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Harrods' Stores Make a Test.

25th May 1905, Page 7
25th May 1905
Page 7
Page 7, 25th May 1905 — Harrods' Stores Make a Test.
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The rapid advance in reliabliity of the motor delivery van is instanced by the action of those numerous up-to-date establishments which are meeting all required extensions of their delivery vehicles by the purchase of motor vans instead of increasing the stud of horses. Messrs. Harrods, Ltd., are now contemplating a considerable increase in this direction, and with that view are trying various classes and sizes of motor vans to ascertain which are most suited to their work. Two or three years ago this firm purchased three Peugeot vans and three Milnes-Daimler vanS, and, with the exception of one Peugeot, these are still in daily service. During the past week Messrs. Harrods, Ltd., have had on trial a Jesse Ellis two-ton steam van, an M.M.C. 8c,,vt. van, and a Dougill 3ocwt, van. The last-mentioned car is remarkable for a friction drive, and, as the results shown are unique, an account of its performance cannot fail to be interesting to our readers.

The trial van was only fitted with a flat platform, and for Messrs. Harrods, Ltd., it carried a box van (such as is usually sent with furniture to various parts of the Continent) secured in position by rope lashings. For most of the trial week, it took its turn on any delivery round that was available. As an example, Messrs. Harrods, Ltd., send out a second delivery at 2.30, which means that by the time the vans are loaded the clock has struck three. Such an afternoon delivery never brings much in the way of weight, but the number of calls runs away with a great deal of time. Our representative accompanied the motor on such an afternoon round in the Wimbledon district. There were seventeen calls on the sheet, and the porter who was sent out with the van bemoaned his fate, as he did not expect, even with the

extra speed of the motor van, to be back before nine o'clock. The yard was left at 3.15, and the round was completed, and the van back in the yard by 6.15. Naturally on such work each call will take the same length of time, whether the van is propelled by motor or horse, but it is more particularly on the run out to the top of Wimbledon Common, and the return from Merton, that the motor gets the greatest pull over its competitor—the horse.

With such rounds the motor can do the work of two pairhorse delivery vans. One of the deliveries was made in a road with an incline of one in eight, and the van made no difficulty about starting away on this incline.

The Dougill motors are driven by comparatively slowspeed engines with cylinders of large bore and the ignition is by low-tension magneto. The drive is especially simple, and is illustrated in Figs, r and 2. In place of a clutch the engine shaft terminates in a disc of about three feet diameter. A similar disc is carried on the frame three feet further back, and between these revolve two large wheels with faces about two inches across. The shaft that carries these wheels is extended on the left side to carry a sprocket, from which a chain drives the differential on the hind axle. Of the two wheels revolving between the discs, one is loose on the cross shaft, on which it runs in ball bearings, the other moves on a feather to any required position along the shaft. When the engine has been started a pedal lever, corresponding to a

clutch pedal, brings the back disc up to the revolving wheels, and secures sufficient pressure to ensure that the engine disc will drive the cross shaft. When the driving wheel on the cross shaft is near the edge of the disc, the car is being driven at its highest speed, but the wheel can be traversed towards the centre of the disc to gear down to any required extent. Further, the wheel can be traversed beyond the centre of the disc, and will then be driven in the reverse direction, and that is how the reversing of the car is effected. The plan figure of the gear, showing the movable wheel in position for the fastest speed. The dotted lines indicate where it would be for the reverse. The other figure shows the same in elevation.

With a gear-driven car only the specified ratio of drive can be obtained, with each pair of toothed wheels in gear, and intermediate ratios are impossible. Everyone knows the annoyance of driving a car on a hill which is just too much for the top gear but to easy for the second speed. With the friction drive on the Dougill car, any ratio up to the maximum is possible, and on reaching a hill the hand wheel which regulates the position of the friction wheel on the cross shaft is turned little by little, so as to reduce the speed just as much as the engine requires and no more. The engine is controlled by throttling, and, being speeded slow, is very flexible. The drive can be instantly relieved by depressing the pedal which corresponds to the clutch pedal, and as there are no gears to engage and disengage, the car is most easily controlled in traffic.

Messrs. Harrods, Ltd., were anxious to make a careful trial of the speed, power, and fuel consumption, for comparisons as to working cost, and for this purpose the vehi

cle was sent to their depot at Shepperton with a very heavy load. On this occasion the vehicle carried on its platform a box van weighing t3cwt.-, and in-that ocwt. of goods, a total weight of 63ewt. on a 3ocwt. van. Such loading was hardly fair, and a word here to our readers as to such tests. If it were only a question of pulling, such a weight would merely serve to show that the engine and mechanism had the requisite power, but when the frame, axle, springs, spokes, tyres, etc., are only designed to carry socwt., a load of 63cwt. is treating the parts in a very unfair manner. However, Messrs. R. G. Batchelor and Co. accepted the test, and the van carried this toad from Brampton to Shepperton, a distance of 8 miles by road, in ihr. 53min., on a small consumption of petrol. This result upholds Messrs. Batchelor's contention that the friction drive gives a considerable saving in fuel consumption over a gear-driven car, other conditions being alike. We understand that Messrs, Harrods, Ltd., will complete their tests of other vehicles before erdering, but they are very favourably impressed by the performances of this van. Messrs. R. G. Batchelor and Co., Ltd., of 21, Denbigh Street, Westminster, are the sole London agents for this car, which is manufactured by Dougill's Engineering, Ltd., Leeds_


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