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Lister Auto-Truck and its descriptions

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The Lister Auto-Truck is a small single wheel tractor used for moving light loads around factories, rail yards and similar establishments.They were based on designs originally designed by Auto Mowers Ltd and built by R A Lister and Company of Dursley, Gloucestershire, well known for their range of small stationary engines (although the Auto Truck used a J.A.P.petrol engine).The narrow-gauge railroad version of the Auto-Truck (the Rail-Truck) was built to similar stylistic lines as the Hood Engine, and its light weight made it popular on temporary and lightly laid tracks, for example for brickyards, Peat bogs and construction sites. Auto-Truck and Rail-Truck production continued from the 1920s to the 1970s.

DescriptionsLister Auto-Truck sachman

The Auto-Truck was one of several single-wheel tractors that appeared in the 1920s and 30s, featuring the small, reliable gasoline engine that was developed for motorcycles and the stationary engine for which the Lister was already known.These are three-wheeled vehicles with a single front wheel for drive and steering.Their simple construction carries most of the machinery as a whole on this wheel, and the chassis with the rear wheels is nothing more than a trailer for balancing.Simplicity is a key feature.The engine is single cylinder and air cooled.Ignition is via a magneto, eliminating the need for batteries and electrical systems.The engine was a JAP 600 cc four-stroke air-cooled side-valve engine, typical of small engines of the time.Auto Mower Co. was Lister's agent, and when Lister heard about the "auto truck," they bought one for use in their factory.It is used to transport heavy engine castings from the foundry to the machine shop.Lister's customers saw them and were so interested in buying them that Lister negotiated with Auto Mower to manufacture them under license.Although Lister was already known for its small gasoline stationary engines, these were heavy cast iron engines with water bath cooling and were not suitable for vehicles.Lister still uses Auto-Truck's JAP engine.

Auto-Trucks are designed for use in factories or other locations with smooth concrete or tarmac.This allowed the use of small solid tire wheels with only simple suspension, making the vehicle simple,cheap and light.They have little ability on soft surfaces, though, and they can even tip over if you accidentally drive over an incline.Their design was a compromise between the top-heavy nature of the tall engine block atop its wheels and a well-thought-out stable chassis.The bearing between them is a large diameter toroidal roller bearing mounted at the lowest point of the chassis.This imparts rigidity and stability, even after prolonged wear.A ring of rolled channel steel is attached to the engine block, and rollers on the chassis carry the load on it.On early car trucks, this bearing was set very low, aligned with the chassis members, and covered by a sheet of steel.The front panel of the bonnet is distinguished by large air vents and a Lister logo.Oddly enough, this panel is made of thick cast iron, providing a fair amount of weight on the engine that only adds to its top weight.To improve the visibility of moving vehicles in noisy factories, this panel is often painted white, with the rest of the vehicle in Lister's customary Brunswick green.

The driver sits on a Brooks bicycle saddle, which, due to the lack of vehicle suspension, is mounted on the end of a cantilever rod that acts as a leaf spring. Wide handlebars on the engine block are used for steering.A squeeze lever this handlebar width engages the clutch.Controls include a hand throttle, a gear lever with two forward gears and a reverse, and a large handbrake lever.The engine unit is free to swivel 360°.When in reverse, the Auto-Truck can be driven from the seat, looking over the driver's shoulder; or they can get out of the vehicle, rev the engine unit, and control it from behind as a walk-control truck.Under the hood are two equal-bore fuel tanks, a petrol tank and a shorter one. Engine and chain drive lubrication is a total loss oil system controlled by a small pump and needle valve.

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