WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The wheels of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever Points arising, as a carriage is by the roughnese of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crazier.
Financing Fuel anti Transport.
The prospectus of a new company is now available for public consideration. The concern is known as the Petroleum Storage and Finance Corporation, Ltd., and has a capital of £250,000. The board of directors includes Sir Alfred Mays-Smith, Mr. H. F. Robertson, Mr. G. S. Dougal and Mr. E. F. Evans (late sales manager of the Blue Bird Oil Motors, Ltd.).
Besides granting storage and financial facilities to the trade for the purchase of motor spirit and petroleum products in bulk, the corporation intends to grant financial facilities to established transpart companies, corporations and other public bodies for increasing their fleets of vehicles. A strong feature of the intentions of the directors is that the revenue shall be independent of the retail price of petrol.
The Sternol Share Issue.
consequence of continued expansion of busineaa,_the well-known oil and lubricant concern, Stern's, Ltd., which was established in 1887 with works and refineries at Millbank, London, is arranging to obtain new capital. A new company, under the title of Sternal, Ltd., is being formed, and there will be offered to the public 300,000 8 per cent. cumulative participating preferred shares of 10s. each. The dividend on these shares, by the way, is already covered twice over at the present rate of net earnings. The shares will participate up to 25 per cent, of the surplus divisible profits. The new financial arrangements are in the hands of the Mincing Lane and General Trust, Ltd.
Plymouth's Profitable Buses.
The accounts of the Plymouth Corporation for the year ended March Slat last show a gross profit of £21,627 on the municipality's motorbuses. The net surplus on the working of both the buses and the tramways system was £10,287. So far as buses are concerned, the passenger receipts amounted to £75,429, .equivalent to 11.38d. per busmile, Under the heading of expenses, traffic items absorbed 124,103 (3.63d. per bus-mile), maintenance and repairs £19,915 (3d.), cost of petrol £8,603 (1.29d.) and general items £2,790 (A2d.).
Consolidation of American Motorbus Lines.
The c'onsolidation of a group of motorbus lines into the American Motor Transportation Co., operating a na tional system with transcontinental service, is announced. The new company is formed around the California Transit Co., with Mr. W. E. Travis as president, The California company has a controlling interest in the holding company, which has been formed to take over the operating rights and facilities of established motorbus routes in several eastern and middle-western states.
A transcontinental motorbus service has been operating between Les Angeles and New York for more than a month under traffic arrangements with various companies. The new company brings c20 them under one management. The Pacific Coast system maintains a daily service between cities from Portland, Oregon, to Los Angeles, and the transcontinental system, connecting with the Pacific system at Los Angeles, extends to Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City. St. Joseph, St. Lonia, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York.
A. New Canadian Plant.
General Motors of Canada, Ltd., announces that it is going to build a manufacturing and assembling plant at Regina, Saskatchewan, at a cost of 1,000,000 dollars:
The Deputation to the Chancellor. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will receive this .(Tuesday) afternoon a deputation from all the principal motor tag Organizations in reference to motor taxation. The deputation will be introduced by Sir Arthur Stanley, and it is understood that the principal speakers will include Mr. Charles McWhirter, Mr. E. S. Shrapnel-Smith and Sir George Beharrell.
A Petrol Dealers' Association.
We have just received details of the Petrol Dealers' Association, which is a branch of the Motor Agents' Association, Ltd. The new association has been formed to protect and develop the interests of retail sellers of motor fuel in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is felt that so important a trade demands an organization of its own, and in that statement we have the reason for its formation. Local organizations are to be formed to look after the interests of members in different districts, the whole country being divided into 26 divisions.
The annual subscription to the Petrol Dealers' Association is 10s. 6d., and an application form can be obtained from the general secretary, Mr. E. W. Garnon, 157, Gt. Portland Street, London, W.I.
Pirelli's New Tyre Factory.
It is reported that the manufacturer of Pirelli tyres is to open a new factory at Burton-on-Trent. The company has seven factories in Italy and others in Spain and South America. The new building will be erected almost immediately on 46 acres of land owned by the town council, and it is said that about 1,000 hands will be employed.
Vulcan's Heavy Loss.
The balance-sheet of the Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co. (1906), Ltd., to March 17th, 1928, covering a period of 181 months, shows a loss, including interest and stock depreciation, of 192,459, which, added to the previous accumulated loss, shows a debit on the profit and loss account of £572,899, which is not very far short of the total issued capital of £620,000. Bank overdraft and amounts due to creditors total £645,905, and on the opposite side of the balance-sheet are stock in hand, £196,209, and sundry debtors, £74,373. Bills and cash in hand total about £900. No provision has been made, so the auditors point out, for depreciation of machinery and plant. It will be remembered that the board has been almost entirely reconstituted recently.
Approval for Long-distance Services.
The North-East Regional Advisory Committee of Traffic Control, the functions and ambitions of which have been fully described in recent issues of The Commercial Motor, has recently given its approval to long-distance limited-stop services with certain welldefined provisions. The committee sanctioned applications to run services over the following routes ;—Middlesbrough-Blackpool ; Middlesbrough-Liverpool; Newcastle-Middlesbrough-Hull; Middlesbrough Newcastle; Middlesbrough-Saltburn.
Ruston and Hornsby's Profits.
The annual report of Ruston and Hornsby, Ltd., for the year ended March last shows a credit balance of £141,836, less depreciation, £42,009, and interest on debentures and debenture stooks, £26,750, leaving £73,097, to which has to be added £25,810 brought in, making £98,907.
The directors propose a year's dividend on the 5 per cent. and 6 per cent. preference shares, absorbing f23,500, and a dividend of 2j per cent. on the ordinary shares, less tax, accounting for £51,250, leaving £24,157 to be carried forward. The profits of the company for the previous year totalled 189,196.
Burrell's Closing Down.
We learn that certain departments of Charles Burrell and Son, of Thetford, are now being closed closvii, and that-inquiries for many of their former products should be addressed to Richard Garrett and Son, of Leiston, Suffolk, who have taken over the manufacture thereof.
Coach Restrietionsin the Isle at Wight.
With reference to the Order which was made by the Ministry of Transport and which came into force on August lit, 1927, restricting the use of certain highways by heavy motorcars and by large motor coaches, the Isle of Wight County Council is considering the desirability of making an application for a further Order. It has therefore asked the town councils and urban district councils in the Island if they have any suggestions to make with reference to the inclusion of other roads if the county council should eventually decide to proceed with the suggested application.
Concessions for Trans-desert Services.
The High Commissioner of the French Republic in the States of Syria, Liban, Alaouites and Djebel-Druzi has just issued a series of regulations under which the four companies engaged in the running of mdtor services between Reyrouth and Bagdad, i.e., the Nairn Oriental Transport Co., the Societe de Tourisine et de Transport Kawatly, Tawil et Cie, and La Compagnie de Transport H. Makeoumi, will, under certain conditions, be allowed to import vehicles, tyres, tubes, petrol and lubricating oils free of import duty.
"Safety First" Awards to Bus Drivers.
A further batch of drivers in the employ of the London General OmnibusCo., Ltd., has recently received medals and awards from the National "Safety First" Council. There are now over 800 " General " drivers Nvho hold " Safety First" awards, as the result of having been free from accidents for periods of from five to ten years.
• First-aid Boxes for Buses. Settle (Yorkshire) Parish Council has recently decided to urge upon the West Riding County Council and the Ministry of Transport the necessity for all motor vehicles licensed for passenger conveyance to carry first-aid boxes.
Guy Agents in Leeds.
Guy Motors, Ltd., has just appointed Messrs. Wheatley and Whiteley, Volt Garage, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, to be its agent in the City of Leeds. The company will stock a representative range of Guy chassis and will carry a good stock of spares.
Java's 1927 Imports.
During the year 1927, 2,189 commercial chassis, valued at 2,887,148 guilders, were imported into Java. So far as the Outer Islands are concerned, 828 commercial vehicles were imported. The total import of motor vehicles into the whole of the Netherlands East Indies was much greater than in any previous year Imports of motor accessories and tyres increased to such an extent that the motor trade now ranks only second to textiles in order of importance.
The import of motor vehicles from the United Kingdom is still disappointing, and is likely •to remain small until makers elect to take a share in connection with financing and promoting local sales.
Mr. A. B. Atkey's Distinction.
To the great satisfaction of those concerned in the administration of Nottingham municipal affairs, Mr. A. R. Atkey, one of the best-known men in the Mid land motor trade, is to be nominated for the mayoralty of the city at the customary election in November next. He has for 20 years continuously represented wards of the city, and in recognition of his long service he was elevated to the aldermanic bench at the last meeting of the council.
Mr. Atkey, who has previously occupied the office of sheriff, was, from 1918 to 1922, Parliamentary representative of the central division of Nottingham, and is chairman of two of the most important corporation committees, those dealing with water supply and Trent navigation, apart from representing the water-supply interests of the country on the advisory committee on river pollution. Last year he was vicechairman of the local Chamber of Commerce.
On Contract Work for the L.C.C.
In our issue dated February 14th we mentioned that John Rowland and Co., Ltd., 13, Jewry Street, London, E.C.3, had secured contracts from the London County Council for the hire of 21-ton motorvans. The user has sent us the picture which we reproduce on this page, showing one of the vans used for this purpose. It is a Dennis 2i-tonner, which has a wheelbase of 14 ft. and carries a body having the following inside dimensions: length, 12 ft. 6 ins. ; width, 6 ft. 6 ins.; height, 6 ft. 6 ins.. Three of the vehicles of this type are in service for the council.
A Report on the American Industry.
A confidential report on production and other factors in the more important units of the American motorvehicle industry has been prepared by the Department of Overseas Trade from information furnished by His Majesty's Consul at Detroit, Michigan. United Kingdom manufacturers desirous of receiving a copy of the report should communicate with the department at 35, Old Queen Street, London, S.W.1.
A Road Damage Claim.
Merioneth County Council has notified the North Wales Power Co. that it will hold the company responsible for damage already done, and any damage that may be done in the future, to the Brynegiwys and Maentwrog Station roads, or any other reads maintained by the council. This is occasioned by the haulage of material and men in connection with the erection of electric cables, and a claim is to be made against the company in respect of the damage.
More Railway Road Motor Services in France.
With the sanction of the French Ministry of Public Works, a new company has lately been formed with the title La Societe des Transports Auxiliaries des Chemins de Fer du Midi, to organize road motor services between the railway stations on the Midi railway system and the outlying towns and villages. The new concern is affiliated with the railway company.
Municipal Motorbus Results at Sheffield.
The report of the tramways anti motors committee of the Sheffield Corporation for the year ended March 31st last shows that the income derived from the operation of the authority's buses during the year amounted to £230,819, whilst the expenses totalled £193,178, thus leaving a balance of £37,641 to be carried to the net revenue account.
So far -as outgoings are concerned, traffic expenses were £92,370, general expenses £19,941, the 'cost of repairs £52,290 and the purchase of motor spirit £28,300. The gross profit on the motorbuses was 138,307, and this has been appropriated as follows:—Interest, £2,078, sinking fund, £6,682, renewals fund, £19,534, special reserve fund, £8,686, income tax, £977, and a contribution towards the cost of a passenger shelter, £350.
During the year three new sixwheeled covered-top buses (two Karriers and a Guy) were put into use, as well as a Leyland single-decker. In addition, five Leyland Titan 51-seater covered-top double-deckers are on• order. At the end of March last the Sheffield Corporation had 126 buses in stock.
Ireland's Longest Concrete Road.
The Enniscorthy-Wexford Road, which is the longest stretch of all-concrete road in the British Isles, being 111 miles long, was opened a few days ago-by Gen. R. Mulcahy, the Irish Free State Minister of Local Government. The longest continuous stretch of concrete highway-195 miles—is to be found in Alabama, U.S.A.
Blackburn Forming a Bus Advisory Committee.
Blackburn Corporation is to convene a conference of local authorities in the area to consider the question of forming an advisory committee in connection with the licensing of motorbuses. It has been decided to invite to the con
ference representatives of -the licensing authorities within an area bouuded by Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Todmorden, Coins, Clitheroe and Longridge.
Objecting to Perth's Proposals. Perth County Council, acting for itself and on behalf ofthe Perth District Committee, the London, Midland
and Scottish Railway Co., the London and North-Eastern Railway Co., the Scottish Motor Trade Association, Ltd., the Motor Agents' Association, Ltd., Inc., the Scottish General Omnibus Cod, and the General Motor Carrying Co., Ltd., have lodged objections against the application of the Perth Town Council for a provisional order _to enable it to scrap-its tramways system and instead to employ motorbuses. An Interesting Use for a Contractor's Six-wheeler.
A typical example of the all-round usefulness of the six-wheeled vehicle is suggested by an illustration which appears on this page; this shows a Foden wagon of this type undertaking a somewhat unusual task. The vehicle is in the service of Messrs. Bethel and Sons, of Sale, the well-known contrac tors. '
It often happens that this-, Company has to undertake wOrk in different centres which are many miles apart, and, to save time in driving from place to Place with a steam roller Which, incidentally, is legally conipelled to travel at. a slow rate, it has been . found convenient and profitable to transport the roller over these long distances in the body of the six-wheeler. After a contract has been completed there are always tools and equipment (lamps, picks, shovels, etc.) which have to be removed, and these can also be accommodated.
Where suitable lifting apparatus is not available the roller can be run on to the platform under its own steam up lengths of strong oak timber, and it can be unloaded down the ramps by backing the six-wheeler into a position where the ground is higher than the road wheels.
Demonstrating Garage Equipment.
From June 12th-26th Messrs. Ellison and Co., of 123-125, Albion Street, Leeds, is giving a working demonstration of a wide range of garage equip
ment and tools. The latest laboursaving appliances for vehicle washing, breakdown work, tyre servicing, reconditioning and general maintenance will be shown in operation.
A London Caterer Buys Albions.
The Albion Motor Car Co., Ltd., Scotstoun, Glasgow, has recently received a repeat order from the wellknown catering concern, J. Lyons and Co., Ltd., of London, for six 30-45 h.p. 8-ton chassis. The• order was placed through the Normand Garage, Ltd.
Motors and Appliances at the Three Counties Show.
There were a few agrimotors at the Three Counties Agricultural Show which opened at Hereford on Tuesday Of last week, among these being the 'Fordson (R. P. Ravenhill and others), International (International Harvester Co., ' Ltd.) and the Wallis (MasseyHarris, Ltd.).
From the point of view of being, in a way, new to this country the Wallis was of interest. In many ways it is a superior machine. It was formerly manufactured for Great Britain by Messrs. Ruston and Hornsby, of Lincoln, but that company has .ceased to handle it and the exhibit at Hereford was American, being shown by MassayHarris, Ltd., which owns the factory.
Market-garden cultiva• tors were shown by Geo.
Monro, . Ltd., whilst there was a number of motor mowers on various stands. The only special bodywork was to be found on the Curtis and the Vincent horseboxes. In both cases the models were of two-horse and three-horse capacity.
The other exhibits were :—Overland f arm wagon on 25-cwt. chassis, tipper on same chassis, 10-cwt. delivery van and
commercial saloon car ; Chevrolet dropsided lorry, delivery van (both on 25cwt. chassis), market-garden lorry, 10cut, delivery van, 14-seater bus ; Ford 30-cwt. lorry, enclosed vans, touring cars ; International motor lorry with livestock body and industrial tractor with tipping trailer. James Freyer, Ltd., staged the Chevrolets, and Mr. R. P. Ravenhill the Ford products, the others being shown by the makers. A. 4 n.h.p. light compound steam tractor was on the stand of Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd.
Refusing Licences for a Big Fleet.
A further Ministry of Transport inquiry in the north country is foreshadowed by a difference which has arisen between the United AutomobileServices, Ltd., and the Darlington Corporation, this resulting in the corporation refusing to renew licences for 120 of the company's buses, which expired at the end of last month. So far no official statement has been made as to the reason for the action, but it is gathered that if or when an inquiry is held, the corporation will take steps to have brought under review the restric tions which were imposed on it as the result of an inquiry held last year. It is contended that certain of these limitations prevent the authority from ensuring adequate and uniform control of bus traffic, and that it should be given greater scope in the interests of the travelling public.
Agricultural Tractors in CzechoSlovakia.
Some of the largest Czecho-Slovakiart machinery manufacturers have recently submitted to the Ministry of Finance a formal request for an increase ill the import duty on agricultural tractors, the manufacture of which is still in its infancy in Czecho-Slovakia. Various agricultural organizations, however, have lodged protests against sue] action, and have pointed out that in creased duties would place an excessive burden on the agricultural industry of the country. The demand for tractors is approximately 2,000 units annually, whilst the home-country factories are said to be in a position to produce only between 300 and 400 a year.
Restrictive Clauses on Buses.
Edinburgh Corporation has recently made a new clause in connection. with the issue of licences to motorbus proprietors plying for hire in the city, and, in effect, this means that bus owners will be compelled to charge not less thah,ld. more than the fares charged on the Edinburgh tramcars -where the bus routes run alongside .or parallel with any tramways route. It also states that return or contract tickets must not be issued if they have the effect of making passenger conveyance on the buses as cheap as, or cheaper than, on the tramWays.
A Municipal Vehicle Parade.
Southwark Borough Council has decided to hold a parade of its horsed and motor vehicles upon the same lines as in previous years on June 30th.
A Low-priced and Unusual Fire-extinguisher.
Simplicity is one of the main features in the design and operation of the Fire-Foe appliance. The device, which is marketed by the Fire-Foe Co., 81, King Street, Bury, does not employ liquid after the manner of the usual fire-fighting appliance, a special moisture-proof powder being used. When projected at a burning object this powder forms heavy gases which smother the fire.
It is claimed that the Fire-Foe extinguisher is able to deal with all classes of fire, thus avoiding the necessity for keeping a multiplicity of equipment. There are no complicated working Parts, and the container can be refilled economically and with ease; no further attention normally being needed. The price of the model If, which is specially suitable for carrying on vehicles, is Sc., whilst the model F, which is recommended for use in garages, factories, etc., sells at 10s.
Some remarkable results have been obtained at recent demonstrations of the FireFoe appliance, a stack of flaming, petrol-soaked timber being effectively dealt with in ten seconds. It is interesting to note that the Sentinel Waggon Works, Ltd., and the motorbus departments of the Rarosbottom and Todnaorden Corporations are amongst the many commercial users of this extinguisher.
A Ribble Appeal. .
Manchester Watch Committee has been-notified that an appeal has been lodged by the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., of Preston, against the refusal of the committee to grant licences in respect of certain bus services.
Bus Results in Faris.
La Societe des Transports en Commune de la Region Parisienne, which operates the motorbuses and electric tramcars in Paris, reports asnet profit of £59,647 for the 'past financial year as compared with £82,282 in 1928.
Petrol Pump Charges at York.
York Watch Committee has decided that the annual acknowledgment paid in respect of the erection of petrol pumps in the city should be increased to £2 per pump in respect to new pumps. The increase is also to apply to existing pumps as from April 6th last.
Sidelights on the American Export Trade.
Official returns dealing with the,ekports of American vans, lorries, buses and chassis show that during the first quarter of the present year a new record was established, no fewer than 30,215 vehicles of a value of £4,155,125 having been shipped from the United States during that period, as contrasted with 25,479 vehicles (£3,275,376) in the corresponding three months a year ago.
The details of the shipments show that so far this year the Argentine has been the largest buyer, that republic being credited with 3,221 vehicles of the total, the other big markets in the order of their importance being: Australia, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, Belgium and Canada.
It is interesting to point out that the proportion of exports to the total American production is now about 29 per cent. and that of the exported vehicles 28,953, or nearly 80 per cent.. have Et carrying capacity of not more than 1 ton, 5,569 carrying between 1 ton and 23 tons, only 693 being intended for loads over 23 tons.
A Manchester User's Bus.
In our issue for last week we dealt at some length with the coach-cum-bus services organized by Mr. J. Sharp, of Stockport Road, Manchester, and we referred to a new Associated Daimler 024 32-seater rear-entrance bus he /lad recently put into service. We might mention that the body of this particular vehicle was built by T. G. Bell and Co., Ltd., of Finningley, near Doncaster. It has several special refinements in it construction, these being incorporated to meet the express wishes of its owner.
Prolonging a Long-distance Service. An interesting addition to a long-distance service has just been made by the County Motor Services, of Newcastle, who have prolonged their NewcastleEdinburgh service to Glasgow, thereby linking up three important cities, and adding about 44 miles to the route served. The route from Newcastle to
the Scottish capital is by way of Kelso and Wooler, an alternative route from that worked by other undertakings linking up at the same centres. This company run Associated Daimler and Leyland saloon buses.
s Northampton Licensing Increase.
At a meeting of the licensing committee of the Northampton Corporation, the local taxation officer submitted a statement showing that the amount reeeived in respect of road fund licences for the live months ended April 30th was £43,667 18s. 11d. for 7,723 licences, as against £40,464 Is. 5d. for 7,234 licences for the corresponding period of the previous year.
Bus and Tram Competition in Belfast.
The Belfast Corporation's endeavour to obtain powers to run buses to places outside the city boundary has had a sequel that is not altogether without its lighter side. Already bus services run to Castlereagh and Cregagh, and now more formidable opposition to the trams has been introduced by the institution of ten-minute bus services to Dundonald and Glengormley, the longest of the tramway routes and two of the best patronized.
The concerns responsible, the Belfast Omnibus Co. and Messrs. H. M. S. Catberwood, two of the biggest bus concerns in Ireland, should find their new services profitable, as the Dundonald and Glengormley districts are thickly Populated, largely by business people. The two companies have co-operated in the arrangements of their time-tables.
It is a remarkable fact that the attitude of the Belfast people, who stand to gain by reason of reduced rates where the tramways run at a profit, is entirely sympathetic to the independent bus interests. This is probably due to the efforts which have been made to cur. tail the operations of bus companies in Northern Ireland, Considering Bridge Traffic Restrictions.
The county surveyor and the clerk of the Merioneth County Council have been asked to report as to whether it is desirable to amend the county by-laws with regard to the prohibited or restricted use of certain classes of Tehicle on specified bridges.
A Bus-licence Transference.
At a meeting of the H-all Watch Committee it was reported that the East Yorkshire Motor Services, Ltd., had purchased the services of Jacksons Motors, Ltd-, and J. C. Holt and had applied for the transfer of the licences. The application was granted.
French Exports Up.
So far this year there has been a , marked increase in the exports of motorva.us, lorries and buses from France, the returns for the two months ended with February last showing a total of 931 vehicles of an approximate value of £235,530, as contrasted with 729 vehicles of a value of £236,300 in the corresponding period of 1927.
Recent Vulcan Orders.
Several important municipal authorities figure in the list of recent purchasers of Vulcan vehicles. The Brighton Corporation has placed an order for three 2-ton chassis, this being the fourth order placed by this authority during the past four months. The Deptford Borough Council has ordered two 3-ton low-loading tipping wagons for refuse collection, a type of vehicle which is also being bought by the Gusforth Urban District Council.
Repeat orders from well-known business concerns have also recently been received by the Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co. (1906), Ltd., the vehicles largely in favour being built to carry 30 cwt., 2-ton and 23-ton loads.
A most interesting order for passenger vehicles which is being dealt with by the company is one for six sixcylinder buses, this having been received from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd.