The Wheels of Industry.
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This journal, dealing as it does with the "Chariots of War," no less than with the "Wheels of Industry," continues of national importance. Its interests embrace impartially the transport wagon and the parceicar, the military tractor and the steam lorry.
The demands upon our Fund grow each week. We shall not, in future, give the actual strength of the personnel of the A.S.C. M.T. Columns in France and furkey. We shall use round figures, probably stating that it is "something above 20,000.' It may interest our readers to know that we are at the moment engaged, in consultation w:th a large firm of wholesale chemists, in deciding upon an antifly liquid to protect the faces, necks, hands and arms, and even the, eyes, of the drivers and their mates.
Our first leading article this week deals with some points whioh are wholly within the control of the user himself, as regards effects upon his own future on the commercial-motor side. We deprecate the holding up of orders, and we strongly recommend participation in the scheme for the compilation of evidence, by the C.M.U.A., for consideration by the Departmental and Parliamentary Committees to which we have frequently referred in past issues. Each, user of a commercial vehicle, who is at the moment not a member of the C.M.U.A., is really failing to bear his share in a contest between road-users and road makers, which contest is to . be fought out before these Com mittees. .
Proposals and Purchases.
Luton Corporation does not propose to 'allow its motor engine to attend fires outside the borough. Swansea.. Corporation . is to aecePtdelitery of its Albion motor lorry froni Mr. R. E. Jones'on certain conditions.
The L.C.C: has accepted the offer of Dennis Bros. to Supply. azniotor instructionaltender for the Fire
Brigade for_g486. • • -•
Th-e" Chairman of the Highways Committee of the 'East: Riding Yorks. County Council has been .,empoWered-.ta hire, -should necessity arise, a petrol or steam motor for-haidage work. • TheBishop's Stortford District Council is prepared to consider tenders for the supply of a secondhand motor lorry • or chassis suitable for hauling a fire-engine. Par.ticuIars can be ebtained from the ,Cletk, Cofincil Offices, Bishop's Start-ford. Tenders must be de-. livered by the 18th inst.
The Bengal Bihar Motor 8ervice Co. and the Eastern Motor Carrying Co. are the names of two joint stock trading concerns, which have B36 recently been registered in British India, with a capital of 1,000,000 rupees each, for the purpose of carrying passengers and goods by motor conveyances.
Re_porting at a recent meeting of the L.C.C., the Fire Brigade Committee intimated that tenders had been invited for the supply of 6 or 10 motor fire-engines and 5 or 10 motor escape vans. The only tenders received were submitted by Dennis Bros., this company offering to supply (a) 5 motor fireengines for 24750 or 10 for 19450, and (b) 5 motor escape vans for 23875 or 10 for 27700. The committee accepted the tenders of the company for engines and 5 vans, on the condition that the company would supply, if so required by the Council within three months, 5 additional fire-engines and 5 additional vans, and that in such ease the amounts payable by the Council for the10 engines and vans should be £9450 and £7700 respectively. The Committee also accepted the tender of W. A. Stevens, Ltd., for the supply of a petrol-electric motor lorry for £764. Altogether nine tenders for this machine were received at prices ranging from 2650 to 2800.
Road Costs in London.
We are interested to observe that, in the course of a discussion at a meeting of borough engineers in the Metropolitan district, held on the let inst., at the office of the Institution of Municipal and .County Engineers, Mr. 0. E. -Winter, Borough Engineer of Hampstead, stated that his department had beet. able to reduce its total expenditure on highway maintenance and construction during the past three or four years. A high figure had been reached in 1912, solely because motor omnibuses began to run then on a new road which they had to reconstruct at once. The saving was due to the reconstruction of roads according to methods which were more adapted to motor traffic, and this saving had been effected in spite of the higher first cost.
Income from Motor Taxation.
We find, from the Budget figures for the financial year 1915-1916, that the estimated expenditure under the head of "Road Improvement Fund" is £1,430,000. This sum, if It were spread over the 10,000 miles of highways in the United Kingdom, which is in excess of the total that is heavily used by motor traffic' represents an average, levied upon motor owners, of 2143 per mile per annum. This basis, of course, is a purely arbitrary one, which we have chosen by way of example... The official data in the possession of the Road Board conclusively prove that less than 10,000 miles of highways in the United Kingdom is heavily used by motor traffic. Such equivalent of the taxation upon motor owners is therefore all the more remarkable. The fact that the proceeds of the taxation are applied to road improvement, and not directly to road maintenance, does not justify the demand by some local authorities for still further taxation although there are reasons for adjustment.
Wheels of Industry—con.
A meeting of the members of Dennis Bros., Ltd., will be held at Onslow Works, Guildford, at 2.30 o'clock, on 31st May, for the purpose"of considering the liquidator's report.
" Shell " Marketing Co., Ltd. (R1,500,000), Waterhouse and Co., 10-12, Bishopsga,te, E.C., to carry on the business of producers of petroleum and other oils.
William Marston, Ltd. (130,000), to take over the business of coach and motor trimmings and accessories manufacturer, formerly carried on by A. A. Brown at Albert Street, Birmingham.
• Woman Driver in an Accident.
• The only lady driver of a commercial vehicle in Leeds figured in the local county court recently, in an action which was a sequel to a collision between the van she drives and milk float. It is interesting to note that judgment was given against the milk float.
W.D. Still Wants Drivers.
There are still openings for thousands of experienced drivers with the Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport. All men of experience between the ages of 10 and 45 are eligible. Fitters and others with mechanical engineering knowledge are also required. Commercar Gold Medallions.
The special awards of merit, in the form of gold medallions, which are being issued to Commercar drivers of proved standing and ability by Commercial Cars, Ltd., of Luton, continue to create much interest in lorry-driving circles. The ninth to twelfth recipients of such awards are, respectively : J. Rathb one, for highly-meritorious service with KM. Stationery vans, a winner of several prizes at annual motor parades ; Percy B. Evans, for five-and-a-half years good service with a Bridgwater Collieries' lorry, which was delivered in 1907, and has covered 112,500 miles to date ; F. E. Jarrett, for good service with T. Grxxlhew, Ltd.'s, vans, delivered in 1913, covering a distance of 75,000 miles, without mechanical failures ; Tom W. Skaife, for careful driving and maintenance of Messrs. Skaife and Sons' van, delivered in 1911, the mileage covered being over 50,000.
Pantechnicons as Trailers.
At the recent Burnham Petty Sessions, driver Sherlock was arraigned on the following charges : with driving a heavy motorcar and trailer on the Bath Road on the 31st March, the trailer not having the unladen weight painted on it ; with failing to produce a licence to drive when requested to do so ; with driving a heavy motorcar and trailer, exceeding one ton unladen weight, of which the. tires were less than 3 ins. in width ; with driving a heavy motorcar drawing a trailer exceeding 2 cwt., the trailer not having sufficient brakes. Pickfords, Ltd., the owner of the vehicle, was charged with permitting the machine so to be driven. It appears that the trailer was a pantechnicon. The owner of the vehicle was fined 10s. in each of three of the cases and 21 in respect of the brake. The driver was caution-c.!.
A marked improvement in the trading results of John I. Thornycroft and Co., Ltd., of Basingstoke, Southampton and London, was welcomed by the shareholders at the annual general meeting last week, when Mr. John E. Thornycroft presided. The sum available for dividend was £95,000, on an ordinary capital of only £148, 500. The goodwill is reduced from 186,672 to 150,000, and a distribution at the rate of 8 per cent. per annum made. The reserve fund is increased from 110,000 to /50,000, and £10,268 is carried forward. The trading profit was no less than 1151,497, compared with 247,158 in 1913, and 264,970 in 1912. These excellent results are in part attributable to the continued success of the company's motorvehicle department, but additionally, of course, to large orders in the Admiralty and marine branches.