Pneumatic Tire On Trucks In WWI

In addition to the article on the use of pneumatic tires on trucks in WWI, you will see some ads for tires that appeared in newspapers in 1918.

This article appeared in the Washington Times in 1918

Use of Pneumatic Tires Would Speed Up Army Trucks –

An armored motor truck, equipped with pneumatic cord tires, in a test to demonstrate the practicability of these tires for war purposes, passed back and forth In machine gun fire nineteen times before one of the tires was punctured by a bullet.

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The test was made by the General Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio. One of the remarkable features of the demonstration was that the tires were hit 100 times by bullets which glanced off, but did not puncture. The result fully satisfied observers that It was most difficult to puncture pneumatic in motion with machine gun bullets, and that trucks so equipped could be operated in the war zone with as little danger of tire trouble as trucks with solid tires.

1918 Lee Tires

Lee Tires Wash Herald – 1918

Advantage of Tire – The advantages of large size pneumatic cord tires for army trucks, and for trucks for ordinary commercial purposes, are:

First – Speed – Trucks equipped with pneumatic cord tires can be operated, on good roads, at 35 to 40 miles an hour, and can maintain an average of 20 miles on hour, while the maximum speed possible with solid tire equipment is 10 miles an hour.

Second – Conserving the roads – pounds of dead weight tn the wheels, axle, frame and .body can be eliminated by the use of pneumatic tires. On account of the vibration resulting from the use of solid tires all these parts have to be very heavy.

Third – Saving of gasoline and increase in operating efficiency – The elimination of unnecessary weight not only saves roads, but greatly reduces the gasoline consumption, and will reduce the amount of time for the trucks in repair shops by at least 50 per cent.

Fourth – Would Triple Speed – Trucks equipped with pneumatic cord tires could be operated. In the war zone, at three times the speed of trucks equipped with solid tires. Machine-gun companies and soldiers of all classes could be moved quickly In trucks with cord tires, and with a much greater degree of comfort. Army supplies could be moved at least 150 miles a day with trucks so equipped.

Tacoma Times -1918

Tacoma Times -1918

In case of puncture, the cord tires could be removed and replaced in exactly the same manner as tires on the everyday automobile. But to properly apply a solid tire, a large size hydraulic or oil press is required.

In a word, pneumatic cord tires are cheaper to use, they Increase the efficiency of the truck, and meet the crying need of the hour for speed. Their adoption by the Government for war purposes would materially aid In speeding up the entirely military program, especially with respect to moving supplies from point of fabrication in the United States to the sea coast, and from point of landing In France to the battlefields, hospitals, supply depots, and training camps.

Comments (2)

  1. Fred Flaherty

    I am attaching a link to a Youtube video that is showing a WW1 Liberty Truck B Body Series Two truck for sale. This Truck is going up for auction on e-bay June 25, 2014 for a 10 day auction. I am sure one of your members would be interested in this rare truck. Thank you Fred Flaherty.

  2. Fred Flaherty

    Thank you for placing this information on this rare truck, WW1 Liberty, Wow !!!!!


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