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21st March 1922, Page 12
21st March 1922
Page 12
Page 13
Page 12, 21st March 1922 — A LABOUR-SAVING ELECTRIC TRUCK.
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A Useful Machine for Dock Transport.

THE LATEST in electric trucks is a, particularly interesting model, which has just been manufactured by Boadcraft, Ltd. of Cheapside, Liverpool, for Elder, Dempster and Co., Ltd., steamship owners. It may be remembered that, some time ago, there was published in The Commercial Motor an illustrated article showing the use that was made by this progressive firm of shipowners cif electric trucks at Toxteth Dock, Liverpool, and one of the most distinctive was a machine specially designed for the transportation of barrels.

This has now been superseded by a design conceived by MT. IL J. Carey, the managing director of Rciadcraft, Ltd., which marks a big improvement. This electric barrel transporter is capable of automatically lifting, transporting, and depositing heavy casks, weighing up to 1 ton, and, being controlled by one man only, is thus able to achieve very considerable economies in dockside labour.

The truck will pick up a barrel , or hogshead of palm ail from the ground and elevate it 12 ins. or more, from any , awkward position, there being no necessity for the barrels to be in regular • unison relative to the transporter. The gripping attachment (shown in our picture) is opened by the driver when the carriage is at its highest position, and, by the overation of a change-over switch, the carriage is lowered to the requisite height of the barrel. The driver then releases the two heavy arms, Which attach themselves to the chine ends. By reversing the controller to the elevating side, the arms then take the entire weight of the load.

By means of a limit switch, the travelling carriage is automatically set to stop at a given point, so that, so FOOD as the


barrel is clear of the ground, the driver may immediately start the running of the machine, leaving the elevation of the cask to regulate itself. Two operations are thus performed simultaneously, This is very advantageous, for it will reduce " loading " time to a minimum and enable the transporter to be in almost continuous service. The sphere in whichthe transpc•rter is being operated neces.sitates journeys of between 400 yds. and 500 yds. over an uneven surface paved with granite setts. When first placed in commission its manceuvring qualities were tested by its being required to travel between about 100 huge barrels, spread indiscriminately over an area ef about gaged in passenger service comprised 28 vehicles, 27 of which are employed on regular bus service, the other vehicle being a motor coach. Twelve of the buses are of the well-known T.S.3 type of Tilling-Stevens manufacture, the remainderbeing 40 hp. 'Daimlers. Three more Daiirder chars-A-banes will be put into commission for the 1922 season.

The bus bodies are all of the eingleaeek type, -and, with the exception of one or two of the older units of the fleet, possess front entrances. The seating is on conventional lines, transverse seats for two passengers being arranged on each side of a central gangway, and in some of the bodies ie separate compartmeet is provided for smokers. The bodies seat between 24 and 29 passengers, most of them seating the greater number and being of the Birmingham and Midland Co.'s design, although some were manufactured by the Brush Co. and Messrs. Jackson, of Seedbed], and others in the operating company's coachbuilding shops.

It is instructive to compere the illus. tration of one of the early type of chain-. driven double-deckers with the more . modern design of bus. It will be seen that, in the former, access to the upper . deck was gained by way of a staircase to the left of the driver, who, preseinably, filled the dual positions of driver . and conductor. The front-entrance double-deck bus, as a type, has entirely disappeared during a course of years which has seen the development and use of vehicles with greater seating capacitiee, which render a' more remunerative and eennomical teturn.

In fact, the double-decker has been eliminated from the company's fleet of buses altogether, which is now wholly composed of single-deckers. Aneexpla.nation of this feature is to bo foundin the fact that, as services have been developed farther and farther afield, the need for the employment of a type of. vehicle which is able to run on country routes, where overhanging trees often abound, without therisk of accident to passengers or vehicle, has become imperative.

The Potteries bus undertaking is organized under the .tramways staff, and, naturally, in order to provide an efficient 'service, t1e operation of the two types of vehieles are closely Co-ordinated. In all 19 bus routes are Worked, and these vary in length from 1.9 miles to

35 miles for the single journey. The veripus journeys undertaken cen be seen. by•reference to the map which is reproduced on this page, the respective single Mileage of each being as follows :— Hanley and Bncknall, 1.9; Stoke, Hanley, and Burslem, 3.34; Tunstall and Harriseabead, 3.55; Hanley and Woistanton, 3.9; Hanley and Milton to Stockton Brook, 4.3; Tunstall and Biddulph, 4,95; Newcastle-under-Lyme and Audlev, 5,2; Stafford and Eceleshall, 7.2; L'Ongton and Cheadle, 7.3; Hanley and 13iddulph, 7.4; Hanley and. Kingsley, 8.8; Hanley and Leek, 10.3; Hanley and Cheddleton, 11.7; Hanley and Congleton„ 12.5; Longton and Sandbaeh, 17.02; Hanley and Stafford, 17.45; Longton end Market Drayton, 21.15; Longton, Hanley, Newport., ied Gnosall, 35.12.

The whole of the company's fleet of buses is now housed in their Fentongarage, the original garage which they have tong ago outgrown now being used as a tower-wagon shed. With a large fleet of vehicles in coestant service, it. is obvious that extensive arrangements must be made for the maintenance and repair of every unit, and, accordingly, a repair depot has been established at Langton, which is well equipped with modern mechine plant. Each bus is docked for a day after 2,000 miles running, and is -subject .to a thorough mechanical overhaul after between 25,000 and 30,000 miles of running • The approximate total mileage covered by the buses per week is 14,000.

Passenger fares are based on Iecle per mile, which, considering the nature Of districts served, must be reckoned satisfactory figure.

The Potteriee Electric Traction Co., Ltd., is certainly a progressive undertaking, and the company deservedly rank veith some of the largest provincial operating 'companies in the country. They have a time-honouredassociation with the running 'of motorbuses, and the knowledge which they have reaped from their past eeperience should stand them in good steed for the .future and help, them' to maintain the popularity of the services in the Potteries districts which are served.


People: J. Carey

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