Rubber Tires Solid vs. Pneumatic
I take it that the intention of this paper is to refer to automobile or mechanically propelled apparatus. and will give you what information I have been able to obtain on the subject, having had limited experience myself. From all the information I could secure in conversation with manufacturers and users of different type and style of tires, both solid and pneumatic, I have come to the conclusion that under certain conditions and circumstances the solid tire is preferable and under other conditions the pneumatic tire is advisable. If a high speed is desired, it is necessary to have your apparatus equipped with pneumatic tires, as 1 am informed that about twenty to twenty-five miles an hour is the limit of speed that it is safe to run on solid tires, unless the streets are free from depressions and projections or high street crossings; in that case a speed of about thirty miles an hour may be obtained with safety. Now as to pneumatic tires, while there is t o limit to the speed that you can run on them, or say from fifty to sixty miles an hour over all kinds of roads or streets, the mileage per tire is only from ten to fifteen hundred miles, until they show signs of weakness and blow out or hurst on account of the heavy weight of the apparatus. Then there is a limit to the weight that can be carried on pneumatic tires; just what that limit is I am not prepared to state, as it still seems to he undecided by manufacturers and users of tires. I have also been informed by reliable authority that an automobile hose wagon delivered to New York City was required to run thirty-five miles in an hour, and at the end of the run the tires were worn down to the iron rims. This run was made through sand the greater part of the distance, and this particular car was equipped with solid tires
In conversation with drivers of automobile fire apparatus, I am informed that the solid tires skid more than the pneumatic, as the adhesion to the street surface is not as great as the pneumatic, as the continual bound of the solid tires on roughly paved streets causes an additional tendency to skid. The expense incurred by the replacement of the pneumatic tires seems to be the greatest objection to them. Such being the case, I am informed, and I think truthfully, that the solid tires will cause an addition to the repair account, which in the end would about equal the cost of maintenance.
When we consider the saving to a city by the use of automobile fire apparatus, of which I will give you my experience, we ought not to consider too seriously the cost of tires. Now for the first twelve months our automobile fire engine was in service it covered a distance of 1,163 miles, and pumped 64 hours, consumed 478 gallons of gasoline and 42 gallons of lubricating oil; which, compared to a company equipped with horse-drawn apparatus, is a reduction in the expense of maintenance of practically $4,500, and then the automobile company covered three times the distance of the horse-drawn company. The fact that the automobile can cover a much greater distance in much less time than the horse-drawn apparatus gives us the desired results, as it is quick time and quick work in reaching a fire that every city and town is trying to accomplish, as you all known too well that a fire never waits for your arrival. Now with that object in view, are we justified in curtailing expense at the cost of etficicncy, of the apparatus, or if pneumatic tires cost more than solid tires and give higher efficiency, should the difference in cost, if any, be consideredf there seems to be a desire on the part of tire manufacturers to acquire something that will eliminate tire trouble, and 1 have seen several devices and preparations that great results are claimed for, but of which I have had no experience, but there is no doubt some one will, if they have not already done so, invent something that will cause a great saving in tire expense.