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The Scope of the Small Commercial Motor.

25th June 1908, Page 16
25th June 1908
Page 16
Page 17
Page 16, 25th June 1908 — The Scope of the Small Commercial Motor.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

There is always likely to be a reasonable demand for small machines which are to be employed in delivery work, and which will not be required to carry more than to cwt., but the opportunity for the utilisation of these small vehicles will mostly arise in cases where the advertisement value of a tradesman's motor delivery van and the necessity of a strict limitation of the prime cost are the two prevailing conditions. The constant employment of such a machine on utility work must, in the nature of things, he attended with considerable risk, unless careful thought has been given to the conditions under which it will be run. The footpropelled tricycle has long been a favourite means of distribution with tradespeople, and with small manufacturers who have local clients, and it is this class of work which will probably continue to provide a field for the employment of very small vans. Loads of 10 cwt. or less will, as a purely paying load for a contractor, be found to be inadequate, unless the compensating advantage of special rates for express delivery is secured. If a tradesman decide that it is vital to his business interests to take advantage of the undoubted advertising attraction of a small well-painted delivery van, though he still has to consider the necessity of strictly limiting the amount he is justified in expending in that direction, he will be placed in the position of endeavouring to secure a small machine which shall embody practically no refinements and yet which shall give him the very best obtainable for his money both in material and workmanship. If he be persuaded into acquiring a vehicle which is cheap because it is nasty, he will deservedly rue the day of his purchase; but the manufacturers of the machine which is cheap because it is simplicity itself, and because it is produced in very large numbers from a well-equipped factory, should continue to secure a sufficient clientele. Prime cost is but a small factor in the accounts of the man who will utilise the opportunities presented by motor delivery to en hance his business reputation. The subsequent' car-mile charge for upkeep and depreciation is the figure for which he must most carefully estimate and provide. He must exercise great discretion in the choice of a machine. The "Piccolo" air-cooled pleasure car has been known favourably in Germany for several years, and two thousand of this type have been sold during the last three years. With the growth .of the commercial motor vehicle movement, the manufacturers, Messrs. A. Kuppe and Son, of Apolda, Saxony, have seen, in the success attending their air-cooled pleasure cars, the possibility of adapting a system which presents certain radical advantages to the production of a light delivery van. The employment of the air-cooled motor has always been a favourite method of the American designer. Such practice has been forced upon him by the inability of a driver to secure water for a radiator in many districts in which American cars are intended to run. As a compensation for the possible risk of overheating on a large car, the manufacturer in this manner may dispense with a water pump, a radiator, and a more or less complicated system of watercirculation pipes : he is not faced with the danger of occasional freezing, and he is enabled to simplify the engine considerably. The small air-cooled machine, which we illustrate on the preceding page, is fitted with a twocylinder inclined engine, with a bore of 75 mm., and a piston stroke of go mm. ; it develops over 8h.p. at 1,200 revolutions. As might be anticipated, the representative of "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR" who recently examined this machine was sceptical as to the danger -of overheating on a machine whose chief employment would be in congested thoroughfares, and upon work -which would necessitate a great amount of stopping and re-starting. Mr. Fuller, the manager of the Victoria Trading Company, of 47, Lamb's Conduit Street, Theobald's Road, A.V.C., which is the British conces-sionnaire, assured him that, however, under the most trying working conditions, the particular engine embodied in this machine shows no tendency to overheat. The fulfilment of this claim is rendered possible by the wise provi-sion of two compact little fans, which induce a strong current of air right across the radiating fins of the two cylinders. Our representative was also informed that the casting of the cylin.ders was the result of very extensive practice in the manufacture of air

cooled engines, and was effected under special conditions, which insured great homogeneity of material, The gearbox, clutch casing, and engine are all designed as a combined unit, which is a practice, it will be remembered, that had many devotees at the last commercial vehicle show at Olympia. The combined unit, which is shown in section at the bottom of this page, is suspended from three points, and the drive is then taken through a universallyjointed propellor shaft to a live back axle of conventional design. High-ten. .sion (battery and coil) ignition is fitted, with a trembler coil to each cylinder, a substantial wipe commutator being fixed to the front of the engine case. Lubrication is on the splash principle, and the crank chamber is filled with oil at intervals, as required, by a pump from a reservoir carried on the dashboard or under the driver's seat. Lubrication of the gearbox is effected by filling the case with thick oil through the screw-down cap on the top of the box. Three speeds forward and one reverse are provided, and the changes are operated through a rack and the usual sliding arrangement, The clutch is of the leather-lined cone variety, and is controlled by a pedal-operated lever, which protrudes through the casing that joins the engine to the gearbox. No radius rod or torque-bar is fitted, and the thrust is taken through the hind road-springs. An unusual method of neutralising the thrust effect from the main bevel wheel is shown in the small sectional drawing on this page. A roller backs up the bevel wheel, and is situated opposite to the point of its engagement with the pinion. The standard sizes of the road wheels and tires are 36 inches and three inches respectively.

The machine which we illustrate is of rather unusual outline, and, as will be seen, no bonnet of the customary form is provided. The dummy radiator or shield, which is placed in front of the engine, is easily removable, and out small illustration shows the position of the engine, which is commendably accessible with this screen removed. Ti meet the wishes of a number of possible English purchasers, the German, company decided to market a model in which the conventional bonnet appeared, and customers are offered the choice of the alternative designs, although the mechanism is identical on the two machines. The price of the complete van with pneumatic tires is £16.5.


People: Fuller

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