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10th November 1944
Page 32
Page 35
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

fact that motorcars run on pneumatic tyres appears to have been overlooked amid the general enthusiasm aroused by the approaching return of the basic ration. [The 'approach" may be long.—En.)

It is not possible to guess for how long the tyres on thousands of the cars now laid up will run without replacement; certainly a good proportion of their covers and tubes must be more or less perished, and will have short lives when again submitted to pressure.

Months after the war in Europe ends, new tyres will still be in very short supply, for the double reason that there will still be little or no natural rubber to make them froln and that the Services will cotztinue to have first call on anything going.

When the manufacturers assure us that they propose to send a stream of new cars out upon the King's highway within six months of Germany's end, may we hope that one of our myriad planners is fixing up with the Ministry of Supply for something to run them on

M. GRAHAME-WHITE (Lt.-Comdr., R.N.V.R., retd.), Hon Secretary,

(For the Guild of Master Motorists). London, S.W.1, A COMMENT CONCERNING S.T.R.'S RECENT WARNINGS NiTY colleagues and I have read with much interest LvA" The Commercial Motor " report of the speech that Mr. H. Scott Hall gave at the Seddon Conference held recently, also the comments on this speech made by Mr. E. B. Howes.

First, let me say that we ourselves had no idea beforehand of what Mr. Scott Hall intended to say at our Conference. Secondly, that his speech appears to be rather more controversial than it actually is. His warnings, in our opinion, timely as they were, were directed to all chassis manufacturers and distributors in this country. They emphasize what, after all, is a reasonable contention, that the motor trade must plan and build up for a future which may be very different indeed from the immediate past.

At the same time, in defence of some of the distributors whose work we know, we feel that Mr. Scott Hall will not mind if we mention that many of them have excelled themselves from a preas well as after-sales service angle, even in times and under conditions where normally they might not be reasonably expected to do so. In fact, we are rather surprised that so far, at any rate, riot one of these concerns has written to "The Commercial Motor" to point this out in no uncertain terms.

Mr. scott Hall's comparative tables of maintenance costs are most interesting to us. They confirm the belief that we have always held, that initial cost of a vehicle is the least important of those to be considered by the operator. The Seddon distributors and Seddon salesmen should be well aware of this when confronted with questions on the initial cost of the Seddon vehicle.

In respect of Mr. Howes's contribution, may we say that when we, as a concern of motor traders of long standing and experience, embarked on the design of the Seddon vehicle, we took into account just those points raised by Mr. Howes. In fact, we can go farther and say that the reason for the necessity of the Seddon vehicle was based on our belief that, even if other mann Ago facturers at that time theoretically appreciated what the average haulier required, their vehicles did not practically conform to those ideas. In your columns—if we may—we would point out that we have embodied in the design of the Seddon every characteristic that our experience has taught us is necessary from the aspect of the user, and we feel that every Seddon owner in the country will confirm that iu this we have been successful, that is, within thbse artificial limits which, as Mr. Howes points out, •are imposed by the bad methods of taxation then, and still,

in force. R. H. SEDDON.

Salford, 6. (For Foster and Seddon, Ltd.) MR. RICHARDSON THANKS A.R.O. MEMBERS WOULD like publicly to place on record nay personal I thanks to the members of A.R.O. for the heavy and unanimous support which they have given to the merger. The A.R.O. has to some extent been criticized for its delay in accepting the merger, but all concerned can, I am certain, now feel sure that it has been accepted without reservation.

Doubts have been cleared up and satisfactory explanations given of all matters of detail, which can be so important even after principle4 have been accepted.

The National Council has done me the honour of re-electing me as Chairman of A.R.O., and I wish to take this opportunity of calling on all members for the greatest possible support of their Association in the days that lie ahead. The merger will not be an end in itself, and the work and energy that so many have put into it will have to continue to be applied to the tackling of the many great problems that face our industry in the

future. D. RICHARDSON, Chairman. Associated Road Operators. London, S.W.1.

COMMENTS ON OPERATING CONDITIONS IN THE SUDAN I TRUST that the formalities involved in embodying 1 the Institute of Road Transport Engineers have now been completed, and that, in the words of one of my contemporaries at the inaugural meeting, "We can get cracking."

There are many engineers here in the Sudan handling vehicles and supervising KT. workshops whom I feel would desire to become members. Furthermore, there can be no doubt that the experience and knowledge obtained in the operation and maintenance of vehicles under the worst possible conditions would be of great value to the Institute and to the road-transport industry in general. The conditions here are often appalling. In the dry season the vehicles are smothered with dust as fine 4s powder, which will get into almost every working part. The roads are deeply rutted with innumerable potholes left by the heavy rains which occur from August to September. As regards vehicles, Chevrolets and Fords (American built) appear to be highly popular, and of the British vehicles Commers have a particularly fine reputation, the suspension of the last-named being specially good; in fact, I am told that they excel the previously mentioned American makes so far as freedom from trouble is concerned. In the main, the vehicles are 3-tanners with a sprinkling of 5-tonners, also the Government is running quite a number of Italian Fiat and O.M. 10-tonners powered by oil engines. These were retrieved following the campaign in Eritrea and have been largely converted into buses for the natives.

Incidentally, I take it that one of the objects of the Institute will be the furthering of the sale of British products overseas, and I shall be pleased to receive confirmation of this point.

Barakat, Sudan. CLIFFORD CARR.

[We are glad to receive this letter from Mr. Carr, particularly as he was one of the road-transport engineers who attended the conference of 200, at which a committee to organize the new Institute was elected. Mr. Carr has since proceeded to the Sudan to take up an important position there. We can assure him that one of the objects of the Institute will be to stimulate the export trade in British commercial vehicles, and to do all it can to help in obtaining information which will assist designers and manufacturers in connection with the qualities desired in such vehicles.—En.)


I WAS very interested in your recent leading article, ." Are Tyres Being Wasted?" It is to be hoped that the independent investigation demanded will be arranged without delay.

On the same subject, I would bring to your notice that for the best part of the past 12 months there has been a dump of about 200 Air Ministry light vehicles, all fitted with tyres, not far from here. The vehiCles are in the open, and show no signs of having been moved during these many months. difficult to understand why the tyres, quite apart from the machines, have been left to rot. F. BULLEN.

King's Lynn. (For Giles and Bullen, Ltd.)


VOUR scheme by which readers send their copies to I men in the Forces is much appreciated.

I am in an old-established R.A.F. Squadron. Many af us have been away four years, and some will never return. From Egypt we have carried on many times with only the petrol in the tanks of our vehicles. At that time the convoys could not get through the Mediterranean and had to go. right around the Cape. Some people would smile at what we had to do to live and to fight on when all seemed lost.

Our largest gun was 40 mm., against Rommel's 88 mm. At night we tied oil barrels on a wire rope, filled them with stones to make a noise, and dragged them along behind the Front Line, thus making as much din as possible. This was stopped before dawn. As a result the Huns and Italians thought heavy equipment was moving up—at least, we hope they did! At that time bluff, in lieu of the supplies we could not obtain, played a big part.

As regards our aeroplanes, often we patched them up with sheet metal from the petrol tins, and somehow they flew.

My work is in connection with mechanical transport, and I am in charge of 45 trucks. Spares were also short for these, and when piston rings wore down we packed them up with strips, again cut from our old friend the petrol tin, and so we carried on until we could get new rings. As there was no valve-grinding paste, we had to make our own from fine desert sand mixed with a little oil. During the break through after El Alamein there. were bags of spares; in fact, the desert was littered with them—M.M.W.s, Lancias, Fiats, B.M.W.s, motorcycle. and car 'pads and aircraft. The spares were, of course, not of the right kind, but we usually managed to make them fit.

Then came the long trail by road from Alexandria through Lybia and Tunisia to Algeria. What a ride ! Also, what amazing havoc was done by the retreating enemy, whose policy seemed to be nothing but sack and burn, blow up and mine ; nothing was safe to touch, whilst to leave the road was fatal. Bridges were down, and when the convoys reached the banks 'they, were under previously ranged artillery fire.

Now we have much better guns and equipment, and one day we received a delightful present—brand-new engines! You should have seen us get busy pulling out the old engines and installing the new. We do not mind the hours we put in, because the sooner we get home the better, and we are getting nearer every day ; but when of people going on strike for a few shillings extra it makes us mad. We grumble but carry on, and still find time to laugh. After a heavy bombing raid we had a roll call and, unfortunately, many did not answer their names; others were gravely hurt. Our R.S.M., himself with a piece of shrapnel in his knee, went to each man in turn, who sprang to attention in the best way he could and gave details of his injuries. One man when asked what was the matter with him replied, "Arms, legs and back, sir." The R.S.M., a Scottie, replied, " Mon, y'are dead. What are you standing up for?" That caused a good

laugh. J. K. CROMPTON. C.M.F.


rNKS for your leading article, "A Warning to Etspective Hauliers," which appeared in your issue dated August 25. Most of us in the industry have been awile of these difficulties for a long time. Occasionally, however, one meets people outside the transport world who do not clearly understand the position as it concerns the opening of new businesses.' Your article was, therefore, most timely, and is appreciated greatly by those who are at present looking around for post-war careers. It will also be endorsed by men who are in the industry to-day.

For several years I have considered that the only paths lying .open to ambitious men seeking leading or directorial positions in road transport are: (1) The purchase of an existing business ; (2) joining an existing business as a partner ; (3) management of an industrial-. transport department.

I presume that the same remarks would apply to the coaching business. Some people may be thinking of starting Up in the latter sphere, with the idea of running popular excursions or even starting rural bus lines in places that are at present not served by the big com

panies. How will they stand? A. J. PARRIS. Cranfield.

[Your ideas concerning entry into the haulage industry are fairly accurate, although you might have added a fourth possibility, and that is, of being able to provide sufficient proof of need to a Regional Transport Commissioner to justify the issue of a new haulage licence. Proof is also necessary that alternative transport facilities are not available. As regards the coaching field, the right of entry into this would be just as difficult to obtain. It also rests with the R.T.C. concerned, and a good deal of opposition from existing concerns would be likely to be received by him. Again, proof of need or of the availability of untapped sources in the way of passengers would be required. When in doubt on either of these matters, it is always best to make contact with the clerk to the particular Commissioner.—En.}

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