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This Wacky Steam Locomotive-Car Hybrid Paved the Way for Tank Tracks

This vehicle was, as its name suggests, patented in 1901 to haul logs—up to 300 tons of them, per Crosby. Archival footage shows it was pretty successful at just that, hauling multiple huge bundles of freshly cut logs at once, all on trailers hooked together like a train. This was a huge improvement over the oxen- or horse-drawn sleds that were used prior to the Lombard Steam Log Hauler’s invention.

It also appears to have a real beast of a turning radius that makes my Lancer’s look sensible. As Crosby explained, the steering ratio is 42:1, so the steersman also had to turn the steering wheel a lot for it to actually change direction. To put that in perspective, the average car steering ratio is between 12:1 and 24:1, per Car Bibles

Fortunately, the Lombard Steam Log Hauler can also travel forwards and backwards. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any brakes, which meant that sometimes log trains could jack-knife on hills, Steam Culture notes.


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