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FRENCH TRACTOR SHOW
rpllE ninth annual plough and traetqr show .1. at the Porte de Versailles, Paris, seemed to indicate, so far as French companies are concerned, a slight revival of interest in motor agriculture, but showed a:. distinct falling off in the number of foreign tractors and implements exhibited, American displays dwindle steadily from year to year. On 'this occasion the most important one was that of the Allied Machinery Co., which had the largest individual stand in the motor section, staging no fewer than 10 Cletrac tractors.
Next in importance came the Austin Motor Co., Ltd., with nine tractors, including an interesting sectional model of the latest type. Several improvements and modifications are embodied in the 1930 models. A bevel-driven shaft operates the gear for lifting the plough, or other implement, when turning at the end of a furrow.
It may be mentioned, incidentally, that power-operated lifting gear, in one form or another, were a feature of the recent show. The oil-purification system on the new Austin machine appears to have been carefully studied, and the lubricating oil in suspension passes through a thorough process of filtration before being fed again to the bearings of the engine.
The Renault Producer-gas-driven Machines.
Gas-driven tractors were confined to the Renault stand, upon which was exhibited one of the company's largest models, equipped with the new producer—the type which qualified for a subsidy in the recent French military trials— as well as a smaller model. 'rhe Renault gas machins, which we described in some detail at the time of the Paris Commercial-vehicle Show, has, for 1930, been greatly improved in design.
A feature of the Renault machines is the number of large pressure greasers. which is supplied. Six of these are to be found on each side, for the purpose of facilitating lubrication of the chain-track gearing, whilst a further eight are arranged in a row at the rear of the tractor and communicate, through large-diameter pipes, with various points on the transmission system which may be difficult of access.
The Latil concern showed its standard tractors without modification, but had a novelty in the case of one of its large models. The machine is mounted on curiously light-looking wheels, which are equipped with hinged spuds for work on soft ground. The well-known type with folding spuds for agricultural work or road traction is also exhibited.
A newcomer this year was the German Komnick tractor. This business-like machine was shown in two forms, one having a 32 h.p. engine and the other a 50 h.p. unit. The big tractor has a 110 mm. by 155 mm. four-eylindered engine, with an overhead camshaft operated by bevel gearing. When employed for road traction it is claimed that this model will pull a load of 22i tons.
The Ara tractor, made by Lorraine Dietrich, was shown this year in an improved form. Ara tractors are chain-track machines, in which a remarkable measure of flexibility is given to the tracks by means of oscillating jockey rollers mounted in pairs. In former models these jockeys ran in grooves, but in the latest Ara twin rollers ride on each side of a deep flange extending upward from the centre of the chain tracks. The possibility of the jockeys jumping out of place is thus obviated.
The capabilities shown by the Ara in climbing over all classes of obstacle are certainly remarkable, whilst the big model is said to be capable of pulling loads up to 36 tons. These machines are largely used in France and the French colonies for forestry work.
Small, narrow-track tractors for vineyard use were, as usual, much in evidence at the Paris Show, good examples being seen on the Th. Schneider s tan d. Another useful-looking little tractor for vineyard work is the Vidal, a chain-track machine with large rear driving wheels, from which the chains may be removed when the tractor is required for hauling trailer loads upon the road.
Eugene Bauche also staged a fine range of small tractors for agricultural use, and one particularly neat little road machine equipped with rubber tyres. These appliances are low-priced, serviceable-looking tractors and are well made. Fordsons as usual, occupied an important stand, showing eight of the latest models.
Mistral showed a curious tractor for field and road work. Hinged spuds are provided, which may be used when the machine is pulling a plough or other implement, but, in addition to this, two extra driving wheels, supplied with large, spnds, may be let down and brought into use when the going is particularly heavy. Under normal conditions these two wheels are pulled up out of contact with the ground.
The Socike Anonyine "Rip" had a range of interesting tractors equipped with the successful Peugeot-Junkers Diesel engine. This unit, which is of the opposed-piston type, has on several occasions been fully dealt with in these pages. In France it is being developed to a remarkable degree for industrial-vehicle and marine purposes.
Helios is another Diesel-engitied tractor of a different type. This machine is provided with the Daimler-Benz Diesel engine, and is intended solely for work in the fields. Italy was represented by the O.M. Co., of Milan, which, through its Paris agents, showed a semi-Diesel tractor. An unusual number of ploughs and other implements for closecoupling to tractors was shown this year, but the most striking exhibit in the way of a plough was a colossal machine for cable hauling, shown by Bajac and Co.
American Makes in the Minority.
Citroen had an important stand on which was exhibited a number of short-model Hinstin-Kegresse tractors provided with the standard four-cylindered Citroen engine. These useful little machines, Pioneers of the flexible track for road work, are all arranged to carry a fair load, in addition to anything which May be hauled. Americans, as already mentioned, were distinctly in the minority, a contrast with the state of affairs existing two years ago. Good types of American tractor shown, in addition to the Fordson, were the McCormick, the Wallis, staged by Massey-Harris, Ltd., the Cletrac and the Deering.
Attendance this year was considerably greater than on former occasions and, as the general public most certainly does not visit a show of this class, it may be imagined that better business was done than is usually the case. Motor agriculture still lags sadly behind in France,. in spite of strenuous efforts on the part of successive Governments to 'encourage the use Of tractors and mechanical devices, but this year's show certainly was rather brighter than usual.
From the point of view of British industry it was good to see, in the tractors exhibited on the stand of the Austin Motor Co., Ltd., material evidence of British enterpri0 in a market that is not easy to tackle successfully. The Austin machines—of which nine examples were shown—have the appearance of being thoroughly well designed and manufactured, and it was a sound idea to show a model in section.