A NEW INDUSTRIAL TRUCK FOR LIGHT LOADS.
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A New Model With a Carrying Capacity up to 12 cwt., Which Should Find a Ready Use in Spheres Where Larger Vehicles Would Prove of Doubtful Economy.
THE electrical industrial truck has solved many problems of transport which cannot be properly undertaken by any other type of mechanically propelled vehicle. In dockyards, wharves, warehouses, railway termini and other spheres, where congestion is often very rife and free space of limited proportions, its mancetvrability enables goods to be transported with the utmost expedition and efficiency. Before the advent of this type of vehicle handtrolleys were often employed for transferring goods from one site to another, but this method involved much wasted effort and delay, the latter becoming more protracted as the day advanced and the workmen became more fatigued. Compare the laborious effort of the old method with the simple task of controlling the modern industrial truck, and the advantages of the mechanically propelled unit will become increasingly apparent.
One of those companies who have done much to popularize the use of the electric industrial truck are W. Goodyear and Sons, Ltd., of Dudley, who are the sole distributive agents for the Greenbat trucks, made by Greenwood and Batley, Ltd., of Albion Works, Leeds, and they have reeently extended the scope of their activities by the introduction of a new model to deal with light loads up to 30-12 cwt.
In the design of this new truck it has been the company's aim to produce a vehicle as light in weight as possible consistent with adequate strength, I ,is keeping deadweight down to a minimum and enabling a battery of comparatively small dimensions to be used. Moreover, whilst the premier consideration has been that of simplicity, both in construction and use, many of the important features to be found on larger models, such as the interlock cutout, spring suspension, etc., are retained.,
The truck, as our illustrations clearly show, is extremely compact in build,
and to keep its overall length within reasonable limits the control platform is hinged. When out of commission, therefore, the storage space occupied is virtually that of the area of the loading platform. This, of course, can be varied to meet individual needs, but only in certain spheres of service, where light and bulky goods have to be carried, will it be found necessary to depart from the standard dimensions.
The new truck is of rugged design, and is built to withstand the rough and tumble of hard usage. Its component parts are foolproof, and a mechanical knowledge is not necessary for its operation; in fact, the makers claim that anyone can learn to drive a Greenbat truck in half an hour.
The motor of the new truck is of the enclosed series-wound reversible type. It it rated at 1 h.p. at about 1,000 r.p.m., and is capable of developing 300 per cent, overload for short periods. It is mounted on a steel sleeve, which surrounds the rear axle and is fixed to the two axle bearings. The motor can readily be dismantled or adjusted.
A double reduction drive is favoured, the total ratio being 10 to 1. The first reduction is by Renold clean and the secend by machine-cut spur gearing driving direct on to the rear wheels. It has not been deemed necessary to embody a differential gear in the assembly.
The controller is one of the most important features of an electric truck, and in the new model Greenbat it is of the drum-type, giving two speeds in each direction ; being enclosed, it is perfectly dustproof. The arrangement embodies an interlocked pedal cut-out, which must be depressed by the foot in order to complete the circuit. The same action releases the brake, and these operations must be effected before the truck can be moved.
The brake, by the way, is of the external-contracting type, in which a pair of Ferodo-faced steel blocks take effect
on a drum bolted to a driving wheel.
The pedal cut-out being interlocked with the controller, it is essential to bring the latter to the neutral position in order to restart. If the driver should bring the truck to a halt on top speed it would be impossible to set it in motion again without first bringing the conti oiler into the neutral position, thus taking the flow of current through the resistance coils and starting on first speed again.
This makes for smooth running, and also avoids overloading of the motor. Moreover, should the driver be thrown from his driving position through a collision or other untoward incident, the truck is automatically braked and brought to a standstill.
The controller and cut-out barrels are constructed throughout of metal, and are insulated with mica. The barrel contacts and contact fingers can be readily detached and renewed as occasion demands.
The control platform consists, as one of our pictures shows, of two rectangular pedals upon which the driver stands. They are made ofangle steel, bent to shape, and lined with wood ; one of them actuates the brake and cut-out. The pedals are hinged so that the overall length is reduced, thus enabling the vehicle to be housed in a comparatively restricted space and to be accommodated in small elevators.
The battery box is mounted amidships and slung from the frame. IroncladExide-type batteries, as Made by the Chloride Electrical Storage Co., Ltd., or those of the iron-nickel-alkaline type as produced by Batteries, Ltd., can be provided as optional equipment, but in either case a capacity of 60-ampere hours at 24 volts is recommended for average work, although a battery with a larger capacity can be fitted if heavier work has to be tackled.
The chassis, which consists of mild steel channel members bent to shape and welded at the joints (it is stiffened by two cross-stays), is mounted on four laminated springs of ample depth. The leaves are supported in steel brackets, and suitable stops limit the degree of movement, thus preventing the springs from being permanently strained if the vehicle should carry loads beyond its rated capacity.
The steering gear is of the tiller type. The tiller connects through the medium of rods and knuckle joints to the front wheels. All joints are fitted with hardened steel bushes and pins in order to minimize wear at those various points.
The ball hearings fitted throughout are either of the Hoffmann or Skefko pattern, and suitable lubricators are provided.
The wheels with which the Greenbat 10-cwt. truck is equipped are of malleable iron, and carry Dunlop solid tyres of 16 ins. by 3 ins., pressed on to the wheel rims.
A few dimensions will serve to give some idea of the utility of the new truck and of its powers of manceuvrability. Its overall length is 5 ft., and overall width 2 ft. 6 ins., the height of the loading platform (its standard size is 4 ft. 5 ins. by 2 ft. 6 ins.) being 1 ft. 8 ins. The turning rtidius of the vehicle is 5 ft. 2 ins. Its weight, complete with battery, is 7i ewt.
The truck can maintain an average speed of 4-5 miles per hour when fully loaded. It should prove of inestimable value in those spheres of operation where light and bulky loads have often to be transported and where it would hardly prove an economical proposition to use irucks with a larger-carrying capacity and a radius of action which is more extensive.