An Old Roller of Quetta Municipality

Posted on April 6, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Photo of the Day
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Owais Mughal

The photo below shows a road roller which has seen its better days in Quetta. It is now preserved as a monument by Quetta municipality. Noting a boiler I can safely say that it was steam powered. Also notice a huge fly-wheel on the frame. Another ovbvious thing is how our ‘awam’ has put advertisement fliers on the roller’s drum wheels. Somebody has torn them but the thin layer of paper remains. What other details do you see here?

Photo Credits: Mohammad Ali Musa

9 Comments on “An Old Roller of Quetta Municipality”

  1. mian khan says:
    April 7th, 2009 12:11 am

    I like it’s “Rack-and-pinion Steering”.
    and of course dpn’t forget brakes.

  2. Umar Shah says:
    April 7th, 2009 12:36 am

    Poor visibility for the driver :)

  3. Aamer says:
    April 7th, 2009 7:53 am

    I like how you refer to the perpetrators as the ‘awam’

  4. Faizan says:
    April 7th, 2009 10:19 am

    Slow day, huh?

  5. Aamer says:
    April 7th, 2009 10:40 am

    I am glad that they have tried to cordon off the area.
    Now, only if they could chain it off.

  6. Owais Mughal says:
    April 7th, 2009 11:07 am

    Faizan. good comment :) Yes sometimes a slow day really feels like a break. On another note driving this roller will also make a day go very slowly by today’s standards.

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    April 7th, 2009 1:06 pm

    How would the front wheel of this thing turn? Without hydraulics I would suspect lot of power was needed. Do you think a steam roller this old had hydraulics (power steering)? Can steam power help in turning the wheel? opinion of readers is sought.

    During cricket playing days, I’ve rolled turf pitches using hand rollers and they were a pain to turn right or left. Many people were needed to turn that thing around so I wonder how is that force made available in this roller mechanically?

  8. Aliya says:
    April 8th, 2009 2:37 pm

    I would not have noticed this on a roadside. But here it becomes an interesting post. We so often miss teh small things which are really interesting.

  9. Derek Rayner says:
    November 3rd, 2009 6:16 pm

    This steam roller was made by Marshall’s of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England. I have seen one of the same make in an industrial museum in Calcutta. Somewhere on the rear of the roller, near where the driver would have got on, there may be a small rectangular plate with a five-digit number on it. If this number is available, I will be able to say how old it is. Can someone look for it, please?
    The machine is steered by turning the steering wheel on the footplate via a worm and wheel plus the chains which are visible. It is not hydraulically operated. It burned coal or wood in its fire to make the steam which was used in the compound engine on top of the boiler. A very interesting discovery. Thank you for posting it.
    Are there any more in the country, please?
    Derek Rayner – Vice Chairman and Steam Archivist of the UK-based Road Roller Association (More information from

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