Lister Auto Truck, diesel. Registration number CAT 704T (see...





Lister Auto Truck, diesel. Registration number CAT 704T (see text)
The Lister Auto-Truck was a small monowheel tractor built for moving light loads around factories, railway yards and similar sites. They were based on a design originally by Auto Mowers Ltd, and were built by R A Lister and Company of Dursley, Gloucestershire.
The Auto-Truck was designed for use in factories or other places with smooth surfaces of concrete or tarmac. This allowed the use of small solid-tyred wheels with only simple suspension, making the vehicle simple, cheap and lightweight. They had little ability on soft surfaces though and could even topple over if driven carelessly across slopes.
Their design was a compromise between the top-heavy nature of the tall engine grouping above its wheel and a well thought-out chassis for stability. The bearing between them was a large diameter ring roller bearing, mounted at the lowest part of the chassis. This gave rigidity and stability, even after long wear. A ring of rolled channel girder was attached to the engine group and rollers on the chassis carried the load upon this. On early Auto-Trucks this bearing is set very low, in line with the chassis members, and is covered by thin steel plates. The front panel of the engine cover is distinctive with large ventilation holes and a Lister signature cut through it. Strangely this panel is made of thick cast iron, providing substantial weight high on the engine and only adding to its top heaviness. To improve visibility of moving vehicles in noisy factories, this panel was often painted white, the rest of the vehicle being Lister's usual brunswick green.
The driver was seated on a Brooks bicycle saddle, which in recognition of the lack of vehicle suspension, was carried on the end of a cantilevered bar that acted as a leaf spring. A wide handlebar on the engine group was used for steering. A squeeze bar the width of this handlebar engaged the clutch. Controls included a hand throttle, a gear lever with two forward and one reverse gears, and a large handbrake lever. The engine unit rotated freely for a full 360° rotation. When used in reverse, the Auto-Truck could either be driven from the saddle, looking backwards over the driver's shoulder; or they could dismount, swivel the engine unit around and control it as a pedestrian-controlled truck from behind.
This example looks to have been restored at some point but has been stored in a garden under a tarpaulin for some time.
Part of a deceased estate there is no paperwork with it, although it was registered with DVLA in 1978 (presumably when it finished its working live), it has been untaxed since 1980

Auction Date: 26th Mar 2022 at 1:30pm

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Sale Dates:
26th Mar 2022 1:30pm (Lots 300 to 586)

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