Sunday, November 1, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS. "How Many Wheels?"

Albany, N. Y., Oct. 25.
Editor Horseless Age:

I have read with interest the several articles published in
your valuable journal in regard to three-wheeled vehicles. In
last week's issue I noted the comments of Messrs. Duryea and
Bramwell. The only advantage of the three-wheeled vehicles
is that one wheel is easier to steer than two wheels. The
single drive wheel, I think, is more of a disadvantage than an
advantage. For instance, if the rear drive wheel were in a
ditch and could not work its way out, the operator would be
stalled, but with two drive wheels one would not be in the
ditch, and would thus help to propel the vehicle.

As Mr. Bramwell says, a four-wheeler properly built has
its frame swiveled in the center of the front axle, and he
does not see any difference whether a wheel or a swivel is
employed at that point so far as stability is concerned.
Now this may all be true in going straight ahead, but if we
turn a sharp curve at a high speed the three-wheeler is
certainly more liable to upset than the four-wheeler, as the
extra wheel on the outside of the arc (which is formed when
the vehicle turns a curve) decreases the danger of upsetting,
and this is truer of a vehicle of a long wheel-base.

I believe a single steering wheel is superior for turning out
of ruts and car tracks, but on a country road the front wheel
does not track, but must run over all obstructions such as
snow, mud and stones that chance to be in the center of the
road. But with a four-wheeler when going straight ahead the
rear wheels follow the track of the steerers.

In my estimation a motor carriage should have four
wheels, the front wheels serving as steerers and all four wheels
as drivers. By this arrangement, if one pair of wheels are
ditched the other may not be. As. Mr. Bramwell says, custom
proves nothing to the designer of vehicles, but common sense

Yours truly,

of the HORSELESS AGE, bound with
or without advertisements, $3.
The Horseless Age,
Times Building, New York

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