Pavesi Wire Cutter Truck

Armored tank of the Kingdom of Italy (1915-17) - 1 prototype


Among the many ideas for cutting barbed wire in the First World War, there is a vehicle that stands out for its unusual appearance. Unlike some simply designed by an engineer bored at a meeting in Whitehall, Berlin, Paris or Rome, this vehicle was actually built and tested.

1925 promotional image of the Pavesi Autocarro Tagliafil. The date of 1915 is incorrect, however. Photo: Ceva and Curami

Eng. Pavessi & Tolotti
The designer of this unusual machine was Ugo Pavesi (17/7/1886 - 13/7/1935), a respected engineer from Novara, a city just west of Milan, in the Italian industrial north. After graduating in engineering in 1909, he worked for Giovanni Enrico's engineering company for a while. Later he collaborated with Giulio Tolotti (also an engineer) to form his own company called La Motoaratrice (Patents Ingg. Pavesi & Tolotti) between 1910 and 1912 with an office in Rome but with workshops in Milan. Ugo Pavesi was the main designer and the managing director and Giulio Tolotti was the technical director.
Future prospects for the company were to flourish with the outbreak of World War I and the sudden need for all types of vehicles by the army for a variety of purposes. The motorized sander was therefore in a perfect position to have a tractor design suitable for transporting material on severely broken ground at the right time. A first order from the army requested 150 truck tractors followed within the first year for another 350 machines. In total, during the war, the company received orders for 1000 of their tractors and 5000 trailers.

The wheels
The wheels were very unusual and were a Pavesi-Tolotti design known as the 'PT Spade Wheel'. Each wheel had 12 large flat plates that served as spades. They had been put on display for the first time in 1911 at the Turin World Fair and had been the stimulus to create the company to capitalize on the interest in this design. In 1912, when production had started in their factory, the intention was to market the wheels primarily for agricultural purposes in South America. The individual dishes could actually be
“It operated from an eccentric on the axis through an intermediary of strong bonds, so that the spades entered the ground almost vertically, remained vertical for a few times and then were pulled practically in the same direction. In this way the spades gave a very powerful grip without any great loss of power due to the scraping of the soil. By turning the eccentric at a 90 degree angle, using special levers, the spades were kept within the outer diameter of the wheel, thus allowing the machine to be driven on difficult roads "
This fork wheel would have found use in other designs, but the wheels for Pavesi Autocarro Tagliafili, in fact, would not have ended up using these excellent wheels, but a later design called Pad Wheel. Much simpler than the complex fork wheel, the roller wheels were not based on the movement of an eccentric to turn a fork on the ground, but instead were held on the wheel by tension springs that ensured traction on the ground through the friction of the le plates in contact with the ground instead of spades penetrate it. Some of the tractors produced for the Italian army initially used double wheels to increase the area of ​​contact with the ground, but were replaced by 1916 simply by enlarging the pad wheels used on the Pavesi Autocarro Tagliafili. The double wheels had a diameter of 95 cm with 25 cm wide bearings.