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_Motor Haulage in the Bush.
The Editor," THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.'
Sir :--An interesting letter has been received be Mr. D'Arcy Baker, Managing Director of Fiat Motors, Limited, in London, from two mechanics who some months ago went out to Africa in charge of the F.I.A.T. lorries sold to the Soudan Government. The letter, a copy of which is _appended, speaks for itself, but it may interest your readers to know that the "Jones '' referred -eo, is a mechanic who was, dnring.the.sumater of 19o5, .and part of 1906, employed as a driver of the " Vanguard " motorbus running between London and Brighton. As appears from the ccnununication referred to, Jones seems to take very kindly to his new en
ironmen L.—Yours faithfully, FIAT MoToRs, LT1). 37 and 38, Long Acre, London, W.C., April 8th, 1907. (Copy.)
Wan, Central Africa, March 1St, 1907. Dear Sir :—Just a line to let you know that things are -going well with us. We had a very pleasant journey before reaching here, and we were both very glad to get to work, as it had taken us about seven weeks to get here. After leaving Khartoum we had a sixteen-day journey up the White Nile to a place called Mehra-BI-Rek, then we had a walk .of over too miles to do before reaching this place. I Mal say that Jones did the journey on foot and felt vet* fit after it, as it reduced his flesh somewhat. I preferred the donkeys and mules.
When we arrived here, we were very disappointed;-as..we Found no roads for the lorries to run on, excepting the -tracks that had been made by the natives, donkeys, etc., and, as you know, we were distinctly told that there were 70 miles of macadam roads made, it came as a great sur-prise to us.
After resting a day or two after our journey, we had a further wait, while the natives went on the track to'elear a way for us, cutting trees down, and filling in holes, Which had been caused by elephants an rhinos during the wet season. After clearing the undergrowth away for about 3o miles of forest, the lorries were loaded with stores and -supplies, each weighing about 3.i tons net, and then we started for a station about 72 miles away, the whole of the natives turning out to see us start : J may say that the lorries caused great excitement among the natives, some running off the road and hiding in the tall grass and behind trees; of course, they had never seen anything of the sort before, and I expect they will never forget it. We had a splendid run, the lorries causing no trouble whatever, and barring the stoppages at villages for the officer in charge to talk to the chiefs of the different tribes, we had a " nonstop " run over roads where no heavy traffic had ever been. The return iourney proved equally successful, and upon arriving here, the Director of Roads was vet',' delighted with the manner in which the car S behaved, and told us that it would lead to more business, as it was a car that was suitable for the country, so you can expect a further order certain. Another run which was equally as good was the journey to a place called " Tong," some 68 miles away. We received orders to take Major Hamilton, his kit and stores, weighing about 2j toils to 3 tons, there, and we accomplished this run without stopping the engine once, In the short time of hours (which was correctly timed by telegraph), so you will see we are doing our best to keep up the good name of FIAT.
I am glad to say that the climate seems to suit both of us, although it is extremely hot, being 120 in the shade some days. The flies and mosquitoes are also a great trouble, but for all that we are doing well. We both trust that business is increasing, and that all at 37 and 38 (also Willesden) are well.
Trusting to hear from you, and apologising for taking so much of your valuable time.—'We remain, with best wishes, yours sincerely, (Signed) JONES and CARPENTER. D'Arcy Baker, Esq., F.I.A.T. Company, London.
The Stability ol the Motorbus.
The Editor, 66 THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—The recent tram accident at Croydon has broug-ht to my mind the illustration on page 364 of your issue of the 27th December last, where you show a motor omnibus on its off side more than 43deg without overturning. The vehicle in your illustration is, I notice, empty, and this is not quite a fair test. It would be far more interesting and instructive if the manufacturers or owners of the bus would try an experiment by the same method as you show, but with (I) the outside seats fully loaded, only ; (2) the inside :,eats loaded, only; (3) both outside and inside seats fully loaded.
The results would, I think, be very different from those in your illustration. A bus is not likely to overturn when empty, but, in the summer months, when everybody rides outside, the tendency is for the vehicle to be top-heavy, and, for this reason, the experiments I have suggested would be very useful.—Yours faithfully, EDWIN JOHN BURT. 19, Grosvenor Road, S.W.,
April 8th, 1907.
The-Commercial Vehicle Run.
The Editor, "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—It was suggested at the lunch, and I have since been requested by several of the firms whose vehicles joined in the run to Ripley on the loth ultimo, to organise another run on similar lines, but on a much larger scale, on some date a few months hence (to be subsequently decided upon).
I am very desirous of seeing the next one more representative of all the leading makes than was the last, and therefore, propose the formation of a committee of management, composed of -several of the makers themselves. Properly organised, there is no reason why these runs should not become as much an annual event as, say, the Cart Horse Parade of the 1st of May.
I shall he happy to receive the names of those gentlemen desirous of joining the committee, and to assist as far as I possibly can to make the next and subsequent runs as successful as was the last.—Yours faithfully,
LEO. HARRIS. Paul Street Works, Wolverhampton.
April 8th, 1907.