A SINGLE-WHEELED TRACTOR.
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The Autohorse—An Interesting Type of Machine Which Does Not Carry, but Simply Pulls.
No DOUBT many haulage firms in the habit of using trailers have-asked themselves; Why use eight. wheel when five will suffice? Take, for instance, a big firm of manufacturers in a seaport town, whose work, day in and day out, cansists of transporting raw material from the quays to the works and from the works back to the quays and railway sidings: they use a trailer not -only as' e matter of financial benefit, but because it is the best means of getting the biggest tonnage removed in the quickest
possible manner. While ene trailer is in transit another is being loaded, and by changing over the attachment at the quay and at the works in this fashion the most economical costs per ton-mile have been obtained,
Ills a well-known fact that far greater leads can be drawn than carried—a horse can carry but a fraction of what it can pull and a tug-boat can draw a load in barges that would require a large steamer to carry—but when we come to the domain of mechanical road transport (sometimes misnamed `` motor heelage ") we find that the units generally employed are the only ones that carry thenloads. The full weight Of the load is on the vehicle that must develop its power and provide locomotion, necessitating heavier and more costly equipment than if its capacity were merely haulage. Following on these lines, the design for the Autohorse was evolved. A few days ago, with a trailer load of five and a half tons, its serviceability was dernmstrated in the not too easy streets of Liverpool, with completely satisfactory results, but perhaps it would be best, first of all, to give a curSory description of the vehicle.
The outstanding feature is that by an ingenious double application—that of applying the power to a single wheel (which performs the dual duty of driving and steering) and the utilization of the principle of pulling the load instead of carrying it—the Autohorse is capable of performing the duty of delivering the load at a cost which is aggressively competitive.
Sturdily constructed and weighing 2t. tons, the Autohorse can handle with ease net loads of one to five tons on severe gradients and on the level 12 to 15 tons, and has manoeuvring qualities such as are possessed by no other type
of vehicle. There are two standard models of the Autohorse, known as the H type and the E type. The H model has a four-cylinder 95 ram. by 138 mm.
engine, and the alternative model a special. heavy-duty type 95 nun. by 140 mm. They have three and four gears .respectively forward, a reverse, and gate change.
The E Autohorse is manufactured in England, but the II unit is imported from Holland. The British product trans/trite power Loin the engine through the clutch and gearbox to the crossshaft lay means of bevel gearing, thence by14-ivi. pitch by 1-in diameter roller chain to the internal gear in the rear
Wheel. The driving wheel, a one-pieee steel casting, is fitted with twin 120 ram. for 720 mm. solid rubber tyres. All the bearings are S.E.F. pattern. The service brake consists of two contract-. lug shoes lined with Ferodo, operating on a drum on the cross shaft.. Under normal conditions, this brake will lock the wheel under full toad. The einer-: gency expanding brake is an internally expanding segment, acting on a large drum in the main, wheel and operated by a hand lever. Facilities are also provided for operating the trailer brakes from the driver's seat.,
The auxiliary wheels of the Autohorse (which are out of action when a trailer is in attachment) are 20 ins. by 3i ins., and have rubber tyres: The sub-frame is of channeled steel, and is mounted on an humor ririg, which is in turn mounted on the springs. The main frame is constructed of rolled steel joists, reinforced by gusset. plates. It is mounted on an outer ring, taking the draw-bar pull.
In obtaining the desired maximum road. traction, winch requires uniform' weight at all times, the design of the Autohorse work's out to advantage, for the following reasons :—(1) Strength of construction. Weight being essential, it is possible to go to extremes in strength Without adding to the wear and tear of the tractor and without adding to the cost of upkeep. (2) The machine is perfectly balanced and the uniform weight on the tyre remains the same at all times. (3) The underslung construethin permits of perfect balance under all conditions. In this conetruction there is a perfect centre of gravity.
The 'Autohorse can be coupled in a permanent manner to any wagon equipment or modern trailer: Should conditions require the machine to be used in connection with more than one vehicle, the auxiliary wheel equipment., in conjunction with a quickly detachable automatic coupling, enables the tractor to be used to wonderful advantage. As the auxiliary contrivance is riot necessary nor required in the operation of the tractor, small wheels are automatically raised from the ground by the fact of the Autohorse attaching itself to the trailer, and are only lowered when the trailer becomes unattached. The tracior may then be operated as an independent unit.
The tractor can be attached or de. tached from a trailer in 40 sees., and gives speeds of from 2 'm.p.h. to 20 m.p.h. The petrol consumption is very modest-10 m.p.g. to 12 m.p.g. .
One of the Severe tests to which the Autohorse was subjected during a demonsteation at Liverpool was the ascent of Brownlow Hill, a long, .steady
with very bad road surface. The load consisted of 5 tons 11 'cwt. on the trailer. The tractor worked splendidly. Some of the pot-holes were 5 UM in depth. To test the " roadworthiness " of the Autohorse, a stop was made on the steepest part, the driving wheel settling down in one of those horrible road indentations, yet the machine could be started off with perfect ease. Turning into Pembroke Street, the Antohorse and trailer turned round in 9 ft.—the length of the t railer