If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
Restrictions on Wheel Strakes. English and American Ploughs. An Idea in Spuds.
CRITICISMS HAVE BEEN levelled at the Local Government Board in that they have not repealed, in its entirety (for the duration of the war at least), the order which prohibits vehicles from using the roads if the wheels of those vehicles are fitted with strakes which do not contply with certain. regulations laid down by the Board. The permitted limits -of size of strakes have certainly been revised during the war, but it has been stated that the reducs tion does not go far enough, and that if the law were entirely abrogated, a considerable saving of time would be effected with the use of agricultural tractors which could then move from field to field or from farm to farm without removing and replacing spuds. These complaints have generally been made in the non-technical Press, and are as groundless asthe tirade against "joy-riding," which has formed so outstanding. a feature of many of our dailies, great and small, of late. Actually, the retuoval of these 'restrictions would be of no assistance. The wheels of agrimotors are not sufficiently strong to allow of their being used on hard roads with the spuds in place. For the sake -of the machine itself, it is essential that they should be removed, and-the relaxing of half the laws on the Statute book would not.lielp them.
Ploughs—English and American.
I have recently been doing a little ploughing with a Titan tractor, and very good work it did. -Using a three-furrow plough on some moderately heavy grass.: land in Lancashire, an average day's work was from five to six acres. The tractor was under Government supervision, and two types of plough were in use. One was a British-made three-furrow Ransome ; the other a Grand-Detour, marketed by the International Harvester Co. who are, as is well known, the agents in this country for the Titan tractor. The British plough turned the best furrows, putting the grass well under the sod, but not entirely overturnsng the contents of the furrow, thus leaving the space needful for aeration of the soil. It had, however, a habit of jibbing. at any tough knots in the ground. The American, on the other hand, though it appeared to be well adapted for work in soil somewhat irregular as to its constitution, did not turn a furrow so visell adapted to British conditions of climate and methods of cultivation. The striking point of difference between_the two implements was notably in regard to their weight, the American being little more than half the weight of the other. However, this is not what I set out to discuss.
An Idea in Spuds.
Finishing a field on one farm about mid-day, it was shortly afterwards decided that we should move a distance of three-quarters of a Mile to another farm on which we were next to commence operations. It took us the remainder of the day to remove the spuds and to travel the intervening stretch of roadway ! It is, I am afraid, an experience which is only too, common. On the Titan the spuds are kept in pace by substantial split pins. On a brand new tractor, as exhibited in the showroom, or onspaper, this appears to be a charming method, and it would appear that the removal or-replacernent.of the spuds should be a matter of ease. Actually, although I .believe the Titan is one of the best Machines in.this respect, the operation is anything but a simple one after a day or two's ploughing on wet soil. The split pins and the inner lugs of the strakes are lost in from 2 ins. to 4 ins. of mud. Only three orfour spuds on each. side are accessible with any convenience, while
z42 the tractor is in any one position. It is necessary to drive it forward a little way, and also alternatively to reverse it in order to bring scum more of the spuds into accessible positions. Some method, it seems to me, could be devised whereby the whole of the spuds are released or secured at one operation. .
I suggest, in the accompanying Sketch, one possible' means of doing this. No doubt my design has its wok points, arid i shall be glad to have it criticised,
particularly f my critic will at the same time put forward suggestions for its improvement, or, alternatively, will himself produce a better method. Each Spud carries an L-shaped lug, which projects inside the rim of the wheel, the lug being so formed that the spud can be dropped-into place, and slid endsvays fraction of an inch so that it will temperarily hold itself in position while the others are also being fixed. An endless ring is carried within the wheel, having formed upon it wedge-shaped projections, so disposed
that when the ring is revolved slightly within the wheel these projections will engage between the L shaped lugs n i
the spuds. The inclined portions of these projections terminate in little platforms, each of which is notched, so that once in place the lug on the stale will register with this notch and prevent the ring from slipping back and freeing the strakes. The ring can be moved within the wheel by means of ,a crowbar hearing against suitably disposed projections. My sketch is to some extent diagrammatic, explaining rather the principle than the details of the device. It will be understood, of course, that several lugs might be formed on the side of the ring to which the end of the crowbar would be applied so that it will not be necessary to search for long under the nand to find a, suitable projection. For ease of assembly it might be necessary to make the ring in halves. Other constructional details will no doubt suggest themselves to the technical reader.
His Majesty ail! King whilst motoring through Kent recently stopped his car in order that he might be able to inspect an agrimetor. (a Titan) at work. He took a great interest in all the details. .
After a recent air aid, a portion of shrapnel was found embedded in the magneto of an agrirnotor working under the supervision of Mr. Borrett, of