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13th February 1919
Page 15
Page 15, 13th February 1919 — AXLE WEIGHTS OF STEAM WAGONS.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

By James H. 'Mann, Managing Director, Mann's Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Co., Ltd.

IHAVE BEEN looking through the Report of the Departmental Committee appointed by the Local Government Board to consider the construction and use of traction engines and heavy motorcars. So far as I have read, both the committee and witnesses appear to have treated motor wagons only from the standpoint of always being loaded machines, whereaa usually they are only loaded one way ; therefore it is necessary that they should be constructed to travel as effectively and as safely when, they are unloaded as when they are loaded.

Now, the recommendation of the Committee is that, while the unladen weight should be six tons' the maximum on any axle should not exceed eight tons. It was appreciated that water, fuel and pen-essential parts would weigh-about one ten for a steam wagon, thus making seven tops when "ready for the road," which Would leave five tonefor paying load to bring it. up to the maximum of 12 tons.

Speaking from a long experience of traction engines and steam wagons, I maintain that, to climb gradients when roads are in a slippery condition, and to avoid skidding, it is necessary that the weight on the driving wheels should be greater than on the driven wheels, and more especially with steel tyres. Therefore,' the "ready for the road " wagon, weighing seven tons, should have quite one ton more on the back wheels than on the front, because, as the water in the tank (which is principally carried by the back wheels) becomes used up, this distribution of weight is decreased by 10 to 15 cwt., leaving a. very narrow margin when the tank is nearly empty, and steam wagons have to climb gradients in this condition exactly the same as they have with the tank full, or with a load.

If the hind axle weight of a "ready for the road" wagon is .four tons, it means that with a load of five tons, and a maxit' num axle weight of eight tons, one ton of the load must be carried by the front wheels and four tons-by the hind wheels. To show the difficulty of this, I have had prepared a sketch showing approximately how far the hind wheels of an overtype wagon would have to be set back for one ton of the load to be carried on the front axle, assuming there Is an evenly distributed load of five tons in the body. Further, if one ton were carried in this way, it would bring the weight on the steerage wheels up to four tons, which the engineering, witness, who ad vocated vocated retaining the

If the Committee's recommendation is adopted, that the overhang shall not exceed 7-24ths of the overall length, it surely does away with the necessity of limiting the load upon any one axle, when both the unladen weight and the maximum weight with load are fired at six and twelve tons respectively. This would prevent endless vexatious prosecutions.


People: Mann

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