WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by, the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier.
Road Transport Order.
In the Government Notices Section of the "Board of Trade Journal" for the 6th inst. the text of a Road Transport Order dated 4th June, made by the Board of Trade under Regulation 2JJJ of the Defence of the Realm Regulations is given. It provides; among other things, for returns as set out in the schedule to the Order, of all vehicles and horses which are used for the transport oi goods by road, except those used wholly or mainly in agriculture, or horse-drawn vehicles having a load capacity of less than 15 cwt. The returns are required by the 31st July.
From time to time figures have-been published by the Food. Production Department allowing remarkable results in ploughing achieved by individual tractors or tractor unite. It is encouraging to learn that there has been a progressive improvement in the work of the tractors as a whole. [hp to the middle of May 3835 tractere had been consigned to County Committees in England and Wales.
Motorbus and Tram Restrictions.
In the House of Commons last week, Mr. Gilbert asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Ilford Corporation Tramways Committee have been requested by the Tramways Committee appointed by his Department to restrict their tram services, and they have been curtailed on Sundays ; whether he is aware that the motor omnibus company which runs in the same district proposes to increase their services; and whether, in view of the unfairness of treating a public-owned service and a private company on different lines, he will see that, if services are to be reduced, private companies shall not be allowed to increase their services at the same time? Sig A. Stanley: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the last part, the Board of Trade are in communication with the omnibus company. Mr. Harris: Has not the Board of Trade the same power over the buses? Sir A. Stanley: We have not the same power, but it would be possible through the issue of petrol licences to place some restriction upon omnibus services.
Petrol in Ireland.
In the House of Commons last week, Mr. Stewart tasked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the regulations as to the use of petrol for purposes other than Government work are tee same in Ireland as in Great Britain; and whether the police in Ireland have the same strict instructions to prevent motoring for private purposes as is applied throughout the country districts of England, Scotland and Wales? Mr. Shortt: The answer to both parts of the question is in the affirmative.
Manchester Corporation, which runs motor omnibuses in association with the tramways, was able for the year ended 31st March last to carry forward a balance of £1553. The traffic revenue amounted to £12,127, or 13.424d. per bus mile compared with only 9.677d. for the previous year. The bus miles run were 216,811, and the passengers carried numbered 1,682,822. Traffic expenses represented 4.064 per bus mile, compared with 3.667d. the year before, and. petrol cost 3.352d., as against 2.813d. The total working expenses were 9.56/W., as against, 8.044d.
Twenty tractors were recently purchased in the United States by a single -company which is putting land -wider cultivation in the State of Vera Cruz.
. Ammunition for the Guns.
Our centre-page picture in this issue is .a re:production of a drawing b Mechanist Stall-Sergeant Roultwood, who is in charge of a lorry-repair shop a. short way behind the lines on the Western Front. It shows a Thomyeroft column loadedwith ammunition passing into an advanced battery area. On the right R.G.A. gunners are salving some large calibre shells which have been dumped by the roadside. The shells may not long be left or they would disappear in the ever-shifting mud. Over the ridge, standing bleak and wet in the chill morning air, trails the remainder of the convoy, whilst Fritz continues his morning hymn of hate by desultorily
lobbing " " at the roads and " pinking " shrapnels at our " sausages " which, owing to the unusual visibility, were up early that morning. Some gunners of the R.G.A., having caught some splinters of a shell which has burst near lay, are making their way to the sandbag dugout which forms the nearest advanced' dressing station the mud track in front leading to it.
Further along, the main road gradually merges itself into the surrounding quagmire, where lorries will slither and slide from the rough narrow log tracks. Unless they are pushed right over into the mud or quickly lifted out by the first-aid tackle of the M.T. workshops they will hold up the traffic for miles behind.. A Tbornycroft, so Sergt. Boultwood tells us, is a good lorry for tinditching, other lorries 'because it pulls to the last ounce and its strength of construction allows of liberties being taken which to another vehicle might mean serious damage.
Hull Watch Committee has granted a litence to the British Extracting Co. for a licence to keep 54,000 gallons of liquid petroleum in the city.
• Mr. Lewis Haslam and Mr. Wilson-Fox have given notice of a Motion for a:Select Committee to review " the methods, working, and equipment of the various agencies" by which tha system of internal transport and the delivery of goods in this country is carried on, to examine such suggestions as may seem worthy of cdasideration, to appoint outsiders to cerve on any sub-committees it may deem desirable to set up, and to report to the House of Commons froni. tiine to time. This subject has been considered more than once by the Commercial Committee large and important inter-party body. —andshould the Committee decide to copport an appeal for a day for the disclision of the motion' the Government would be compelled to give faeiPtics. ,
. Safety First.
-At a meeting of the London Safety First Council recently held it was stated that in a report of the nulls. xnentary White Paper recently isseed on the subject of accidents caused by vehicles in 1917, the General Purposes Corn. mittee pointed out that comparable with 1916 accidents, both fatal and non-fatal, in the greater London area had been reduced by 18 per cent., .Eis also had those in the counties of Essex, Kent and Surrey. The impending issue of a poster entitled " Hints to Drivers of Gas-propelled Vehicles " and a series of safety mottoes for exhibition on public service and coinmeroial vehicles was announced.
Although there has. been no inspection of commercial motor vehicles during the period of the war, the examination of drivers by the Commercial Motor Users Association has been maintained. This has not only reflected credit on the Association but also to those who hay:: generously contributed to the prize fund, the names of whom we have already pub
lished. The results of the recent examitration.s are as follows For the championship (a written and practical examination, the winners receiving money prizes) special medals and diplomas).
Steam : lit prize of 210—W. II.. Davey (employer, W. Whiteley, Ltd.). actprize of 251V. Stevens (employer, Still Four Mills Co.,. Ltd.) Petrol lit Prize of 210--.R. Spurrier (emp/oyer, E. Nelson and Co., Ltd.-). • 2nd prize of. 25—W, G. Haylor (employer, H. G. Burford and Co., Ltd.). Written examination (the winners Ye_ ceiving money prizes, special badges and certificates).
Steam prize, 25—C. Hornsby (employer, Sun Flour Mills Co., Ltd.).
Two 2nd prizes of 23 each-L-J: Copsey (employer, Gas Light and Coke Co., Ltd)., and W. Palley (employer, Bryant and May, Ltd.).
3rd prize of 22—j. Grove (employer, E. Nelson and (m, Ltd.). .Petrol: Ist prize of 2.5—C. F. Bidmead (employer, Westminster Electric Supply Corporation). Two 2nd prizes of 25 each—D. Cummings (eniployer, Schweppes, Ltd.), arid J. P. Cox (employer, Gas Light and Coke Co., Ltd.). 3rd prize of 22—F, Makinson (em-ployer, Bryant and May, Ltd.). There were no entries in the classes for electric vehicles.
In. the oral examination a special prize of 22, badge and certificate were awarded in the petrol section to G. H. Warren (employer, Blutamor and Co.), and in the steam section to F. G. Mobbs (employer, Bryant and May, Ltd.). The quality of work this year was extraordinarily high, for every competitor obtained more than 60. per cent. of the marks, and not a single one failed. The results indeed were most satisfactory.
London Taxicabs Off. .
According to the secretary of the Owner-Drivers Branch of the London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers, 200 taxicabs have been taken off the streets of London by their owners during the last month.
Straits Settlements Progress.
The Government, " Gazette " of the Straits Settlements gives a list of 1709 motor vehicles included in tile official register. In view of the increase in the use Of hire cars in the colony, consideration is being given to the desirability of providing the Government with additional powers to regulate and control the driving ,and use of such vehicles.
The report of the general manager of the Bournemouth Corporation Tramways, for the motorbuses employed by the Corporation up to the end of Ma...th last snows that the total receipts amounted to 2921 as against 2909 for the previous year, and that expenses were 212:5=1 as against 21129, thus leaving a deficit of 2313 as against 2249. This deficit,. to.. gether with the capital charges, amounting to some 2880, will have to be met by the tramWays. The extra cost or running being due to the higher cost of petrel, converting buses to run on gas, and the increased wages and cost of materials.
. Fellows Magneto Report.
The manufacture of magnetos has now become an established British industry, and the report of Lord Buricigh's Corn.. mitfee, which advocates the. prohibition of any importation of magnetos from enemy countries after the war, and an ad valorem duty of 35 per cent, on other magnetos, is referred to in the rep-ort of Fellows Magneto Co., Ltd.
The company certainly appears to have made excellent progress since. its inceptitin some 18 months ago, and what must be most pleasing to the shareholders,. the very satisfactory dividend of %Tor cent, is being paid on the preferred shares, and per cent. on the ordinary shares, while a substantial sum is devoted to depreciation and to writing down the preliminary expenses.
The board is to be congratulated on the successful results of the first year—the more so because, as they point..out, the profits have been obtained during a period of only nine months full working of the new factory.
A donation of two million liras (roughly 289,000) has been made by the F.I.A.T. Go. to the Italian National Fund for soldiers. The decision to snake this gift was arrived at during a meeting of the F.I.A.T. directoys held kst. the Turin Chamber of Commerce a few days ago. The Italian National Fund owes its origin to Signor Nitti, Italian Minisar of -Finance, and Was instituted with 'the object of giving assistance to Italy's fighting men and their families after the war.
American Lorry Trains.
Breaking all previous records for size and speed, a train of 90 motor vehicles of the United States Quartermaster's Corps, Manned by 250 drivers and soldiers, recently completed a run from Detroit, Michigan, to an Atlantic port of embarkation for France. This great caravan of transports diverged 12 miles from the regular overland route to Akron, Ohio, where a cargo of Goodrich solid tyres and inner tubes Was loaded.
Goodrich officials provided special .facilities for the soldiers during their overnight stay in the "Ruh,ber City." Although 20 hours time was lost in loading, the long line of olive-drab transports, composed of three full lorry companies, climbed the steep grades of the mountains of Pennsylvania, and arrived at the seaboard still a few hours ahead of the scheduled time
The Akron trip was the result of an urgent request from General Pershing for a shipment of solid tyres and inner tubes. To employ the fastest means of freight transportation, under existing conditions,. the Government despatched this great train of motor vehicles to convey this emergency shipment. So successful has been this demonstration of speed and efficiency, that the Government is planning to send many additional lorry trains to Akron for rubber soaplies destined for American Forces in France.
Ambulance Work in Leicester and Nottingham.
In no direction has the beneficent aspect of motor work been more strikingly exemplified than in connection witlitthe voluntary efforts which have been made at Nottingham and Leicester, the two main hospital' centres in the East Midlands for those who have been maimed in the war. Fleetsesf up-to-date motor ambulances, which „have been provided through the generosity of private owners, to meet Red. Cross requirements, have rendered splendid service in the transfer of patients from stations to local infirmaries. Although in the main the -design of the trailing ears runs on similar lines, improvements in. matters of detail have been in several cases introduced to the great enhancement of the sufferer's .B28 comfort. Upon Nottingham's principal medical iustitutiun the demand has long since reached reacting limits, and it has been found necessary to provide for a large number of cases by the erection of temporary buildings in the grounds, supplementing the accommodation which has been made available at numerous auxiliary hospitals and public elementary schools.
Victoria Station, the joint property of the Great Central and Great Northern Companies, has been the general place of arrival, and whether late at night or in the early hours of the morning, at willing hand of motorists has been on duty.
It was in Nottingham that some of the first motor ambulances for service at the Front were built by Messrs. Storey.
The receipts of the York municipal omnibus service for the year ended 31st March last were £3180, or 9.33d. a car mile, compared with £2571, or 8.01d. the year before. The total mileage was 81,289, as compared with 77.059, and the passengers numbered 750,155 as against 642,949.
The Commercial Attache in Yokohama reports that, following upon 'the growth of the Japanese rubber products industry, a good portion of the Japanese requirements in respect of motorcar tyres is now supplied by home manufacturers, though some of these are financed by foreign capitalists. The export of tyres has also begun, and though the value of these exports is at present small, Japan is finding customers among the Oriental countries. 'Altogether, the outlook of this department of the Japanese rubber industry is stated to be highly encouraging, and the military authorities, .by asking for powers to grant bounties to motorcar owners, are taking a step which is likely to increase the use of motor sehicks very considerably, and so to assist the development of the tyre industry.
Relieving American Railways.
According to a statement authorized by the Quartermaster-General of the American Army, the war lorries which are "delivering themselves" and also carrying munitions and other supplies for shipment to France will actually relieve over 15,000 freight cars, thereby furnishing a substantial aid to shippers during the present congestion. Adequate opportunity for the training of an effective corps of transport drivers and officers is being provided.
Camouflaging a Motor Lorry.
To camouflage a motor lorry as a butterfly would be rather a tall order, but as preparations were going on to tow away the aeroplane shown m the accompanying picture, an interesting conversation passed between two youngsters. Pointing to the tricolour identification marks., on the wings, which had then been slung on the aides of the lorry, one of the youngsters was puzzled as to what they were. Putting his difficulty before his companion he received the amazing reply: "Why don't you know? Them's the wings. That's so the Germans don't know what's coming. It's camouflaged as a butterfly. It looks like a butterfly a long way off." Certainly the boy had got the idea of camouffage, but the comparison between the butterfly and the 5-ton Leyland was sense contrast !
Mexico's Fuel Output.
One of the leadieg operators in the Tampico petroleum, field infermed the Mexico City Press that, the activity in that region becomes greater daily. Nearly every one of the operating companies is in full swing. Enormous quantiCea of oil are daily transmitted through the pipe lines and pumping stations to the garage reservoirs in the city of Tampico. The extent of operation can be judged from the fact that one of the most prominent of the cOmpanies paid for the last month the large amount of 5300,000 in exportation dutiee.
Coal-gas in France.
From the report of the Syndicat Pro. fessionnel de lIndustrie du Gaz it appears that the severe restrictions which were imposed on the use of gas in July of last, year proved a failure. They gave rise at once to such a storm of protestations that they had to be quietly dropped —first in Paris, then in other places; and the gasworks have had to content themselves with reducing the pressure, except during meal-cooking hours. The introduction of summer time has been a help; it is claimed that it has resulted in a. saving of half a million tons of coal, but it is not clear that this figure has been fully attained. The Frencr gas engineers expect that after the war petrol will continue to be scarce while at the same time the use of motel. vehicles will experience a great expansion, so that there is likely to be a great demand for gas for motor. purposes. Some 73 gaswnrks have had to close clown since the war.
According to the annual report of Sir Ashton Lister, Acting County Surveyor for Gloucestershire, great difficulty has been experienced in carrying out the ordinary maintenance of the main roads during the last 12 months owing i20 the restricted supplies of material and the shortage of labour and hauliers. As a consequence many of the roads are showing the effects of this enforced reduction
in the cost of maintenance. A large proportion of the princ:par roads hac-, been subjected to -excessive motor traffic owing to the establishment of important works, and through haulage of increased
quantities of English-grown timber all over the county. Serious damage has been occasioned to certa'n main roads. and the question of their restoration is under consideration by the Road Board.
The difficulties in regard to maintaining the roads traversed by motorbuses has resulted in a further curtailment of the services. The total cost for rural roads for the past year has been £58,690, or an average of close on £61 per mile, inclusive of salaries, improvements, bridges and footways.
A profit of £11,039 is shown in the accounts of the New General Traction Co. for the year ended March last, which is 2400 in advance of that for the previous year. .The dividend is maintained at 4 Far cent. £8630 is carried forward.
Owing to the fact that the Government have commandeered the premises of the Trussed 43ancrete Steel Co., Ltd., at Caxton House, Westminster, the company has4removed to a new address at 100, Truscon House,_Cranley Gardens, Landon, S.W. 7.
Haywood T.C. has decided to purchase a motor lorry and a motor ambulance..
East Barnet U.D.C. has accepted the tender of Leyland Motors, Ltd., at £1160 for a motor fire-engine.
Tynemoutb is raising .£600 by subscription for the purchase of a motor ambulance.
Haslingden U.D.C. is to consider the purchase of a motor wagon for the removal of house refuse.
. South. Shields Corporation has purchased an electric vehicle from Electro. mobile (Leeds), Ltd.
Wolverhampton Corporation has granted a licence to store 2000 gallons of pet7oleurp to the Star Engineering Co., Ltd.
The Advance Motor Co., Ltd., have hadIbuilding plans passed for additions to their factory at Kingsthorpe Road, .Northampton.
Hull Corporation has now authorized the City-Engineer to purchase an electric. vehicle at a price not exceeding £1165, and to apply for an import permit.
Blackburn Municipal Electrical Engineer, representing the Electricity Department; last year supplied energy for battery vehicles which have been running in and through the town, and there is every indication that this class of de. mend will steadily and rapidly increase, as the advantages of these vehicles are many and the running cust, very low.
Petrol or Steam ?
At the annual meeting of the Manchester Steam Users Association it was stated that the number of members at the end of 1917 was 2011, the anmber of boilers under its inspection 11,571, and the revenue £24,533. No explosion had occurred in any boiler under the Association's care during the past year. The chairman said a few words -about • the valuable research work carried on by the Association, and Capt. A. D. Prpband, of the Mechanical Transport Department, spoke of the increased, use of steam as against petrol in the propulsion of heavy vehicles; in the matter of economy he stated that -experience showed that steam had the advantage by five to one.