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11th September 1928
Page 25
Page 26
Page 25, 11th September 1928 — A FORWARD-DRIVE THREE-HORSE BOX.
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The Dartford Engineering and Carriage Co., Ltd., has Recently Produced an Attractive Curtis Box Mounted on a Guy Chassis.

SINCE the first motor •horsebox was placed on the road the general design of this class of vehicle has been gradually and steadily improved until, now, it may be safely said that this method for the carriage of thoroughbred horses offers distinct advantages over that provided by the railways. Quite up to this high modern standard is the latest type of horsebox produced by the Dartford Engineering and Carriage Co., Ltd., of 23, Hythe Road, Willesden, London, N.W.10. The body of this vehicle is built 'manly on die lines of the standard Curtis patent three-horse box, which

we have already described in this journal and which we have always considered to be one of the best in its class, but it incorporates several refinements which _lender it particularly worthy of description.

As our illustrations clearly show, this new box is one of the smartest of its type on the road, its combination with a Guy FI0B-type, low-loading, forward-drive chassis being very effective from the-point of view of appearance as well as that of efficiency. We understand that the vehicle is to be employed on general horse transport by Captain Yerrow Hawkes, of Penny Compton, a well-known huntsman.

Prominent among the many excellent features of the machine may be named the specially balanced ramp, which is fitted to the near side, the balancing arrangement enabling it to be easily raised or lowered by one man. The ramp is hinged several inches below the floor level, this enabling a lower body, of better appearance, to be constructed. The hinge-bar of the ramp runs in two sturdy metal guides, sliding up to floor level as the ramp is lowered to the ground. It is held in position by means of an ingenious spring-loaded catch. Incidentally, the sash weights, which help to balance the ramp, run in long, vertical tubes inside the body.

When the ramp, which is of adequate width and treaded with wide slats over fibre matting; has been lowered to the ground, another clever arrangement is brought into play. As our accompanying drawing shows, this consists of a special type of safety gate employing a link action, which allows • it to be dropped so that its base falls almost flush with the ramp, the last-mentioned being inclined at an easy gradient. This type of gate has been devised to avoid the danger of the leg of a frisky horse slipping through the wide opening whigh would exist between the ramp and the bottom of the gate, were an ordinary type of door to be used.

A feature which will appeal to many is the fact that, as is the case with the usual Curtis three-horse box, the vehicle can quickly be arranged to accommodate a mare and foal or for employment as a general-utility machine. Every partition and almost every fitting in the body is secured by quick-release, tubular bolts or clips.

Restless horses will sometimes rear up as they enter their stalls in the vehicle, and, for this reason, deep and soft padding covers the roof to prevent the animals from injuring their heads. This is, perhaps, a small point, but it shows the great care and thought which have been given towards arranging the details of the body as conveniently and as serviceably as possible. All hinged handles fitted inside the body are leather-covered to avoid rattle and a roller blind is placed over the grooms' door at the rear, so that the horses cannot see out of the body, both these points hearing out the observation contained in the previous sentence. The grooms' seats are most comfortable, there being accommodation for three attendants—one ferward an two at the back end of the body. Saddleracks, clothes hooks, locker room for fodder, drop-windows, electric lighting, and a bell for communication with the driver are amongst the vehicle's useful accessories.

The equipment for the horses includes detachable metal mangers, special breast straps fitted with quick-release catches, as used by the War Office, and thick padding throughout the stalls, which Are all 2 ft. 6 ins, wide, this being proved by experience to be the ideal width for the purpose. Holes are drilled at numerous points in the floor for drainage purposes and the walls and floor of the vehicle are specially treated with bitumen to prevent ammonia from attacking the woodwork.

The panelling of this attractive box is carried out in aluminium, whilst duralumin is used for the framework, this, it is stated, resulting in a saving of about 15 cwt., which would, of course, otherwise be dead weight. The overall length of the vehicle, which is smartly finished in green, grey and white, with black and white lettering, is 23 ft. 6 ins., the width 7 ft. 2 ins., and the head clearance at the ramp entrance 7 ft., the interior headroom being 7 ft. 2 ins. The wheelbase of the chassis is 15 ft. 3 ins, and the overall height of the vehicle is 10 ft.


Organisations: War Office
Locations: London

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