Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/89

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Transforming a Roadster into a Truck

A device which makes it possible for a one- passenger automobile to haul three trailers


��The pleasure car can be changed into a one-ton truck and back again into a pas- senger car in five minutes

��U-shaped pivot .supports \ Elbow,

���Solid trailer axle

��Trailer wheels

THE conver- At right: The fifth wheel

S i O n of a device mounted on the

roadster framework of the car

automobile into a

one-ton truck and back again into a pas- senger car in five minutes has been made possible by the use of a patented fifth- wheel device to be set on the rear deck of the car to support the front end of a wagon-like trailer. Both trailer and fifth- wheel are now being made as a unit by a New England manufacturer to enable the owner of any roadster to change his car into a work vehicle and back again as often as desired.

The fifth-wheel device is mounted on the framework of the car with but six bolts after the rear deck or luggage carrier has been lifted off. The device consists of two wheels of the same size which rub together, one above the other, through lubricating grease. One wheel is mounted on a rock- ing shaft and frame attached to the car, and the other bolted to the underside of the front end of the trailer.

To connect the trailer with the car, its front end is simply lowered down on to the wheel on the car. Conversely, it may


��At left: The various parts of the wagon- like trailer, showing the relation of the small wheel to the body parts

��be removed by simply lifting it up by hand, if empty, or by a jack de- vice if loaded. The fifth- wheel device, which can be lifted easily by one man, is then taken off and the rear deck replaced. The car is then ready to take the owner's family out for a pleasure trip.

The trailer may be fitted with any type of body, according to the class of goods to be carried and principally differs from the ordinary wagon in that it has rubber-tired wheels mounted on roller bearings. These enable the car and trailer to travel at speeds of twenty miles per hour or more and elim- inate the trouble caused by the over- heating of the plain iron bearings such as are used on slow-speed horse wagons.

The jack device for lifting the front end of the trailer consists of a triangular- shaped framework made of pipe sections. It is pivoted to the underside of the trailer and has a telescoping bar attached to the trailer axle to keep the framework upright when in use. This eliminates the wooden horse formerly used and permits the trailer to be moved from place to place for loading and unloading.

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