A NEW 8-TON STEAM WAGON.
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Produced by Atkinson and Co., this Wagon is Designed for Long-distance Work at _ Full Legal Speed and also to Accommodate Bulky Loads.
THE tendency with the steam wagon is for bigger
-loads to be transported by its means at higher speeds, full advantage being taken of the law, which permits a speed of 12 m.p.h. Messrs. Atkinson and. (Do., of Frenchwood Works, Preston, are now producing an 8-ton steam wagon which complies with these.requirements. The vehicle possesses a very close resemblance to their well 6-tonner ; in fact, it may be said that, with the exception of .stiffening the chassis, springs, etc., the vehicle is in practically all respects similar to the smaller wagon.
It has been designed essentially for long-distance work at the highest permissible speed, whilst it will take an 8-ton load up a gradient of 1 in 8 with ease. With a fuel supply of 15 cwt. of coal in a bunker behind the cab, the vehicle is capable of long-distance work, whilst, if this extra fuel bunker be dispensed with and the vehicle bo used for carrying bulky goods in the ordinary way for normal distances, a platform no less than 17 ft. long is rendered available. The overall length of the 8-tenner is 22 ft. 6 ins, on a wheelbase of 12 ft. 6 ins. This short overall length, combined with a rapid and easy-working Steering gear and a quick-acting reversing gear, make the Atkinson one of the most easily handled .vehicles that have yet been produced. The specially strong frame is constructed of channel steel, and is no less than 8 ins, in depth, being substantially cross-braced by gussets and knees, all fastened by rivets.
The Atkinson boiler, engine and transmission have been adequately described by us in connection with the smaller types of vehicles, so that it is only necessary to say of the boiler that it has a heating surface of 55 sq. ft., with a grate area of 3.3 sq. ft., the working pressure being 230 lb. per sq. in. The boiler is made virtually in two pieces, viz. the firebox, with its water tubes, and an outer shell. Screwed stay tubes are entirely dispensed with, and the firebox may be relied upon not to collapse, whilst the tubes cannot leak, and cleaning of the boiler is unusually simple and easy. The boiler is fired from a shoot under thedootplate and not from the top. There is a clinkering door right in front, and the ashpan can, when required, be hermetically closed. The boiler has a superheater, consisting of a solid drawn steel coil placed in the smokebox, its surface being sufficient to superheat the steam at about
• 150 degrees Fehr. A feed-water heater, utilizing the exhaust steam from the engine to heat the feeding water before entering the boiler, is fitted. In addition to the injector, a feed pump is fitted, its working parts being enclosed and self-oiling. This feed pump is extremely accessible, only two plugs needing to be unscrewed to enable the valves to be examined.
The Atkinson uniflow engine of the horizontal slowspeed type is, of course, well known. It has doubleacting cylindere of 7 ins, diameter with a 10-in. stroke, and it is a particularly economical engine, its speed at 8 m.p.h. being only 200 r.p.m., and at 12 m.p.h. 300 r.p.m. The steam valves are glass-hard Steel balls actuated by hardened steel cams they are always steam-tight and never require grinding. The camshaft runs under splash lubrication and there is no possibility of condensed vapour obtaining access to the crankcase or to the crankshaft bearings. The power is transmited through a sprocket pinion on the crankshaft and a special heavy chain to the Sprocket surrounding the differential gear pinions on the rear axle, whilst, if required (that is to say, if the vehicle be called upon to operate in hilly country), the two-speed epicyclie reduction gear (described in the issue of The Comritereial Motor dated September 25th) can be mounted on the extension of the engine crankshaft.
The cab is unusually large, its floor beilig eon structed of checkered steel plates, whilst the bunkers hokl about 4 cwt. of coke or 6 cwt. of coal. From the driving seat the driver has easy command of the control gear, the brake gear and all the stop valves. The water tank contains 170 gallons and is fitted with a steam water lifter and provided with 30 ft. of 1i-in. rubber hose. The strainer, which is placed in the side of the tank, is easily accessible for cleaning. • The .wagon is mounted on cast steel wheels faced with discs and equipped with 970 mm. by 160 mm. rubber tyres on the front wheels, and 1,070 mm. twin tyres of the same section on the rear 'wheels. An outstanding feature of the Atkinson wagons is the ample brake equipment, the brakes being of ample size, whilst in addition to these and to the engine, there is a powerful emergency brake.