Rates for Haulage Contractors.
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• The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,-I am a regular reader of your journal and have been so for some years, and I have always followed your Tables, but have mislaid my copy. Would you, therefore, kindly send me one of the latest edition, as I like to base my figures on yours.
For my 7-cwt. Ford van I charge 3s. 6d. per hour, eight hours per day of 50 miles. Now I have purchased a new 30-cwt. Chevrolet for general cartage. I have no definite Contracts but take the work as it comes along. Should I charge according to your 30-cwt. Table or less? Also what should I charge per hour when I am asked to quote in that way, and what mileage would I be expected to do in eight hours?
I also run an Austin landaulet and a Wolseley limousine for private-hire work. My charges for these have been 9d. per mile, 6s. per hour shopping, and 3s. 6d. per hour waiting time. I have charged according to your 15-cCv't. Table; as you do not show any special one for private-hire work. I wish you did.
The hire work is terribly cut up,in this neighbourhood. Some concerns do local work at 6d. and 7d. per mile and runs to the coast at 5d. per mile, which
are ridiculous figures. In one instance a firm runs vehicles to Paddington station and back-a distance of 33 miles-for 17s. 6d. I used to charge 25s. for this run, but I cannot get it now.-Yours faithfully,
[I am not quite clear what you mean by the first part of your letter, but if you want to know how to calculate your charges for a Ford van by the hour, reckoning on an eight-hour day, GO miles per day, 54days per week, you should proceed as follows:
Fifty miles per day is 275 miles per week. The charge for this according to the Tables should be rather less than the figure given for 300 miles per week, say, 18 per week.
Your 54-day week is 44 hours. Divide IS by 44 and you get 3s. 71d, as the charge you should make. You are actually charging 3s. 6d., which does not mean that you are working at a loss but merely that you are not quite getting the £3 per week gross profit which is suggested in the Tables (12 10s. per week profit, plus 10s. per week establishment charges).
Applying the same method of calculation to the 30-cwt. vehicle and again taking 50 miles per eighthour day, you should charge, according to the Tables, rather less than £13 19s. per week, call it £13 15s.; that brings your charge to 6s. 2id. per hour.
As regards a series of tables for private-hire charges. We have for some time had this in mind, but as no doubt you will appreciate, the difficulty is the wide variety of types of vehicle employed. In your case you are very nearly right in taking the figures for a 15-cwt. van as applying, although you could make a profit on a shade less. It is one of the difficulties of the private-hire business that so ninny amateurs engage in it and they are so ready to cut prices. The figures quoted in your letter will not pay if the matter be considered from the business point of view.
I would like to take an early opportunity to call to see you and discuss matters of haulage generally, if it would be convenient to you.-S.T.R.]