Contributions from Drivers and Mechanics.
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Ten Shillings Weekly for the Best Communication Received, and One Penny a Line of ten words for anything else published.
Drivers of commercial ngotors, and mechanics and ,foremen of garages or shops, who are enzaged in any branch of the industry, :re invited to contribute short, personal experiences, opinion.; or suggestions, on subjects wh:ch are likely to prove of interest to our 'alders. We shall be glad to hear of anything interesting that has come under any driver's or mechanic's notice, either in the shops ,r on the road. Long and successful runs ; services with vi "lost journeys" ; workshop tips and smart repairs; all are suitable mbjects. Send a postcard, or a letter, or a sketch to us—no ;natter how short, or how written, or how worded. We will "knock it :nto shape" before publication. When writing it is as vll to mention your employer's name as a guarantee of bona fides (not 'or pubtication), and to state whether you wish xour own name, or initials only, to be PublishedPayment will be made immediately yler pilVratibn. Address your letters to The Editor,' THE COMMERCIAL Mo ran," 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, London, E.G..
mproved Fusible Plug.
"• (Sunderland) writes as follows: " With vier, nee to the description of a new fusible plug by iCamden Town), which appeared in your issue of last week, I should like 1'0 know what is going to keep he lead in the plug, as, when you insert a new plug, the cad always melts out up to the level of the lire-box crown. Chesti plugs are generally threaded inside to stop the lead ram blowing out."
iteam-wagon Driver's Routine.
[459! E.S." (Victoria Perk) submits the following sug
7estions for the routine of steam-wagon drivers:Now hat the steam motor wagon has come to stay in such minters, 1 should like to impress upon my fellow-drivers, hrough the medium of your Drivers' and Mechanics" olumns, the importance of having a definite daily routine .pon whieh to work, instead of going about their work in haphazard sort of fashion. This slackness, I am sorry to ay, lets been the cause of the ruin of quite a number of ,•ageins of well-known makes. By this I mean, that there re a lot of inert, who have an idea that a wagon ought to un constantly without any attention or adjustments whatver, and, so long as they reach the shed at the end of each ay's journey, they are satisfied that they have done quite nough. Now I am convinced that this is quite a mistaken olicy, for 1 am a firm believer in the old proverb, • .1 stitch time saves nine.'
" I find that by getting into work at a reasonable time efore the hour at which I am ordered to leave the yard, I m able to satisfy myself that everything is in perfect order ar the day's run. My first job is to examine the water in :IC gauge before 1 light the fire, and, while the boiler is teaming, 1 am able thoroughly to examine the wagon, rhile I am going round with my oilcan and greasepol. I lways make a point of taking a shifting spanner round 7ith me, so that I can tighten any bolts that ono have -orked loose. Details which I pay especial attention to are, II parts of the engine, the steering gear, the driving chains ad the brakes. When 1 am satisfied that these are all in xiod order. I start up the engine by giving the flYwheel a nv turns by hand, so as to make sure everything is clear efore I let steam into the cylinders. While the engine is inning. I see that the pump is feeding the boiler properly
n il 1 also try the injector. Having assured myself that us is in good order, I am able to start on my journey.
" Whilst on the road, I always take into consideration, le various gradients on any particular route, so that I ran 'ark the water to get the full value out of the wagon. It ; always best to have the water gauge about three parts • in order to guard against the possibility of the uncover ig of some of the tubes in hilly districts. When I get to le end of my journey there are always such jobs as packing lands, filling lubricators and trimming lamps to be. done, D that it is never necessary to stand idle. When I get ack to the shed after a day's work, 1 draw the fire, but 1 lways leave a little in the fire-box to allow cooling down to Ike place slowly. I also then get everything in readiness :or • lighting up ' on the following morning. " T append a few suggestions that I have always followed tiring my exoerience of steam-wagon driving. (1) Always 'wry it pail of and on the wagon, for it is sure to gel you ut of a difficulty at sOnle time. (2) Never let our water Ink run out before vou attempt to find a place us herr. you in re olenish it. (3) Don't run your wagon by tit s and starts; always keep a steady price on the: road. (4) Don't be afraid of using too much oil far lubricating purposes. (5) Never use dirty water for your boiler before you have definitely decided that you can't get some that is clean. (6) Don't wait until your fusible plug has blown before you draw your fire, when your boiler is dangerously short of water. (7) Never waste time, for there is always some part of the wagon that can do with z•ittention. " In conclusion, I would suggest that you invite the readers of these columns, who are steam-wagon drivers, to give you their views as to the best make of steam wagon. If they give sensible reasons for their preference their letters should prove very interesting."
A Useful Tip for the Gleaning of Lubricator Glasses.
2 he sender of the following comniunication has been awarded the cos. prize this week.
141)01 The following useful hint. has been sent to us for in these columns by it correspondent who uses the
nom-de-plume " SWAFFIIANI " : As 1 have recently experienced a great deal of troublewith the lubricator glasses on the cars which I have under my care, I thought of a rather novel and effective way of cleaning the inside surfaces of the glasses without the trouble of dismounting any part. The inner surface of the sight glasses. after a few weeks' use, became coated with a film of oil which rendered the
g asses practically opaque, and consequently the lubrication s3 stem was either neglected or used to excess. This state o things, of course, brought in its train all sorts of troubles.
" The method, which I have adopted, is as follows. Pass a piece of fairly coarse string completely round the glass, and, while holding one end in each hand, commence to pull the ends of the string towards youfirst pullingone end and then the other. The friction of the string slipping on the glass produces enough heat to volatilise the oil film which has adhered to the inner surface of the glass. The time taken to clean even a very dirty glass is hardly ever more than 30 seconds.
" The adoption of this simple method has saved much time which is usually wasted in the taking down of lubricators. We have also been enabled to avoid the breakage of many glasses, as, unless the mechanic or the driver who does the job is most careful, a broken glass is invariably one of the results of taking a sight-feed lubricator to pieces."