A SPECIAL CHASSIS FOR AMBULANCE BODIES.
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Details of the 20-25 h.p. Ruston and Hornsby Model and the Complete Ambulance just Completed for the City of Lincoln.
DURING a recent visit to Lincoln we took an opportunity of inspecting the latest types of ambulance handled by Ruston and Hornsby, Ltd. This corn-. pany have gained a very sound reputation for the quality of their ambulance chassis, whilst the bodies are made by Wilson and Stockall, of Bury, Lancs., who have been specialists in ambulance body construction for many years.
VVe were just in time to inspect the new machine for the Lincoln Corporation before it was handed over, and in the shops we noticed others owned by the local authorities of Hunslet and Barnsley. Ambulances have also been supplied to Stoke-on-Trent, Dewsbury, etc., but in these eases the chassis is on single rear wheels, in place of the twin type now fitted.
'Few builders can boast of producing a chassis especially for ambulance work, but this is the case with Ruston and Hornsby, Ltd., the chassis being known as the A3 type, 20-25 lip., 11-ft. 6-iu. wheelbase, although a vehicle with a 10-ft. 6-in, wheelbase can be provided if required, but in this event, the standard Fifteen chassis of 15.9 h.p. is employed.
In spite of the fact that the whole chassis is very sturdily eonstructed, it is remarkably light, weighing only 21 cwt., and with an ambulance body of 11 cwt. the total weight of the vehicle is 32 cwt., which compares very favourably with others on the market, some of which appear to be unnecessarily heavy.
The average petrol consumption approximates 22 m.p.g., which is very satisfactory for a vehicle of this. type.
The power unit of the A3 chassis has four cylinders of 90 mm. bore and 130 mm. stroke, cast en bloc, and developing 35 b.h.p. at 1,500 r.p.m. It is built for long service at high speeds, and has exceptionally large water spaces, particularly round the exhaust valve pockets. Lubrication is by an oil pump of the gear type, all the main • bearings being lubricated by pressure and the big-ends from troughs. Carburation is attended to by an instrument of Zenith manufae.:Imre of the well-known horizontal type,
whilst the cooling water is circulated by a pump, the cooling being fan assisted.
The drive is taken through a clutch of the inverted cone type faced with Ferodn and thence by a propeller shaft enclosed in a .tubular torque member, the rear end of which is bolted to the gearbox, whilst the front end is anchored to a frame cross-member by means of -a forked bracket.. Three speeds forward and a reverse are provided by the gearbox, the direct drive being on the third speed.
Final drive is through spiral bevels, which are silent in operation. The appearance of the whole vehicle is enhanced by the provision of steel disc wheels, those at the rear being of the twin type.
As will be seen from one of our illustrations, the brake drums are exceptionally large, and the shoes for both hand and foot brakes are contained within them, the shoes being mounted side by side.
The springing is particularly good, the front being by long springs of the semielliptic type, whilst the rear springs are underslung and are 4 ft. 6 ins. long. The chassis is complete with C.A.N eleotric starter, dynamo lighting, and electric harn.•
The Lincoln ambulance, which represents all thelatest in ambulance practice, has a body built of straight-grained ash, panelled outside in mahogany and inside in three-ply wood with varnished finish. It is equipped with two stretchers, the lower one being provided with two rubber-tyred wheels running in flour channels, whilst the upper, when not in use, is folded up againstthe near side 'This high-stretcher may be lowered by a special arrangement of levers to facilitate loading and unloading, and its return to the high position is assisted by two powerful tensionsprings, which are brought into action immediately the stretcher is lowered. • When in use, tho outer part of the stretcher frame is supported from the roof by hangers. '
Great care has been taken to render the occupants as comfortable as possible, and to assist in this desideratum the lower stretcher may be tilted to any desired degree so that the occupant may always be in the horizontal position, even when the vehicle is climbing or descending hills.
A large locker for bandages, etc., is provided at the front end, and at the off side, running the full length of the body, is a seat, 'which, when not in use, can be folded lip against this side of the body.
The bottom stretcher is fitted with the very latest patent arrangement, with specially adapted backrests at each end, so that the patient can be placed in any sitting or lying posture.
Internal fittings include a frame for a water bottle and tumbler, and splints are carried as part of the equipment. There is a small window for communication between the interior of the vehicle and the driver, and ventilation is provided by folding windows at the sides and back, and two hit-and-miss roof ventilators, whilst lighting is by a powerful single roof light. , Considerable attention has been paid to the question of the comfort of the
driver. The -driver's seat is provided with doors on each side, side windows (which, incidentally, carry the sign of the RedCross) and .a double windscreen, of which the upper half is adjustable.
The whole vehicle has very fine lines, the handsome radiator, taper bonnet, scuttle dash, and the curved panels of • the doors merging into the body proper. The equipment includes two spare wheels, one of which is carried on each running board in an 'unobtrusive manner.
A. certain amount of privacy is affqrded by the use of tinted glass-lights, exchpt for one clear-glass look-out window in the rear door, so that the driver can see through the communication window and this window in order to reverse or to see overtaking traffic.
The finish of the Lincoln ambulance is well thought out, consisting of dark green panels and black window framing and wings. If required, the inside of
other ambulances may be painted with white Ripolin, and another extra, 'is nickel tip-up wash-basin with -tank, pipes, etc., for het and cold water.
The vehicle which we have described, and which is known as the Bradford No. 1 type, costs £525, but municipalities who are interested should write to the company for their well-arranged -catalogue, -which is, we believe, the first one ,devoted exclusively to ambulances which has been produced: