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Motor Wagons and Tractors for Builders, etc.

18th January 1906
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Page 8, 18th January 1906 — Motor Wagons and Tractors for Builders, etc.
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Users recount the Successful Working of Numerous Machines. Quick-speed Vehicles for the Transport of Workmen and Tools advocated.

There are, at the present lime, upwards of aoo nuaor wagons and tractors employed by various Builders, Contractors, and Brickmakers iii Inc Lnited Kingdom. This number will now be largely increased, as tile benefits of the Heavy Motorcar Order, 1904, which came into full operation on September ist last, become completely apppreciated. Constructors were unable, prior to January 1st, 1905, to give outward form to their convictions in respect of design, material, or workmanship, because they were hampered at every turn by the 1896 Act, which required any tractor or lorry to have an unladen weight of less than three toils-. it was impossible for them to comply with that condition and, at the same time, to pay due regard to the reasonable da, mends of users. The natural consequences arose. Enterprising contractors came forward, live years and more ago, to buy mechanical haulage plant to deal with 3-ton to 8-ton loads, and not a few of the earliest customers had to buy their experience dearly. Not the least of the difficulties imposed by legislation was the narrow tyre, to save weight, which so often caused the wagons to " sink in." Nothing less than

THE ENORMOUS INHERENT ADVANTAtiES which are peculiar to self-propelled vehicles could have resulted in their survival of the failures which occurred in the years 1899 to 1902. These modern examples of the road engine were decried, with that true business instinct which detects a rival, by all old-established builders of traction engines. They recognised that the 3-ton tare rendered success unattainable : for this reason, on the one hand, they held aloof themselves, whilst, on the other, they took graxl care to spread abroad their own views to the detriment of the purely steam-wagon manufacturer.

There have been, for some eight years, two schools of design. The traction-engine maker has been gradually lightcling his ten tons of (principally) cast iron : the motorwagon maker has been working frotn the bottom upwards, and has added some two tons to the weight of his machine. Cast steel, steel forgings, and better finish have become general : elimination and derivation have, by degrees, brought into being three outstanding types of stearrapropaled road motors, whilst all of these possess the advantages of mobility, relatively high speeds, and economy with average loads. These are the qualities, as much as marked freedom from legal restrictions, in which the lighter types of modern road locomotives differ, essentially, from the cumbersome but useful traction engine and its three trucks—or more by consent. 'I he three classes which we quote are—(a) The traction engine type of tractor, which hauls bul does not carry, e.g., Aveling and Porter, Foster and Company, Burrell, Ruston and Proctor, Clayton and Shuttieworth, Wallis and Steevens, etc.; (b) the same type fitted with a carrying platform, e.g. Foden, Mann, and Vos ter ; and (c) the steam wagon, or e.g., with horizontal or vertical boiler, and engine carried from the wagon frame instead of its being mounted on the boiler, e.g., Nilt.thin, Beyer-Peacock, Bretherton and Bryan, Coulthard, Jesse Ellis, Halley, Hindley, Hercules, Leyland, Mann, Robertson, St. Pancras, Seaham harbour, Straker, Thames, Thornycroft, and Yorkshire. It is of these three classes that there are more than 300 engines in use to-day, and we shall soon witness their adoption in numbers which will eclipse their heavier prototypes altogether. There is little choice, as between the three classes, in either first or working costs. Laso to 6o is the ordinary range in the amount that has to be put down on purchase, unless a buyer wishes to go in for extended payments, whilst the annual expenditure on any good tractor or wagon should not exceed 4,-35o, INCLUSIVE OF MAINTENANCE AND DEPRECIATION.

Where the weekly journeys aggregate a total of above zoo miles, or where a motor wagon is invariably used with a trailer during the winter months, when the roads are heavy, this annual charge will frequently be exceeded, on account of extra fuel and repairs, but we have known it to be considerably lessened in many cases where circumstances have been favourable.

The costs per ton, or petton-mile, will vary according to the performance : they will obviously be lowest where loads are steady and in both directions. Again, where hills abound, the motor is able to assert its economy over horse haulage in a most striking manner. The prospective user can best draw up a table of running costs from the knowledge of his own W or ki ng conditions, and it must be remembered that delays may upset all preconceived figures. The time of a tractor or motor wagon, during its normal workingday, is worth anything between 3s. and as. an hour, inclusive of the driver and all charges, and the machines can only be expected to pay if they are given the opportunity. We may, however, as an example of what is usuaiiy capable of accomplishment, say that 3.5d. paton-mile is a fair average result. This would be realised if five 5-ton loads were available for conveyance by a tractor or wagon, and if these were tiansported three mites each, presuming no back loads to be provided. There are cases, as where loading can be arranged in both directions, or where a motor wagon can regularly haul two or three cons on the single trailer allowed (this limitation to one trailing wagon being necessary to comply with the Nlotorcar Acts), in which the cost per tonmile can be reduced to 2d. or less. Let any intending purchaser make his calculations on the basis that it costs, as a safe maximum, gd. per vehicle-mile, with a 5-ton load, and he will have no occasion to upbraid.

Manufacturers have acquired valuable road experience, of the most practical character, during the past few years, and the. results are embodied in the machines they now offer. Steam has superior advantages, having regard to all factors, and its claims must be recognised as paramount for really heavy loads. The time is not far distant when internal-combustion engines, i.e., those working similarly to gas engines, but deriving their explosive constituent from petroleum spirit which is vapourised as required, will share the heaviest traffic with the older system of transforming energy, but those who ask the question " Is it safe to buy a steam tractor or wagon to-day? "can rest assured that the answer is a positive" Yes." The machines have thoroughly proved the soundness of the assurances which have been given by their makers; they are %YORK MAN LIKE INSTRUMENTS OF ACCEPTED COMMERCIAL WORTH; and there is no risk of the owners' being placed in an inferior position to a more serious extent than, say, to per cent, of the vehicles' earning capacity by the most revolutionary of inventions. Wider applications may be disclosed, end machines such as Mr. Diplock's " Ped-rail "—an example of which is illustrated on page 375 -may walk on regardlessly and with success over new sites drawing 10-ton loads behind them, but none of these possibilities will detract appreciably from the value of existing types for the purposes which are immediately in view.

We pass from steam to the internal-combustion engine, or, to give this its more popular name, the petrol motor. The great forward strides that have been made since Leyassor drove from Paris to Bordeaux and back, in 1895, at an average speed of 15.25 miles an hour, have been more apparent in relation to pleasure and touring cars than to utility vehicles. The motor omnibus movement has, more recently, been the means of informing the public that petrol engines are demonstrating their merits in other fields of road transport, and there are ethhusiasts who aver that steam is doomed. \Ye have consistently given a flat denial to this opinion, and this we now repeat : the two will exist side by side, but steam will preponderate, at least for the next six or seven years, for heavy freight purposes. Experience with motor omnibuses, in which branch of the industry demand k spontaneous, promises to furnish the stepping stone to lower prices and sound construction for still heavier duties. At a time, as now, when a 5-ton steam wagon can be purchased for ,655o, how ninny people will pay ;67oo for a petrol vehicle to do the same work? For that reason, if for no other, we limit our present recommendation in favour of the internal-combustion engine to users who have the opportunity or occasion to deal with (a) loads which can advantageously be taken at speeds considerably higher than five miles an hour ; and (b) country or suburban contracts where workmen and their tools may be economically transported by road. This type of vehicle must he fitted with india-rubber or other resilient tyres, if the speeds Approaching the maximum legal rate of travelling, 1.2 miles an hour, are to be maintained without disproportionate wear and tear. In this connection, the Gare composite wheel, as fitted to the Foster wagon illustrated on page 176, promises to meet a long-felt want. Elevenpence per vehicle-mile is the safe maximum for a 3-ton petrol Wagon, with rubber tyres, inclusive of maintenance and depreciation, as compared with gd. for the 5-ton steamer, but there is, unquestionably, scope to enable such vehicles to make a much better performance in ton-miles of useful work per day than could be achieved by

the relatively slow-moving steam tractor or wagon. Three tuns, carried at ten miles an hour, at a m.aximuni cost of I id. per mile run, will suit some operations better than five tons, carried at live miles an hour, at a maximum cost of only gd. per mile run.

We have come across several instances where contractors have, with great benefit to themselves, employed motor vehicles to convey gangs of men front point to point. These applications are, however, of such comparative novelty that no excuse is necessary for a brief examination of the openings which they present. One case was in connection with tramway construction work in a large provincial city, and here several 5-ton steam wagons, having ordinary iron tyres, were successfully employed, over and above their customary haulage runs, to secure the quick finishing of certain jobs. The trips, with workmen aboard seldom exceeded two miles from point to point, and the vibration was, in consequence, a negligible consideration. Another case, extending over eight months, was the use of two steam wagons by the G.P.O. contractors who undertook the laying of the new telegraph lines to gcotland. Supplies and men were moved about with great celerity, whilst the independence of local hauliers was a new experience. Yet another group of users who exemplify this application are the various asphalting companies in London, at least four of which employ motor wagons largely. These departures have opened the eyes of not a few contractors who accept similar jobs which involve progressive work along lines of route, most of all where the roads are remote from railway stations 07 sidings : all who are so situated have long been desirous of finding an alternative to the traction engine. Pipe-line construction and repair, in connection with water supplies, is one direction where men and material are being constantly moved about, and it is for similar purposes that the 3-ton petrol lorry will render itself indispensable. The types which are best adapted for the loads and speeds under review are those now marketed by the British Automobile Development Company, De DionBouton, Dennis, S. F. Edge, James and Browne, the Lancashire Steam Motor Company, Maudslay, Milnes-Daimler, Moss and Woodd, Motorcar Emporium, Arrol -Johnston , Putney Motor Company, C. S. Rolls, Ryknield, Scott-Stirling, Simms, Straker-Squire, Thornyeroft, and Wolseley. The Chehnsford steam car is also eminently suitable for loads of two to three tons, as it has given a good account of itself in many places.

Following up the matter of quick transference from one job to another, we feel that the attention of contractors in general can usefully be directed to the t-ton or 3oewt. petrol van, because such a machine is capable of averaging nearly 20 miles an hour at a cost of less than 5d. per mile run. Skilled artisans and other tradesmen draw RATES OF PAY WHICH EMPLOYERS FIND IT NONE TOO EASY TO COVER

in their estimates, whilst nobody will attempt to gainsay the loss of time which attends cross-country travelling. There seems, too, to be an ever-present tendency to dilatoriness on the part of workmen, who have to travel even to miles, before they settle down on arrival. Tools and gear are laboriously trucked from the station at a snail's pace : nothing is done until they arrive. Compare this with the directness and concentration of a "motor gang," and recollect that the inclusive cost of operating and maintaining the motor will not average more than L:5 a week for 250 to 300 miles travelled. Under this heading buyers should enquire after the Lacre, Simms, General Motorcar, James and Browne, Glover Brothers, Motorcar Emporium, Arrol-Johnston, and Wolseley machines, or of practically any maker in the list quoted 30 lines earlier.

It is not only for the haulage of materials that motors should appeal to contractors and builders. They can, readily enough, subject to a little organisation, find profit and new business by casting about them to arrange for " live " loads as well either alternatively or exclusively.

MESSRS. G. BROTHERWOOD and SONS, traction engine, steam roller, and thrashing machine proprietors, of Medway Wharf and High Street, Tonbridge, write on the 12th instant, of their Foden wagon : "We have much pleasure in testifying to its great success and to the satisfactory working as a contractor's engine, and we consider it would be hard to find a better engine for our requirements. We have had the motor lorry for a period of nearly two years, and during that time we have always found it to be quick, economical and sure to work with. In proof of this statement, we herewith send you a few particulars of the cost and working expenses, besides its travelling propensities.

"We consider that the average distance travelled per day is about 60 miles with 4-ton loads, and the total distance travelled per week to be about 350 miles. The cost of coal, oil, etc., is very small, and we are certain that Ss. would easily cover these items per day, so that the average cost of travelling per mile of the lorry is 1 4-15d. (a very small amount indeed in our opinion). Of course, this is without the cost of men ; with wages, the cost of travelling per mile is 4 1-15d. We have, as near as we possibly can, worked out the annual total cost of the motor lorry. Here are the particulars. .c..20 will easily cover the cost of coal, oil, and sundries; the cost of wages per year is exactly £1S5; and the cost of repairs is about 10s. The total cost of running the motor lorry for one year is therefore only S'..211 is,, and this price includes the wages of the driver, of his two mates also, the cost of coal, oil, repairs, and all sundries, so that we think it would be very difficult to find a more economical servant than the Foden motor lorry, especially when we can truthfully state that the engine has travelled quite 25,000 miles during the time we have used it."

Mr. J. T.aycock, manager of VIE ArIERCLIFFE BRICK COMPANY, LIMITED, of Darnal Road, Sheffield,

writes on the 12th instant I am sorry not to have replied to yours of the 10th instant, but I have been away. I thank you for your paper, which you were kind enough to send me, but I have taken every number from the first, and have also got others to take them in Sheffield and Brad ford. I am sorry we cannot give you any very exact figures, as we have not kept them separate, and I have not had time to get them out. We have riot got the Mann wagon now, as we had a good chance to sell it ; the brick trade has been slack, and we had not work for it. . .' We are thinking of going in for a steam tractor and three wagons, as we think these will be far more economical than steam carts or lorries for our work. We should be able to have a wagon loading at the yard while we were on the road with the other, and therefore save the time of loading. With our steam cart we had to waste the time while the cart was loading. "I might say we have got 40 miles out of our steam cart a day. It did some very good work, but a steam cart like the one we had is pitched too high; it was bad to load, was very top heavy, and caused a lot of trouble if running over uneven road. This does not happen to a fairly low lorry, and Messrs. Mann's up-to-date lorries have not the old faults.

" I am sorry I cannot let you have a fresh photograph. I might say that the

photograph I sent you at Christmas I took myself. The cart did about the work of six horses, but it depended how tar it had to go. I am very interested in this line, and watch all developments of these machines, which have a great future before them. I should like to give some maxims for motor drivers if you would care to have them at some future date, also some practical hints to steam wagon drivers if you would care to have them also. [We shall be most happy.— -ED.]

"I again express my regret at not being able to help you more than this."

Mr. THOMAS RILEY, North Lancashire Steam Saw Mills, Fleetwood, writes on the 11th instant :—"Wc have had our 5-ton Robertson wagon running on a large contract job, situated 31. miles from the nearest railway station, and running for a period of 19 months on one job alone, carting the usual assortment of builders' materials, viz., bricks, lime, cement, ironwork, general joinery, etc., etc. The regular work done was four journeys per day for five days per week, and on alternate Saturdays two journeys per day, the intervening Saturday being used for washing out the boiler, etc. "The usual load was 5 to 5i tons, and on several occasions loads over 6 tons have been taken. The road included a gradient of 1 in 10, and on the site of the buildings being erected the wagon had often to contend with very bad roads. '1'he average consumption of ordinary coke (gas coke was 5cwt. per day, or I icwt. per round journey of 7 miles, 31 with load and 31empty. The expenses of upkeep during these 19 months did not reach £20. Owing to the time taken in loading and unloading, the mileage does not total very large, but we are quite satisfied the wagon did the work of six or seven horses. The lowest rate per ton of the same material carted by horses is 2s. 3d. per ton for large. quantities."

MESSRS. A. and L. DOUGLAS, cement, coal, and lime merchants, and motor haulage contractors, of Stranraer, N.13., write on the 11th instant :—"Wepurchased a 4-ton IIalley steam lorry in September of last year, and it has given us every satisfaction. Unfortunately we have been unable to get a good driver for it, so have not done a great deal of haul. ing. The writer is a practical engineer, and has done :inch journeys as have been. absolutely necessary. I could not spare the time to drive the lorry constantly, so have only done about 300 miles altogether.

Some of these journeys have been to points nearly 20 miles away, and I have had no trouble worth mentioning. I always had plenty of steam and water, and could always depend on the wagon. The material and workmanship appear to be excellent, and I have had no breakdowns, except a gauge glass, and once a slight obstruction in the feed-pipe from tank to pump, and these are trivial and no fault of the lorry.

"This is a very hilly district, and some of the roads are rough, but we always had plenty of power. For instance, we have a large fair here in the month of October, and during same the town is visited by a great many shows, which come by rail packed in heavy wagons with very small wheels. Some of these wagons exceed 6 tons in weight when loaded with machinery, etc. My lorry weighs a little over 3 tons, but I had no difficulty in hauling these wagons from the show ground to the railway station, up a fairly steep gradient, without any load on the lorry platform to give grip to the driving wheels. I have instructed a local photographer to take a view of the lorry loaded with casks of petroleum, but it will hardly be ready in time for your issue. However, I will send one if you still desire it. I expect it to-morrow or Saturday.

"We have had no expense for repairs so far, but, of course, the lorry has not done a great deal of work. We have just engaged a driver, and have secured a contract which will keep the lorry constantly employed for two or three months, so I may be better able to testify to its merits on some future occasion."

MESSRS. J. A. KING and COMPANY', of Bridge House, 181, Queen Victoria Street, London, write on the 13th instant : —" We are sorry that we cannot send you a better photograph, and more information about our Foden lorry. It has done over 30,000 ton-miles since May last. The fuel consumption is very small indeed. We have done, n good weather, about 16 miles on lewt. of Nixon's steam navigation coal, and about 9 miles on lcwt. in bad weather. The lorry displaced about

six or seven horses, its daily run is from 30 to 60 miles, and it would be impossible for horses to do some of the journeys.

'We have tried other makes of lorries, but have found none to compare with a Foden. The roads around our works, where our lorry starts from, arc in exceptionally bad condition : this speaks well of the Foden make, for the repair bill is comparatively small."

MESSRS. W. T. WRIGHT and COMPANY, of the Albion, Plicenix, and Barrow End Brick Works. Sileby, write on the 12th instant :—" The writer was in town yesterday ; consequently he could not write to you sooner. We have been running a tractor—Messrs. Foster's build —for nearly 12 months, and so far it has answered our purpose well ; we have not kept a strict account of the mileage covered, but, approximately, should think about 8,000 up to date, working five days a week. The cost of repairs for the 12 months is about .4'.12.

"We did not go in for this engine with the idea of replacing horse haulage, but more for cross-country journeys, say from six to eight miles, where no rail communication is handy, and the distance too long to cart. For this purpose the engine has answered admirably. As to the total cost, had you given me a little more time, I could have gone into this question, but am too busy to-day."

MESSRS. TIIE PlICENIX BRICK COMPANY, of Bank Buildings, 98, St. Mary Street, Cardiff, write on the 13th instant :—" We have. pleasure in complying with your desire to have some sort of a statement from us regarding our experience of our Leyland motor wagon. We have not yet worked out the full particulars as to mileage and cost of running the wagon, but we may say, in a general way, that after having had six months' experience of the machine we are pleased to state that during that time it has given us satisfaction, and we are glad to add that we have had no mechanical trouble of any sort since the machine was delivered to us.

"We believe that it is economical in fuel, oil, etc., but, as already mentioned, we should not like to make any definite statement about this until we have completed the investigation of the actual working costs. There is only one fault we have to find with the wagon so far, and this is not peculiar to the Leyland wagon. It is the difficulty in getting into certain places where bricks are required, owing to the slipping of the driving wheels, So far, makers do not appear to have satisfactorily designed a wheel which will prevent slipping and at the same time conform with the regulations of the road authorities.

"rater on, when we have got out our figures, we shall be glad to give you some further information, if you care to have it."

[An illustration of this machine, which has a steam tipping gear, will be found on page 384 of this issue. When the owners furnish us with the promised additional information, we shall have pleasure in making room for it.—ED.] Mr. WILLIAM VAMPLEW, Coal and Coke Merchant and Hauling and Carting Contractor, of 131, Newland Street West, Lincoln, writes on the 12th instant :— " I am very pleased to have this opportunity of Saying a few words about my little tractor, by Messrs. Wm. Foster and Company. The engine is one of the firm's ordinary 4h.p. type, and has been under my own charge from June 7th last. Since that date I have thoroughly tested the engine under all kinds of work—darting coal, corn, stone, sand, bricks, and builders' material generally, also a great deal of furniture removing. In fact, every kind of work done previously by horses has been undertaken., and the amount of carrying we have get through has astonished me.

One journey we took, a distance of 40 miles, with two large furniture vans, occupied six hours with the empty wagons and eight hours with the full load. The consumption of coal was 8 cwt. for the 80 miles, and there were six stoppages to pick up water. Another journey of 30 miles, on a very hilly road, with 7 tons of linseed cake, besides two wagons, occupied seven hours, and we used 6 cwt. of coal. Our journeys vary from 30 to 50 miles a day, and I consider that six horses would he required to do the same work.

"I am also pleased to say that I get on so welt with the above that I have bought one of the same firin's steam lorries, photo of which I enclose. I have had this engine at work every day for three weeks, and am equally pleased with it. I shall be pleased to answer any questions."

MR, JOHN T. LAWTON, of Newbold Astbury, Congleton, Cheshire, writes :— " I am pleased to send you the following particulars regarding the working of my Fatten steam wagon. The wagon is working on a very heavy road }I believe there is no heavier in Cheshire), taking material from a quarry situated nearly on the top of a hill (Mow Cop}, to the Congleton Railway Station, about three miles distant, and there are. some very steep gm. clients to negotiate. This work was previously done be horses, and six would he

required to do the work at the present time, " Referring to the cost, I may say that the wagon has beep in full work for the last seven months, and the whole amount for iepairs, including packing, etc., is not more than £5, and during that period the consumption of coal has been slightly under 20 tons, so that, for economy, I think it is by far the best in the market. Since I commented, other wagons by wellknown makers have been tried in the same district, but have been discarded owing to their inability to climb the hilts, where. as I would undertake to take a load of 5 tons up any one of them." Mr. RWIIARD ALLEN, Contractor, of Halton View, Widnes, writes —" I have worked a Foden steam wagon for almost four years, and have always found it a very useful machine. It has displaced six horses, and it runs on an average 36 miles per day, carrying on its own. platform a total of 21 tons weight. The cost of my haulage by steam wagon is 60. per ton per mile, as against is. per ton per mile by horses,

"The repairs on my wagoo are rather heavy, averaging 30s. per week, which is due to a very heavy quarry road out of which the wagon has to travel. I am sorry I have not got a photograph." Mr. JOEL THOMPSON, of the Hoyland Brick Company, Hoyland, n3ar Barnsley, writes on the 12th instant :— I beg to hand you a statement giving the wages, maintenance, stores, and fuel and the amount earned, also the amount cheaper than horse-power, for our Mann cart. I also enclose photo of the motor— tee only one I have left. I don't keep any record of mileage.

" The bottom table, totalling £95, is the extra we should, have had to add to the top one had the motor cost as much as horses. We got the motor in order to compete with other yards, which were able to get their loads away cheaper by team work than we could."

[The details given are interesting, though it is evident that the cart might do a lot more work than at present if it were given the chance.—En.] Messrs. The YORKSHIRE SILICA FIREBRICK WORKS, of Oughtibridge, near Sheffield, write on the 12th instant : "With regard to our two steam carts that we purchased from the Mann's Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Co., Ltd., we are pleased to tell you that they are giving every satisfaction. Each cart travels eight miles per day with about 4; tons each journey ; they run six days per week, and we find the cost with such haulage is considerably less than by draught horses ; in fact, the cost for haulage is reduced about 40 per cent "The carts in question have been running about three years, and they have put on one side about eight horses ; the repairs that we do ourselves come out at about 5d. per ton ; coal, coke, oil and packings, Id. a ton ; and driving wages, 4d. to 5d. per ton. This equals lid, per ton, against Is. 11d. with horses. Trusting this information will be satisfactory to you."

Messrs. CUNNINGHAM and COMPANY, Engineering Contractors, Gravel Merchants, etc., of Fleet, Hants, write on the 12th instant :--" We have a Robertson wagon el the 5-ton hydraulic tipping pattern. We find it very useful, and recommend it to any users of motor wagons who require tipping wagons for moving gravel, as the ease of tipping is' not got in any

other wagon, We have worked this wagon for close on a year, and repairs have been very little. The machine has been used on a variety of jobs. It es.impoasible to give any definite record, but we consider 34 miles per day with 5 yards of flints a fair day's work., This requires a lot of doing, as our roads are very heavy, and sonic of the gradients 1 in 11. We are constantly using the tipping gear."

The secretary to the HAM HILL and DOULTING STONE COMPANY, LIMITED, quarry owners and stone merchants, whose chief offices are at Norton, Stoke-under-Ham, Somerset, writes :— " We purchased our Foden steam lorry second-hand for £398, it having been then used about six months. We commenced using it on September 1st, 1904, and up to August 31st, 1905, we had transported just about 1,000 tons of stonework, the daily journey being one of 17 miles, the lorry returning empty. Our expenses have been very great, owing to our works being situated off the main road, and only reached by by-roads, which are very improperly kept up.

" The figures given below will give you some idea of what we mean, but, taken on. the whole, we may say that the Foden wagon is fairly satisfactory. We see a good many reports in motor papers which appear to be overstated, such as My repairs for the year were £7,' etc., etc., and we think, therefore, you should publish our experiences showing the other side of the matter, The expenses for the year named were :—Wages, £13.-.1 7s. 6d. ; coal (69 tons), £67 13s. 11d.; repairs, £59 19s. 10d. ; and oil, £13 18s, 2d. ; this gives a total of £277 Is. 5d. The earnings for this period were about £550.

"We shall esteem it a favour if you will kindly send us a copy of your special issue which we see announced."

LConsidering that this machine was purchased second-hand and that it is employed where the roads are very bad, we think the present owners have no occasion to complain. On their own statement, it wilt earn its first cost back in less than 18 months. Further, it is perfectly true that many users have very low repair bills where the conditions of Work are more favourable.--EDI The Manager to BRADFORD and SONS. LIMITED, of Sherborne, writes "The motor steam lorry which we purchased from Messrs. Fodens, Limited, has not yet been quite six months in use, and therefore we cannot give such an exhaustjVa report as you probably require. We can, however, with pleasure say that it is giving us satisfaction,_ and has been in constant use since we had it, without being appreciably the worse for the work it has done. It is taking the place of six or seven horses for each load. This at, as in some cases, two journeys a day would mean 12 or 14 horses. The only print we have from a photo we enclose, but if you wire us to-morrow we will try to oblige you with another by to-morrow's post. As to mileage, it has travelled, say, an average about 500 miles per month.

"We should like to report more fully, after we have had it 12 months."

MESSRS. LANE BROTHERS, contractors and brick manufacturers, of Hermitage Brick Works, Mansfield, wrote on the 12th instant :—" We have been using a Foden steam wagon, in our business as contractors and brickmakers, for nearly two years, chiefly for hauling bricks and contractors materials, and have found it extremely useful. The wagon was delivered to us on February 1st, 1901, and from that time to December 31st, 1904, she ran 1,028 journeys, the total mileage being nearly 7,000, with loads averaging 41tons.

"The cost during this period was :— Coke, £19 2s. 4d.; oil, £12 4s. id.; repairs and renewals, £16 17s. 2d.; wages, insurance, and other expenses, £119 19s. lid. This makes a total for the 11 months of .E168 35. 6d. Of course, interest and depreciation must be added to this to arrive at an exact cost per mile. Unfortunately, owing to pressure of other business, the totals for the last 12 months are not yet available, but with very few exceptions the running has been pretty much the same. The only variation will be that the cost of repairs will be higher, as we had a run of accidents in the early months of the year.

"We have never attempted to estimate the number of horses replaced by our wagon, as we do a lot of work with her that no one would dream of employing horses for, as, for instance, delivering bricks to a distance of five and six miles, and often more."

Messrs. EDMUND NUTTALL and COMPANY, contractors, of Trafford Park, Manchester, write on the 11th instant :—" We regret we are unable to give you all the information you require. The eight motor wagons we bought front the Lancashire Steam Motor Company, of Leyland, were sent out to South Africa, and we have no experience whatever of

these wagons in England, and it will, of course, take some tine for us to obtain all the particulars you require from our South African office. We can, however, say that each motor wagon has covered from 36 to 10 miles per day, and has done the work of 16 mules. We have always adopted the policy of keeping one of the eight under repair, i.e., seven have been working all the time, each in its turn having a day's rest in order that any little repairs might be effected and the wagons kept in first-class order, and this has gone a long way towards ensuring the efficiency of the machines.

"The L.S.M. Co. had photographs taken of these wagons before they were sent out to South Africa, and we have no doubt they would supply you with copies.

A photograph was taken in South Africa showing the whole eight in our yard at Cape Town, and we sent you this in the hope that it may be of some use to you." [Mr. \V. F. Callender, who had charge of the machines in South Africa, and who may be seen standing in front of the vehicles in the photograph which we reproduce, now looks after the London office of the makers at Cecil Chambers East, 86, Strand, W.C.1 MESSRS. LAST and -BUTCHER, lime, cement, hair plaster and brick merchants, lime grinders, whiting manufacturers, ctc., of the Lime Works, IIeybridge, Essex, write on the 13th inatant :—" We have been using Mann's patent steam lorry for three years, and in doing so we have ceased to use the railway almost entirely, and by so doing we have been able to oblige our customers better and make better prices by delivering goods direct on to work where required for use the day they are ordered for.

"1 herewith enclose view of lorry. Our greatest trouble has been the loose state of the rural district roads: when we get our roads improved it will make it considerably better. As far as 1 can reckon, in 11 months of 1903 it travelled about 6,000 miles and delivered about 960 tons of goods where required for use. The consumption of fuel would be, on an average, about 5cwt. of best coke for every 10-mile journey."

Messrs. JOHN BOWEN and SONS, Building Contractors, of Balsall Heath, Birmingham, write from the Contractor's Office of the Netherne Asylum Contract, .Merstham, Surrey, on the 11th instant :— " We havc five of Foden's 5-ton wagons hauling the material for this contract from the station, brickyard, etc., to our depot off the main London to Brighton Road. They are giving entire satisfaction. When the roads are in good condition they draw trailers, but at the present time are unable to do so.

" We consider that the wagons take the place of at least a stud of 40 horses, but owing to the position of this asylum it would be practically impossible to do the whole of the hauling by teams. The site is over 200 feet above the level of the railroad, so that a siding and railway on to works is impracticable. Had we been unable to have motors we should have had to have fallen back to tractors, which would, under existing circumstances, have been nothing like so handy as our wagons.

"We have had the wagons photographed for you to-day in two different positions, and will send you two silver prints not later than Saturday. l'lease note that to obtain these photos it has been necessary to stop the wagons a good half day, and we are very busy. You will appreciate from this fact the trouble we have taken." Mr. C. IIENRY HOUSE, of l'rivett, Gosport. Hants, writes :—" I am afraid that I cannot give you any very definite figures, but I can say that I am very satisfied indeed with my Forlen lorry. I have now had it since July, 1901, and it worked hard in the summer of that year. This last summer it worked very well indeed, and took 1,482 tons of goods off rail from one station, and hauled them an average distance of about four miles. It has only been obliged to stop one half day during the whole 18 months for repairs, and that was through a bush breaking—cost 2s. 8d. —which is all that I have spent for repairs since I have had it.

You can use this letter how you like, as I do not think any intending purchaser could do better than get a Foden wagon. In my opinion, they are perfection and very economical in running. I am sorry that I have not had time to send you a photograph, and also that I am unable to quote more figures. if I had not had my Foden wagons last summer, it would have taken from ten to twelve horses to have done the work she did. I hope your special issue will be a success."

Messrs. INGHAM'S FIREBRICK COMPANY, of Raven's Lodge Brick and Sanitary Tube Works, Dewsbury, write on the 11th instant : —`' We give you, as follows, a few particulars in connection with our experience with the Mann's patent steam wagons. We have three of these wagons, two of which arc tippers, and the other their Colonial type of wagon. They will carry double the quantity a two-horse load can carry, and will travel double the distance in a day.

We use them chiefly for carrying fireclay ; they will each carry a load of about 5 tons, and can back up a gradient of six inches in the yard to the top of our fireclay heaps, when the clay is tipped over. We purchased the first lorry three years ago, and it answered our purpose so well that we boeght two more shortly after. They are especially suitable for rough work, and our lorries have, daily, very rough roads to contend with. We find them the most economical way of dealing with our goods. "The roost important point is keeping the lorry clean, and in good order, and unless they have constant, careful attention on the part of the driver they become expensive. We have taken care to choose for drivers thoroughly experienced men, and, consequently, the cost of repairs has not been very large. This is practically all the information we can give."

Mr. T. A. HOWELL, contractor and furniture remover, of 4, St. Ethelbert Street, Hereford, writes :—" I have had a Wellington tractor, built by Foster and Company, Limited, of Lincoln, since April last, and I have been using it for general haulage, with very successful results, during the whole of the summer. I have lately found some difficulty in running owing to a scarcity of water in this district, especially as the engine takes more water during the winter months owing to the heavy state of the roads.

" Our repairs have come to very little so far—only about ZI--but we cannot give the mileage or cost of running, as no separate account has been opened for the running of the engine."

Messrs. QUARNI13Y and COMPANY, of Gcrton Saw Mills, Hyde Road, Gorton, Manchester, write :—" We regret exceedingly that it would be utterly impossible for us to spare time at the present mu

ment to prepare particulars for your Builders' and Contractors' issue. We will, however, keep the matter of your request before us and let you have information and photograph at an early date concerning our 5-ton Ylrkshire wagon."

A further letter from Messrs. CUNNINGHAM and COMPANY, of Fleet, IIants, reached us on Tuesday morning last, as follows :—" We have pleasure in sending you herewith two photographs of our motors, which we only secured late to-night {13th instar,t). The average load of the Little Giant ' tractor is 5 tons, and it generally travels about 34 miles a day with that load. Of course, if a long journey is required, both machines can do it, but we are mostly using them on paying lengths of about eight miles. "During the slimmer these engines used to work on a three-mile trip, and to do 15 miles in each direction per day, travelling light one way, making a total

of 30 miles on 3icwt. of coal, and carrying in the day 25 yards of gravel. Our Robertson wagon gets over more ground than the tractors, especially where the distances are long, but the tractors are the best for contractors, in our opinion, if worked with two wagons each, so as to save time in loading and unloading. The results are then very good, as one truck can he loaded up while the engine is hauling the other, and this cannot be done with a motor wagon. Had here been more time we would have been happy to have furnished all figures of costs."

Numerous references are available to builders, contractors, and brickmakers from whom we have been unable, either through shortness of notice or from other causes, to obtain information in time for publication in this issue. As a very large number of members of these trades will see "THE CommEactar, Moms" to-day for the first time, and as it may be a

matter of some convenience to them to be apprised of tho names and addresses of some of these parties in their immediate district, we give a supplementary list herewith

Foden wagons.—East I.ancashire Motor Transport Co., 39, Steiner Street, Accrington; J. Grover and Sons, Hammer Brickworks, Haslemere, Surrey; John Leach, Contractor, Shelton, Stoke-onTrent ; Joseph Mears, Crab 'free Wharf, Fulham, London, S.W. ; McLaren and Co., Woodstead, Christen Bank, Northumberland; T. 0. Newman, Engineering

Works, Stansted, Essex ; Oakland Brothers, Shafton, near Barnsley; J. Parnell and Son, Oliver Street, Rugby ; 0. Quinton and Sons, Removal Contractors, Redhill, Surrey ; R. Rathbone and Sons, Contractors, Atherton, near Manchester ; J. Radcliffe and Sons, Contractors, St. John's Road, Huddersfield ; Jas. Sharp and Co., Victoria Wharf, Dartford ; G. Small and Sons, Contractors, Taunton; Warner and Co., Star Brickworks, Knowl Hill, Twyford, Berks ; the Woodkirk Stone and Brick Co., Woodkirk, near Dewsbury ; Wagstaff and Co., Stone Merchants, etc., Dunford Bridge, near Sheffield; W. R. Walker, Grovehill, Beverley, Yorks ; and the Wrexham Steam Carrying Co., Wellington Road, Wrexham, North Wales.

Robertson wagon.—R. G. J. Harvey, 94, Bede Street, Roker, Sunderland.

Leyland wagon.—E. Turner and Sons, l'enarth Road, Cardiff.

Thornycroft wagons.—Price and Reeves, 17, NVaterloo Place, S.W. ; T. and W. Farmiloe, 88, Nine Elms Lane, S.W. ; and the Val de Travers Asphalte Paving Co., Ltd., Hamilton House, Bishopsgate Street Without, E.C.

Straker wagons.—The London Brick Co., Archway Road, N.; J. and J. Dyson, Ltd., Stannington, near Sheffield ; and J. and M. Patrick, Point Pleasant, Wandsworth.

Wolseley vehicles (for passenger purposes).—B. Bryn, Inspector, Waterworks,

Buckhurst Hill ; E. D. Jones and J. Railton, of Topham, Jones and Railton, Con tractors, 2, Gt. George Street, Westminster; Lee and Eastwood, Ltd., Belvedere Road, Lambeth ; and Messrs. Langley, Builders, Crawley.

Foster tractor.—Henry Trigg, Deal Farm, Greatham, West Liss. Coulthard wagons.—Foster and Dicksee, Manresa Road, Chelsea ; Leslie and Co., St. James' House, Kensington Square, W. Yorkshire wagons.—The Exhall Motor Transport Co., Bedworth, near Nuneaton ;

l'awson Bros., Ltd., Morley, Yorkshire ; Fry Bros., Lion Wharf, Greenwich ; and the Northumberland Whinstone Co., Ltd., Millburn House, Newcastle-onTyne.

Mann wagons.—J. Morton and Co.,, Cinder Hills Fireclay Works, IIali

fax ; Jackson's Stone Quarries, Ltd., Edgefokl, Middle Hulton, Bolton ; E. Osmond and Sons, Ely, near Cardiff ; Samuel Wood, Richmond Avenue, Mont pelier, Bristol ; Hawking and Best, Contractors, Teignmouth ; Playf air and Toole, Contractors, Southampton ; R. McAlpine and Sons, 188, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow ; the Caithness Flagstone Co., Thurso, N.B. ; J. Rodgers and Sons, Raphoe, County Donegal ; John Best, Warriston House, Edinburgh ; E. Lewis, St. Andrew's Quarry, Dinas Powis, South Wales ; Thomas Taylor, Contractor, Pontypridd ; Jas. Edwards, Builder, etc., Gilfach Road, Tonyrefail, near Porth ; William Maughan, Builder and Contractor, Abbey Hotel, Ilexham-onTyne ; Read and Andrews, Bletchley Steam Brick Works, Newton Longville ; and W. J. W. Pole, East Quay Sawing, Planing and Moulding Mills, Bridgwater.

.4ilsa Craig motor.—W. J. Penrose and Co., Builders and Contractors, Putney, London, S.W. Aveling and Porter, Limited, and other builders of tractors, following a precedent

which they have established in regard to any disclosure of customers' names, have been unable to afford us the opportunity to communicate with any of the numerous users of their machines. The reputation of the Rochester house for high-class workmanship and material is borne out by the results which are being obtained in different parts of the country to-day with its latest 5-ton tractors, built to comply with all the requirements of the Heavy Motor Car Order, and prospective users should not fail to note this. The Mann wagons and trailers which we illustrate are the most improved type turned out by this well-known company. The bodies of both types of vehicle are made to tip sideways by an improved method, whereby the load is discharged clear of the road wheels. These vehicles will be used for collecting refuse, and to prevent the blowing about of dust are provided with covers. The compound engine has cylinders 41in. by 61in., by 7in. stroke, and the whole of the machinery, including the transmission gearing, is. enclosed in a dust-proof and oil-tight bath. The drive throughout is by gear wheels, no chains being used. The. boiler is of the short.locomotive type, which has been found to give the utmost satisfaction in all classes of work. The water-line area is a large one, so that steam is given off gently, and the tendency to " prime " is practically nonexistent. Both wagons have wooden wheels, the back ones. being 3ft, 4in. by loin, wide, whilst the front ones are 2ft. gin. by 61n. wide. We publish these details, and the illustration, because they serve to prove the great advances in construction.

We have now to conclude the pages which testify to the uses of motor wagons and tractors by contractors in various parts of the country. We hold ourselves at the disposal of all who desire to gain information regarding the use of road motors, and our technical department is prepared to report wherever any uncertainty exists in the minds of those who are contemplating the change from horsed or other types of haulage to mechanical transport. There is one point which must be apparent to all who have read the foregoing communications, and this is the importance of a good driver to any owner of a road locomotive. This question presented a real difficulty some years ago, but there are now available, owing to the frequent opportunities which have arisen for the acquirement of practical experience and training in driving, many trustworthy men whose services may be secured by advertisement. It is impossible lo deal with every consideration in the space that is available in a single issue of our journal, but we shall be happy to answer any specific enquiries that may reach us, whilst all who desire to keep in touch with, and to follow the development of road haulage by self-propelled vehicles, will be able to do so in the future by supporting " TIlE COMMERCIAL Nlarok," now that their attention has been directed to the importance of the subject.

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