnance Accessories, Limited (Stand No. 83, Main Hall), which is built up of steel tubular spokes in tension. The wheel has all the advantages of a wire wheel as to lightness, elasticity, and ease of repair, without the danger of rust, and difficulty of cleaning.
Tires and Treads.
The Parsons Non-skid Company, Limited (Stand No. 318, Gallery), exhibits the latest form of " Grippa " chains, with the improved slip-link fastening,,, which makes them so easy to attach and detach.
The solid rubber tire is almost unrepresented at the exhibition, but various forms of Clincher solid tires, both continuous, and sectional, are to be seen on the stand of Smith, Parfrey and Company, Limited. Turning to the subject of pneumatic tires for deliver), vans, there is much to interest the user of these vehicles. The Palmer cord tire is known to be one of the best for this purpose, and the exhibit is particularly interesting, as two automatic machines are shown manufacturing these tires. The almost human intelligence of these machines, as they take the cord, and, hooking it over the needles, draw it taut, attracts a crowd of visitors, intent on following every movement. The fact that the foundation of these tires is all made by machinery, eliminating the inaccuracy of hand labour, goes a long
way towards securing the perfection of reliability. The three-ridge tread adopted considerably reduces side-slip.
A distinctly novel tire is exhibited by The Cave Pneumatic Tyre Patents (Stand No. 245, Gallery), in which rubber is not employed at all, except for the inner tube. The case is made up from woven webbing, and is practically puncture proof. Outside this is a leather tread which...is-separate from, and independent of, the casing. A row of set-screw heads, or nuts, on either edge of the tread itself act as non-skids.
There is a very strong family resemblance in the leather non-skid bands exhibited, amongst which are the " Defiant," "Sawyer," "Durandal,'' " Validus," and " Coils," The " Validus has a renewable tread, and this can be detached by severing the copper rivets at the edges of the studded band which secure the band to the remainder of the leather cover. The " Corts " detachable non-skid band (Stand No. 262, Gallery) has a special fastening which is particularly suitable for van work, and users in, search of a tire for this purpose would do well to study this cover. The " Optima " non-skid tire (Stand No. 252, Gallery) is fitted with a leather cover vulcanized to the rubber, but differing from the usual form in that the hair is left on the leather. It is tanned by a special process, and the patentees maintain that the hair renders the leather waterproof, whereas its removal makes it porous, and, Certainly, the tires shown, which have done a considerable mileage, would appear to bear out this contention.
Many users prefer to rely on an irregular robber surface, instead of steelstudded hands, and, in this connection, everybody should examine the Vacuumsuction non-skid tread shown by Boult, Taylor and Company, Limited (Stand No. 29, Main Hall), with which this company is prepared to re-tread all sizes of pneumatic tire-s. Circular recesses are left in the rubber tread, and these act like the familiar schoolboy's sucker on a greasy road, whilst the method of rnanufacturkriesults in a toughened wear-resisting tread between the recesses. The" Validus " Non-skid Motor Tyre Company (Stand No. 258, Gallery) is also exhibiting a special re-tread, in which studs of canvas and. rubber are inserted, so that there are two materials, in contact with the road, and side-slip is therefore reduced.
Messrs. Sawyer and Company (Stand No. 249, Gallery) exhibit a " Combination " tire which, is built. up partly 01 leather, and partly of rubber, instead of leather alone. The . steel-studded leather tread (A) is attached to a crescent-shaped rubber band (B) which covers the whole tire. The steel studs are riveted through another leather band (C), and below that a further leather band (D) is inserted to protect the rubber tire from being chafed by the shanks of the studs'. This whole "Combination "band can be vulcanised to an ordinary rubber tread (E), as in the illustration adjoining.
The Goodyear tire is fitted to a r-ton van exhibited by Reo Motors, Ltd. (Stand No. tor, Main Hall), and shows a novel method of securing-the tire to the rim. Removable flanges are fitted on each side, which are hollow tubes of a peculiar section, and which lie inside the edges of the rim. The edges of the cover are enlarged, but are not beaded, and there is a tape of piano wire embedded in the hardened rubber so as to make the edges 'inextensible. These hollow removable flanges are rounded on the edges, so that there is no risk of injury to the cover by bonding over the flange, if the tire should not be pumped up hard enough. The special features of this tire arc worthy of considerable attention ; they have evidently been designed with much care.
No description of the tire section would be complete without mention of the 'Elastes " exhibit (Stand No. 315, Gallery). This is a chemical mixture which is used to fill the inner tubes of pneumatic tires in place of air under pressure. It is made to various degrees of consistency, so as to give the exact elasticity required for cars of different weights. An " Elastes "-filled inner tube is used with the same outer cover as a .pneumatic tire, but the tread will wear two or three times as long. The absolute immunity from puncture, and the impossibility of a burst, are great considerations, and the manufacturers contend that there are no compensating disadvantages. In this connection, we are authorised to state that " Elastes "-filled tires on the 4oh.p. Siddeley car (which is now approaching the completion of a long-distance trial under the observation of the Royal Automobile Club) have been used throughout. It was necessary to fit non-skid treads to the steering wheels, as well as to the driving wheels, but no other difficulty has been experienced. The user, whose tires are not filled with " Elastes," needs to provide against the vehicle's being stranded at the roadside from tire troubles, and the best insurance irolicy for this risk is to carry a " Stepney " spare wheel ; this consists of an inflated tire on a rim, which can be secured to the spokes of the van wheel, and on which the vehicle can he driven to its journey's end (see preceding page).