1902 Encyclopedia > Agriculture > Wheel Carriages. Road Engines.

(Part 25)


Wheel Carriages. Road Engines.

Wheel Carriages

The cartage of crops, manure, &c., upon an arable farm is such an important part of the whole labour performed upon it (equal, as shown by a recent estimates, to one-half), [Footnote 323-1] that it is a matter of the utmost consequence to have the work performed by carriages of the most suitable kind. It was fro a long time keenly debated by agriculturists, whether wagons or carts are most economical. This question is now undoubtedly settled, Mr. Pusey says, "It is proved beyond question that ten Scotch and Northumbrian farmers, by using one-horse carts, save one-half of the horses which south country farmers still string on to their three-horse wagons and three-horse dung-carts, or dung-pots, as they are called. The said three-horse wagons and dung-pots would also nearly three times as much originally outlay. Few, I suppose, if any, farmer buy these expensive luxuries now, though it is wonderful they should keep them; for last year at Grantham, in a public trail, five horses with five carts were matched against five wagons with ten horses, and the five horses beat the ten by two loads." [Footnote 323-2]The one-horse carts here refereed to are usually so constructed as to be easily adapted to the different purposes for which wheel-carriages are needed upon a farm. For each pair of wheels and axle there is provided a close-bodied cart, and another with sparred sides and broad shelvings, called a long-cart, or harvest-cart, either of which can easily be attached to the wheels according t the nature of the commodities to be carried. Sometimes a simple movable frame is attached to the close-body to fit it for carrying hay or straw; but although one or two such frames are useful for casual purposes throughout the year, they are inferior for harvest work to the regular year, they are inferior for harvest work to the regular sparred cart with its own shafts. In some districts the whole of the sloe-bodied carts on the farm are made to tip. For many purposes this is a great convenience ; but for the conveyance of grain to marker, and generally for all road work, a firm frame is much easier for the horse and less liable to decay and derangement. The Berwickshire practice is to have one pair of tip-carts on each farm, and all the rest firm or dormant-bodied, as they are sometimes called.

Many farms are now provided with a water or tank cart for conveying and distributing liquid manure.

Road Engines

Although many attempts have been made to adapt the locomotive steam-engine fort he conveyance both of passengers and goods on common roads, the results hitherto have not been altogether satisfactory. Progress is, however, undoubtedly being made in this effort; and in not a few instances such engines are actually in used for the carriage of heavy goods. If beet-sugar factories should increase in Great Britain, the carriage of the roots from the farms to the factories will probably be formed by traction engines; for the inexpediency of withdrawing the horse-power of the farm from its other urgent work at the season most suitable for delivering these roots to the sugar-maker presents at present a serious hindrance to the cultivation of this crop.


323-1 See Morton's Cyclopaedia of Agriculture. Article "Carriages."

323-2 Mr Pusey's Report, in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, vol. xii, p. 617.

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