THE TERRIER PUT TO THE TEST
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Recounting Tests with a Leyland Six-wheeler in Australia.
rrtHE merits of the six-wheeler for operating under extremely difficult conditions have long since been established, and in overseas countries many demonstrationa have been given with British products of this type, the results of which have proved in no uncertain way that the six-wheeled vehicle Possesses undisputed advantages for use in uadeveloped areas.
Probably one of the most remarkable demonstrations given with a vehicle of this type was recently undertaken in iVrelbourne,. the -arrangements for the test having been undertaken by the local branch of Leyland Motors, Ltd. The vehicle which Was tested was the Leylaud Terrier, model TEL 3-4-tonner, which is designed in accordance with the War Office Specification No. 30. The venue selected for the test was a spot known as Fisherman's Bend, at Port Melbourne—a wide expanse of deep drift sand, morasses, sand hummocks and disused pits, the sandy waste being crossed on an Excellent concrete road running from Melbourne to the Williamstown landing stage.
Four tests of a severe character were made and they were witnessed by high executive officers and transport engineers of a number of important concerns, whilst official Government departments were represented, as well as important municipal undertakings.
The gross weight of the vehicle and the load was 7 tons, and it is interesting to note that the first three 'tests were made in second speed (high ratio) —this being 20.4 to 1—:the auxilinry gearbox, with its first-speed and final reduction ratio of 72 to 1 only being used during the fourth trial. The first test consisted of manteuvring across drift sand and grassy banks, stopping Oa steep inclines, ploughing through deep, loose sand in both forward and reverse directions: For the second test the Terrier was driven to some steep banks, the gradients of which ranged from 1 in 1.75 to 1 in 3.25. These obstacles were negotiated with ease, the sharp descents providing an excellent opportunity kr -observing the efficiency of the braking s.vstem.
For the third test the vehicle was taken to a boggy morass, where the creeper tracks were fitted, ?after which the lorry was driven on to a stretch of partly submerged clay. This provided a spectacular test, for deep holes hidden by muddy water caused the lorry to surge and roll. To demonstrate that better traction was obtained with the Leyland Terrier than with an orthodox four-wheeler, a solid-tyred Leyland 21tanner was driven over to the morass.
Iintnediately it reached the wet clay further progress was impossible owing to excessive wheel-spin and slip. At this point a pair of creeper tracks, invented by Messrs. McMenamin and Tanner, of Coburg, Victoria, -was fitted and the solid-tyred machine then became manageable and conquered greasy clay, Water and other obstacles in good style.
Tho fourth test proved to be the most severe of the series, for it was made on a long hollow alongside the built-up formation for the concrete road. Soft and unstable through being under water for many weeks,full of deep holes and muddy water, this thousand yards Of treacherous test ground has proved the
Waterloo of many vehicles. Several successful runs were made, and then On the last, which was taken at a fair speed, a shower of muddy spray enveloped the engine, the bonnet sides of which had been, removed earlier in the day to afford an opportunity for inspecting the engine. This occasioned short circuiting, with the result that the engine spluttered and finally stalled in the deepest part of the hollow. Attempts were made to extricate the vehicle without success.
Lt.-Colonel Skitt, the acting manager of the Leyland Melbourne branch, then hit upon the idea of using a portable Leyland fire-pump for pumping out some of the water, and shortly the bottom of the ditch was visible. With the water pumped out and drained, away the Terrier engine was started up and a winch on a gun tractor was brought into use. After a short pull of a few inches only the creeper tracks secured a grip and,with the 72-to-1 gear engaged, the Leyland Terrier forged its
way out under its own power. Half a ton over the full capacity load