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10th April 1919, Page 10
10th April 1919
Page 10
Page 11
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Page 10, 10th April 1919 — A BREWERY CONCERN ENTERS THE TRADE.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Twenty Years' Transport Experience Behind Hancock's Commercar Agency for South Wales and Monmouthshire.

E DON'T WANT to be bothered with a diversity of types. We are convinced that only by specializing in one make of vehicle can good service be given. The storekeepers _soon get to know all the spare parts ; the workmen know just how to set aboutany job. Everyone, and . above all the customer, then gets satisfaction."

It was in these words that Mr. Albert Gray, who for some years has had charge of one of the fkrgest fleets of commercial -vehicles in South Wales—that of Hancock's Brewery at Cardiff—summed up the policy about to be undertaken by his concern. Messrs. Hancock have been using mechanical transport. for 20 years or so ; their experience includes both the running of steam and petrol vehicles, and their fleet has generally numbered about 40 lorries. For the upkeep of these, a commodious transport depot has long been included in the brewery premises, where all repairs to Hancock's own vehicles are undertaken, under Mr. Gray's supervision. The facilities offered by these repair shops, and the experience that is at the back of them, are now about to find a wider scope a new company, to wit, South Wales Commercial Motors, Ltd., has been formed (of which the proprietary interest is identified with that of Messrs. Hancock's brewery) for the purpose of handling Cornmerears in South.Wales and Monmouthshire.

Not only are new vehicles to be sold,. but also is the best possible service to be given. A :31--ton Commerear, intended primarily to be a demonstration vehicle, will be placed at the disposal of any of the firm's customers during the time that the latter's vehicle is _undergoing repairs. What. this means to the small user, who has, perhaps, but one lorry in his "fleet," can only, be appreciated by users who have suffered the ineonvenience, monetary loss, and even loss of business that arise from one's only lorry being off the road for repairs. "Iii the event of a breakdown of one of our customers' lorries," said Mr. Gray unequivocally, "''e shall send out one of our own lorries, transfer the customer's load to it, and lend it to him to carry on, during the period that his own vehicle is in our hands for repair."

This is service indeed ; and during an inspection of -Messrs. Hancock's premises, we saw sufficient 'to assure us that South Wales Commercial Motors, Ltd., will be in a position to carry through the programme they' have set before themselves. The existing plant is undergoing structural alteration and extension ; the present 'garage frontage on the Penarth Road (about five minutes' walk from the Great Western Railway Co.'s station) is to be altered so as to include a showroom, complete with the necessary offices, Behind this are the existing repair bays, provided with adequate pit accommodation, and capable of accommodating from 30 to 40 heavy 1@rries at a time. Over part of the repair shop is the machine shop, in which are installed the machine-tools that have been used hitherto in the maintenance of the brewery vehicles: one of our illustrations depicts this machine-shop, and it may be pointed out that there is ample room for accommodating further machine tools, which are to be added as they become obtainable, and as they are found necessary.

Adjoining the repair bay, and on the ground floor, is the smithy ; this contains the tyre-press, a smith's fire and acetylene-welding plant. On the last-named, some interesting work is aecomplished ; at the time of our visit, we saw some water-outlet manifolds (for Napier vehicles), made up of welded steel and very neatly finished. Even aluminium welding is undertaken here, although Messrs. Hancock .believe in suppressing aluminium parts on commercial vehicles wherever possible.

There are two underground storage tanks, on the Bowser system, each having a capacity of 2,000 gallons' these contain petrol and paraffin, res'pectively. Apropos of the latter, fuel, it is interesting to note that the brewery lorries have been running, for some years, on a. mixture of paraffin and petrol ; for this purpose, they have been fitted with the United induction pipe, which is Mr. Gray's own petent, and which has been sold by him to numerous large users. This apparatus was described at length in The Commercial Motor of September 7th, 1916; it is intended for a petrol and pa,raffin mixture containing 75 per cent, of the latter. As a matter of fact; due to the difficulty of obtaining' Satisfactory 3-way taps during the latter part of the war-period, Messrs. Hancock have been using a 50 per cent. mixture. Even so, from May, 191_5, until the end of February of the present year, the brewery used no fewer than 66,338 gallons of paraffin fuel, thereby effecting an actual saving in fuel costs of 24,316 18s. In reality the saving was more than this, because Messrs. Hancock were able, early in the aforementioned period, to arrange a favourable long-duration contract for petrol.

Briefly, the principle of the United induction pipe is to effect a thorough pulverization of the fuel at a place as near as possible to the inlet valves, thereby to avoid the condensation that usually occurs in an ordinary induction pipe used, in conjunction with a paraffin carburetter. This condensation, which arises from the fact that an induction pipe is at a lower temperature than the actual spot where vaporization is effected, results in the presence of

wet paraffin in the cylinder. Not only does such wet paraffin affect the fuel con3umption adversely, but also there is danger of the fuel finding its way past the rings and into the crankcase ; wet paraffin also accentuates the process of cylinder carbonization. The present construction of the United induction pipe differs from that illustrated, although the design remains unaltered. A built-up welded steel fabrication is now employed, which is .cheaper than the former assembly of brass parts ; it also permits of a larger insulating-air chamber. It is interesting to uotice how the effectiveness of this chamber has been increased: a small hole is bored in the external wall and sealed when the whole apparatus is hot (and the air in the chamber consequently rarefied). The effect is that there is a partial vacuum in the chamber, whereby its heat-radiating properties are selisibly diminished.

This device, which ought also to be very useful with benzok fuel, is fitted. to all of the brewery lorries. At the present time the Hancock fleet at Cardiff is of a very hybrid character, there being Daimler, Halley, Karrier, Napier and Pierce-Arrow vehicles. That this is so is due to the fact that, at the beginning of the war, Messrs. Hancock's peace-tithe fleet was commandeered by the War °face, which took the Albions and Daimlers that had been used. by the brewery until then.

The Hancock fleet operates over a very wide area, and runs are made as far as Swansea, Cefn,Dowlais, Aberdare, Ebbw Vale and Beaufort. Other areas are worked, with Newport arid Swansea as centres ; the fleet at Swansea includes a number of Albions. South Wales is a very hilly country, and brewery loads for the most, part are heavy; consequently the experiease to be gained here of actual working . under arduous conditions is very great. Seeing the 5-ton Pierce-Arrows (of which we have ourselves had considerable practical experience), we asked Mr. Gray his opinion of the engine lubrication system. "It has 'convinced me," replied Mr. Gray, "that it is a mistaken policy to pour fresh oil into a crankcase, on

to the top of the old. These engines take only six pints of oil, and when we have had our valueout of that oil we drain it out and pour in a

fresh supply." A paraffin vaporizer fitted

Asked as to what

vehicles he intended fleet of

to substitute for the present heterogeneous fleet., Mr. Gray told us that, in view of the Commercar service depot that is being installed, he hoped to replace all of his existing vehicles—as they became worn out—by Commercars. "But," he added, "I think it worth while to give the electric vehicle a chance. For short town runs it has many advantages, and I hope, sooner or later, to submit it to a careful trial here," To the suggestion that the cost of periodically replacing used-up batteries was very great, Mr. Gray repliedthat such batteries would generally last a couple of years ; and that, allowing for about 250 miles weekly, tile battery cost per mile was insufficient seriously to impair the great advantages of power cost possessed by the electric vehicle.

EdetiniAtro! Cethureffer rxed hore

April ro, 1919. • The usefulness of the electric lorry w a 5, o 1 course, limited ; but that it had a scope he was quite convinced. "As for steam," added Mr. Gray, "nobody recognizes the economy and reliability of steamers more than I do. In these days, however, when hours of labour are so reduced, I find that the time taken in raising steam is a. serious factor: not only so, but also is there the question of having to devote so much time weekly to washing-out. It is for these reasons that I prefer petrol."

South Wales Commercial Motors, Ltd., are taking up the local agency for Shrewsbury and Challiner and Macintosh solid tyres, and Mr. Gray spoke very bitterly about the abandonment of the mileage guarantee. He, personally, wanted a guarantee, and was not prepared to deal -with firths from whom such was not forthcoming. We chronicle this quite impartially, inasmuch as the opinion of big users is always worth recording.


People: Albert Gray
Locations: Newport, Cardiff

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