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VEHICLE manufacturers' exhibits at the Dairy Show, which opened at Olympia, London, last Tuesday and closes today, reflect the supremity of battery-electric vehicles for milk-delivery work. One company exhibited last year an oil-engined version of their popular electric three-wheeler. Though this was thought at the time to have interesting possibilities in the local delivery field, they are not displaying this model again, and no other vehicle exhibited has an internal-combustion engine.
The primary requirements for battery-electric vehicles are •that they should be functional whilst remaining robust and simple. Without major developments in the design of traction equipment and storage batteries, the scope for design is greatly limited. As a result of this, no outstanding innovations are apparent at the Show, though a number of detailed refinements may be inspected on the vehicles displayed.
T. H. Lewis, Ltd., Station Estate, Watford, Herts, show in addition to their standard 25-cwt. Electruk, which has contactor-type controller gear, an experimental chassis with a carbon-pile-type controller actuated hydraulically. The new gear gives an infinitely variable transmission take-up eliminating the surge and snatch which can occur with the mechanical type of controller. It is still under development but should be in production in about four months' time.
A walk-through cab is provided on the Electruk by a vertical steering wheel and this feature is also included on a 20-cwt. milk float displayed by Ross Auto and Engineering, Ltd., , 30a Zetland Road, Southbourne. The wheel is connected to a sprocket which transmits the steering effort by a chain to the drop arm.
Ross are exhibiting at the Dairy Show for the first time and the truck shown has a speed of 10-12 m.p.h. and a range of 12-20 miles, A plastics roof panel is incorporated and the loading .floor is made up of detachable laminated wood panels which are guaranteed to resist lactic acid. A feature of the vehicle is
that all the road springs are interchangeable and are carried in rubber slippers to reduce maintenance. A bare chassis of similar type is also exhibited.
Recently introduced by Austin Crompton Parkinson Electric Vehicles, Ltd., Morrison Works, South Wigston, Leicester, is their Morrison Electricar EH 20 high-speed 1-ton dairy float. This was described in The Commercial Motor dated September 26. It has a singledepression three-stage delay-action foot switch, the controller gear being neatly housed under the driver's seat.
Four other complete vehicles are shown on this maker's stand and one 20-cwt. chassis. A 20-cwt milk float has a full-width downward-facing mirror above the windscreen to increase forward visibility for the driver. A number of exhibits on .other stands has smaller conventional mirrors for this purpose.
The use of curved panels for the cab structure gives the Harbilt 750 and 760 battery-electric vehicles shown by the Harborough Construction Co., Ltd., Harbilt Works, Market Harborough, Leicester, a pleasing appearance. The 750 model is suitable for a payload of 25 cwt., has a range of 25-30 miles and a speed of up to 18 m.p.h.
The vehicle shown has a display cabinet mounted 4t the rear of the plat form body. A pedestrian-controlled 20-cwt. battery-electric truck is also shown by these manufacturers.
Suitable for driving from a standing or seated position is the Suburbanite, shown by Smith's Delivery Vehicles, Ltd., Team Valley, Gateshead-on-Tyne, 11. The cab on this model has sliding doors and B.T.H. controller gear and traction equipment are used. Two other 1-ton dairy trucks may also be inspected.
,Wales and Edwards, Ltd., Morris House, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, have three examples of their three-wheeled battery-electric trucks on show, including the latest 25-Cwt. Rangemaster model. All the vehicles shown have cabs and bodies. Manufactured from glass-fibre reinforced plastics.
. Two Manulectric dairy trucks are displayed by Sidney Hole's Electric Vehicles, Station Road, Hailsham, Sussex. -One is designed for pedestrian control and the other is a noi'mally driven vehicle.