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The Motor Drivers News.

5th March 1908, Page 23
5th March 1908
Page 23
Page 23, 5th March 1908 — The Motor Drivers News.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Steaming Radiators.

"1-D.E." (Yealmpton) writes the following letter, to show what an easy matter it is fo.r an engine to acome hot from some very slight cause :--" I have .had a good deal of trouble lately owing to the water circulation on one of my vehicles being out of order. The radiator steamed very much, and, after the car had been running for about two miles, it got very hot, especially when going up a hill, and, to a lesser extent, upon the fiat. I took down the water connections to see if either of them was choked, but I found them quite clear. • Then I thought that perhaps the radiator leaked badly, but I found that leakage was practically nonexistent, because, after running a complete journey, I could still touch the water by putting my finger down the filling neck. As a last resource, I took down the water-circulating pump, and, after taking it to pieces, I found that two lumps of solder had, somehow or other, become wedged between adjacent blades on the pump. The solder was fixed so firmly that it was difficult to remove it from its position. The obstructions not only kept two of the blades from doing their work, but they, .also, prevented the water from entering the pump—this particular type takes the water in at its centre and discharges it at its periphery. I cannot imagine how the solder came to be in the pump, but, after it was extracted, everything worked as it should. When one thinks about it, it shows what a very delicate piece of mechanism a petrol-driven vehicle is. Two pieces of solder=

useless radiator = hot engine loss of journeys = falling off of receipts."

A Change from Petrol to Steam Wanted.

"T.D." writes :—" Referring to the letter from M.N.' (Bristol), which appeared in these columns in your issue of the 30th January, I should like to say that I am placed in a position very similar to his, inasmuch as I also wish to get a berth as a petrol-wagon driver. I have been reading for some time a large number of books which bear upon the subject of petrol motors, and the various matters appertaining to them, the result being that I feel, in my own mind, that I have a thorough grasp of the subject. The only thing that remains for me to do now is to _apply what I have learnt to the practical side of the case by getting a position as driver of one of the petrol-driven vehicles, should, of course, want a little practice before I could obtain the maximum efficiency from the lorry which was placed in my charge. I have now driven all types of steam vehicles for many years, and, from what I can see, the petrol-driven commercial motor is, or must be, distinctly easier to control than one which is dependent upon any form of steam generator. I have also been informed by men who ought to know, and they are unanimous on the question, that a petrol vehicle is not so difficult to look after, under actual running conditions, as a steam ' lorry_ I may say with truth that I have picked up from these columns an immense quantity of useful running' notes, which must prove serviceable in the future. Books, no matter how good they are only give one, served up in a manner easily to be understood, the theoretical view of the different matters connected with the petrol motor' and transmission, but it rests with a journal like " THE COM:Nib:RUM., MOTOR " to devote a certain percentage of its columns to publishing letters from drivers, that contain actual road-side accidents and the means whereby they have

been overcome. I would suggest to' that, when he is doing a round ' in the country and meets a petrol' lorry, he offer a small trifle to the driver to show him how to drive the vehicle. Not all drivers are selfish, and there are many who would be quite glad to help him to get over

his troubles. I would suggest that Tax COMMVRCIAL MOTOR should offer a special prize for the best article on How to drive a petrol wagon,' or some such similar ti Lie.

" The question of accumulations of scale in steam wagon boilers is a very serious one, and is a matter to which the owners of the vehicles do not pay nearly enough attention. Any sort of water is supposed to he good enough from which to generate steam, except, of course, that which is really muddy,although I have seen that used before now. The scale accumulates very quickly indeed, and, if it is not dissolved, or broken away from the different parts of the boiler,

it will sooner or later necessitate the renewal of the tubes, and, in bad cases, the complete generator. When tubes. have been burnt, they leak and, if in a very bad condition, they will not bear expanding, as they crack directly any pressure is brought to bear upon them. I am sure that it would pay the owners of wagons to have the water analysed. so that the water could be treated in a proper manner. I am. afraid that, usually, a wagon is bought with the idea that anything that happens to it, after the payment of the cheque, is the outcome of faulty design, or workmanship—or both. Hard-headed business men who look after the baw-bees ' in every department of their work, will simply let a steam-wagon run itself to pieces, and at the end of, say,. eighteen months, when they are asked to inspect the vehicle, will say, Ali! bad design, and worse material ; weshall have to try another maker for No. 2: This is all very well, but it is not fair to the manufacturer, who honestly. tries to produce a design, and build a wagon, which wilt be an advertisement to himself, and a successful, moneysaving piece of machinery to the buyer. Looking at thequestion from a purely commercial point of view, the man who will pay between seven and eight hundred pounds for machinery, and, afterwards, put it in the hands of unskilled labour is, to say the most kind thing, ill advised. Steam. wagons, to the eye of the uninitiated, are clumsy and look rough, but, to the man who knows, they are comparatively. speaking, delicate to handle, and easy to put out of gear in the hands of a man who knows nothing about them."

" L.R.M." (Edinburgh) writes :—" With reference to a, letter which recently appeared up-on the subject of a steam-wagon driver changing over to a petrol-driven vehicle, I may say that I did not find very much difficulty in doing• so. A year ago I came to the conclusion that, taking it all round, the life of a petrol ' driver was superior in many respects to the one led by a steam ' driver, so I made up my mind to pick up hints and dodges whenever the oppor tunity occurred. I had had many years' experience in steam-wagon driving, and so had good references. A. friend of mine drives a petrol ' van—two-ton—for a firm, in this city, and they recently bought a second vehicle. When I heard of this, I told my friend that I intended to apply for the job, and he agreed with me. When I went lo see the manager he asked me how many years' experience I had had with petrol motors, so, of course, I said I had never driven one. He looked absolutely staggered, and then I showed him testimonials, and told him how J had learnt up the subject. He took me on and told the driver of No. i ' to take me on his rounds ' for a week to let: me get the 'hang' of the business. I was surprised how easy it seemed, As I could drive fairly well after I had tried it for about an hour. The position of one's hands is strange at first, and there is a feeling of amazement when, on looking down at the dash, you find the absence of the old, familiar, gauge glass. Changing the gears is perhaps. the most difficult thing to accomplish to the novice, an& this, of course, does take a little time properly to acquire._ It is in this point that a steamer is so superior to a petroldriven vehicle. When you want to go along a little faster on the former vehicle, you open the main stop valve—a. noiseless operation—hut, when you. wish to accelerate the speed on the latter type of car, you have to change the speed ratios—not always a noiseless proceeding. There is, at present, a greater feeling of security to me when riding on a

steamer ' than on any other type of self-propelled wagon.. This is natural, I have no doubt, but the feeling is not altogether born of sentiment, because there is a power in the reversing lever which is conspicuous by its absence on a machine which has to rely upon gears for going faster or slower, as the case may be. I should like to hear other drivers' views upon the subject, because it is one which, I think, would appeal to nn.any beside myself."

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Locations: Edinburgh, Bristol

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