The Power-operated Floor in a New Sphere
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An Interesting Experimental Use for the " Principality Moving Floor
THE Principality power-operated end-discharge moving floor has now been adapted for quite a different sphere of use by its maker, Bromilow and Edwards, Ltd., Foundry Street, Bolton. The latest model has been built to the order of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Co., and is intended to be used on experimental work in connection with parcel collection and delivery service. The orthodox Principality moving floor forms the basis for this mechanism and the unit is fitted to an Albion chassis.
The power is taken from the power take-off on the gearbox of the vehicle, through an extension shaft which is supported at its rear end. A duplex chain and sprocket drive then transmits the power to a countershaft built into the floor frame. The countershaft is fitted with internal cone clutches at each end, and the necessary selector mechanism is, of course, used to connect up to these clutches.
On the forward clutch being engaged, the drive is taken through to the front roller of the moving floor and thus moves the belt forward. On the rear clutch being engaged, the drive is taken to the rear driving roller, which, of course, moves the belt to the rear.
In the event of the power take-off breaking down, or, due to other emer
gencies, the moving floor can: be hand operated in the usual way.
The control for the clutches is, in this particular instance, situated at the rear of the moving floor, for .reasons which will be described -later.
The cab and parcel van body were built at the Wolverton factory of the railway company, and comply with the accepted standard practice of the L.M.S. parcel vans. A feature of this equipment is that by releasing certain bolts, etc., the whole body superstructure and cab can be lifted off the chassis and moving floor, The body taildoor ismade to hinge at the bottom to fall level with the floor of the body to facilitate the loading of parcels, etc. The loader can stand on this taildoor and have the parcels and boxes, etc., handed to him by a conveyor belt, and these are, of course, sent to the van in the reverse order of delivery, so that those which are to be delivered first will actually be loaded last.
The loader can then place a row of parcels on to the rear end of the belt. When he has completed this the detachable power-operating lever at the rear is within his reach, so that he can simply turn this lever and transmit the motive power through the belt and cause it to travel forwards, carrying with it the row of parcels already loaded until sufficient space is given at the rear to accommodate another row. This process is repeated until the whole of the body is filled.
. When delivering, the detachable clutch lever can be fitted in a lower position so that the operator can go to the rear of the vehicle, deliver the last row of goods and then control the movement of the belt so that the next row of parcels comes to the rear for delivery purposes.
The operator need, under normal conditions, never enter the van itself for storing or collecting purposes.
An indicator device is fitted to the belt, and is wired up through the bat-. tery of the vehicle to two lamps, one situated in the driver's cab and the other on the roof of the moving-floor body at the rear. Thus, when the belt is practically fully wound on. to either the front or rear rollers, a visual warning is given to the operator.
In congested spaces where there is a number of vehicles equipped with this mechanism, no space need be wasted by having to allow. room between each vehicle to enable the moving floor to be operated, as the floor itself can be controlled from the rear end: The floor is designed so that the belt length is traversed in some 2-21 mins.