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19th September 1918
Page 21
Page 21, 19th September 1918 — For DRIVERS, MECHANICS & FOREMEN.
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4.-PRIZE OF TEN SHILLINGS is awarded each week to the sender of the best letter which we publish on this page: all others are paid for at the rate of a penny a line, with on allowance for photographs. All notes are edited before being published. Mention your employer's name, In confidence, as evidence of good faith. Address, IX, U. and F., "The Commercial Motor," 7-13, Itosebery A-venue, London, E.C. I,

Limps Alight.

On Saturday, the 21st September, light your lamps at 7.31 in London, 8.13 in Edinburgh, 7.37 in Newcastle, 7.42 in Liverpool, 7.38 in Birmingham, 7.41 in Bristol, and 8.27 in Dublin.

Chelmsford to Edinburgh by National Steam Lorry.

The sender of the following communication has been awarded the Ws. prize this week.

[1898] "C.W.B." (Peckham Rye).—" The account of a run from Chelmsford to Edinburgh with a National coke fuel steam lorry given herewith may prove interesting to exponents of both under-type and over-type steam lorries, and as it has been stated and is, of course, admitted that the absolutely perfect steam lorry ,has not appeared yet, the journey described certainly makes its appearance hopeful. Indeed, when it is considered that the lorry which put up the performance .is the 1914 model, and Mr. Clarkson is subjecting to severe test a 1918 model, described in your pages, but about which, for the moment, the writer says nothing, it may not unfairly be said to be regarded as obsolete. "On the 21st August last, Mr. Gray, works manager to Messrs. Alder and Mackay, of Edinburgh, finding himself in the Midlands on other business, decided to complete the journey south to London and Chelmsford in order, as he said, to hurry up delivery of a National coke fuel lorry which his firm had on order. On Thursday, the lorry being ready, a road test was carried outunder his inspection, and, after the boiler had stood under steam in the yard a matter of four hours, a runl' of 12 miles was accomplished, the route being selected on which most hills were to be found. The lorry travelled in fine style and the fire was not touched _from. start to 'finial, and Mr. Gray, who soon proved himself a practical engineer, intimated that he wished to start for Edinburgh the following morning and would ride on the lorry all the way, as he intended to learn to/drive and find what particular ills it was heir to on the journey. "-On Friday a start was made at 9.10 a.m. from Chelmsford, avoiding London, via -Cambridge and Huntingdon, where a stop was made for lunch, and then on through Stamford and Grantham, where, as no lamps were carried, it was decided to have tea and find accommodation for lorry, and men for the night, which proved a lengthy and difficult proceedmg.

"The following morning (Saturday), after breakfast, the fire was lighted, which Mr. Gray insisted with everything else should be done under his supervision, and within half an hour of applying the match the lorry was actually on the journey to Doncaster and lunch, then on through Selby, Yerk, Northallerton, Darlington, to Ayeeliffe, where tea and accommodation was again secured for the night, the day's run totalling 140 miles.

"The lighting-up process took place again on Sunday morning, and progress was made via Newcastle and Alnwiek, where lunch was procured, then on to Berwick, Dunbar, Haddington and Edinburgh. the day's run amounting to over 150 miles. It would not, of course, do to state that the vehicle exceeded the legal limit, but the speedometer certainly did. The run of over 400 miles was accomplished in three days, and, from start to finish, no additional oil was necessary or supplied to any part. Exdmination of oil in crankcase showed practically the same level as at the start and an entire absence of water. The cylinder lubricator was still half full and therefore good for another 400 miles. The mad was strange to

both travellers, but water supplies were procured about every 50 miles, and it must be noted that the total capacity of tanks is only 60 gallons. 'Twenty bags of coke were supplied for the journey, three of which were quite untouched. "There appears to be an idea among people whom one would expect to Imow better that coke takes longer to born through and generate steam than best Welsh coal. and the question is frequently asked, 'Surely you use coal to start with?, My experience is that, in a properly-designed firebox and boiler, the coke gets alight and generates steam more quickly than coal, but, on the other hand, coke loses its heating power more quickly and requires replenishing a little more frequently. The fuels require different hanaing, and, for steam lorries, nothing is gained by mixing them, neither does simply altering the firebaxs make coke a suitable fuel for any and every type of lorry, although for short journeys or a war-time expedient it may suffice. For coke to give satisfaction, firebox and boiler must, be designed to use it. "Newcastle deserves special mention, for' on Sunday, 25th August, 1918, when about to cross the Tyne bridge, the lorry was stopped ,and 6d. toll demanded, a method of levy on such a main route and in such an important town which appeared to the meal from Edinburgh and London to be so out of date as to cause them instinctively to look for the.pistol."

Turning a Taper on a Shaft.

[1899] "11.5.11.' (Wood Green), writes :—" The. shortage of spares has :forced many garages and mechaeics to turn their attention to work which, in the normal course of events, would hardly ever have come tli-3ir way, such as, for example, the making of gearbox and axle shafts. These, in normal times, would be fairly quickly obtainable from manufacturers. At the present, from obvious causes, there is very frequently considerable delay between the plac

ing of an order and receipt of the goods. Now very often, the turning of an axle or gearbox shaft involves the formation of a taper end, and this is not always feasible with the crdinary garage • lathe. The usual procedure when commencing to turn a taper on a shaft is to set over the lathe tail stock. In many cases, however, this is not possible to the degree necessary to obtain the required result. The alterna• tive is to turn the shaft on the lines-illustrated by the sketch herewith (Which we have had redrawn.—E6.).

" Thetaper should first be set down to settle on a piece of paper, and an outline of the shaft turned down in steps, to correspond as nearly as possible to the required taper, should then be drawn in. Working to the drawing of the stepped shaft, and leaving a little allowance for finishing, the turner will find it quite feasible to complete the work by hand in the lathe, using a good file."

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