ANSWERS TO QUERIES.
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Wants a Steam Wagon.
11453] (Goventry).—We think your best method would be to communicate direct with the principal steam-wagon makers, putting your case before them, and asking them to give you as near an estimate as possible of the. probable time for delivery. You will Mill, of course, be entitled to any form of priority as being a Member of H.M. Forces. .
Width and Weight.
 (Martock).—The permitted width of the vehicle depends on the weight of the vehicle unladen. The weight is taken exclusive of any water, fuel or accumulators used for the purpose of propulsion.
If the weight unladen is less than 3 tons, the width measuring between the extreme projecting points shall not exceed 7 ft. 2 ins. If the weight unladen is 3 tons or above, the width between the extreme projecting points may not exceed 7 ft. 6 ins.
Are Trade Cars Taxed ?
 (Droylsden).—You do not say what your car is, the only indication being that you have had it registered as a trade car. There is no tax to pay on trade vehicles, but the onus is on you to prove that it is used solely for trade purposes. With regard to the Road Transport indication, the M P denotes that the vehicle runs on petrol; the ER is the initial indication of the transport area in which the 'vehicle is registered ; No. 1728 is your registered number ; and Nu. 1 is the car number of your fleet.
About to Start a Haulage-contracting Business,
ft t561.(Hooley Hill).—The present and immediate prospects of the haulage industry ate good indeed, all over the country, as there is at the moment actually a shortage of transport facilities. Keener competition will have to be faced later,undoubtedly, but. if you get well into the business now, quickly, and establish yourself on a sound basis, entering, perhaps, into suitable contracts, you should be able to face such a prospect with equanimity. You realize, of course, that the ultimate. factor of success in this, as in any other business you may .take up, is yourself, and that you will have to work very -hard and long hours to get the thing going, and before you begin to realize the benefits.
As regards the choice of a suitable unit: This can only be made after the actual circumstances of your individual case ,have. been thoroughly investigated and considered. If you. think that three-ton loads will frequently offer' then go in for a threetonner by all-means ; the bigger the unit, provided that work can be found for it, the mdre profitable the undertaking. On the other hand, you will quite realize that it will not be a sound proposition for you to purchase a three-tonner, and be running about the country most of the time carrying loads of one ton, or even, perhaps, less than one ton. The question can, therefore, only be settled by you on the spot. The following statement as to cost of running and the return may perhaps assist you in arriving at a decision. The cost of running a 1-ton lorry is 9d. per mile ; of a 2-ton lorry is. per mile • and of a 3-ton 1s. ad. per mile. A 3-ton lorry, therefore, although it carries three times the load of a 1-tanner, costs little more than 11.times as much. These figures are not the bare running costs. They include an estimate for wages, petrol, oil, rubber tyres, maintenance, rent and rates of your garage, insurance, depreciation of the chassis and interest on first cost. The depreciation and interest items are, of course, based on the cost of a. new chassis. If you antiei
pate buying a second-handfmachine, the incidence of these charges will be lesg. On the other hand, it is probable -that the .figure for maintenance will be
• increased, so that there is really very little to choose in this respect. The usual practice in the trade is that of charging so much a mile, hour, day or week for the use of the • lorry. • On a Mileage basis, the usual terms are is. M. per mile for 1-ton; 2s. per mile for 2-ton; 2s. 6d. per mile. for 3-ton. You will note that these are precisely double.the costs per mile respectively as stated above. If you carry smaller consignments than 1-ton, or a number of small consignments on each journey, you will require to make up your : charges in order to meet the figure laid down. You
• should allow a little more, perhaps, for the additional handling and the delays and frequent stoppages, and these charges per mile cover a total mileage, that is to say, empty return running, as well as loaded journeys. It is possible that as you propose to drive the lorry yourself, you will be able to see your way to reduce this charge somewhat. New prices for lorries of the size you mention would probably be in the region of £400, .£550, and. £700; though these figures are only._ approximate.. They would depend, to some extent, upon the type. of body which you desired to have fitted. Moreover, prices in general, as you are aware, are in a somewhat fluid state at the moment.
For £250, which you state is your capital, you would only be able to purchase a second-hand ma-' chine and at that price yau ought to be able to get a fairly good 1-ton chassis, but only a doubtful 2-tonner, and we should hardly recommend you to attempt to buy a 3-tonncr.
Self-starters and Electric Lighting Sets.
 (Official).—We should think that you would have very little trouble in getting a self-starter and ' electric lighting set fixed to the chassis which you have in mind, but so much depends on the apparatus which you select. We would therefore suggest that ' you get into communieation with C. A. Vandea. veil and Co., Warple Way, Acton, W. ; The British Lighting and Ignition Co., Ltd., 204, Tottenham Court Road,W. ; Brown Bros., Ltd., Newman Street, • W. Each of these firms, on your telling them the • type of' chassis, would inform you whether their apparatus would fit, and give you an estimate tis to
t4458] (Bantry).—The future of benzole almost en' tirely depends upon the 'loyalty of the users. If they will buy benzule and persist in having it, and not be tempted away 'by the efforts of the petrol people to ernsh it by unfair competition—to be followed, of course. when benzole is off the market,' by a substantial risein' the price of petrol—then benzole • will be able to hold its own.
The difficulty about its handling is that it is prodnced in comparatively small quantities at the different gas works and various coking plants, and various distributing companies really need to .be formed in order to handle it. There has lately been formed the National Benzoic Association, among the objects of which are to interest motor users in benzole, to standardize the spirit, and to arrange about its dis
tribution. The Address of this Association is 84, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London, S.W. 1, and we suggest you write to this Association in order to get, if possible, a distributing agency for you/district.
Wants a Distributing Agency for Benzole.