OPINIONS and QUERIES The &Jam invites correspondence OPT all subjects
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
connected with the use of commercial motors. Letters should be written an only one side of the paper. The right of abbreviation is reserved and no responsibility for views expressed is accepted. Queries MUSi be accompanied by a stamped, addressed envelope.
OLD COMMERCIAL-VEHICLE ENGINES NEVER DIE.
Do commercial-vehicle engines wear out more rapidly in road service than when they are converted for stationary .purposes?
We are prompted to ask this question because in the course of a year we receive for repair many cracked and otherwise damaged cylinder blocks belonging to engines unknown to modern owners_ Often such components are sent to us by travelling showmen.
During a recent visit to a fair ground one of our engineering staff noticed that 27 out of 30 power units in use for driving dynamos were converted engines, some more than 20 years old. They had all done duty at one time in road vehicles.
All the engines were operating practically without attention and occasional replenishment of the water in the radiators seemed to be all that was required.
The explanation for this 'amazing longevity may be that these motors run for long Periods with the circulating water practically at boiling point, but they were all carrying a maximum load, so that light duty cannot be ascribed as a reason.
Possibly other readers of The Commercial Motor may have their own theories to explain this interesting state of affairs. C. W. BRETT, Managing Director London, W.C.1. for Barimar, Ltd.
USING TRAILERS WITH PRIVATE CARS.
TT has been suggested to us that, as a substitute for 'service vans or light commercial vehicles used for other similar purposes, private cars with a small trailer could be used, resulting in the avoidance of certain legal difficulties which would apply to vans.
We feel that this can hardly be the case; but we wonder whether you would be good enough to give us the benefit of your, knowledge as to the legal rating which would apply to a private car towing a small trailer, the trailer be:ng used for commercial purposes, that is to say, in relation to tax, restrictions as to use, method of use, or any other factors which may come into question.
London, S.W.1. • G.K.D.
[There is no restriction on the use of small trailers behind private cars except that they must not be employed for carrying goods for hire or reward. The car must not travel at more than 20 m.p.h. Any trailer exceeding 2 cwt. unladen must have an efficient braking system which can be applied while it is being drawn. If, however, the vehicle does not exceed 2 tons in total weight, the brakes may be brought into action automatically on the over-run, but they must be capable of being set so as to prevent at least two of the wheels revolving when the trailer, whether attached to the drawing vehicle or not, is not being drawn. The trailer must also have wings unless adequately protected by the body. We may add that various efforts are being made to restrict the use of trailers for goods behind private cars, various associations having lodged protests, but, so far, without success.—ED.J
METHOD OF COMPUTING HIRE-PURCHASE INTEREST.
IT seems to me that the letters published in your issue of July 7, replying to S.T.R.'s article, "Do You Know What Hire-purchase Really Involves?" must have left considerable confusion in the minds of many operators who are not used to dealing with figures. The writers of the three letters deal with the subject in a very exhaustive way, but all have failed to point Out in a simple manner the fallacy on which S.T.R.'s computation of average interest at a fraction over 29 per cent. per annum is based.
It is obvious that totalling the rates of interest paid each month and dividing by the number of months cannot possibly give a correct average rate of interest, as each rate of interest is paid on a different sum of money. To arrive at a true average rate of interest it is necessary only to multiply each rate of interest by the sum on which that rate is paid, total the products and divide this total by the total of the 18 different amounts on which interest is paid.
Here are the correct calculations for S.T.R.'s table:— This gives us exactly the same result as arrived at by Mr. N. H Radford, but also serves the purpose of pointing out the 'erroneous method employed by S.T.R. to arrive at a figure of a fraction over 29 per cent.
London, W.5. A. BATLEY, Director.
(Automotive Services, Ltd.) THE CAB TRADE HAS A STAUNCH CHAMPION.
I WAS very sorry to see your warning to careless taxi
cab drivers in your issue of June 23, and I must say that from this and from previous references in the editorial of your journal I have gained the impression that your attitude is hostile to the cab trade.
I feel that this is a very great pity as the cab trade is just as much a part of the commercial-vehicle-operating industry as public service and heavy goods vehicles and that such criticism is against the principle of the united front which your journal otherwise upholds.
I was especially surprised to read your remark that careless driving of taxicab drivers deserves attention by the police, as it is the first time that I have ever seen your journal castigate any class of driver in such terms.
After all, the cab driver is just as much entitled to earn his living and bring in revenue for his employer as any other driver of a commercial vehicle and there must be occasions when from the nature of his work he must pull up suddenly for an intending passenger and stop in difficult places both to pick up and set down.
The licensed cab trade, particularly in London, is at present passing through a very difficult time, as it is suffering from the effects of being itself rigidly controlled as to type and maintenanceof vehicles, whilst the cream of its traffic is taken by the legion of so-called "private-hire cars" which have apparently found a loop-hole in the ancient hackney vehicle law. The cab trade also is particularly susceptible to variations in times of abnormal trading conditions and international tension, as at present, and I hope that upon further consideration you will realize that the trade and its drivers deserve more sympathy than criticism. As a car driver myself, I can think of certain classes of driver whom I have, to watch more carefully than others, but I refrain from mentioning them, as I think it would be bad publicity for the road motor industry.
London, N.W.5. RAYMOND BIRCH, Joint Managing Director, Birch Bros., Ltd.
[Mr. Birch is mistaken in his impression that this journal is in any way hostile to the cab trade as a whole. The heading should have been sufficient to indicate our view, as the warning was to careless taxicab drivers, and we said that our impeachment was directed only to certain members of the trade. We would have been just as severe in our remarks if the drivers concerned had been in any other section of road transport, for we believe that it is the black sheep who throw an undeserved stigma on those other drivers whose behaviour is everything that can be desired. We have every sympathy for the man who has to earn his living—and sometimes a difficult one—on the road, but it is a mistake for him to consider that because he is doing so he has any peculiar right to depart from normal road courtesies and safety measures. When it comes to the point that the general public is beginning to take note of many bad examples of driving, and when bus drivers chase offenders to make remonstrances, then it is time that the trade should be warned by a trade paper.—ED.]