A Trio of American Chassis.
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Chassis Designed to Fit the Body ; a New Petrol-Electric; and a 20-ton Tractor.
One often hears of special bodies being designed to suit the particular requirements of a purchaser. That a user should first of all design his body and then build a chassis to suit it is surely unique in the annals of•commercial-motor usages. This, however, is stated to have been done by an American creamery company. which, having concluded that an electric vehicle would be more economical than horses for delivering its products, further decided that the type of body likely to be of most service wa_s that wherein the driver sat in the centre and was able to get at his goods both before and behind the seat. With this object in view, and with characteristic American ingenuity, originality, and disregard for convention, they built a chassis with a capacity of 1500 lb., using Ironclad Exide cells, and with the steering wheel and control placed midway along the frame. Our illustration, which is of the complete vehicle, bears out our statement as to its unusual design. It is interesting, to record that, whereas considerable economy resulted from the replacement of horses by. the linechanically-operated vehicle, it is stated that further savings accrued from the method of distributing the load before and behind the driver, inasmuch as he can handle and deliver in approximately one-third the time occupied when operating a vehicle fitted up in the customary manner. In any event, an .increasing field is anticipated for the small electric vehicle in the milk and dairy produce business. The economy of such a chassis, in respect of running costs, compares favourably with that of any other vehicle engaged on work necessitating frequent stopping and starting.
The admitted shortcomings of the battery type of electric, in that it is only capable of working over a short distance with one charge, has been met in the case of an American municipal authority by combin
ing the features of the petrol-driven and electricaldriven chassis. The machine itself is a tractor, and it was desired to run it for 16 hours a day—eight hours in a house-to-house collection of refuse and the remaining eight hours in street washing. It was also proposed to use it in the winter for snow-sweeping and removal. The arrangement of the combination is also somewhat unusual. The engine is situated under the bonnet and drives to a motor generator without the use of a clutch. From the generator the current is taken by a couple of motors behind the rear axle, the final drive being by internal spur gears. The special feature of the engine control is the incorporation of an electrical device operating on the throttle, so that the speed of the engine is reduced to half the normal when the demand for power is at a minimum. The trailers used in connection with this tractor are of the two-wheel type, the fore-end being carried above the rear axle of the tractor on a hith-wheel device.
A 20-tan Tractor.
The new heavy tractor produced by the Standard Tractor Co., of New York, has several interesting features. The final drive is by chain, the cross-shaft being at the extreme rear end of the chassis and being worm driven. Another special feature is the use of compressed air for the brakes on the trailer wheels and for starting purposes. The air is furnished by a small compressor mounted on the front end of the engine shaft. This supplies air at 150 lb. pressure to a reservoir, whence a flexible hose couples up to the brake mechanism on the trailer. The trailer, or semitrailer, is attached at the fore-end to a revolving platform pivoted on the rear of the tractor.
it is something of a problem as to the function of the radius rods in this ease, whether the chassis will be pulled by them, or by the chaiii.