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Causes of Side-Slip.
The Editor, "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—During the last few days, what with damp fogs and heavy storms, the streets have been in a very " greasy " state, but it is quite a rare thing to see a motorbus side-slip. Twelve months ago, on a " greasy " day, motorbuses, and other heavy rubber-tired vehicles, crept along more or less sideways with the near-side hind wheel in the gutter. Now one often sees a fully-laden bus do the most daring turns on greasy asphalt without any slip at all. There is, too, seldom any skidding on re-starting, even with a particularly fierce clutch. Yet no non-slipping devices are fitted to the wheels, neither have the tires changed. One can only conclude that makers have found that side-slipping was due, not so much to the road wheels and the mud, as to the balance of the vehicle. A vehicle with a lot of weight directly on the backaxle would have a decided tendency to swing round if turned at all sharply, and too much weight forward would cause a loss of adhesion to the back wheels. Dustless and "greaseless " roads there will never be until the horse and its attendant inconveniences are abolished. In a yard where no horse ever enters, that paste which covers our main streets after a little rain or a damp fog is conspicuous by its absence.
It is clear to me that another factor in the attainment ofthis improved result, is, the better knowledge and skill of the drivers; they, as a class, know the " feel " of their vehicles now, and de not rely on "the Act of God " plea any longer.—Yours faithfully, " ANTI-Sidi' INVENTOR. " Earlsfield, S.W., 7th December, 1907.
Awards in Dartford Ploughing Match.
The Editor, "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—With reference to H. P. Saunderson and Company's letter in this week's issue of your journal, as there are several statements in this which are inaccurate, we trust you will allow us space in your valuable journal to reply. Rule I. The quality and quantity of work done with the motor plough.—We are surprised to hear that the piece of land the Saunderson motor was set to plough was on a " steep hill." There was a slight incline, probably i in 30, • which extended right across the field and up which both motors had to plough. The " angular headland " referred to was no serious disadvantage and was a typical instance of an ordinary English field. We fail to understand in what way this affects the quality of the work. In this trial the differential gear of the Saunderson motor did not seize as it was suPposed to have done at the Essex trials, but even then they were not able to turn any better ; in fact when they had finished their cant they had to leave a large triangular piece which they could not plough, without running over some of the land that had just been ploughed. However, the Ivel finished its allotted piece of land completely. There was absolutely no question as to which motor did the best ploughing, and the Ivel undoubtedly had a suitable plough which was worked to a depth as required by the Judges, and all three furrows were the same. The Saunderson certainly did not plough any deeper, and therefore did not turn over any more earth ; in fact, it did less, as it left a piece as before mentioned. Saunderson and Company state that they worked for ihr. 32min., and then did not finish as a piece was left. The Judges however, in a letter state that they worked for ihr..35min.-; the time taken by the writer was ihr. 45111in. Rule 2. The cost of doing the work.—We must here again state that the petrol used by Saunderson and Company was Pratt's best, which is sold in Dartford for I TO. per gallon, and this was used at the trials; whether their motor can run on cheaper spirit or not is quite beside the point. They state, however, in their catalogue that they can use paraffin, but the writer has seen their meter working on various occasions and in each case petrol was used. Judging by the remarks Saunderson and Company make with regard to carbon deposit, one can only assume that -their engine and patent carburetter were not adapted for anything else but best petrol. As far as the Ivel is concerned, we have been fitting paraffin carburetters and engines on our tractors for the last three years and are able to run quite
satisfactorily on paraffin. Regarding the question of consumption, we have nothing further to say on this, and can only repeat that the system of measurement adopted by the Judges was grossly unfair.
Rule 3. Cost of machine and plough.-1-Tere again we come to a very important point and which so far Saunderson and Company have failed to explain. The writer handed one of their catalogues to the Judges and in this the machine was listed at ...;420. This catalogue was sent out in reply to an enquiry about ten days prior to the trial at Dartford. Regarding the remarks about standardising, we have seen a catalogue which was distributed at the Smithfield Show in 1906 and in this catalogue (on page 9) occurs the following :—
" We now have confidence in offering our 1907 Universal Motor as a reliable, standardised machine."
Further, we have seen a letter addressed to Mr. Walter Munn, of Wimbledon, dated 14th November, 19o7, in which the price of the tractor is L',396. We might add that this letter bore the signature of Mr. F. B. Kingdon, as Managing Director. Apparently, for the trial, the price was reduced, hut since then has again been increased.
Rule 4. Ease of manipulation and adaptability for other agricultural work.—We do not think that there is any question that, for agricultural work, a tractor that weighs under two tons and can turn in a small space is at a distinct advantage over a heavier and more cumbersome machine, Then, again, one has only to examine both machines to see which is the simpler. We note that the Saunderson motor weighs 56cwt., which puts an equal weight of about 18L-cwt. on each wheel. Mr. Saunderson does not appear to be very observant when he states that the weight of the Ivel (35cwt.) is distributed on two wheels. Might we draw, his attention to the fact that the Ivel has three wide wheels and that the weight is distributed over these three and works out approxithately at t3cwt. on each driving wheel and 9cvet. on the wide, front, steering wheel.
Regarding the Chelmsford trial, the non-success of the Saunderson motor here seems to have been a seized differential gear, but it appears strange that they should also fail to score at Boston, as here again they were not able to work on such small headlands. The Judges, • Messrs. Fredk. Bowser and Richard Clark, referring to the latter trial in writing to the " Boston Guardian," the following passage 'Appears :— " Mr. Malden mentions a competition in Kent, hauling,
but says nothing about ploughing. If Mr. Malden will bring the two gentlemen to Boston who acted as Judges in Kent we will take them and show them how this implement mutilated and disgraced Councillor Richardson's good soil, and, if they say Mr. Saunderson was entitled to
a Gold Medal for the performance, we will give to the Boston Hospital and consider that we are not 'competent to judge motor ploughing."
The width ploughed by the Saunderson motor was greater,
but then Mr. Saunderson does not take into consideration the wide headlands he left at each end. His statement that his motor" was never judged at all " seems curious, especially in view of the remarks made by one of the Judges, Mr. F. Bowser, at the public dinner in the evening, at which Mr. Saunderson and Mr. Hoffmann were also present. He said" the motor ploughs had that day done very good work but they had not yet got the plough equal to the motor machinery." From this it would appear that they were not judging the plough but the motor.
We have -endeavoured to make our reply as brief as possible, as we do not wish to trespass (ift your space unnecessarily, and we trust in fairness to ourselves you will insert this in your next issue.—Yours truly, For THE I VEL AGRICULTURAL MOTORS, LIMITED.
A. Hoffmann, Manager.
45; Great Marlborough Street, London, W., 5th December, 1907.