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An Irrigation Motor and Tractor.

27th May 1909, Page 6
27th May 1909
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
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Page 6, 27th May 1909 — An Irrigation Motor and Tractor.
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Dennis Brothers, Limited, Introduces a New and very Practical Motor for Agriculture, Irrigation, and General Purposes.

The majority of agricultural motors —particularly those of American construction—are remarkable chiefly for the ill-considered designs to which they are built; amongst other details, the appearance of the steering gear, brakes, and spring-suspension system often suggest that they have been " hung on " after all other parts were built into the machine, instead of their forming part of one combined unit or machine. The tractor which has been built by Dennis Brothers, Limited, of Guildford, in conjunction with Gwynne's, Limited, of Hammersmith, W., is, however, in numerous features, a distinct advance on any agricultural motor that has previously been brought to our notice ; but, whether or no the complete machine can be produced at a price that will ensure a market of sufficient magnitude to reward the constructors for their enterprise, it remains for the future to disclose. We hope so.

A representative of the editorial staff of this journal recently paid a visit to the Dennis works at Guildford, for the purpose of making a complete examination of the machine, several detail views of which are given herewith. As one might expect with the first machine of a new type, there are a few points of design whose modification would greatly increase the practical value or efficiency of the machine; as an example of this, we suggest that the worm on the irrigation pump shaft should be made of tubular formation, and be so mounted that it might ride freely on the shaft or, by means of a claw coupling, be caused to rotate at the same speed and in the same direction as the shaft.

As at present designed, this worm gear, by which the winding drum cross-shaft is driven, is in operation at all times that the irrigation pump is being driven. The gain in efficiency, as a result of the suggested alteration, might not be very considerable, but, at any rate, the placing of the claw coupling between the pump shaft and the worm, instead of between the cross-shaft and the hauling drum, would be more in consonance and keeping with the remaining details of a very practical design.

A machine of this type should have a large and useful field of operations, particularly amongst sugar planters, hop growers, and Colonial fruit growers, as well as in many other branches of agriculture, since it may not only be used as a tractor for hauling loaded wagons or agricultural implements, but as a portable power plant and as a means for spraying the ground or plant foliage with water, liquid manure, or insecticides. As a means of irrigation, the practice of spraying instead of flooding the roots is considered by many experts to be far more beneficial. The Gwyune turbine pump is capable of delivering 250 gallons of water per minute, at a pressure of from 60 to 701b. per square inch, and it is driven by the same engine which is used for propelling the machine along the ground. When employed for ploughing through clay soil, the tractor is capable of hauling a two-furrow plough cutting to a depth of 10 inches, whilst, when used in lighter soils, or cutting to a less depth, three or more furrows may be ploughed at the same time.

The engine is of the same type as that fitted to this maker's two-ton van chassis; it has four cylinders each 110mm. in diameter, and a pistonstroke of 130mni.: at 900r.p.m., it is capable of developing 28h.p. The crankshaft is provided with a bearing between each pair of cylinders, in addition to the two end bearings, and these are kept well lubricated by oil tinder pressure from a tank, the supply .0 which is maintained by a gear pump in the sump of the crankcase. From the crankshaft, the power is transmitted to a specially-designed gearbox by a leather-faced cone clutch of large diameter.

The gearbox provides for three forward speeds—of 2?1, five and nine miles an hour—and one reverse speed, and in the same casing the pump driving gears are also enclosed. The gearselecting levers are mounted on the side of the box, and are arranged so as to be operated by the driver's lefthand; of the three levers shown in the illustration of the gearbox, one is for application of the brake shoes to the drum on the main propeller ,shaft. The gearbox cleverly-arranged and substantially-constructed is of very compact design, and the shafts are mounted on Hoffmann ball bearings, as, indeed, is every shaft throughout the transmission system to the road wheels, pump or winding drum. The working parts are completely enclosed and run in oil baths. These refinementsball bearings and oil-baths for all the transmission gearing—are not to be found on any other agricultural motor with which we are acquainted; they certainly tend towards increased efficiency and life. The top shaft of the gearbox is directly connected to a worm-driven cross-shaft, on one end of which the winding drum is mounted; this drum is free to rotate independently of the shaft but may he locked thereto by means of a sliding claw coupling. The need for an easily-handled winding gear has not always been realised by builders of tractors, but in this respect Dennis Brothers, Limited, has not gone far astray. From the windingdrum worm the gearbox top-shaft extension is continued aft to the impeltors of the two-stage centrifugal Cvvynne pump.

The back axle is' one of the wormdriven typo which is used on all the Dennis machines ; in fact, many of its parts are interchangeable with those fitted on this maker's standard fourton lorry axle. Plate-steel road wheels are fitted, and the tires of these have diagonally-disposed pieces of angle steel riveted to them, in order to ensure a good grip on the unmade roads and soft ground upon which the tractor is intended to be used ; paddles, or spuds, of extra-deep section may be attached to the tires, when the machine is being operated on very soft ground. The use on the roads of wheels of the type illustrated is not permitted in this country : they will only he fitted to Dennis tractors for the Colonies and abroad, or for work on the land.

So far as the springing of the chassis is concerned, standard petrol-lorry practice has been followed, and, as may be seen from the front view of the tractor, the leading axle is quite straight and is one of Butler's patent type. The axle and the enclosed steering gear permit of a very wide angle of lock, thus enabling the driver to manceuvre the machine with ease in restricted areas. Another feature, and one that will be appreciated by Colonial users, is the large amount of clearance between the ground and the lowest detail between the wheels; the tractor might be driven over boulders of considerable size without doing any damage to a vital part.

The leading dimensions of the tractor are as follow :—Overall length, 14 feet 3 inches; overall height, 6 feet; wheelbase, 9 feet; wheel gauge, 5 feet 6 inches; diameter of leading wheels, 34 inches; and diameter of driving wheels, 44 inches. The general appearance of the completed tractor is well shown by the two photographs which are reproduced at the foot of page 238.

NIr. Lloyd-George to-day receives the directors of the L.G.O.C.

Hnslingden Corporation has made a loss of £257 on its motorbus, for the financial year just ended.

The recommendations of the Public Control Committee of the London CountyCouncil form the subject of comment on page 230.

The new service of motorbuses, in vonjenction with the tramways at Grimsby, which began on Saturday last, has already proved very popular. and transfer tickets are being issued between the buses and the trams. Mr. H. L. White is the manager of the Great Grimsby Street Tramways Co.

Mr. Justice Phillimore has had before him a somewhat involved case. in which Mr. Charles A. Gould, of New York City, claims the sum of t3.200 from Dr. E. E. Lehwess in respect of batteries supplied for use on " electrobuses." In the course of evidence, the financial constitution of various companies was closely analysed.

Petrol-engined Tramcars at the "White City."

The need for an organised service of passenger-transport motor vehicles along many of the roads and terraces at the Imperial International Exhibition at Shepherd's Bush was fully realised by Mr. Imre Kiralfy when he placed with Sidney Straker and Squire, Limited, the order for 12 petrol-engined tramcars, as announced iti " THE COMMKROIAT. MOTOR on the 25th of February. Four of these ma chines were put into service on Tuesday morning last, and it is expected that the entire fleet of 12 cars will shortly be running as observation cars for the use of those visitors who desire to make a tour of inspection for 3d.. or for the conveyance of passengers from any one point to another on either the inner circle " or the " outer circle." The illustrations on this page show the general appearance

of the ears, whilst two detail views of the 30-35h.p. engine are given on page 240. The leather-faced cone clutch is operated by a long hand lever, instead of the more usual pedal, and the twospeed-and-reverse gearbox is siting below the level of the main frame. The gearbox is designed on the lines of those fitted to this maker's motorbuses, but, of course, the differential gear is not fitted. The final drive to the leading axle is transmitted by a silent chain, and on top speed (direct drive through the gearbox) the car is geared to run at eight miles an hour. The after end of each car is supported on a four-wheeled bogie. Central London Railway.

A Committee of the House of Commons, under the chairmanship of Sir J. Compton Pickett, passed, on Thursday last, the Central London. Railway Company's Bill for the extension of the Shepherd's Bush-Bank " tube " to Liverpool Street, A workman's return fare of 2d. for the wholelength will be retained for at least the first twelve months of operation.

Sunday Bus Services in Scotland.

Glasgow railways intend to develop Sunday pleasure traffic on the Clyde by means of special trains and steamers, despite criticism, and it is interesting to note that motorbuses will have some part in the scheme. Rothesay, the objective of the majority of trippers, has a. tramway system which links up with Port Bannatyne and Ettriek Bay. Special clauses insisted upon by the Rothesay Town Council and Bute District Committee prevent the tramway company from running cars on Sundays, except ona small portion of the route running on their own property. To overcome this difficulty, a Sunday motorbus service is to be organised between Rothesay and Ettrick Bay, and it will no doubt be extensively patronised. this run across Bute being a very popular one. The objection to Sunday trams in various towns in Scotland provides quite a profitable field for motorbus operations; there are already several such services, many of the vehicles being buses discarded from Loadon due to insufficient power.

Property Appreciation.

For the second time, the Chairman of the Warner Estate, Limited, Mr. T. Courtenay Warner, M.P., has acknowledged the advantage of motorbus communication. Speaking from the chair he said : " Layton is rapidly filling up, and the rents we are obtaining are higher than those realised by the same class of dwellings on the older property. This is no doubt largely due to the fact that the new estate is on the main road to London, and is served by several good lines of motorbuses."

Berlin General Omnibus Co.

At the general meeting, held recently, the directors reluctantly accepted a proposal to write off an extra 98,000 marks on the 70 chassis which there seems to be no prospect of working. This addition brings up the total amount to 498,000 marks (£24,900). Only three motorbus lines pay, namely, those passing through the Friedrichstrassc ; the rest are worked

at a greater or smaller loss. It is, however, difficult to see how the motorbus can make headway in Berlin against the great organisation of the monopolising tramcar company, which carries a passenger 10 miles for lid, and, on the basis of a similar traffic unit, can show workings costs of 5d. to the inotorbus's 81d. But the Omnibus Co. has been in unpractical hands. Witness, for instance, the low yield of the advertisement department: £010. Fancy a company that carries some 120 million passengers yearly getting no more than 1610 from its advertisement-spaces! One of the Mersey Railway Company's Saurer omnibuses has been fitted with a special type of engine, the invention of Mr. Christopher Montgomery, and this is to be exploited by the Patent Flexible Motor Co., of 25, Castle Street, Liverpool.

Satisfactory Motor Ambulances.

At the meeting of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, on Saturday last, Mr. J. T. Helby, Chairman, in his annual address, said that the ambulance work of the Board had been carried out in its usual efficient way. During the year, the removals numbered 59,870 with a mileage of 421,594. This was the greatest number of miles run in any year during the Board's history, with the exception of the y6ar 1907, and it was with some satisfaction one found that the record of entire freedom from accident involving injury to any patient remains unbroken. The conveyance of the patients to the convalescent hospitals, and their return to the various stations, by motor omnibus, had been undoubtedly a success, and certainly economical from a fina,ncial point of view.

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