FIRE DEPARTMENT HORSESHOING WAGON.

FIRE DEPARTMENT HORSESHOING WAGON.

Chief Engineer J. R. Canterbury, of Minneapolis, Minn., sends the following interesting description of a horseshoeing wagon: “As I have received several communications irom different chief engineers of fire departments making inquiry as to the method of shoeing the fire department horses in the city of Minneapolis, and believing, as I do, that a city is a large corporation and that the men at the head of the several departments should use every enueavor to bring down the cost of maintenance of his department, I would ask for space in your valuable paper for a short explanation of the way we run our horseshoeing wagon. As we all know from long and intimate experience and association, the horse, like the human being, must receive the best of attention. in order that he may be kept in condition to do his best work, and nothing will impair the usefulness of the horse more than being improperly shod. In placing the shoe, the hoof must be pared down well, and the shoe must be fitted to the same in such a manner that the animal may he able to travel easily. The shoe must not be too light or too heavy, but must be set according to the gait and weight of the animal, end, in order to hold the shoe properly, the right sized nails should be used, and, when this is done, the horse will not throw his shoe after a short run or two, and, if a horse has a tender hoof, a rubber pad or bar shoe must be used as the case may require, and all of this is taken into account when vour own men do the shoeing. We have run our own shoeing wagon for the past seventeen years, and I consider it a great success, and a saving to the city of at least one-half of the price we should have to pay if we had our work done outside of the department, and, again, one of our men is on duty at all hours of the day or night and answers all second, third, and general alarm fires, and. if a horse throws a shoe going to the fire, it is replaced at the fire, Sundays as well as weekdays. In winter, wc use Neverslip calks, and, after a shoe is set, the driver is given a box of one hundred calks; is held responsible for the same, and must return the stubs used before he is given a new box. In this way we keep an account of the calks used and also know that the calks are properly used up. The wagon used is a light fourwheeled wagon drawn by one horse, and the apparatus consists of a small iorgc, an anvil, blower, and vice, besides the regulation box under the seat for fuel and tools. The wagon travels from one enginehouse to the other and is in service at all times. We have two men detailed from the department to do this work and both are experts in this line of work. The man in charge of the wagon is appointed as a captain and receives a captain’s pay, of $1,200 per year, and the other man as pipeman, receives $958.65 per year. The actual cost of the material used in 1905 amounted t $648.61, less $14.02 received from the sale of old shoes as scrap iron. Adding the totals together, we have $2,793.24 for the care of 180 horses for the year, and according to the larger cities’ reports this is less than one-half of the amount paid by some of them, and about onethird of that paid by a few of them. The total cost of the wagon and tools will not exceed $125, and any old disabled horse of the fire department will answer for the purpose of drawing the wagon.”

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