WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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• ' The wheel of wealth wilt be slowed by a 12 difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, al Z carriaoe is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier.
Synthetic Rubber Rumours.
With rubber at its present price, and with the supply so plentiful, the bogey of a satisfactory synthetic substitute is hardly likely to disturb the sleep of those whose iutereets are in the rubber in dustry. Nevertheless, information is to hand which goes to show that a successful substitute has realby been produced, at any rate on a. laboratoey scale. It is understood that although the experiments have been very successful, the product is not yet quite in the market able stage, as before. producing it on,a, commercial basis, the inventore are aim ing at making their product in such a farm that it can be subjected to the same processes as rubber and worked by existing plant. That they have •sofar succeeded in making tyres, and goods of almost every description out of this ma terial; is vouched for by a gentleman who has recently returned from a business trip to Berlin, where he had the interesting experience of spending some hours in the laboratory in which tests of the finished articles • were in progress. There he saw tyres being tested on circular macadam tracks specially laid down for the pUrpose, In the centre of the track was a pillar, rotatabbe at any desired speed by an electric mace, and carrying a long arm, at the end of which tyred wheel "Was mounted. At the time of his visit a pneumatic tyre was under test, the load upon it being determined.
by a sliding weight which could be moved backwards and fOiewards along the
-radial arm. From the appearance of the traok the tests appeared to have been in progress for a considerable time,, but, the tyre itself showed little signs of wear. It is understood that the 'substitute is entirely a chemical product, but no information is availabe as to the poeeibilie ties of procluctioto on a scale which-woulde enable it to become a serious competitor of the natural product. It isobowever stated that it can be produced at about ' one-third the cost.
Ragmen's Ca' Canny and Road Services.
No doubt when the railwaymen's n work-to-rule" policy was initiated, directors of road transport services in the various affected areas were prepared for an increasing call' onthe capacity of their vehicles.
Inquiries made at Liverpool have -elicited the information that the railwaymen at the goods depots are " going e lnw," that the volume of traffic handled has decreased (the reduction is estimated at 20 per cent.), but that there has not been any unusual demand for eornmercial motors to. CZ650 the railway situation. These facts, seemingly contradictory, Summarize the situation at the time of .writing, for when a representative of this journal solicited the views of hauliers on the situation he was irtfermed that if the. normal quantity of goods were in the port to be cleared the position would be almost chaotic. As it is, there is not a great quantity of material, comparatively speaking, to be handled, and that is why the .effects of the railwaymen's "Ca' canny" strike are not so apparent.
The commonly, held opinion is that as time goes on, unless the men revert to their former working practices, the railway companies will be unable to cope with the traffic offered them, and that consignors,: in order to keep the wheels of commerce in Motion, will seek the service of the. 111 echanical.road vehicle.
On excellent authority, we are informed that an elahoiate scheme has been, or is being, prepared in conjunction with. the Ministry of :Teanepert, for the distributiou of milk, from the farmer tothe-retail centres, by meansrof motors. The details are being kept :secret, probably for obvious reasons. All the same, it is interesting to know that nothing is being left to "last minute organization," and that should another rail etrike occur it will reveal the potentialities of road transport on a ecale hitherto unknown.
Foreign Chassis Specifications.
• We'are publishing this week the 'first two pages of -chassis specifications for foreign vehicles marketed in this coun try. The specifications of the foreign vehicles not already dealt with will be published in the issue of next week.
A Manchester-Blackpool Motor Service.
The Bucks Swift Fleet Motor 'Co., of Salford, is running 16 motor chars-itbanes of the Leyland, Straker-Squire, Pierce-Arrow, and. Pagefield types, as ;well as six motoe, lorries by Leyland, ,Pierce-Arrow, Yorkshire, and F. W.•1). ,.1.,ast year the company's vehicles carried .15,000 ,passengers from Manchester to Blackpool 'and other Lancashire resorts, arid this year they are operating in conjunction with the services that Messrs. A, Nettleton and Co. have establiehed with Karrier and. Selden vehicles to the Fylde district. Orders have just been placed for 14 Straker-Squire chars-h.basics, and the whole organization has been transferred to a new company, of which Mr. H. E. Buck, the managing director of Messrs. H. E. Buck and Go., Ltd., motor engineers, of Swinton, near Manchester, is the manager.
Clayton and Shuttleworth, Ltd., Lincoln, have been successful in securing an order from the London County Council (Tram-ways Department) for six 5 ton steam wagons with standard bodies.
Messrs. Edwin Marshall :and Sons, Ltd., of the Stamford Saw Mills at Ashton-under-Lyne, have decided to adopt motor transport for the haulage of timber and the conveyance of wood goods • their stables are nowbeingdismantled. for adaptation to the new form of locomotion.
The highest award, a saver medal, given by the Royal Dublin_ Society for the best new implement exhibited at' their recent show, was won by the Austin farm tractor. The' Austin tractor has taken the first prize wherever, it has competed or has been shown.' The machine will •Toe exhibited at the Royal Agricultural Society's show opening on June 29th at Darlington.
We understand that the concession for Great Britain and the British Empire for Mercedes commercial motors (and also private cars) has been -secured by a group of well-known Yorkshire business men .the salesoarganization being in the hand's of Mr. A. B. E. Cheesernan' A.M.I.M.E., M.1.A.E., F.A.I., who is well known in the motoring world, and was at one time technical manager and engineer to the Automobile Association and Motor Union. The commercial vehicle models consist of a 3k ton and a 6 ton chassis, and these we intend to describe in an early issue of this journal.
The sales policy of the concern is not to vary the price after an order has been booked. To this end prices are reviewed quarterly to make provision for fluctuation of cost of labour and materials, and previous notice is given if any alteration should be made. When once announced prices remain firm for the period, and orders are executed accordingly.
Nottingham Motor Fire Appliances.
With the'recent passing of the estimates of municipal expenditure fore the ensuing year, the Nottingham Corporation made provision for completing the application of motor power to all appliances needed in connection with the extinguishing of fires and the saving of lives involved in outbreaks within the city. With the saving of time following from the adoption of up-to-date methods of traction, the public locally have long been familiar, but few could have had adequate conception of the striking manetazy economy which has also been entailed until the publication within the last few -days by the superintendent of the brigade of particulars relative to the comparative cost of the work under the archaic horse arrangements and the newer means.
The total number El miles run on service by the motor fire engines( in Nottingham, during the past year, was 656, an average of 2114 miles per engine, there being three in -use, the entire cost in general maintenance being £106 le. 4d., an average of £35 7s. Id. per engine per annum, or 13s. 7d. per engine per week, compared with £5 2s. 3d. per week for a horseeira,wn steam fire-engine. The figures themselves are sufficiently significant, albeit they take no cognizance of the still more important factor represented by the greater means of promptitude which the system affords of dealing more effectively with fires in their incipient stages.
From Thursday last the price of henzole distributed hiy the National Banzole Co., Ltd., was increased by 3d. per gallon.
We understand that notice of appeal has been lodged by the individual defendants against whom judgment was given in the case of Ware and de Freville, Ltd., versus the Motor Trades Association and others,
South African Trade.
A communication has been received by the Department of Overseas Trade, 35, Old Queen Street, S.W., from . His Majesty's Senior Trade Commissioner in South Africa in which it is stated that one of the leading concerns of cartage contractors in Johannesburg is seriously considering the purchase of motor lorries for use in its business.' , • The adoption of Motor transport in South Africa is usually pestponed so long as possible owing to the high initial cost and the necessity of employing white labour, but it is thought that if 'one concern takes the step others will he fund to follow suit. It is suggested that British motor vehicle manufacturers interested ehordel take steps to get into touch with the principal concerns engaged in the cartage business in Johannesburg (a list of which may be obtained on application to the Department of Overseas Trade) either through their agents or by sending catalogues and illnstrations of the models considered suitable for the country. In this connection it should be noted that a high ground clearance is essential, as one of the chief difficulties of motor vehicle operation in South Africa is the number of drifts (some with water 3 ft. deep) which have to be crossed.
A farther letter states that a small company has been formed locally as meter transport contractors, and three or four lorries have been imported. The name of this concern may also be had on application to the above address.
System in Loading.
Very often the efficiency of motor transport is impaired by lack of system its loading arrengements. A load, say, or100 tons is lying on a Liverpool quay awaiting immediate removal by a fleet of vehicles specially brought into cornmission. It has often happened that they have all turned tip at about the same time, -with the result that they are all waiting until one is loaded and able to get away before the next in the queue can be dealt with, with the result that the last vehicles have their earning capacity seriously reduced.
We have heard of eases where men have taken their lorries down to the dockside specially early in the morning in order to get a load quickly, Generally, the arraneements appear most unsyetematie. It ought to be possible to estimate how long it takes to load certain commodities and to give instructions for individual vehicles te be on the scene at a certain specified time, so as to'eut out Rs much waiting as possible. Of course, if all the vehicles could he loaded simultaneously, it would be a different matter. The order of the day is now : 1' First come, first served."
A Converted Ambulance.
The use which can be made of -old ambulance bodies is shown by a letter which we have received from a country .carrier who runs between Whitstable and Canterbury. This carrier is running a Buick fitted with an ambulance body, which he has converted foe the business. It can carry 10 passengers inside and two outside, and toprotect the interior passengers he has matchboarded the front of the body and has fitted two windows, At the back is fitted a door on rising butts, which closes itself, and at the same time can be lifted off Quickly h o uld this be necessary. For the interior lighting a tube is run from the acetylene generator.
This carrier says that he can convey a piano inside the vehicle quite easily. He often carries 12 quarters of beef. He picks up passen•gere on his journeys, and as they -are not being carried for pleasure they are quite pleased to obtain accommodation, even if they are sitting next to or on a black of ice or a frozen sheep.
Ile further states that, although he has experimented with many types of bodies, he has found the ambulance body the most .suitable. it is roomy, dry, strong and light,and• is paTticularly useful after the ordinary day's work for conveying parties to dances, club meetings, etc.
Haulage in Manchester.
Manchester is rapidly becoming a greet centre for motor haulage. The furniture deecisitory and removal business of Walter Carter, Ltd., at Rusholme (opposite the new Daimler repair depot) has been acquired by Harrods Ltd., and is, in future, to be developed) entirely with motor vehicles. This will give the wellknown London concern: a motor-vehicle link between the Metropolis and the North.
Mr. C. R. Whetnall, who is secretary of the Liverpool Commercial Motor Deers Association, was secretary of the Liverpool Motor -Owners Association until its reconstruction within the C.M.U.A.
Mr. E. B. Killen, the inventor of the K.T. tyre, the N.A.P. tyre, and the new series of Killen tyres, isquite an enthusiast with is gift of getting back to fundamentals and of hitting upon the 'simple means of attaining an end. The simple solution of a problem is invariably' the most elusive, whereas it is much easier to invent
complicated method which, in the long run,. is leesAeffective. Mr. Killen is a qualified engineer, quick at sizing up a problem and always a. convinced_ and convincing exponent of the principles underlying his inventions.
The subject of one .of the illustrations we reproduce on :Ahisl page is Mr: F. Ayton, the chairman and7hori.. secretary of the Electric Vehicle !Committee of Great Britain and Ireland. Mr. -Ayt.on is aaman of considerable-personelity and great energy, and-the success of ty. electric Vehicle in 'this country is clue, to a. large'extent, to the.untiring.devotion to AytorvdiSplayed in connection withOliswork on the Electric -Vehicle Committee. Mr. Ayton was recently the guest of honour at a dinner given by the electrical Yehicle manufacturers, a report of which appears en another' page.
An 86 ton Load.
Glasgow. Corporation reportsthat five boilers, weighing about BE, tons including the bogie, had been removed from Stevens's shipbuilding yard to Prince's Dock, and after the passage of this heavy traffic, 3334 stones, weighing about 25 tons, were found to have been broken. The company concerned is to be held responsible for the damage.
Ford Factory at Cadiz. .
The Ford motor ;factory at Cadiz consists entirely of !assembly and finishing shops. The components for the vehicles are imported, and are placed in the cuetents warehouses, the. material being withdrawn as required, so that duties are only paid on cars Actually sold. The greater part of the personnel employed in the works is American, leut.several expert mechanics havelbeen engaged in Spain. It is thought that the Ford Co. intends to make Cadiz a centre of supply for other European countries.
Varying Haulage Rates.
At a meeting of the Birkenheacl,Chamtier of Commerce a letter was read from one of the members on the subject of the _Mersey cress-river traffic problem, and suggestions were made as ton clearinghouse system, which is to.,he considered by the Transport Committee. . There was a further discussion on haulage charges, arising out of the differences in the Liverpool and Birkenhead rates. It has been suggested that an effort should be made to have them equalized with Liverpool. This matter is also under the consideration of the Transport Committee.
The Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co. have completed. arrangements with the Brazilian 'Government for the erection of a, South American factory to be located just outside the city of Rio de Janeiro. 0:instruction of the foundations has already begun, and it is believed that the new factory will be completed within eighteen months. The factory group will consist of four buildings built to allow for adequate expansion. _At first 1,000 employees, mostly Brazilians, will operate the plant, which will probably have a capacity. of about 1,500 tyres and ;tubes a day. The output of this concern will chiefly be pneumatic and solid tyres.
Negotiations for the purchase of a Cite were begun some time age with the Brazilian Government, but were broken off by the entrance of the United States into the world war. \ Difficultiee in obtaining shipping facilities caused the postponement of negotiations until recently.
Acquisition of the South Ameri i can fac tory Marks another step in the expansion policy of the company, which al ready has plants in Akron, Loa Angeles, and Toronto, Canada, The Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co. have also started construction of a. rim and wheel plant at Akron, to have a capacity, of 10,000 rims and wheels a day.
German-American Agreement Respecting Oil Products.
The German Minister of Economics has concluded a 10 year contract with a German-American petroleum company belonging to the Standard Oil group under the terms of which, says the Frankruarter Zeitting, Germany engages, so long as the import, of oil is under State control, to grant special privileges to the group concerning the supply of various oil productsy without any return. Deliveries are to be payable in cash immediately.
Displacing the Bullock.
Indian interest in the. agricultural tractor continues to develop, and the capabilities of the Austin farm tractor were recently demonstrated by special request at the Punjab Agricultural College, Lyallpur. The annual horse and cattle fair was in progress, and a piece of ground about a mile away froth this
028 interesting function had to be found for the demonstration, which attracted a considerable number of landowners from various parts of the Punjab. As the special tractor plough die not come to hand a two-disc bullock plough had to be used, but, nevertheless, some good work was accomplished. In land, described by the college principal as medium loam, the Austin tractor ploughed 11 ins, deep with ease. This was the first tractor to be seen in that district.
A Gearless Reverse.
The Gearless Motor OmnibliS Co., a satellite of the L.G.O.Co., plays a Nycy small part in the solving of passenger transport problems in the Metropolis, and Last year a deficit of £300 was recorded an the operations—the first since the company started paying ordinary dividends in 1913. Other charges, less credits, raise the total loss to £1,600. Allowing for the sum of £200 brought in, a debit balance of £1,400 goes far-.
ward for subsequent liquidation. In 1918 there was a surplus an working of £3,400, and a net profit 'of £2,800 was secured. The ordinary dividend of 5 per cent. was paid, and £1,000 placed to reserve. The less satisfactory results of the past year are mainly attributed to abnormal increases in the cost of labour and materials.
A Fine Trade Catalogue.
Few manufacturer.s or wholesale merchants have been able to produce complete catalogues of motor aecessories, engineers' tools, etc. Most of them are issuing pamphlets until the situation becomes more settled. We have, however, recently received a copy of the motor accessories catalogue iseued by A. J. Dew arid Co., 21-23-, Endeil Street, W.C.2. This is a welt-printed production, fully illustrated, and containing 320 pages. It comprises four complete sections dealing with, tyres and motorcar accessories, special accessories and spare parts for Ford cars, machine and workshop tools, etc. Each section is alphabetically arranged, and all the sections are covered by a complete index. It is, in our opinion, the most complete catalogue of motor accessories so far arranged. Legitimate motor traders can obtain a copy upon application.
"The Book of the Ford Van" is the authority. Price 3s. 20. post free from these offices.
'Evils ca Rate Cutting.
Attention has been repeatedly directed in these columns to the evils of rate cutting. During the last few days the carrying trades of Liverpool have been on the quiet side, and, in the course of inquiries made by a representative of this journal, frequent reference was made to the low rates at which-some hauliers continued to work.
8trennons efforts have been made lately to secure the general recognition of minimum haulage rates. Out rates,however, have not been completely eliminated, and, naturally, they always seem to come into evidence when loads are scarce. Eighteen shillings per ten was accepted by one haulier a few days ago for the . journey from Liverpool to Manchester. The Liverpool Clearing House rate is 22s, 6d. The lesson of cut rates is so obvious that comnient would be supernumerary.
Motor Transport in Uganda.
The reconimendations of the COMMiSsion which has been inquiring into the best methods of developing the resources of Uganda., cover a wide field. Apart from the education of the natives and other provisions, a recommendation is made for the purchase by local authorities of 25 motor lorries of 6 ton capacity to replace transport by bullock, wagons and porters. It is pointed out that great saving in trading expenses. would result from the immediate adoption of such a measure.
Institute of Metals.
An invitation from the Mayor and Corporation of Barrow-in-Furness to hold the annual autumn meeting of the Institute of Metals in that town on Wednesda.y and Thursday, September 15th and 16th 'next, has been accepted by the Council of the Institute. Particulars of the meeting can be obtained from the secretary, Mr. G. Shaw Scott, M.Sc., 36 Victoria Street, London, S.W.1, who
aleo be -glad to forward tickets for the 10th annual May lecture, which will be delivered by Professor C. A. F. Benedicks, Ph.D., Stockholm, at 8 p.m., on June lath, at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Storey's Gate, Westminster, the subject of the lecture being "The Recent Progress in ThermoElectricity." Prior to the lecture a ballot for the election of members and students will take place.
Mr. F. Ayton Honoured.
Mr. F. Ayton, M.I.E.E., chairman and lion. secretary of the Electric Vehicle Association of IGreat Britain, was the honoured guest at a dinner given by the electric Vehicle manufacturers at the 'Restaurant Frascati on Monday, Mai 17th. Mr. E. L. Watson, representing' Edison Accumulators, Ltd., was in the chair. After dinner, which all present appeared, to enjoy to the 'utmost, and the Royal toast, Mr. Watson rose to snake the presentation to Mr. Ayton. He stated that Mr. Ayton was one of the pioneers in the electric vehicle industry, and things looked very black indeed at the time he came forward to help the association, in 1912. The chairman said it was unnecessary for him to eulogize the work performed by Mr. Ayton, and Jae had great pleasure in handing hini a cheque for 250 guineas and a silver rose howl. The latter was a splendid example of the silversmiths' art,
Mr. Ayton, in thanking the donors for
their tokens of esteem, said that he was overwhelmed by their generous appreciations and he felt that he would go away with a better character than he sdesserved, as his efforts would have been of little or no avail if he had not been. associated with a number of gentlemen who gave the warmest support -and whole-hearted co-operation to the uiork of the Electric Vehicle Association. He further stated that the chairman was the first man who convinced him that it was safe to go forward with the electric
vehicle industry in this country. He concluded, by saying that we were on the threshold of a very big movement, both for commercial and private electric vehicles in this country.
A toast to "The Electric Vehicle Committee" was proposed by Major 'Witting-ton, and was responded to by Mr. E. S. Shrapnell-Smith,vice-chairman of the Electric Vehicle dommittee. The toast of "The Electric Vehicle Manufacturers" was proposed by Mr. A. S. Mays-Smith, chairman of the S.M.M. and T., and was responded to by Mr.
E. W. Curtis, representing the General Vehicle Co., Ltd.
The evening was fittingly conclusled!. by a well-organized concert. The musical arrangements were in the able hands of Mr. S. G. Trehearne.
Ex-Serviee Men and Female Labour.
In few districts of the country has agitation against the continual employment of women -upon tramcars 's?,or motorbuses, to the exclusion of ',ex-Service men, been maintained with greater energy than. in-Nottingham. :Despite, however, all that has been effected in the way of relief by work afforded through public and private enterprise, over 2,000 discharged soldiers, according to the official returns, were still in quest of situations last week.
The services of women conductors upon the Corporation tramway system were Iorig Since dispensed with, and the_movement has now spread to the West Bridgford suburb, where female labour is stilt being retained on the buses, a request, which was referred to a committee for consideration, being presented at the last meeting of the district council, by the men's federation, asking that steps shall be taken to replace women foy ek
Service men. The work, however, is being so well performed under existing conditions that there appears to be _some reluctance at West Bridgford, as in many other quiet residential areas, to interfere with arrangements. Labour organizations in Nottingham have however, snade it abundantly clear that they will not tolerate the continuation of plans which were only justified upon the score of war emergency.
Darlington and Stockton are now linked by a motorbus service just commenced by the 'United Automobile Services, Ltd. This compsny are responsible for the motorbuses in Bishop Auckland district, and they have also inaugurated a new service between Heighington and Darlington. ,
,Radial Roads for Manchester.
The', seheme for replanning the southern -portion of the city of Manchester is a-bout to be advanced another stage by the submission of the scheme to the Ministry of Health for approval. With regard to proposed new streets, every endeavour has been :made to make sitfficient,..provision for main axial roads to:. meet ,the 'future building 'development 'of thelare`a and also'Aicis'Coiler'svitlr ioad traffic. :.
—In-addition-Jo the, ingasaxial roads, /Pain radial or cross reTadsliave'been provided, for in order that ore& traffic mav
be by-passed, and thes$1,i use of the streets, within the cityreper, avoided, together with consequent cost of work of renewals on such streets and congestion. of traffic. The provision of radial roads of sufficient width near the centre of the city is made difficult by the existence of densely built up areas fringing the existing main roads, it is pointed out by itut, committee, hut it is c.onsiderssi' tss be More economical now to face the problem and make suitable provision for such roads. It is provided that the various landcwiners -will bear the Cost of street construction up to a width of 50 ft.,. all cost in street construction above 50 ft. to be borne by the Council
The Plymouth Co-operative Society, which is developing excursion traffic with its motor chars-a-bancs, received £1,157 in cash on account of the department for the six months covering the last three Of 1919 and the first three of this year. The expenses were .£1,450, so that_ there was 0, lass of £293, which will doubtless be made good during the coming season. The present nominal value of the society's motor vehicles used in trade is £27,814; their -actual cost was £38,079.
Messrs. Joseph Hansen and .Sens the removal contractors, of Huddersfield, are standardizing Leyland vehicles for passenger and haulage. work; and are disposing of their goods vehicles and chars&-batics of other makes.
The Leigh Friendly Co-operative Society, Ltd., have established a motor department, with Mr. J. Blackburn as manager, and, in addition to running 28 and 14 seater chars-bebancs, they are letting out their own Belsize and Sunbeam cars for private hire to members when they are not engaged on the society's business. A full day's run is 'reckoned as 14 hours from taking u to setting, down passengers. Time in excess is charged extra at the rate of 8s. per hour. Daring the winter' season the char-a-bancs ,oharges are 2s. 6d. per passenger for the 14-seater, and 2s. per passenger for the larger vehicle; the summer charges being 4s, per passenger for either vehicle.
A Magneto Attachment for Fordson Tractors.
Many users of Fordson tractors experience trouble with the ignition system. The coils do not appear to generate a spark hot enough to burn off oil which may collect on the sparking plug. points. This trouble can be entirely overcome by replacing the existing ignition system by a high-tension magneto, but in order to do this some special form of fitting is required, and this fitting is often. too big a job to be tackled by the' local repair shop.
Hubbard Bros., Ltd. of Reading Road, Basingstoke, have produced a well-designed and neatly constructed attachment for this purpose. It consists of a stout eat bracket arranged to form a platform for the magneto as well as a casing for the driving and intermediate gears. The driving pinion is screwed on to the end of the tractor engine camshaft, and securely locked in position by means of a small nut. The two idler, or intermediate, gearwheels which convey the drive to the magneto and the driving wheel run on phosphor bronze studs provided with screw greeters. A steel plate is screwed to the front of the bracket, and the whole forms a dust-proof casing in which the pinions run in oil. Ample lubrication and the elimination of grit— two most important matters in tractor work—are thus obtained.
The fitting of the attachment is extremely. simple. No holes have to be drilled, as some of the existing bolt holes areutilized. All the component parts are carefully made to template in the company's own works, and thus spare parts can be obtained with facility. The price of the attachment, complete with Simms magneto, is £22 13s., or, without magneto, 24.
Messrs. George E. Duerden inform us that they have received a further order from C. Vaux and Sons, Led.' the Brewery, Sunderland, for a 5 ton Maudslay wagon. This is the 18th repeat order from this concern during the last 18 months.
Whitehaven Town Council requires tenders for two motor vehicles.
£1,725 is to be spent by Morley T.C. on a new petrol motor fire-engine.
Louth T.C. is recommended to Purchase a steam fire-engine at a cost. of £521.
The Hastings Fire Brigade Committee wants to spend £2,500 on a motor fireengine.
The &ahem Harbour 1J.D.C. has been recommended to apply for a loan of £2,225 for a new fire-engine.
Delegates representing various parishes under the Brentwood U.D.C. have been authorized to spend £750 on the purrhese of a motor tractor for the fireengine.
Wandsworth B.C. has ordered a Lacre motor road sweeper at a coat of £650. The Council is considering the purchase of other motor vehicles for street cleansing, etc.
In the West Riding last year the County Council registered 1,274 motorcars and 2,140 motorcycles, and issued 26,705 driving licences. There were 109 locomotives licensed.
Glasgow Corporation Gas Committee recommends that tenders be obtained for 12 30-cwt. motor wagons, with the view gradually to dispense with the hiring of horses for haulage and transport purposes.
The Ministry of Health has sanctioned loans as follow :—Houghton-le-Spring, £680, for a steam wagon ; Margate, £720, for fire-brigade purposes; Salford, £850,i for a motor ambulance; Basingstoke, £640, for a steam wagon; Carlisle, £2,050, for a motor fire-engine; and Gillingham, £1,540, for a motor fire-engine.
Records Which Should be Kept by
the Astute Haulage Contractor. _ SOME HAULAGE contractors [seem strangely negligent over the rendering.ef their accounts. The writer was recently shoNin a series of accounts of one small firm, which, consistently over a period had, on. almost every item of work done, showed increases not arranged fur in the terms of agreement The firm to whom these accounts were seat naturally substituted the correct figures and sent a thectue, and the fact that it was accepted without question seems to suggest that the negligence WM more purposeful than accidental. However, the point to be emphasized is that this is net business and, instead of -oreating busimes good-will, injures it in a way that perhaps nothing else can do.
It is but a short step from accountancy to office methods. It is as necessary for the haulier to have good office system as any other business man. If he is in a small way of business, or has only recently become engaged in the business, one would say it is doubly necessary to have the most exact and telling facts and figures at hand to enable him to see at a glance how he really stands. Three important records should be _kept by every concern -doing either public or private work and, placing them in their order of importance, one would say they were (1) record of work to be done, (2) record of work done, and (5) record of traffic performances. -Firms owning fleets of vehicles generally provide the drivers of their lorries with daily report-sheets containing spaces for such particulars as name of driver, lara7, total mileage covered from departure to return to garage, total load mileage, names of consignee and consignor, general remarks, etc. This is 4 very useful system and needs no words to commend it, but there is one feature of it that is often ignored by the driver, namely, the "remarks" column. A few minutes hat here and there east always be put right by the driver, who very oftenregards it as some sort of a nuisance having_ to report little incidents in connection with a journey. The note-book ha:bit is one to be encouraged, and if the importance of making full and detailed reports were adequately impressed upon drivers until they become faithful scribes, it would be found where the leakages in earning capacity do occur, and what is more, owners would be furnished with information which might be useful to the accountancy department.
To measure efficiency is a good thing, but to be able to locate inefficiency is better. To tabulate efficiency service records is not necessarily a one-day job, nor a week, nor even a month job. What is wanted is a fair average return showing under ordinary every day conditions, the time it takes to complete a.-certain job between two specified places. The compilation of records therefore may be spread over quite an indefinite period, the longer, the better under ordinary circumstances, ought the mean average to be. The time taken by each operation from the departure of the car from the garage in the morning until its return. at night, set out in time-table form, is an invaluable record and cheek on both the vehicle and its personnel. It should be carefully analysed and noted, and instead of being consigned to the wastepaper basket after the driver has been credited with his day's wages, should be
carefully scrutinized by a responsible person, capable of drawing-deductions and appending observations and notes, and it snould be the subject of frequent reference. Of course, the driver's daily report might be made the subject of two analyses (1) of the driver's own work and worth, and (2) the service of the vehicle.
Accidents, repairs required, replacements necessary, should be promptly reported in writing, and as it sometimes happens that drivers engaged by firms owning fleets hesitate about reportingslight accidents causing latent damage, the advisability of a frequent ex aminatiOn of vehicles is recommended. When firms have their own garage staff, 'which oils the running parts and generally prepares the vehicles for the day's work, they, too, should be made equally responsible with the driver for reporting the condition of the cars.
The Use of Water Power in the Italian Automobile Trade Overcomes Lack of Coal.
WHEN the Italian automobile industry is under consideration, Italy's lack of coal is cited as *one of the handicaps which will prevent the industry attaining the same development. as that of other nations more favourably situated in this respect. The fact appears to be dverlooked that, even under present conditions, coal is no longer indispensable to
modern industry. Whilst in England and certain other countries coal is the only source.of power and heat, Italy has been so favoured by nature in the matter of water power that coal can almost be dispensed with.
There is proof of this in the Fiat motor works, which are the most completely electrified in the world, the whole of the electricity being obtained from water power in the Alps. At the present time no coal whatsoever is used for driving machinery. For power and light the big works of the Fist Co. consume 15,000 kilowatts daily, out of a total cepsurnption of 50,000 kilowatts, for the whole of the city of Turin.
It was in 1917, soon after the Fiat Co. had bought up the Piernontais.s steel works and forges, that the problem was tackled of securing sufficient hydraulic power and designing such a plant that no coal whatsoever would be required in the big Turin factory.Control was obtairle-d of the Mont anis Hydraulic Power Co., which, by reason of its topographical and geological conditions, offered wonderful possibilities' for . ob taining electric current. The pliint existing at that tfme on the Cenischia. River was able to supply 65,000,000 kilowatts, of which 38,000,1,00 were available in summer and 27,000,000 during the winter months.
This quantity of current will be considerably increased in the near future, for extensive works are being carried out on the Cenischia River. In addition to this, by increasing the size of the natural lake on the tap of the Mont Cenis, the current availaLe will be increased to 200,000,000 kilowatts, of which a very large quantity will he available during the winter months.
When these extensions have been com pleted, the whole of the electric current produced by the Mont Cenis Electric Power Co. will be reserved for the Fiat motor works at Turin, thus making it the biggest, if not the only, motor factory in the world in which no coal is used for any purpose whatsoever.
The First British Concern to Attain the First,Stage of its Production Programme
THE PLANS outlined for the output from the Austin factory when the scheme of reconstruction was being put into operation at the conclusion of the munitions contract Was for a weekly production consisting of :—
150 private cars of 20 h.y., 60 30 cwt. lorries, -60 tractors, 100 lighting sets.
The first portion of the programme embraced the private cars and tractors, and but for the long-sustained moulders' strike, the figures aimed at would have been reached scene' time ago. Production has now attained a level which enabled Sir Herbert Austin, at a gathering of representatives of the technical and lay Press at the Longbaidge werks last week, to claim that be had accomplished that part of the programme at which he has first aimed. There are still occasional disturbances, of course. For instance, we saw a number of chassis on the erecting floor, complete except for the steering column, gear and wheel. Now and again it will be magnetos of which they will be short. At one time frames will be short, at another just a small stamping will be required.
The difficulty is that no reliance can be placed on promises from'. contractors and sub-contractors, simply because they, in turn, cannot rely upon the makers of their raw materials, who, again in their turn, cannot say, from day to day, what their workers will produce. The Austin Co., in consequence, have an afrey of representatives sitting on the doorsteps of sub-contractors in order to get the goods, involving a waste of talent and money.
If only each and every worker, from high to low in the country, would realize what a wonderful opportunity is now presented for ins to secure the markets anywhere and everywhere and if -we could get labour to do its share in. grasping those opportunities, Great Britain would be placed in an unassailable position, ensuring a prolonged era of prosperity, which -would be vastly better than the present one of high wages and still higher cost of living, for only national prosperity can bring the combination of high wages and low cost of living.
The policy of feeding the overseas markets is being closely followed by Austins, one-third of the output being earmarked for export, and in a month or so's time one-half of the tractor output will be sent abroad. The erection of lorries will commence in five or six weeks, so that, in a. couple of months, the first deliveries of the new 30 cwt. commercial vehicle should be made.
The systematization of output is very thorough at the Lengbridge works, and many economies in production were to be observed on all hands.
The growth of the Longbridge. works under the impetus of munition contracts has been nothing short of wonderful; and ,although the weekly output may seem small when compared with some of the figures one gets from the States the fact remains that they arelaetter than can at present be quoted otsany other British factory, and that much stands strongly to the credit of Sir Herbert Austin and the efficient staff lie 'has gathered round him.