American-La France Motor Apparatus at Macon.
The Macon, Ga., Daily Telegraph of August 16, contains the following description of the American-La France apparatus installed in that city. “Macon people take pride in the fire department of this city as it is at present organized. With the annexation of many square miles of new territory, it became necessary to make additions and extensions in the fire service. What appeared to be a momentary problem of immense proportions was reduced to a minimum by the introduction of the auto fire engine and the auto chemical apparatus The accompanying illustration shows the La France chemical engine. recently installed at the headquarters of the Macon department. This manufacture of machine has proven very popular throughout the country, there being a large numher in the departments of other cities, and it was only recently that a contract was made with the Savannah authorities for the equipment of practically their entire department with La France machines, including pumps, chemicals and trucks. This was a large order, secured in the face of very heavy competition, but as Savannah had been using a La France chemical for several months, and it had proven entirely satisfactory, there was no chance for other manufacturers to get in on the deal. This machine has been in Macon on duty for about two months, and has given much satisfaction in the department, and especially to the men who handle it.
“In appearance the car gives one the impression of great strength and solidity. The track is very wide, being 70 3/4 inches center to center of rear outside tires No other car. certainly no pleasure car. is built to such a wide track. The manufacturers adopted the wide track because it permitted carrying the load low. thus keeping the center of gravity down. How important this is can be quickly appreciated, when it is known that accidents, such as caused by skidding, are chargeable to a high center of gravity. The front wheels are fitted with single 38 x 4 1/2 inch pneumatic tires, and the rear wheels for in the rear the single 6-inch. Having dual or double tires on rear wheels, where the greatest load is carried, reduces tire expense to a minimum. It has been determined by experiments that single 4 1/2-inch tires front and dual 4 1/2-inch tires on rear is a much better equipment than single 6-inch tires on all wheels, as in the rear the single 6-inch does not suffice. Again the dual tires prevent skidding, and are more dependable, for in the event of puncture only one tire would he affected, and the car could proceed 1o destination on good tire. The steering gear, of special construction and substantial parts, is also worthy of notice. With a wheel base of 140 inches it is possible to make a complete turn within a 41-foot circle. This permits quick handling through crowded streets, and prompt work on the fire ground.
“Macon in adding this car to its equipment does not create an expense, as the saving in maintenance as compared with horse-drawn apparatus is considerable: in fact, this economy represents more than a 6 per cent. return on the money. The American-La France Fire Engine Co. is to be congratulated on this fine specimen of mechanical ingenuity, and the splendid results obtained by them in the way of sales should be very gratifying. It proves conclusively that their attitude of conservatism in not piscine upon the market anv apparatus which has not been thoroughly Yicd nut by them, under conditions really more severe than found in actual service, is sure to meet with proper appreciation.”