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C°1s4 M ERCIAL-VEHICLE production in the New Year began on a slightly quieter note, the month's output of 14,002 units comparing with 15,749 in December. Of January's production, 6,144 units were exported and 7,857 were retained in the United Kingdom. One was for Service use. The proportion for export was much higher than in December.
Production by classes was as follows: Under 15 cwt., 4,744; 15 cwt. and under 6 tons, 7,3.08; 6 tons and over, 520; motorbuses and trolleybuses, 1,153; battery-electrics, 277.
These figures have been published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which also states that 85,561 agricultural tractors of all types were produced in 1947. Of these, 26,343 were exported.
HEAD AND PASS LAMP REGULATIONS COMING
piSTRONG appeal to drivers to co-operate in the anti-dazzle measures disclosed in the Interim. Report of the Road Research Board, particularly in connection with the proper adjustment of motor head lights, was made recently by the Ministry of Transport. Draft amending regulations have now been prepared, and these require that as from January 1 next all
pass lamps" shall be fixed •so that their centres are not less than 2 ft. from the ground. An exception is proposed for those used only in fog or snow.
After discussion with the makers, the Minister has concluded that it is "impracticable, at present, to prescribe upper and lower limits of height for mounting head lamps. He proposes, however, that when designs are modified, the recommendations in the Report should be observed, and, as at present advised, he proposes later to make regulations prescribing an upper limit of height of 3 ft. 6 ins., and a lower limit of 2 ft. 6 ins, for head lamps and "pass lamps" on vehicles registered for the first time on or after January 1, 1951.
076 In the meantime, low-mounted "pass lamps." and fog lamps should be adjusted to point to the left, and fog lamps dipped in the same way as the former.
If lamps have front glasses with flutings intended to be vertical, these flutings should not appear as tilted from the bottom left to the top right when viewed from the front.
" NO-STANDING " RULE: STATEMENT SOON
THE Minister of Transport hopes soon to make a statement on the question of the " no-standing " rule in buses. When, in the House of Commons, he was asked whether, having regard to the variations in the times of peak periods in different areas, he would consider permitting some passengers to stand in what were crowded, although not technically peak, periods, the Minister replied: "At the moment this will be confined to peak periods."
In answer to another question, he said that the case for differentiation between town and country services would be taken into consideration. 669,945 GOODS VEHICLES IN GREAT BRITAIN
QN November 30, 1947, there were in Great Britain 112,786 hackney carriages other than trams, 669,945 goods vehicles, 3,688 road haulage tractors, 192,055 agricultural engines taxed at 5s., and 77,886 exempt vehicles, making a total of 1,056,360.
Goods vehicles comprised the following classes:—Agricultural vans and lorries, 36,359; showmen's special vehicles, 2,920; local authorities' vehicles for watering and cleansing, 841; and other goods vehicles, electric, 9,979; steam and gas, 388; and other fuel, 619,458.
The road haulage tractors were made up of 218 agricultural machines (not used primarily for work on the land), 439 showmen's tractors and 3,031 for general haulage, states the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
H.M.F. WILL NOT HELP IN NATIONALIZATION
A LETTER published in this issue Pi refers to the attitude of the Hauliers' Mutual Federation concerning the implementation of the nationalization of road transport, and emphasizes that its members will not voluntarily sell their businesses to the Government.
On Monday, the president, Mr. E. B. Howes, told " The,Commercial Motor" that this policy was unanimously resolved at a meeting of the National Council on February 25, when it was decided that no executive member would assist nationalization. He added that the Federaton is not swayed by any political influence, but is solely concerned with the welfare of the country, which it considers is best served by free and independent road transport.
Further to this policy, the Council has Come to the conclusion that the only safeguard left to the longor short-distance operator still outside the British Transport Commission is to carry out the purpose for which the Federation was formed, i.e., grouping, and it calls upon all its members to get together for mutual protection. EXECUTIVE WILL HELP SMALL OPERATOR
ON Tuesday the National Road Transport Federation entertained to luncheon Major-General G. N Russell, chairman of the Road Transport Executive, and the other members of it. The chairman ot the N.R.T.F, Mr. H. T. Dutfield, M.Inst.T. who is himself a part-time executive, presided
Introducing General Russell, Mr. Dutfield said it was the custom of the N.R.T.F. to entertain any head of a Government Department with which it was likely to be concerned in the future. It was easy to nationalize other industries, but road transport would cause a headache.
General Russell said that he felt his position very deeply. It was difficult, but he thanked the N.R.T.F. for the opportunity of meeting its members. The operators ha built up a great industry in a few years and had impinged it on the social set-up. Now, they were willing to discuss how the new system was to be worked.
It was the duty of the Executive to make it an economic success, and every effort must be made to reduce charges, but the railways must not be put into bankruptcy. It was a great pity that air transport was not with the Commission.
The Executive did not want a monopoly with a big stick There would be no grinding down. It would strive to act as a big brother. There would be no snoopers and no gestapo, and he did not see why the industry should not continue running itself, with no more soldiers or civil servants. It was his ambition to keep the small man going in his connection with the trader, as road transport thrived on good relationship and business acumen.
£200,000 LEYLAND BUS ORDER FROM POLAND
AN order valued at about £200,000 for 100 Leyland 8-ft. wide singledecker bus chassis has been ratified by the Polish Government Purchasing Commission. The chassis will be LOPS.3 models with 125 b.h.p. oil engines and quick-change synchromesh gearboxes. They will draw passengerCarrying trailers.
An earlier order for 100 Leyland bus chwisis was placed by Poland in November, 1946. lhe chassis recently shipped to that country have been fitted with Polish timber-built bodies.'
MR. QUICK SMITH JOINS R.T.E.
ON April 1, Mr. G. W Qaick Smith LL.B., secretary ot the National Road Transport Federation, will take up an appointment as secretary and legal adviser 'is the Roadt Transport Executive of the B.T.C.
Mr. Quick Smith is also secretary of the employers' panel of the Wages Board and of the Joint industrial Council for the Road Haulage Industry, and a director of the Meat Transport Organization, Ltd. He is rapporteur to the highway trans.sort committee of the International Chamber of Commerce.
NATIONAL DRIVE FOR BUS LETTERBOXES
THEplea at Sheffield for the restoration of night letterboxes on buses and tramcars is now being advanced nationally. Sheffield Post Office Advi
sory Committee has urged the central committee of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce to send a deputation to the Postmaster-General, to convince him that the renewal of late postal facilities is in the public interest, BAN ON " LUXURY " BODIES AFTER MARCH 31
COACHBUILDERS have been notified, in a circular from the Director of Vehicle Production, Ministry of Supply, that the building of luxury coach bodies is to cease on March 31. The definition of such a body is one fitted With luxury seats and sliding or half-panelled roof. clocks, decorative mirrors and other etceteras
" The definition of the standard is nebulous and the timing ridiculous, because the notice was received. only last Monday. Coachbuilders producing, perhaps, 20 or so bodies a week wilt undoubtedly be stocked for production far beyond this date.
OVER 55,000 NEW C-LICENSEES
IN 1947, 55,7i,9 new C-licence operators I came int') existence arLi were licensed to run 103,413 vehicres. The Minister of Transport gave this information in the House of Commons last week, when he said that on December 26, 1947, there were 253,548 C-licensees, with 481451 vehicles Later he said that 5,444 new C licences were issued in January.
When Mr Ernest Davies asked whether the Minls'er considered taking steps to stop this increase from continuing, Mr. Alfred Barnes replied that he did not think such measures were neces
sary 'at the present moment" He added that during the passage of the Transport Ad it was indicated that this process would necessarily be studied.
He would not give an undertaking to Mr Peter Thorneycroft that in no circumstances would he try to preserve the monopoly by attacking C-licensees.
AN I.R.T.E. COACH TOUR
1-1. A TOUR .by coach to include visits to works and a laboratork is being arranged for its members by the Institute of Road Transport Engineers. It will cost £12, and will cover travel and hotel charges from Monday, April 26, to Friday, April 30_ Accommodation in London could be reserved at extra cost for the Sunday and Friday
The following itinerary has been arranged:—April 26: 8 a.m., leave Victoria Embankment, London; 1.15 p.m., arrive at J_ Brockhouse and Co., Ltd., West Bromwich, for lunch and tour of Brockhouse organization, leaving at 4.30 p.m.; 7 p.m., arrive Grosvenor. Hotel, Chester.
April 27: 9.15 a.m., leave Chester; 10.30 a.m., arrive Shell Research Laboratories, Thornton-in-the-Moors; inspect experimental work and lunch there, leaving at 4.30 p.m.; 6 p.m., arrive Palace Hotel, Southport April 28: 9.15 a.m. leave Southport; 10.30, arrive Leyland Motors, Ltd., Leyland, for works tour; 12 noon, lunch Park Hotel, Preston; 1.45 p.m., return Leyland Works; .4.30 p.m., leave; 6.45 p.m., arrive Grand Hotel, Harrogate.
April 29: 10 a.m., leave Harrogate for works of Jonas Woodhead and Co.; Ltd., Leeds., inspection and lunch there, leave about 2.45 p.m.; 3 p.m., arrive Kirkstall Forge, Ltd.; 5.30. arrive Queens Hotel, Leeds.
April 30: 9.45 a.m., leave Leeds; 12.30 p.m., arrive Angel and Royal Hotel, Grantham; 6.45 p.m., arrive London. JEN-TUGS FOR RAILWAYS
BRITISH RAILWAYS are to put between 70 and 80 Jen-Tugs and semi-trailers in service all over the country, as a working experiment. Each 30-cwl. outfit will replace one horse-drawn vehicle.
The Jen-Tug was described fully in "The Commercial Motor" dated January 31, 1947, and a road-test report appeared in the issue dated January 23, 1948. It is a crab-tracked tractor with a Ford 10 h.p. engine. The three-speed synchromesh gearbox and single-plate dry clutch are also standard Ford components.
Notable features are easy removal of the engine-gearbox unit, a rearward radiator, progressive springing, and a cab providing good visibility.
A modification which has been made to the original design and will Ile incorporated in future production models is the fitting of a combined indicator and stop plate to the coupling wheel on the 13rockhouse semi-trailer. This has the object of preventing a driver from attempting to back the tractor up to the trailer if the coupling attachment has been left facing the wrong way.
A shield of spring steel, fitted to the reverse side of the flanged-wheel bracket, is painted white. If the driver did not observe the white "signal," the shield would in any case prevent engage men t. It is not intended that this type of vehicle shall replace the mechanionlbase fleet of 3-tonhers and 6-tonners, numbering 3,831 and 1,667 respectively.
EVIDENCE DEMANDED FOR EXTRA SERVICES
A NOTHER warning as to the r importance of having supporting evidence in applications to operate additional services, was given by the chairman Of the Yorkshire Licensing Authority (Major F. S. Eastwood), at a Harrogate sitting on March 4, when he refused an application by Wallace Arnold Tours, Ltd. The company sought permission to operate from Castleford 42 additional excursions and tours to holiday resorts, football matches and race meet
Announcing that the application was refused because of .lack of evidence, Major Eastwood said: "1 hope this might be a warning to operators to produce evidence. It is the third time I have had to mention it in this court, and I hope it Will not be necessary again."
Evidence of increased train services was given on behalf of the British Railways.
• NEW Delivery vans and utilities
Road haulage tractors .,