Other Mechanical Horses

As well as the highly successful Scammells, other companies also produced small 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles with a Mechanical Horse type coupling. Karrier developed their Cob tractor unit, fitting it with a coupling which was compatible with the Scammell and this was a popular choice. Jensen Motors, the well known bodybuilders, produced a small 4-wheel tractor unit called the Jen Tug. Ford also produced a tractor unit called the Tug which was based on their 8hp Model Y cars, but whilst this was a 3-wheeled vehicle it wasn't fitted with an automatic coupling. A number of companies also offered larger 4-wheeled tractor units equipped with a Mechanical Horse type coupling and a few examples of these are included in the section below:  

     Thornycroft Nippy


 Reg. JXA392 U.L.W. 4t  c6  q1  CHASSIS 50309 3865cc  Eng. No. 4272 3865cc  New to British Railways Western Region July 1949 Fleet No. WR8668. Transferred to Victoria &  Albert   Docks and given Fleet No. L6TN302. Then transferred to L.R.R.S. 8/11/66

Withdrawn from service 30/11/66  Sold 30/8/67




      Dennis ‘Horla’


'Horla' was the model name given by Dennis Lorries to the post war PAX model when supplied in normal form as an articulated tractor. These vehicles were developed from the pre-war "ACE" or "Flying Pig" and were fitted with that models petrol engine. Perkins diesels were an option and the vehicle illustrated, made in the early 1950's, is fitted with their P6 engine and Scammell's 6 ton coupling gear. It was an unusual vehicle to be fitted with the Scammell coupling and it would be interesting to know how many were produced



       FAR (Chenard-Walcker)


FAR built Scammell Mechanical Horses under licence in France; early versions were fitted with Citroen engines as used in the Traction Avant, whilst later ones were developed separately and incorporated features such as a tilting cab and a braked front wheel! The 1938 example seen here is owned by the Association des Amis du Musee du Poids Lourd and was photographed during a visit by The Mechanical Horse Club in May 1986. A good collection of FAR images can be seen here.



     Karrier Bantam

The Karrier Bantam was introduced in the mid 1930's as a lorry for loads of up to 2 tons. Its small wheels gave it a low loading height. Initially fitted with a 9hp engine, it was soon to get an 18hp unit from the contemporary Rootes Humber car range. In 1950 the cab design was changed and the Bantam was offered with a Perkins diesel engine. In articulated tractor form the Karrier was very popular with British Railways and other parcels carriers and continued in production until 1970 when it was fitted with the Leyland OE160 engine, similar to that powering the Scammell Townsman and Ferguson tractors. It is fitted with Karrier's own 3 ton coupling gear that was fully compatible with the Scammell version. The example shown being recovered after many years of storage on a Sussex farm is being restored by the Clubs Spares Register.  

       Reliant Ant

The last flowering of the Mechanical Horse (three wheeled) concept was by Reliant who, along with Dunn BTB, produced an articulated version of their TW9/Ant 3/4 ton pick up. Several examples of these vehicles have been owned by club members over the years and the club have welcomed them for their contribution to the preservation and restoration of these classic vehicles. Most Ants/TW9s are of the pick up truck variety but at least one artic unit survives, pictured below.

The TW9 was produced by Reliant from the late 1960s onward, initially for the Greek and Turkish markets, but it later became very popular with local councils who used them in their parks and street cleansing departments.

The engines fitted were Reliant's own 750cc and 850cc aluminium unit coupled to a Reliant 4 speed gearbox. The chassis is a pressed steel frame with tubular cross members. The truck has a payload of 16 Cwts, does 60mph and around 35 miles per gallon. In true Reliant tradition the cab is a fibreglass moulding. A variety of bodies were offered by various different coachbuilders and included dustcarts, tower wagons, tippers and street washers/gully cleaners and suckers as well as the pick up truck.

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