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• SUCCESSFUL HAULAGE-GROUPING SCHEME IN DERBY IVIAY we request the privilege of a little space in your _ IVI next publication, so that some of us in the Derby area May place on record our particular interest in the new hauliers' association, to which much prominence was given in your issue of December 25, t942?
The idea seems, in effect, to .be the projection, on a Nation-wide scale, of a scheme which was actually launched in miniature' by *ourselves in Derby ill the autumn of 1939.
• The trade name in which:oirr company was registered, Mutual Transport (Derby), Limited, is sufficiently descriptive as to minirnize the need for detailed explanation.
The organization is open locally to all pre-war Aand B-licence holders, but by virtue of a nominal shareholding well within the reach of the "little man," and yet restricted by an upper limit which prevents undue control by any one member or group, its constitution is purely democratic and aims at the rational utilization in the home area of all surpluses, whether of traffics or facilities, for the mutual benefit of the haulier.
The essence of the organization is bound up with co-operation between members, help to outside hauliers and service to industry on a non-profit-seeking basis, all surplus income, over and above reasonable operating expenses and reserves, being 'returned directly or indirectly to members. ' The company is now in its fourth year, and it is significant that turnover has never failed, up to the present, to increase by not far short of 100 per cent. per so:mum, as the reputation of the company for fair dealing and rational operation beComes increasingly known and valued in transport circles. You were good enough, at the time our idea was con ceivedand put into practical effect, to give us the benefit of your columns. Had the seed sown by this original publicity come to fruition, we sincerely feel that Govern ment control in any form might have.beea averted, with the resultant benefits of economy in civil man power and the more rapid growth to maturity of an already nascent spirit of loyal and patriotic co-operatiou between roadtransport opera' tors throughout the country. E. C. WHEATCROFT,_ Secretary, Derby. for Mutual Transport (Derby), Ltd.
CONSIDERATIONS ON SUBSTITUTING ACETYLENE BY OTHER GASES
VOUR issue of December 25 contains, under the head-I ing of "Passing Comments," a paragraph entitled " Use More Propane or Coal Gas for Welding Work." We feel that it is due to your readers to remove what might be a misapprehension on this point. In the first place, we are assisting, so far as possible, in the campaign for economy in the use of calcium carbide in order to save shipping. There are, however, certain important factors to bear in mind, namely, that other 'fuel gases cannot take the place of acetylene in many important welding operations, where for example the melting point of the metal is too far above the heat produced by fuel gases other than acetylene. Propane and coal gas, therefore, have a very limited range of utility in welding. These gases are, however, suitable for a good manymetal-cutting operations. It is quite erroneous to state, without qualification, that a 56-1b. -cylinder of propane can do the same work as three 200-ft. cylinders of dissolved acetylene. Fortunately there are a great many welding operators who are fully conversant with the relative heating values, but sishero less-experienced operators are concerned, there is a danger of injury to valuable parts, where welding may be attempted without sufficient heat. We take the opportunity of adding that, for various reasons, the use of dissolved acetylene is in itself the most ecoriomical way of using carbide of calcium, but even so, the economies effected are not likely_ to result, as you say, in the saving of many thousands of tons of imported carbide. • It is our constant endeavour, through the medium of our technical service organization, to show all users of welding processes the most economical way of achieving the best results, and in this connection the relative scopes of electric welding and oxy-acetylene welding are well known, and there are few operations in which the one process can be substituted with advantage where the other is at present commonly used. We hope that, in the interests of your readers, you will do what is posible to remove any erroneous impression which may have been created by your article. A. G. LUCAS, Sales Manager.
For TFIE BRITISH OXYGEN CONWAY, LTD., London, W.1.
[The assertions contained in the paragraph referred to were made on the authority of the Ministry of Supply, the figures being taken from a notice issued from its Press office. We, therefore, suggest that the British Oxygen Co., Ltd., takes up this matter direct with the Ministry.—En.]
THE FUTURE OF THE TRANSPORT INDUSTRY rROM what one can gather the new co-operative organization which emanated from the Harpenden 'district is about to sweep the country. Although I have not been privileged to attend any of the meetings and can go only by what I have read in the technical Press, I gather that the basic principle of this organization is co-operation between hauliers in groups and the setting up of committees for the allocation of traffic on an agreed basis. In -a Utopian state, with angels for hauliers, the scheme would undoubtedly work very well, but unfortunately this is pot Utopia and hauliers are anything but angels. Therefore, one must endeavour to visualize the position when, in normal times, traffic is scarce, restrictions may be lifted, and there is once more a temptation to cut the rate or give the trader some benefit in order to attract the traffic, which is so essential to keep the wheels turning. It was suggested to me that if a haulier forgot his " gentleman's agreement" and took an unfair share of traffic he would be expelled from the organization. It might very well occur in certain conditions that some hauliers would prefer to be expelled and left free to take the traffic from those who adhered to the "gentleman's agreement." The A.R.O. is also very busy trying to meet this new threat by the creation of a voluntary movement for the organization of short-distance transport. It is apparently intended to revive the Associated British Milk Carriers, Ltd., and attempts are again to be made to revive the co-operative idea which was previously put forward under the guise of Traffic Movement, Ltd. I. personally, will oppose any effort which is made byan association to enter into the field of commerce. An association is for the protection of its members 'and, is never created with the idea of turning it into a commercial enterprise. I opposed "Traffic Movement, Ltd.," and I intend to oppose any other movement 'which has as its abject the setting -up of a trading organization, whether it be run on co-operative lines or any other lines. An association executive has no right to use members' subscriptions for purposes other than those for which the association was originally founded. There are many of us who would never have joined .the A.R.O. if we had been told that our funds were to be frittered away in attempts to create business organizations.
The A.R.O. previously wasted time and money with Associated -British Milk Carriers, Ltd., Traffic Movement, Ltd., and other similar schemes which have done nothing „but create an enormous amount of bad feeling amongst a large section of its members, It is fast becoming a "stunt organization," and although I am at present a member of the National Council and the Haulier Sectional Board, I cannot say that I feel very proud about this, and I do plead with the executive to stop " stunting" and to get on with the real job for which the Association was formed, namely, that of protecting the various sections of the industry in a proper, dignified and democratic manner.
The Standing Joint Committee is, as we all know, well on the waytowards creating a merger of the principal associations, and it will be a great pity if the Schemes mentioned above are going to cut across the good work which the S.J.C. is doing. I have not always seen eye to eye with the S.J.C.'s proposals, and, in fact, I was against them when it was trying to shut out the C-licence organizations and the clearing houses., It now appears to be adopting a longer-sighted policy, and I believe that it is really sincere in its attempts to knit the industry.
In my view there is no need for the Harpenden Co-operative movement or for the A.R.O. grouping ideas. They will make only for more divisions and greater chaos, and my advice to hauliers generally is to leave these stunts alone and give the S. J.C. a chance to get the industry properly organized. If we go on very much longer in the present state of disorganization we can have no complaint if the Ministry take us com
pletely in hand. M. W. HARRIS. London,W.6.
FUEL DIFFICULTIES WITH A-GYROTILLER SERVICING CAR HUNDREDS of your readers are no doubt suffering from the idiosyncrasies or ignorance of some people in Divisional Petroleum Offices. They are definite hinderers of our war work. If they be so sceptical of applications from those on priority work, why be lenient with such people as the woman who ran a bridge club in. the West End of London, who was allowed petrol to drive to the club nightly, whNt such 'people as ourselves, who are on urgent agricultural work, having three gyrotillers scattered over five counties and have one Ford 8 h.n. car to cover what should be daily servicing of these machines, are cut down to suckan extent tliat one circular route visit a .week is practically, all that can be done by the owner-manager, who is also his own supervising engineer?
Spare parts are often unobtainable unless personally collected, so without the necessary petrol to do this the hold-ups are serious and prolonged. Letters have been written on our behalf by various Departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, but it, appears doubtful, from the results, if the officials in the Divisional Petroleum Offices have the intelligence to understand what they mean, if they ever read them.
. Daring one very serious hold-up through petrol
shortage I telephoned the petroleum office which deals with our coupons to explain the situation, and was answered by the "agricultural expert," who asked how much petrol the gyrotillers needed. I said that 500 gallons of fuel was what we took in at a time for each machine, which is correct for the .oil fuel used in all gyrotillers. Without a murmur the agricultural expert said that he would 'see to it, so had I kept to a white lie we should have apparently been allotted 500 gallons worth of petrol coupons to carry on with, but I asked him if he knew what gyrotillers were run on; he said he thought we wanted petrol for them. I explained for the Nth time that the fuel was for our service car, and that without this car the gyrotillers could not be kept in whole-time running order, as the War Agricultural Committees are requiring.
This is only one out of thousands of similar experiences. Would it be possible for you to take this question up on behalf of business-car owners? I feel sure that if such a journal as yours put piessure on these people
something would be done. GYROTILLER. Bucks.
CHINA IS BUILDING GAS PRODUCERS FROM OIL DRUMS RECENTLY I received from China certain technical and other information regarding producer-gas developmerits in that country, and was impressed by a passage in d report which shows howl our friends there tackle and overcome difficulties due to shortage of material. The passage reads as follows :—
" Owing to the shortage of sheet iron here, all the producer, filter, cooler, fine filter, piping, etc..' are made of sheet metal collected from 53-gallon petrol, oil fuel, kerosene or lubricating-oil drums. The thickness of these is 1.5 mm. The parts are . formed by coppersmiths and welded together by, oxy-acetylene." • In this instance the oil industry has made possible the use of home-produced solid fuel.
W. CLARKE JONES,
London, W.C.2. Chemical Enginee, .
EXCESSIVE WEAR OF TYRES AN OFFENCE I N your issue of December 18 you rightly 'draw the
public's attention to the Order prohibiting the excessive wear of tyres which came into force on January 1.
It occurs to me that the Order will cause no little trepidation to a large number of owners of vehicles.
The question arises, what is a man to do if the canvas ' is showing and he cannot obtain renewals? Does he lay his vehicle up or continue to run and risk a prosecution? Most people to-day are fully conscious of the need to, conserve every casing so that it can be remoulded and put 'into service again. Nevertheless, with all the will in the world, if tyres be unobtainable then the average individual will be in a difficulty.
It seems to me that this matter should be given some prominence, and 1 am sure that any helpful suggestions from the . responsible authority would be, gratefully received by a large majority of the public, who have to use their vehicles on work of national importance.
,Cdventry. K. G. EON.