WORKING COSTS IN MUNICIPAL HAULAGE.
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A Detailed Explanation of the Costs Incurred in the Running of Commercial Vehicles by the City Engineer's Department of Norwich.
THE FIGURES which were given by Mr. Arthur , E. Collins, the City Engineer for the Norwich . County Borough Council, in the article on the use of heavy motor vehicles in municipal work, which appeared in the municipal issue of The Commercial Motor, dated June 14th last, have, by many people, been thought. to show too high a cost per ton mile for the transport of materials such as are required to be hauled by a local authority.
The figures set out in the article on page 534 of the issue already referred to show that the average cost per ton mile for four steam wagons (one a fivetonner and three six-tonners) was 30.07d.' with an extra 4.50d. for fillers, making a total cost per ton mile of 34.57d., whilst the equivalent figures for 3i-ton motor lorries were 27.67d. per ton mile, plus 3.61d. for fillers, .making a total cost per ton mile of 31.28d.
It will be seen, 'o'n reference to the article that Mr. Collins definitely stated that the whole Of the vehicles employed, whether steam, petrol, electric, or horse, were hindered in their work by reason of the narrow, crooked and congested streets in which they had to carry out their operations, and, again, the short haul had the ill effect of increasing the cost per ton mile. The figures also definitely show that -the cost for equivalent horse haulage amounted to 42.00d.. per to-n mile, an increase in cost of quite 33i
per cent. over mechanical haulage. .
We have asked, because these figures seem unduly
high, that Mr. Collins should give us the details, and he has been kind enough to provide them, and they are set out in the accompanying tables, showing the running costs of the motor lorries for the period ending December 29th last.
The tables give us the cost of the vehicles secondhand, and the cost for overhauling; the work for the period is set out, and then in detail are given the whole of the working costs with the additions for depreciation, which is taken at 121 per cent, per annum (or an eight-year life), and the interest on capital, which is taken at 6 per cent. The recorded mileage travelled shows that the unloaded mileage, in the case of two vehicles out of the three, exceeds the loaded mileage, whilst, in the case of the third vehicle, the loaded mileage is only slightly in excess of the unloaded.
It will be seen, from the details of the number of working days of loaded journeys, and of tons carried and mileage, that each vehicle covered about five journeys per day, and never as much as six on the average, whilst the average distance of the journey was from 11 to nearly 2 miles. With a daily distance in the region of 10 miles, and with a total daily tonnage of not more than 22, it is not at all surprising that no better figure than 31.28d. per ton mile should have been attained.
We have every confidence, knowing the high standard of efficiency that is aimed at by the City Engineer for Norwich, that the figures for the year 1921 will show a substantial improvement.