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Novelist desperately needs historical carriage info-how did a "skid" work?

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  • #41
    I have used a skid

    Tis simple and though I had to dismount to place under the rear offside wheel experienced coach and draymen would easily have developed the knack of throwing it under the wheel


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for that input Alison! I went ahead and changed the whole scene, so I'm not using the skid in it anymore--it got a lot more exciting, hey--but this is excellent info for the future.
      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack in everything
      That's how the light gets in.


      • #43
        GTD: had me enthralled. well done
        Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


        • #44
          We are using skids (or drag shoes) for some 35 years on our coaches when going over the Alps or on hills with a slope more than 10%.

          Of course, the historic drag shoe with an iron sole has not enough friction on asphalt roads, as it has been designed for the use on dirt roads.

          So we developed a drag shoe for modern roads: We welded on both sides two little iron bars at the sole, front end a bit wider than the back one.

          Then we made a wooden board, fitting-in between these two bars like a wedge. The thickness about 2", the length about 1 - 1,5 ft.
          It is wise to shape the front part like a ship's bow, so that the skid is not caught by sewage covers on the road.
          Soft wood like pine gives best friction, but is worn out too quickly. So we take hard wood like oak, beech, ash.
          As we use no disc brakes on our coaches and not rubber tires, we take for the Alpine tours some 5-7 "abrasion"-boards with us, particularily if we go over the Splugen pass, where we have some 5400 ft elevation difference to overcome on 100 switch backs, just during one afternoon.
          If the road is icy, we use an ice scraper, if the road is slipery by a new asphalt layer we take a buckett of sand and spread the sand in front of the dragshoe.

          If someone likes to see pictures, look into our website www.coaching-in-bavaria.com
          Or come over here and try it yourself.

          A. Nemitz


          • #45
            Here are some Pictures:

            wooden boards ( unused and used ):

            drag shoe with wooden board:


            down into the valley:


            The pictures are made on a tour from Munich to Verona over the Brenner Pass.


            • #46

              I just found my driving manual from 1935 cleaning up. I had completely forgotten I had it. (but it does not cover breaks, )
              I also have a more general horsemanship book from that era with photos. There is one of a skid in there, and - instead of chains, they stuck a pole through both rear wheels to accomplish the same thing.


              • #47
                Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                they stuck a pole through both rear wheels to accomplish the same thing.
                Here in the Alps the teamsters and loggers used this pole through both hind wheels as well. The problem, at least on asphalt roads, is, that the hind part of a coach becomes instabile and comes cross, not a good feeling. So, one of the hind wheels should go on turning to keep the carriage straight.
                A. Nemitz


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by A.Nemitz View Post
                  Here in the Alps the teamsters and loggers used this pole through both hind wheels as well. The problem, at least on asphalt roads, is, that the hind part of a coach becomes instabile and comes cross, not a good feeling. So, one of the hind wheels should go on turning to keep the carriage straight.
                  A. Nemitz
                  Thank you, that was one of the questions in my mind. It seemed to me that just immobilizing one wheel would cause it to become unstable. Like an ice skater would twirl if they stop one skate and the other kept moving. But I guess four wheels work differently.

                  Interesting to find out my instinct was wrong!
                  Ring the bells that still can ring
                  Forget your perfect offering
                  There is a crack in everything
                  That's how the light gets in.