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DLTRING the past year or so the sales $ of three-wheeled delivery vans have increased considerably and for this there are definite reasons. At the present time economy of operation is, perhaps, of primary importance and, in this respect, the pareelear has much to commend it.
Moreover, it can perform much more expeditiously the work of a horsed light vanor a pedal tricycle. Consequently, tradesmen in many spheres of business have, with advantage to their pockets, adopted the cameleer in place of less efficient forms of transport.
Features that appeal to the small trader are that the three-wheeler can easily be handled by a lad of ordinary ability, it requires only a small garage, and can be manceuvred in the restricted spaces, such as are often found around warehouses and other places which, in its normal round of work, the pareelear frequently has to visit.
The last-named feature is of particular value in cases where comparatively high speed over short distances in congested towns is required, and newspaper publishers have been quick to realize this point.
A wide variety of useful and attractive coachwork is offered to meet the special requirements of different trades and, as a rule, there is ample space for the accommodation of bulky packages. Three-wheelers are also being put to useful account for publicity purposes, and the accompanying picture of an D4-8
attractive Raleigh outfit offers. proof of this fact.
The manufacturers of parcelears are amongst the most enterprising in the trade, and they deserve the success that has attended their efforts. Every assistance has been given to dealers and a series of extended demonstrations has been held in many parts of the country.
It is interesting to elaborate on the theme of economy. With a four-wheeler the annual licence duty is sometimes a formidable item, whereas the taxation on a parcelear, even in the case of a 10-cwt. machine, amounts to only £4 a year. Striking an average from figures sepplied by a number of makers, it appears that a pareetear can be comprehensively insured for about £7.
Petrol can be assumed to be used at the rate of a gallon for 40-45 miles. whilst the fact, already mentioned, that a three-wheeler can be handled by a lad makes for a reasonably low wages account.
We will now turn to a review of various makes of three-wheeler on the British market, briefly referring to the salient features of each.
• Alphabetically, the first on the list is the Coventry Victor, produced by the Coventry Victor Motor Co., Ltd., Coventry. This is a 5-cwt. machine having a horizontally opposed, twincylindered four-stroke water-cooled engine of 749 c.c. The two front wheels are controlled by means of rack-andpinion steering gear through the medium of a car-type wheel, the driver sitting inside the van. The drive is transmitted through a twospeed gearbox and chains to the rear wheel. The van costs £87 10s., whilst, with fuller equipment, another model is available at 199 15s.
Croft Commercial Cars, Ltd., Thornbury, Bradford, markets 5-cwt. and 10-cwt. models with two-stroke-cycle 300 c.c. and 475 c.c. engines respectively, a feature of the power units being steam cooling. In each case the gearbox provides three speeds and reverse. The Croft is of the type in which the goods are carried at the front, • whilst the driver sits at the rear, above the engine. With a standard all-purpose body, the lighter model costs £79 and the 10-cwt. vehicle 182 10s., but a wide variety of coachwork is offered at different prices.
The Fleet is also of the type in which the load is carried at the front, the driver sitting behind the body. Fleet Motors, Ltd., Selly Oak, Birmingham, manufactures a 10-cwt. machine with a side-valve single-cylindered engine, cooling being on the turbo-fan principle. Chain drive is employed to the rear wheel through the medium of a threespeed-and-reverse gearbox. With a box body the Fleet costs £87 10s., although other coachwork is offered.
S. Ellis and Co., 248, Finsbury Pavement House, London, E.C., markets the Goliath outfit, which is available as 5-cwt. and 10-cwt. models. These vehicles employ two-stroke-cycle engines over which the driver's saddle is arranged, with the body in front. Steering is by means of a car-type wheel. Chain drive is used for the 5-cwt. type and for one of the 10-cwt. models, the other 10-cwt. pattern having shaft drive. The company is now also selling 15-cwt. outfits.
In the case of the James Samson Handyvan, the goods are carried in a body at the back of the vehicle, where there are two wheels, and the driver sits in a partially enclosed cab at the front and steers by means of handlebars. The side-valve engine is of 5 h.p., with twin cylinders in Vee formation ; the heads are detachable. Chain drive is employed and a three-speed gearbox is incorporated in the design. With enclosed bodywork the outfit costs £86.
h.p. air-cooled single-cylinderecl engine, and the other an 8 h.p. twincylindered power unit of similar make. The 5 h.p. model has a mechanical starter and is priced at 185, and the other type has an electric starter and costs /95.
Another popular make is the Raleigh (Raleigh Cycle Co., Ltd., Nottingham), which carries the load at the rear, with the driver seated in a cab at the front, steering by means of handlebars. Provision is made for carrying 5 cwt. of goods, the 5.98 h.p. single-cylindered air-cooled engine being well up to this work. The Sturrney-Archer gearbox provides three forward speeds and reverse, chain drive being employed to the rear axle. The Raleigh van costs £78 158.
The Stepney Carrier Co., Ltd., 11, Stuart's Buildings, High Holborn, London, W.C.2, markets a 4-cwt. model, but the company is about to go into production with an entirely new 10-cwt. outfit. The former type employs a Villiers two-stroke-cycle 21 h.p. engine, driving through an Albion three-speed gearbox and Hans Renold chains.
Reference should be made to the efficient hire-maintenance services operated by Alvarez Carriers, Ltd., 29, flume Street, Edgware Road, London, N.W.1, and the Stepney Carrier Co., Ltd.; the former concern is also the main London distributor for Croft.