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C-licence Fleet Saves £20,000 a Year

11th January 1952
Page 39
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Page 39, 11th January 1952 — C-licence Fleet Saves £20,000 a Year
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

By P. A. C. Brockington,

THE uncertainties of steel supply and the dependence of vehicle manufacturers upon hour-by-hour deliveries were the fac-' tors which decided Joseph Sankey and Sons, Ltd., Wellington, Shropshire, to operate a C-licensed fleet to carry the larger part of its finished products. It is often necessary to produce such components as chassis side-members and wheels within 24 hours of the arrival of the steel for their manufacture, and the fulfilment of short-notice orders must be coordinated with the scheduled output.

Flexibility Vital

The ability of the works to meet emergencies of this kind would avail little if the transport organization were not sufficiently flexible to deliver the goods on time. If a night load fails to reach its destination by 8 a.m., the entire production of the vehicle factory may be dislocated; the timing of subsequent day deliveries must also be in strict accordance with requirements.

The Hadley works of Joseph Sankey have been geared to a capacity double that for which they were originally planned, and a minor breakdown of any of the production machines may cause delays which can be made good only by lastminute alterations to the transport arrangements. In these circumstances, there could only be one answer to the transport problem after the nationalization of local haulage companies. The ,Sankey fleet was increased over a period from three vehicles to 55 and eight trailers, and now the major proportion of the concern's products is carried by the fleet.

Theprinciple of encouraging free enterprise influenced the decision of the directors. Results have vindicated

the decision. Although the fleet has not yet reached its full strength, it is estimated that the annual saving will be £20,000, and to this must be added the advertising value of the Sankey name on the vehicles, which, on a conservative reckoning, is many thousands of pounds a year. The goodwill which dependable delivery perpetuates is even more important.

850 Miles a Week Each vehicle averages about 850 miles a week and regular runs include deliveries to Dagenham and Luton and to the docks in London and Hull, as well as to a large number of centres in the greater Midland area. The lorries travelling to the Birmingham district visit as many as 40 different factories to pick up back loads of raw material, and those on longer runs are often engaged on similar traffic. Shunters are employed at Dagenham to give the drivers the necessary 10 hours' rest before returning, and two drivers are based at Luton to facilitate the maintenance of strict driving schedules.

A total of 74 drivers is employed, of which a number is kept in reserve Tor emergencies and rush loads. When necessary, the transport manager himself takes on a driving job. Loaders at the Sankey works prepare the vehicles overnight.

The frames and wheels form bulk loads and utilize a varying percentage of the rated capacity of the vehicles. Ten E.R.F. 7i-ton dropsided platform lorries fitted with Gardner 4LW engines are included in the fleet, and these deserve special mention as they were first produced to conform to modifications stipulated by Sankey's transport manager. The chassis has a wheelbase of 18 ft. and the body length is 22 ft. The lorry carries two " lifts " of frames (30 frames), which is double that of the standard vehicle. The 10 by 20 tyres are also non-standard and the higher transmission ratio which they provide is undoubtedly responsible in part for the low average fuel consumption rate of 17 m.p.g.

30 m.p.h. Vehicles A timetable based on the 30m.p.h. speed limit is essential for many of the delivery runs in the Midland area if the return journey is to be completed in the day. In the 30-m.p.h. category there are 26 E.R.F. 6-ton platform lorries, powered by Gardner 4LK engines, which return a fuel-consumption rate of 19 m.p.g. They carry 15 to 18 frames, depending upon the size of the units. These vehicles are giving excellent service, but the use of the heavier type would be preferred if the 20-m.p.h. limit were abolished.

Of the 12 Foden 8-ton lorries employed (fitied with Gardner 5LW units), eight operate with trailers, which double the carrying capacity. A Sentinel 8-ton lorry fitted with the four-cylindered underfloor engine, also has a capacity of 30 frames. The oldest vehicles in the fleet are three Jensens, with Perkins P.6 engines, which represented the original longdistance fleet. Each has now covered Aver 250,000 miles. They are still all

used for easy duties. The largest vehicle is a 15-ton Foden eightwheeler, powered by a Gardner 6LW engine, which has a capacity of 500 truck wheels All these vehicles may be used for the transport of either frames or wheels. Two Crossley coach chassis fitted with 9.6-litre engines are specially employed for carrying frames. These vehicles have Hands 22-ft. 6-in, platform bodies and are capable of taking 60 passenger-car chassis frames.

Apart from the power units of the Jensens, no major replacements have yet becn necessary. It is expected that each vehicle will complete well over 100,000 miles before replacement engines are fitted, a number of lorries having already travelled 80,000 miles without attention except for weekly servicing and injector checks at 20,000 miles. The average tyre life is 60,000 miles, but some tyres have continued in service for more than 80,000 miles. All covers are retreaded.

Modern facilities are provided for greasing and washing, washing being normally performed two or three times a week, employing a Merlin high-pressure outfit. Whilst the two mechanics in the workshops have so far been capable of carrying out all the overhaul work, it is expected that a larger staff will become necessary when regular engine replacements are made. Two full-time painters are employed to ensure the maintenance of the high standard of appearance required by the company.


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