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Neutral Notes.

29th July 1915, Page 14
29th July 1915
Page 14
Page 14, 29th July 1915 — Neutral Notes.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

It behoves British users, at the present time, when they are being offered American chassis in such numbers as substitutes for marry home products which cannot be supplied, to keep themselves bOter informed than usual ofactual commercial-vehicle activities in the United States.

"Truck" Export in One Month Increases 8000.

The advantage which has accrued to the United States as a result of the Great War, and the enormous demand for motor vehicles of all kinds from all the belligerent countries, may be gauged from the following statistics issued by the Department of Commerce, Washington :—For the ten months ended April last, no fewer than 8580 motor trucks valued at 24,995,410 were exported. In the corresponding period of the previous year only 595 trucks at a total value of 2194,652 were shipped abroad. The wartime exports are thus shown to be twenty-five times those of the previous year. For the month of April, 1915, 2267 trucks valued at 21,091,766 were exported, as compared with 52 valued at 215,145 in the same month of 1914. This is an increase of more than seventy-fold.

A Rubber Substitute..

A Dr. Lyman A. Noble, of Cleve land, Ohio, claims to have discovered a satisfactory substitute for natural rubber, the chief ingredient of which is stated to be coal tar. Mr. Noble has been experimenting for nearly a year. In the :beginning the :sesuIting product wasfound to be greatly lacking. in resiliency, but by improving the process this difficulty has, it is claimed, now been elimin.ated.

The various ingredients are mixed by some secret formula into a liquid, which under heat is evaporated down to a quarter of its original mass. When it has reached the consistency of thick syrup it is placed into a metal retort and connected with a high-frequencyelectrical machine. A current of electricity the intensity of which is stated to be from 200,000 to 500,000 volts of high frequency is turned on, and after six hours the retort contains a black, spongy substance with all the qualities of naural rubber.

Still Playing with Petrol Dope.

Petrol dope is still being experimented with in the States, and the latest alleged tonic is reported from Cincinnati. This is called " gas•o-tonic" and is claimed to increase the mileage per gallon of gasolene anywhere from 25 to 50 per cent., to eliminate the bad effects of carbon deposit, and to make the


vehicle run with extreme smoothness! It is declared that no acid or other ingredients are contained that could injure the motor in any way.

Petrol at Less than 5d.

At the present time the price of petrol in U.S.A. is 9.8 cents per gallon, and itis proposed to reduce this to 8.8 cents, notwithstanding the fact that, owing to excessive European consumption, it is believed that an increase rather than a decrease would be warranted. In fact, it is suggested by opponents of the cut in price that an increase of at least 1 cent per gallon on the usual price may be expected before the end of the year. The reduction in price is being made by the Standard Oil Co. Their • competitors, whilst persisting that the existing price did not offer sufficient profit, suggest that the Standard Oil Co. will meet their losses from the sale of spirit by increasing the price of crude oil.

The First Knight-engined American Commercial Vehicle.

The first commercial vehicle in America to be equipped with the Knight engine has just been placed on the market by the F. B. Stearns Co., Cleveland. It is interesting to note that the motor is the same as that used in the Stearns-Knight pleasure car. The chassis itself, which is a 54onner, possesses other interesting features. The power unit is carried on a special frame which is suspended from the main frame by means of laminated springs, similar to those ordinarily used as road springs. The rear end of the special frame is carried on the cross-shaft housing. The front end rests on the laminated springs which are carried by extensions of the main frame. This con..

structiori naturally tends to obviate undue stress due to vibration, and as the driver's cab is parried from the same . part of the structure, extra. comfort for him is thereby ensured. Another good point is the incorporation of a differential lock ; this is carried within the gearbox and operated from the driver's seat.

Goodrich Recommend Big Singles.

B. F. Goodrich and Co., the well-. known tire manufacturers, . are

advocating big single solid tires for the rear wheels of American commercial vehicles as. against the more generally used 'twins ; 5in. and 6 in. solids are suggested in preference to 3 in. and 3 in. dual. Where single tires larger than 7 ins. would be needed,. hoever, they admit it is desirable to use twins.

It is pointed out that momentary overloading •of solid tires, • which ruptures the rubber byidisplacing it beyond the limits of its ability to recuperate, is the probable cause of Lire failure. Such overloading causes encessive strain, or shock on. the tire at certain' points due to the tires being forced to bear some load of a greater extent than it is intended to support. This may be due to road inequialitiei or to other conditions. The xesalt is the abnormal displacement of the rubber and the creation of undue internal friction a,nd heat which is not quickly radiated, so that the tire is damaged beyond repair. As is well known, 'one of the two singles comprising a twin tire very frequently takes the 'entire load : the other may be on occasion quite clear of the ground. With single tires, •of coUrse, the whole rubber width would normally be available to aid in, resisting any obstruction which the ordinary road surface might offer.

Eight-cylinder Test.

An interesting 300-hour bench test has recently been 'completed of the Ferro'eight-cylinder engine produced by the Ferro Machine and Foundry Co., Cleveland. While a few replenishment stoppages were made, it was practically a non-stop run carried out for the benefit. of the Ferro experimental department. Brief particulars of this engine aecoinpaniecl by an ilbistra; tion were published in oui issue of the 25th March last.


Organisations: Department of Commerce
People: A. Noble

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