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Note: This is a sub-section of 1930 Industrial Britain
See also Foden
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IN many parts of the Empire the employment of steam wagons would be far more economical than petrol-driven types, but hitherto the unladen weight of steamers has been too great for the relatively light or bad roads existing.
With a view to overcoming this primary difficulty, Messrs. Fodens have developed the special light steam-driven vehicle illustrated below. It is mounted on pneumatic tyres thereby reducing the destructive effect of the vibration on the vehicle. The boiler is of the water-tube type with very high evaporative capacity, exceptionally economical in the use of fuel, giving as much as 25-30 miles per cwt. of best Welsh coal burned, and assuming the cost of this coal as £2 per ton, the fuel cost works out at only a little over 3/4d per mile. A two- speed gear-box is fitted, but under ordinary circumstances only the top gear need be used, the second being for exceptionally difficult hills or working out of bad ground. All wheels are fitted with brakes.
The weight of this wagon in road-worthy condition is only a little over 6 tons. The general design is a marked advance on anything hitherto brought out in steam road wagon practice, and offers an efficient and economical alternative to internal Combustion-engined road wagons.