The Development of the Giant Pneumatic.
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THE coming char-iaba,nes season promises to give an exceedingly good indication of the trend of development of the giant pneumatic tyre. Large numbers of new vehicles of all capacities are being fitted by the manufacturers before delivery with one form or another of pneumatic equipment, whilst ever-increasing numbers of vehicles already in service are being converted.
In some cases whole fleets comprising 20 or 30 vehicles have been converted from solids to pneumatics, and this tendency is perhaps more marked amongst the passenger transportation concerns in the popular South Coast resorts.'
Another factor tending to encourage this development is that many important companies now make a special feature of Continental touring, and, as it would appear to be the exception rather than the rule to find Continental coaches on solid equipment, they must needs follow the prevailing practice and convert the coaches that are to be sent abroad.
No doubt this attitude on the part of our. Continental confreres is dictated by the appalling state of the majority Of the roads they have to traverse, and the fact that a lot of their business is amongst tourists who do not object to paying the little extra charge demanded by reason of the employment of the pneumatic tyre. Whatever may be the actual reason or reasons, suffice it to say that the use of pneumatic tyres, especially in France, is almost universal amongst coach operators, and it may be mentioned that some roads, especially on the Cote d'Azur, are closed-to solid-tyred coaches, and, moreover, no vehicles so equipped are allowed to run in the Bois de Boulogne. The increasing popularity of the pneumatic tyre amongst motor coach owners in England is incontestable, and perhaps one of the principal reasons for this is the demand for them expressed by a: large proportion of their clients.. On the other hand, however, there are many advantages attendant on their use which are unobtainable from any other type of tyre—solid or resilient—whereas their cost per mile is continually becoming reduced, owing to the long life of the present type of cord tyre and the relatively low mileage cost of that type. It is not surprising, therefore, that in view of this, of the fact that the fitting of pneumatic tyres-saves an 'appreciable amount in chassis and body repairs and replacements, and also of the obviously greater attraction they offer to the Coaching public, these tyres are receiving increasing attention from coach owners in all parts of the country. It is fairly safe to assume that more thought is being given to the question of pneumatic tyre equipment than ever before, and it would appear also, as an indication of the general tendency, that there is hardly a passenger transport concern of note that has not got at least One set of giant pneumatic tyres in use.
Very great interest is centred round these tyres, both on the part of those responsible for their fitting. and of owners of other vehicles located in the same area, and it is due, no doubt, to the success of the equipments on the vehicles of the larger companies that many owners of snialler fleets are following in their footsteps..
The tyremanufacturers have now had a fairly lengthy experience with this particular branch of their output, and those amongst them who have sPecialized in this direction can be ahnoSt universally relied upon to give of their best in assisting a prospective user to make up his mind regarding converting. There was, for some time, something of a struggle between the giant single straight-side tyre and the beaded-edge twin tyre, but it would appear that the present tendency is in favour of the latter ; in any case, in. favour of the rear twin tyre. The pros and cons of this controversy are' no doubt, too well known to be referred to again. There are good and bad points about both systema, and-it is left to the individual owner to decide as to which would be the most suitable type for his particular requirements.