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Preventing Fordson Tractor Rearing. Tractor Auction Sales. Automatic Steering Device for Titans.
One or two instances have been reported of the tendency of the Fordson tractor to rear on its hind wheels and overturn backwards. The recognition of the peculiarity has as might have been expected, led to the invention of an antidote, and the method of meeting and overcoming the defect is surprisingly simple. No doubt Messrs. Ratcliffe Bros., of Frintonon-Sea, who are putting it on the market for the farmer-inventor, will meet with a ready sale for the attachment. The device is shown in the annexed illustration, which shows a side view with one driving wheel removed. The fitting consists of a rearwarclly projecting lever arm,lurnished with a shoe at the end for ground contact. This lever stands out behindlhe machine beyond the wheels and has its fulcrum in a strap passing round the axle and held firm sideways by a horizontal rod set parallel with and below the axle and secured to the differential case by two of the bolts which hold this togetherThe forward end of the lever, which projects in front of the axle and is shorter, finds its position below the clutch pedal lever, to which it is connected by a chain.
' The operation of the device is easy to follow. Directly the tractor starts to rear and as soon as its front wheels have got a foot or 18 ins, off the ground, the rear end of this lever, with its shoe, is brought into contact with the ground and any further lift of the front end of the machine has the effect of lifting the end of the lever in relation to the machine, with the result that the front end is correspondingly depressed and the clutch lever to which it is attached drawn down in tarn. This action, of course, releases the clutch and the release of the clutch disconnects the power from the tractor and no more lift of the front wheels can take place. This naturally does not enable the tractor to utilize the full power of its engine in dealing with its work, but the dangerous exercise of the power in lifting the .front of the machine is checked and its efficiency may be gathered when I say that when it is in action it will allow the machine to run with the front wheels carried in the air at the point at which the clutch release comes into action, all further lift, of course, having the effect of slipping the clutch, whilst directly the weight drops sufficiently to bring -the shoe lever out of ground contact, the clutch again engages and the lift continues up to the point of limitation as defined by clutch-release In a recent issue I recorded the fact that the Government, through the Surplus Stores Disposal Board, has adopted the course of holding auction sales in different parts of the country, in order to dispose of its surplus tractors, and sales have been recently held at Nottingham and at Willesden—where is the chief central tractor depot. Seventeen tractors were sold at the first sale and 81 were catalogued at the latter place, the makes offered beingt-22 Samsons, 12 Peorias, 10 each Allis-Chalmers and Mogul, 9 Emersons, 8 Interstates, 6 Little Giants, and 5 Case machines. Most of them had seen service and some had parts missing, but some of them were quite new. It is interesting to record that the prices realized were only from 217 to £50. I understand the latter figure was the highest figure obtained. I do net know how many were actually sold at these figures, or if any were bought in at a reserve figure, but I do know that for some of the machines in the sale 2100 had previously been offered privately and refused. This is a striking commentary on bureaucratic Government and on the experience of those in charge of this department, from which it would appear that the management has very little real knowledge of the value of the goods they are dealing with, and this incident reminds me of another, also in connection with tractors, of which I was told recently.
. The incident occurred a year ago, with another de. partment—the one referred to was not then in exist enee—when it was first decided that some of the tractors which the Government had purchased were not required. They were offered to the firm from whom they had been purchased, who were asked to make an offer for them. They offered the exact amount they. had cost the Government, although they really did not want them at all—so that the country should not lose by the transaction, but the offer was refused and they were subsequently sold for a much less sum, after quite an appreciable amount of money had been spent on them in putting them into working order. Incidents like these lend zest to the cry : " Oh ! for a business Government."
• One of the most useful and convenient little devices which I have come across for some time past, which should be of great value to the farmer employing tractors, is a little attachment which enables a tractor to be automatically steered.. It is termed the "Titan" automatic steering device, and the illustration I include herewith shows it as attached to a tractor of this name. It will be seen that it is attached to the extended front axle on the right side -of the tractor. After the first set of furrows have been ploughed, the driver, of course, steering the tractor by hand for this operation, the discs of the steering device iare dropped into the furrow and thereby guide the machine. It will be readily realized that, by the use of this gadget, it is unnecessary for the driver to pay any attention whatever to the steering of the tractor until he readies the end of the furrow ; his whole add undivided attection can be concentrated on looking after the plough itself. The device can be controlled, that is to say raised or lowered, at will from the driver's seat, so that all that is necessary when a furrow is complete is to turn the tractor by hand.steering at the headlands and then drop the steering-device into furrow again. The simplicity of the device is its commendable feature. It should be a great boon to farmers generally inasmuch as it will enable one man to look after tractor and plough .which will conserve labour—a point of major importance in these days.