A Gasoline Driven Traction Back Filler
One of the most troublesome and expensive operations that confronts contractors on sewer and water main trench work is backfilling. It is estimated that the cost of this operation alone frequently equals the cost of the excavating itself, for the dirt in the spoil bank has usually settled to such an extent that it requires almost the same effort to move it as it did to take it from the trench.
There are three customary methods of back filling followed by different contractors. Either the dirt is filled into the trench by hand, which is at best a long, tedious and expensive operation; horses and ordinary scrapers are employed, or else power driven back fillers do the work.
The team way is expensive because much of the time is wasted in turning the horses, twice—after dumping the load and just before they are ready to take a new one. Other delays with this method are caused by the horses becoming unhitched or entangled in the harness. The strain on the horses and constant danger of their falling into the trench makes this method almost as expensive as the hand way.
With the gasoline power traction back filler shown in the accompanying illustration there are only two operations; dragging the load, which is hutomaticallv deposited, and bringing the bucket back to position. This is done at an average of four loads a minute and the loads should be from three to four times as big as the ordinary scraper loads. This is the usual speed when the boom is extended to its full length of 25 feet. When it is shorter, the speed is increased appreciably. Where it takes a team and two men from one to one and a half minutes to complete a cycle, the power machine can do from twelve to sixteen times the work of the horse outfit, or replace as many as 50 men. Once the operator becomes proficient the trench is filled uniformly, quickly and the road is cleaned up in fair shape at one operation. The entire work is done by one man, the operator.
This back filler is of the drag line excavator type and is designed to back fill all ditches ordinarily cut with trench excavators for water mains and sewers. The gears are made either of steel forgings or of semi-steel castings, and all clutches are friction clutches of the internal expanding ring type lined with asbestos clutch lining.
The front axle is made up of two 5-inch channels between which are bolted the 2 3/16-inch diameter wheel journals, to permit removal of journals if necessary on account of wear or for other reasons. The axle is pivoted both vertically and horizontally, providing a three-point support for the car body and preventing distortion of the structure when passing over uneven ground.
The rear wheels are keyed on a 3 3/16-inch diameter steel axle, which is driven by means of a chain from the propelling machinery mounted on top of the car body.
The main members of the machine consist of one intermediate shaft, chain connected to the engine, and two drum shafts, gear connected to the intermediate shaft. The drums run loose upon the shafts and are connected thereto by means of internal expanding ring type clutches 15 inches diameter by 21/2 inches face, lined with asbestos clutch lining. The drum for the pulling rope is 10 inches diameter. The drum for the back hauling rope is 15 inches diameter. Both ropes are 3/8-inch diameter. The intermediate shaft is connected to the engine by means of a high speed roller chain. There is an internal expanding ring clutch provided on the engine shaft, enabling all machinery to be placed out of action and the engine to be started without load.
The propelling medium is made up of a steel bevel pinion on the end of the intermediate shaft, meshing with two semi-steel bevel gears on the propelling shaft. These gears are provided with internal expanding ring asbestos lined friction clutches bv means of which propelling motion is obtained in either direction. Connection between the propelling shaft and the rear axle is through a chain and sprockets. The propelling speed is approximately 1.8 miles per hour.
Collections by the water works department of Eima, Ohio, for 1918 exceeded those for 1917 by several thousand dollars, the annual report shows. The total collections for the last vear were $138,469,96 as against $114,834.26 for 1917.