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TAS Country : August 26th 2010
22 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 27, 2010 Tractor Tragic CHANGES: Marshall's steam heritage gave way to diesel. Reliable repute EFFICIENT: A Marshall Model E 15-30. TRAGIC Tractor Glenn Shaw The good OIL: Marshall Tractor Lubricants. THERE can be fewer more English- sounding companies than that of Mar- shalls and the Britannia Iron Works of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. Starting in 1848 and founded by Henry Marshall, the company soon forged a reputation for excellence and began a long history of diversity in manufacturing everything from steam engines for the world market to tea making machinery for the colonies. While they made excellent steam engines they were in no way ignorant to the internal combustion engine that was finding its way onto farms in stationary engine form from a number of competing English manufacturers including Ruston and Hornsby. It was therefore a natural pro- gression for Marshalls to test the water with internal combustion engines and in 1906 engaged Vauxhall engineer Henry Bamber to design them an engine for tractor use. Given the designation of Type A, the Bamber designed engine had ''square'' dimensions of seven inch cylinder bores with a piston stroke of seven inches and fitted into a small batch of tractors built for evaluation purposes but gave Marshalls the confidence to enter into tractor production with five models . These tractors followed steam engine practice by not having a model number as such, but identified by a class designation and known as the ''Col- onial'' tractors. While the tractors were well built, they were big heavy cumbersome machines and very heavy on kerosene fuel. With the onset of World War 1 production of the big gasoline tractors was shelved in 1914 and never re- started. Steam remained as king at the Britannia Iron Works but in 1921 internal combustion engines were again in production by Marshalls as stationary oil engines. Designed by F.J. Cribb, it was the single and multi cylinder S type oil engines that would go on to have long reaching effects to the Marshall Com- pany. The S type engine was a surface ignition or ''hot bulb'' two-stroke de- sign in horizontal or vertical piston layout, probably the simplest and most economical power plant design for stationary and agricultural use and this fact would be reinforced by a maker from Mannheim Germany --- Heinrich Lanz. In 1921 Dr Fritz Huber had perfected his design of two-stroke hot bulb semi- diesel engine and when it was mounted onto a simple chassis to create the Lanz model HL12 tractor, met with instant success. From this simple tractor in 1921, Heinrich Lanz AG Mannheim would become the worlds leading single cylin- der two-stroke tractor builder until production of the hot bulb models ended in 1953. Lanz also entered the British tractor market around 1928 with their Model HR4 15/30 horsepower tractor and began to make their name with unbe- lievable economy running on the chea- pest unrefined fuel available. Such tractors were also being made by Gambino, Bubba, Orsi, Landini (Italy), Hoffherr Schrantz Clayton Shut- tleworth (Hungary) to similar designs under or just outside of Lanz patents. The performance and economy of the Lanz tractor intrigued Marshalls enough to the extent that the company actually purchased an example and brought it to the Britannia Iron Works to be stripped down and evaluated. Under the guidance of draughtsman Sam Dawson, designs for two prototype tractors were drawn up for a single cylinder two-stroke tractor but with a big departure from the Lanz design in that the Marshall engine was to be a full compression ignition diesel. Sam Dawson would concentrate on the layout of the transmission while former Davey-Paxman employee Jessie Lea would work on making the hori- zontal single cylinder engine a full compression ignition diesel. There have been a number of reasons outlined in journals as to why Marshalls chose to go this way, most stating that Marshalls wanted to get away from the fact that the crude oil engine was prone to a lot of exhaust emission, blow lamp starting was prone to start fires should the lamp fall over during pre-heating and in certain circumstances the hot bulb could cool off and ignition cease altogether.While there were possibly valid causes, de- parting from the hot bulb principle meant that the Marshall tractor would not run on the wide range of low grade fuel that the Lanz could.Marshalls were always in a rather precarious financial position and were probably in no position to buy a license to produce a genuine Lanz hot bulb copy and not willing to risk a patent infringement which is my personal view --- that aside though, the British industry had by now reasonable experience with diesel through builders such as Black- stone and Ruston so it is plausible that a compression ignition design was seen as best for long term production. It is most likely that the prototype tractors were eventually scrapped with parts being recycled in production of I S I S Tuesday 7th September 2010 at 2.30 pm Viewing from 12.30 pm Lunch and refreshments provided Dimity Hirst Ph: 0408 506 103 Roberts . . . Tim Woodham Ph: 0418 323 425 Elders . . . Greg Harris Ph: 0409 799 960 Entally Forest Cnr Illawarra Road & Bass Highway, Longford (Entry from Illawarra Road) 2040360-100820
August 19th 2010
September 2nd 2010