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The " Commer Car" Fire Engine.

1st October 1908
Page 5
Page 5, 1st October 1908 — The " Commer Car" Fire Engine.
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Notes upon a new Six-Cylinder 50h.p. combined Power Pump, Escape Cart, and Chemical First-Aid Equipment.

‘1e have been favoured with particulars of the iatest form of automobile lire-lighting equipment, as produced by Commercial Cars, Limited, of Luton. The designers of this new machine have approached their subject boldly, and they have produced a vehicle which appears to combine all the requirements of up-to-date firemasters. The appearance of this further type, in addition to those which we have already described in previous issues, is evidence of the fact that many of the leading manufacturers of heavy motor vehicles are keenly alive to the great development which are bound to take place in the near future with regard to what we may describe as the re-arming of the fire brigades throughout the country.

The principal aim of the manufacturer has been to market a combined machine, and one which will particularly appeal, later, to those in charge of county installations, who would, if possible, on most occasions prefer to carry a complete combination of appliances Oil oitc frame. This, hitherto, fats been impossible, because no horses could pull the total load which such an equipment represents at anything like the speeds which are now well within the range of practical politics. The question of the transport of a necessarily-weighty vehicle over long distances on country roads renders mechanical propulsion the only alternative.

The now " Commer Car " fire engine is fitted with a six-cylinder 5oh.p. petrol motor, which motor should both furnish ample energy to drive the threethrow pump with which the vehicle is fitted, and should be sufficiently powerful easily to propel the whole equipment over normal roads at the specified rate of between 35 and 40 miles an hour. The provision of six cylinders ensures rapidity of starting the engine. One turn of the handle should, under all conditions, suffice to prepare the whole machine to take the road. The ignition system is in duplicate; both the high-tension Simms-Bosch magneto and the accumulator-and-coil systems are provided.

The " Commer Car " patented type of gearbox is, as might be expected, embodied in the design, and the uniformly-successful results obtained by the company, on its ordinary commercial yehIcles, with this unconventional unit of the mechanism, should ensure satisfaction, so far as the change-speed g'. U!s ci ncerned.

la view of the total weight of the machine and of the fact that very considerable side strains must be anticipated, special care has been taken with the choice of wheels and tires. The track is unusually wide—the vehicle is 6 feet 3 'nches overall. This shculd go far to ensure stability. The twin tires on the rear wheels are specially arranged, and they have a wide space hutween the rubbers. This un usual di pm in conjunction with the employment of a special form of cress-grooyed tire, is claimed by the maker -mainly to prevent skidding. Special carc has been taken with the design of the petrol tank, and it, as well as all the petrol joints and connections, is carefully protected against the danger of fire.

The first-aid chemical reservoir, which is neatly carried beneath the driver's seat, consists of a 35-gallon copper tank, of cylindrical shape, with hemispherical ends. It is tested up to 250 lb. pressure, and the safety valve is set to blow off at 150 lb. This tank can be employed in any one of the three following ways :—

(1) It can be coupled direct by a hose to a hydrant, and thus water can be delivered direct to the tank front the main.

1.2) ,1 hose from a hydrant can be coupled in such a way as to deliver water direct through the small hose, which h, carried on a reel.

(3) The water front the chemical tank can be delivered direct to the small hose.

A 2o-foot air bottle, charged up to Apo lb. presure, rind two spare cylinders, arc carried, as part of the firstaid equipment. The four-ply hose for the chemical tank is carried on a reel at the back of the body, and is 18o feet in length.

The standard type of pump favoured by this manufacturer is of the horizontal, three-throw, double-acting, piston type. The bore is 4i incites and the stroke 5 inches. The pump has a capacity of 45o gallons per minute at 110 lb. All the pistons are provided with cup leathers and they, therefore, require no packing. The valves are of rubber. The intake is screwed to accommodate a 5-inch suction-hose coupling. The outlet chamber has three deliveries, and each of these is fitted to take a 2.1.-inch instantaneous coupling. In many cases, local conditions render it expedient that the pressure in the mains should be utilised, and, in order that the "Courtier Car " fire engine should be adaptable to the needs of fire bri

gades in every part of the country, the maker offers an alternative design in which a rotary putnp of approved type is embodied,

The equipment of brigade fittings will, of course, vary with the requirements of the various local commitn..,es; as a standard, however, 30 feet of suction hose, in three to-foot lengths, is supplied, complete with screwed unions of 5 inches bore. The necessary brackets for the carriage of the suction hose are suitably disposed round the body of the machine. The customary capper strainer and four branch pipes— two with :'it-inch and two with Z-inch nozzles---are included in the standard equipment.

The pump is driven by a simple arrangement of spur gearing from the gearbox, and it is readily put into operation by the simple movement of a lever; it is only possible to put the pump in gear when the road gears are out of mesh. If it is necessary to deal with an unusually-long suction lift, the lower gears are used.

The escape, as may be seen in the illustration, is carried on a cross-bar at the rear, and on a special head carriage at the front. The overall height is so arranged that the machine, with the escape in pos;tion, can pass under a doorway 16 feet 4 inches in height.

The accommodation for the firemen can be arranged to suit either four or eight men, and the equipment is completed by the provision of portable three-gallon extinctcurs, and of hose boxes to carry eight zoo-foot lengths of 24-inch lined hose. The wheel base of this machine is mm feet 6 inches, and the wheel track, as mentioned above, is 6 feet 3 inches. We fully discussed this specification and that of the L.C.C. for 1907, in our issue of the 9th July, whilst, in our issue of the 23rd July, we gave details of the tenders and prices which were put in by a number of manufacturers for the 1908 orders of this important public body, on which occasion two machines each were ordered from Commercial. Cars, Ltd., and Merryweather and Sons, Ltd.


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