The Smith-Milwaukee Motor Truck


R. Stanley Smith was the designer of a heavy-duty truck manufactured by the A.O. Smith Corporation during the years 1912 through 1915.

The Smith-Milwaukee motor truck was offered in three models: 2-ton, 3-1/2 ton, and 6 ton. It incorporated several unique features, some of which included a herringbone geared transmission, worm-gear “final drive,” and side frame mount springs to lower the center of gravity. The Smith-Milwaukee motor truck was also one of the first to incorporate cast steel wheels. It utilized a four-cylinder 40 horsepower engine, Stromberg carburetor, three electric lights, a tool box w/jack, and genuine leather seat and cushions. Selling price: $3,750 for the 3-1/2 ton model.

The taper bearings used in the transmission were designed by Reuben Stanley Smith as described in one of several patents granted to him for roller bearings. The transmission provided for three forward speeds and a reverse.

The worm-gear drive was also of unique design, providing a 9 to 1 reduction. It was designed to be easily serviced and demountable, which set it apart from the other two worm-gear drives of the time, manufactured by Benson and Pierce Arrow. During the years 1912 through 1915, both the worm-gear drive and chain drive were utilized by the truck manufacturers.

The pressed steel frame used in the Smith-Milwaukee motor truck was 21 feet in length. It was 36 inches wide in front and 42 inches wide at the rear. Standard loading space was 6 x 12 although 6 x 14 could be furnished. Chassis weight: 7,300 pounds.

By the end of 1914, Reuben Stanley Smith was the chief engineer of the A.O. Smith Corporation. At this time, the A. O. Smith Corporation was manufacturing the Smith-Milwaukee motor truck, the Smith Motorwheel, ball and roller bearings, axles, steel stampings, clutches, drop forgings, transmissions, and pressed-steel automobile and truck frames. By 1916 the Company claimed to be the world’s largest automobile parts manufacturer.