A Multi-Wheel Driving and Steering Vehicle

The article is from The Commercial Motor, June 10th, 1930

The front portion of a chassis according to Mr. Guy's patents.

Amongst the patents recently published are four which bear the name of Sydney Slater Guy, and are numbered 328,625, 328,626, 328,647 and 328,676. All these relate to various details of construction of a vehicle which may have as many as eight driving wheels, four of which may also be steering wheels.

This invention relates to motor vehicles of the kind in which, in order to provide an increased tractive effort and, or, a better distribution of the load, two or more pairs of steering wheels are arranged on parallel axes. These wheels, which are coupled together for steering purposes, sometimes function also as front driving wheels.

The layout of the drive shafting from the gearbox to the road wheels is clearly shown.

With the conventional type of road motor vehicle, where the power unit is commonly placed at the front, there are certain limitations imposed which make it practically impossible to employ any form of central drive for the steering wheels, i.e., a drive down the centre of the chassis and under the engine or motor.

Amongst the limitations referred to may be mentioned (A) the need for sufficient ground clearance, both from the point of view of Ministry of Transport regulations and for cross-country work in order to avoid inequalities in the ground and obstacles; (B) the necessity of the height of the frame and of the engine from the ground to be kept as low as possible, both for loading purposes and from the point of view of the centre of gravity for the purposes of stability; (C) the need for the wheelbase to be kept as short as possible in order to obtain the minimum possible turning circle and, in the majority of cases, except pure tractors, the minimum wheelbase for a given body space.

All the four specifications relate to means whereby power can be transmitted from the gearbox to the road wheels, whether steering or non-steering, by means of bevel gears to a cross-shaft, thence by bevel gears to two shafts which run along the frame side members, and from these shafts by means of worm or other gears to short shafts which in turn drive pinions engaging with spur gears on the road wheels. Four of these wheels can be employed as steering wheels, as power is transmitted to them by universal joints.

Patent No. 328,647 relates mainly to methods of driving wheels that do not steer, by means of shafts which lie against the frame side members. In one instance the shafts are connected to, and ride with, the frame, and are connected to the short shafts by universally jointed shafts, whilst in the other instance the side shafts ride with the road wheels.

Patent No. 328,676 relates mainly to methods of driving steering wheels. In the left-hand view the side driving shaft rides with the frame, and drives a short shaft by means of worm gearing, which in turn drives a universally jointed shaft which passes through a hollow stub axle, and drives the road wheel by means of the usual splined plate. The right-hand view shows an arrangement resembling this, but in this instance the side shaft rides with the axle. The vehicles to which these devices are intended to be fitted are evidently meant for travelling on the roughest ground.

For non-steering wheels the longitudinal shaft may ride with the frame (left) or with the axle (right), the right-angled drive being by bevel gear, whilst the final drive is effected by spur gears.
For steering wheels the longitudinal shaft may ride with the frame or with the axle. Worm gearing is employed for the right-angled drive, the shaft passing through a hollow stub axle.

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