FOR CARRYING 2,000 GALLONS OF FUEL IN BULK,
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Where the Tractor-lorry Type of Vehicle Scores. A Fleet of Machines for a Special Service.
IN SPITE of the opposition which has 1been raised by many local authorities to the installation of kerbside petrol pumps, there is little question that this class of equipment offers many advantages in connection with the supply of fuel to motor vehicles over the usual system of filling from ordinary two-galion cans, which, however carefully they may be emptied, invariably involve a wastage of spirit, unless special types of spouts or filling devices are used.
Modern methods of retailing petrol call. for an equally up-to-date system of transporting the fuel to service stations and garages throughout the country. Until recently the regulations of the London County Council only permitted the use in the Metropolitan area of tank wagons with a capacity not exceeding 1,000 gallons for the bulk supply of spirit.
After subjecting the Stammell tractor-lorry chassis fitted with tank bodies to careful tests and a thorough examination, the London County Council authorities have approved the conveyance of 2,000 gallons of liquid on one machine provided it is of the tractor-lorry type. It, is obvious that a machine which can transport a 2,000-gallon load is much more economical to use than two vehicles each with a capacity of 1,000 gallons, and although the saving per gallon may be but small it must result in a saving of many hundreds of pounds to large suppliers and users.
The endorsement by the authorities of the suitability of the Scanamell vehicle for the transport of large quantities of fuel in bulk is a tribute to the special features of the design of this make of tractor-lorry and, in particular, to the robustness of the chassis, to the stability provided by the drop-frame carrier and the special stabilizing arrangements which are employed in the construction.
Following upon the removal of the restriction, Shell-Mex, Ltd., have placed an order for 14 Seammell tractor-lorries, each fitted with tanks for carrying 2.000 gallons of fuel. For these machines the standard Scammellmotive unit is employed, with the addition of a sheet-metal firesereen at the back of the cab (which is a compulsory measure), and special modifications to the. exhaust. piping and the carburetter intake, so that accidental ignition of the fuel in the carburetter or a backfire from the engine cannot reach tho tanks on the carrier.
The tanks fitted to these vehicles are of special D-section and possess a remarkably low centre of gravity. The semi-trailing unit on which they are carried has a pressed nickel-steel frame swept downwards behind the turntable, so that the rear tank, which carries 1,500 out of the 2;000 gallons and is subdivided into three compartments, is placed as low as possible. The remaining 500 gallons are accommodated in a small tank which is placed above the turntable.
The special tanks which are employed on these machines are the product of the Steel 13arrel Co., Ltd., of Uxbridge, who have patented the design. The draw-off cocks of the tanks are provided with screwed caps and asbestos-packed plugs, whilst there is, in addition, an emergency cut-off valve within the ink which is operated by an external lever and chain.
In order to comply with the London County Council requirements, the filling openings, dip tubes and air vents are provided with special flame-proof gauze shields and the draw-off cocks are enclosed in boxes provided with pad. locks.
Another special feature of these combination tank wagons is the provision of a stout steel buffer at the rear of the carrier, which protects the tank in the case of collision with another vehicle.
A machine of this type (it is illustrated on this page) is being regularly employed by Shell.Mex, Ltd., between Shellhaven and Chelmsford, and we understand that it is following the satisfaction Which it has given that the order for an extensive fleet has been placed.