TRANSPORT TIPS FOR TRADESMEN.
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Particularly Addressed to those Who are Replacing Horsed Vehicles by Motors, or Contemplating So Doing.
READERS will have noticed that in recent quotations from, users' records and estimates of operating costs, we have dealt with cost per mile rather than cost per ton-mile. The latter is often stated to he the proper basis of comparison and the statement is not without good reason.
It is really the cost per ton-mile which needs to be kept down, but, in many cases, it suffices to estimate the cost per mile and afterwArcls to make allow. anee for the varying load-carrying capacities of the different vehicles. We may, however, arrive at quite wrong conclusions if we assume that the load always bears the same relation to the load capacity. If, for example, we have a 1 ton and a 2 ton van and the former costs a shilling a mile and the latter is. 6d. a mile, it does not do to assume that the larger vehicle carries twice as much as the smaller and is therefore the better proposition. It may w-ell,be that the average load actually carried by the 2-tanner is not 50 per cent, above that carried by the 1-tonner and, in that case, the smaller vehicle is the more economical.
The results of some records are shown in costs per ton, irrespective of mileage. Costs per ton may, obviously, be very misleading. One vehicle may carry its load on the average thirty mils and another only ten miles. The second is practically certainIto be cheaper in costs per ton, but it does not in the least follow that it is cheaper in costs per ton-mile. Another not uncommon way in which records are made misleading is by adopting a faulty method of estimating the ton-miles of work done. The writer has seen .traders' books containing entries on the following lines :—
Now, if it is found that the first vehicle has only cast very little more to operate than the second, one would conclude from the above figures that the first vehicle is decidedly the better. In point of fact, the conclusion would be quite wrong. Each journey._ must be considered separately. Thus, the carriage of three tons over twelve miles means thirty-six tonmiles of work. The next journey with two tons over eighteen miles means another thirty-six ton-miles, the third journey gives ten ton-miles and we arrive at the total of eighty-two ton-miles for the day's work. In the case of the second vehicle, the first journey is twenty-five miles with three tons up, giv
ing seventy-five ton-miles. The second journey adds another fifteen ton-miles, making a total of ninety ton-miles. The second vehicle has, in fact, clonea, heavier day's work than the first; and, if it has cost less to run it, it evidently compares,favourably.
It appears, then, that among thelmistakes to be avoided in keeping and using records are :
(a) Basing compa.risons.purery on cost per mile, regardless of loads--actually carried.
(13 Basing comparisons on costs per ton without taking proper account of the distaneweovered, and (c) basing comparisons on costs per ton-mile, wrongly estimated because each journey has not been considered singly.
A Note on Insurance.
The insurance of motor vehicles is a matter which is often given consideration of much too,casual a kind. That a policy must be taken out in respect of every vehicle goes without saying and the smaller the business of the motor owner, the more, absolutely essential is it that the policy should be comprehensive. A very large corcern maybe able to carry some of its own risks, thaugh it is always questionable whether it is worthlvhils. to do so Many firms,take out what are known as " Third-party " policies. These cover liability for damage to other people or to their property. Suppose, for example, that reckless conduct on the part of a driver of one of our vans is the direct or indirect cause of a collision between a motor omnibus and a tramcar in which people are killed and many more aret.injured. The claims against the van owner without a " Thirdparty " policy, may be enough to ruin any but a very rich man. The passengers in a vehicle are not regarded as " Third parties," if that vehicle participates in anaccident. Considerable risks may be run if passengers are carried in a motorvan or kindred vehicle which is only insured, say, against "Third-party" risks. Suppose that an accident occurs for which the driver of the vehicle is responsible and the passengers are injured, the vehicle owner may find himself in a very awkward position. The owner of a motor coach would, of course, cover himself against risks ofthis kind, but a van owner often does not do so, because it is only occasionally that passengers are carried. It may be just OP on of those few occasions that the accident occurs.