From Our Berlin Correspondent.
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The " Bedag" Motorcab Company's Repairing Lorries.
The Berliner Elektromobil-Droschken Aktien-Gesellschaft now possesses re
pairing lorries. They are of a very light type, driven by low-powered petrol engines, and large enough to carry a case of tools, a jack or two, a few tires and the repairing staff. As Berlin boasts of a comprehensive telephone system, no matter where the cabman may experience his breakdown, he is always in touch with his yard. Nor, as a rule, does it cost anything to telephone. Within a short time after the call, the staff can be on the spot, carrying ouL the repairs of fresco—supposing that repairs are not of a nature to require the cab to be towed back to the yard. Formerly, the cabman was left more or less to himself, and ninny a wretched Droschkenkutscher have I seen attempting the impossible (for him) in the matter of repairs, to the great satisfaction
of a knot of interested not to say scoffing—spectators. These nimble lorries
and their staffs are an excellent institution ; they " re-float " a stranded " Bedag " in a trice.
Hanover Fire-brigade's New Electric Ambulance.
Electric propulsion is so admirably adapted to ambulance operations, that the rapidity with which private and municipal bodies are adopting this system in preference to horse traction occasions little surprise; and, pari passu with an improvement in the means of locomotion, as improvement it unquestionably is, ambulance bodies and apparatus generally show an extraordinary progress in point of comfort, elegance and mechanical ingenuity. Look, for instance, at the vehicle acquired by the Hanover Corporation.
The body, built by the firm of II. Jacobi, Hanover's great specialist for ambulance bodies, belongs to the category of limousines, and, with its agreeable lines, scrolled panels, handsome lamps and other attractive features, stands out in pleasing and striking contrast with what experience has taught one usually to expect from corporations.
The carriage, it will be noticed, has a rear drive; and here, again, as is so often the case when a particular system of electric propulsion has to be chosen, we get I.ohner-Porsche electromotors, attached to the huh of each rear wheel. These motors, I understand, give the vehielea top speed of about 16 miles an hour, which is high enough for an ambulance, which must be piloted about with great caution and care. The accumulators admit of a 47-mile run on one charge. Where batteries are hung under the frame, the carriage always presents a truncated appearance, as if intended for horse-traction, but turned out minus the shafts, and the adoption of a petrol-automobile bonnet, under which the cells are stowed away, is, in my opinion, to be commended from an artistic standpoint.
The ambulance possesses two entrances, one each at one side and the
back. Its side entrance takes the form of the usual carriage-dour, but that at the back is a flap, which is hinged about a foot from the flooring, and which, when closed up, tills in about a half of the right side of the rear panel, the stretcher-supports lying on this side within the carriage. The photograph which we reproduce at the foot of this page shows two Hanover firemen in the act of pushing in the stretcher, which runs on three tiny rubber-tired wheels, and is fated with an adjustable " bed." All tires, both of stretcher and carriage, are " Continentals," as might be supposed, considering that I I. Jacobi and the famous rubber company are neighbours. In addition to the chauffeur, three; attendants find seats, two men riding inside, and the third on the box next to the
driver. Electric power supplies the Ii ghting.
Coming " Industrial" Trials: Preliminary Arrangements for a Severe Ordeal.
Representatives of the Imperial Motor Club and the German Motor Manufacturers' Association met, recently, to discuss the general scheme of the proposed commercial-vehicle trials, and it was quite in keeping with the keen interest which the military authorities are takingin the development of this branch of the industry that representatives of the War Office were also present. Delegates agreed that the duration of the trials should exceed that of any previous contests of the kind; indeed, this much I was in a position to state several weeks ago. Further, they decided to select the route with special reference to the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial district, as coming primarily into consideration for market purposes, laying it through this district, and arranging for a day of rest and an exhibition there.
The military representatives set their faces against easy " gold-medals-allround " trials, emphasising the desirability of holdingthem in March, when snow was on the ground, and the roads were heavy for travelling. No objection having been raised to this practical
suggestion, March will be the month that will witness the ordeal.
The exclusion of motoreabs was up
held, and the competing classes were reduced from 9 to 7. Delivery vans for useful loads of io and 25 cwt. will also be admitted, although the original idea seems to have been to limit the competition to what the French call " poids lourds."
As no representatives of the tire industry happened to " assist," the question of including a special tire competition was postponed, The Daimler representative made a
bold suggestion respecting the fuel contest, namely, that, instead of simply taking results over the Strasburg-Stuttgart stage, the officials should " go the whole hog," and test the consumption over the entire route. This proposition found supporters, but, as some of the interested firms were not represented at the meeting, and, moreover, as the carrying-out of the Daimler Company's idea involves a carefully-planned system of control, the matter will be considered later on.
So far as I can learn, the classes will
be as follow :—(I), firm-roofed omnibuses for 8-14 passengers ; (II), ditto for more than 14 passengers; (1 1), delivery vans for useful loads of 500J,200 kilos.; (IV), light lorries for 1,201-2,000 kilos. ; (V) lorries for 2,001-3,500 kilos.; (VI), lorries for 3,500 kilos_ and more—and (possibly subsidised vehicles); (VII), " trains " with one trailer or more. Pneumatics are admissible for class III. Petrol, benzol and alcohol as fuel need no special notification, but the organisers must be particularly apprised of other kinds of fuel.
Speeds.--From classes I and III, the
average speed expected, is 25 kilometres ; from classes II, IV and V, 18 kilometres ; from class VI, 15 kilometres ; from class VII, 12 kilometres. These speeds hold good, of course, for level roads.
Hanover, Bremen and Wesel are not Likely to be included in the itinerary; the vehicles will travel from Bielefeld to Dortmund, Essen, Duisb-urg,
Millhelm and Dusseldorf.