Opinions from Others.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
A Challenge as to Resiliency.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—Although it is our custom to read THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR weekly, we must plead guilty to having overlooked the correspondence columns containing the letter addressed to us by our friendly "enemy" the St. Helens Cable and Rubber Co., Ltd., until too late for our reply to appear in the following week's issue. We then found that we had been forestalled by another friendly "enemy," Liga. Tyres, Ltd., who so fully and conclusively replied to the whole subject that further comment appeared to be unnecessary.
If any buyers of band tires should desire substantiation of our claim as to resiliency, our advertisement invites them to ask the largest users in London.
We beg to express our appreciation of the St. Helen's Cable and Rubber Co.'s very courteous letter, and of the generous compliment which they pay to our tires.—Yours faithfully,
TEE DE NEVERS RUBBER TYRE Co. LTD. Earlsfield, London, SW.
Are Tractors Too Powerful ?
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
1:12661 Sir,—" Traho's " remarks on this question liNo. 1258] in your issue of the 30th October, are practical and to the point. For my own part, in descending an incline such as " Traho " suggests, I would be more inclined to rely on " scotching " the trailer, and thus holding up the tractor, or to lighten my load. Mr. Lalonde's contribution [No. 1259], in the same issue, queries the hypothesis as being real in fact. The balance of the lever may be one way or the other, with a three-shaft or four-shaft locomotive, but the angle of attachment of the trailer will clearly accentuate the balance in both types. A four-shaft engine, although more expensive to construct than a threeshaft one, has the advantage over the three-shaft type of doing away as much as possible with what the inventor of the four-shaft road locomotive called "atmospheric bearings," and the majority of the driving gear being inside the bearings distributes the strain, as Mr. Lalonde remarks, in a very effective manner. The adjoining sketch demonstrates the action of the drive of both types of locomotives, and the reason why a three-shaft locomotive is as likely to slip as a four-shaft engine, if the driving pinion is in the same position in both cases, and the weight of the fore-part of the locomotive is equal in both types. On reference to the sketch it will be seen that four shafts are shown ; the arrows give the direction of rotation of each shaft in order to make the final-shaft drive in the forward direction, the dotted lines being the locomotive boiler, and the other lilies the surface of the road. In the case of the four-shaft locomotive, it will be seen that there is a lift on the fore-part of the boiler—an upward tendency on the dotted line. Take out the fourth shaft, and it will be seen that, if the engine crankshaft is revolving in the sante direction, a three-shaft locomotive would be driven backwards. In the three-shaft locomotive therefore, the engine crankshaft revolves in the other direction, and the same lift on the fore-end of the boiler will occur as in the four-shaft locomotive.
I have to thank " Verax " for acknowledging in his letter [No. 1280] that the Broom and Wade tractor did not slip its driving wheels when with its trailer attached, but that slipping only occurred when the tractor was not hauling its trailer, thus proving my contention that the attachment of the trailer can be such as will prevent the slip of a tractor's driving wheels. I agree with him that larger driving wheels are of immense advantage all round, but that enginepower most decidedly has a prior claim.
The best tractors are constructed with wheels 5 ft.
6 ins, in diameter, and the average diameter of a trailer's front wheels is from 3 ft. to 3 ft. 6 ins. Any deviation from the horizontal position of the drawbar will make a considerable difference to the grip of the tractor's driving wheels. As requested, I enclose a sketch [Reproduced.—En.] showing the suggested attachment for steam tractors.
" Traho " requires a sketch of an attachment to carry out this effect on tractors as at present designed. I have no recollection of promising this, but without any alteration in the present design of tractor I give my suggestion for what it may be worth. On each driving-wheel boss is attached an extension of the axle, in a manner similar to that in which the drawbar of a Morrison scarifier is attached to a road-roller axle : this drawbar is in one piece, and is carried round the tender to the other end of the axle ; the after-part of the drawbar is hung from the drawpin bracket of the tender. He will then have .a drawbar bracket extending the whole width of the tractor, and one useful in hauling a trailer at awkward turning-places, the drawbar attachment being made of channel steel of not-too-heavy section. Tensile stresses on a drawbar with an eight-ton load are not high, nor is the side stress high when the load is hauled in a circle, Any noise that may be created by the use of this attachment will be lost in the total amount of sound produced by a steam tractor when travelling ; when running down hill, the drawbar of the trailer can be transferred to the standard attachment. I trust the sketch herewith makes my sugges tion clear.—Yours. faithfully, T. C. AVELINO. 01, New Canal Street, Birmingham.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—We are surprised at the attitude you take up in your leading article in the issue of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR for the 30th ult. In the first place, we desire to state that we are no advocates of overloading, and that the police, in the Lancashire and Cheshire districts at least, are quite capable of looking after this matter without any encouragement from a users paper. Moreover, we do not consider that overloading is done to the extent suggested by your article.
You have taken a brief for the wrong parties altogether. The blame for the state of some of our roads does not lie with the traffic, but with the road authorities. We have no actual figures to go by, but we should calculate that there is at least three times as much traffic on the roads to-day as there was 20
years ago, and not more than once-and-a-half the amount of money is being spent on them. The real root of the matter is that the roads have not improved In proportion to the traffic upon them. What, then, is the right thing to do ? To say the traffic is coming along too fast, or to say that the, roads shall be made to meet it?
Mr. Lloyd George's cry is "Back to the land," but we think the cry ought to be " Back to the roads," and it is to your benefit to encourage this. We consider the assumption that mere weight is harmful to the roads is an error, if that weight is carried on sufficient bearing surface. The road roller which makes. our roads proves this.
Again, there is an idea being fostered in some quarters that rubber tires would be better for the roads. It seems farcical to ask it, but, if so, why not put rubber on the tires of road rollers? Nothing can possibly be worse than rubber tires for the surface of roads, and no amount of rolling with rubber would ever leave the surface satisfactory.
In the case of a steam wagon, it is possible to utilize them for making roads. It is only a question of putting sufficient metal on to carry the weight.—
Yours faithfully, For FODENS, LTD., S. P. T WE NILOW, Director.
[We do consider it necessary to write in plain terms, with a view to influencing owners who deliberately and persistently overload. Our recent correspondence in "The Times " on the subject of road maintenance furnishes the most-recent evidence, we suggest, that there has been neither negligence nor indifference on our part to that allied subject. If all steam wagons travelled only at the low rate of speed which one associates with road rollers, we might assent to the above views concerning the superfluity of rubber.-E.1 Systematic Overloading.—A Carrier's View, The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—I was pleased to read your article on the above subject, because it strikes the same note that I had done some two years ago when writing to THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
The question of systematic overloading is undoubtedly one which should be dealt with by the C.M.U.A., anting in conjunction with its several affiliated societies. For some years, I have advocated that the C.M.U.A. should play a far-more-active part in controlling the use of commercial vehicles upon the highways than it has done in the past. I have urged that it is far better to see that one's house is kept in order, than to delegate the duty to others. It is a pleasure to notice that the matter has reached a stage when practical action may be taken,
Whilst your article will be read by those interested in the upkeep of roads as an official admission that the solution of the road problem rests with the motorists, I do not believe that you hold that view, nor do you wish to convey the idea that overloading is the rule rather than the exception. My experience is that users or commercial vehicles, with a very few exceptions, object to overloading their machines. The exceptions are. men of a type found in all classes of life. They ride four up on a motorcycle and sidecar, and do not feel comfortable with a less number in a hansom cab, where those vehicles still exist.
I am fully in agreement with the proper controlling of such cases, but I believe that official action by the C.M.T.J.A. would also have a further advantage: it would disclose the difficulties under which owners often labour in regulating the weights on their machines. Most practical men will admit that motor wagons cannot be run to advantage unless the full legal load is adhered to fairly closely. The carrier, at any rate, has very little to give away in this respect. The real difficulty, however, is to ascertain within. say, 10 per cent., what the real weight of the goods he carries may be. A slight error in the number of pounds a box weighs may in 200 boxes prove a serious matter. Again, an error on the driver's part in distributing the load on the platform of the machine may cause an excessive axle-weight. These are matters in which the C.M.U.A. might prove most useful to users. At present, the dispensers of the law regard all cases of overloading in one way ; reasons, to them, are but excuses for trying to evade the consequences, and the more elaborate the reason offered the more in E s. d. is the punishment that follows. This clearly should not be the case : it is impossible to conduct business on an absolutely-exact scale, and the law should take account of the fact. The whole matter is one requiring careful investigation.
adirdt that commercial-vehicle users have a direct. responsibility in the matter of the manner in which they use the roads. After seven years of practical experience, I state most emphatically that the cost of the upkeep of our roads to-day is due in the greatest measure, not to abuse or use by motor vehicles, but to the failure of many road surveyors to keep abreast of the times. The Lancashire County Council, which has tackled the matter in a mostprogressive spirit, is demonstrating that roads can be made and maintained at a reasonable cost to withstand all traffic. What is required is for the Government to fulfil its obligations towards the road authorities, and for the C.M.U.A. to fulfil its clear duties towards its members,—Yours faithfully, `` LANCASHIRE CARRIER." [We hope this letter will add to interest in the subject, as to which we
write further Editorially on page 2134.-ED.1
The Sell-reversing Auto-Trailer.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—I am glad to see that the castor-wheel trailer will provide a means of adding temporarily to the platform. .area, without involving the owner of any commercial motor in the extra annoyances and difficulties which are frequently associated with the employment of coupled trailers of ordinary design.
Numerous cases have come under my notice in connection with undertakings in which I have financial interests, in which the foreman-loader or driver has just failed to get the whole load upon the wagonitself, either by reason pf bulkiness or fear of excess axleweight. Yet another instance, which I recall, concerned the necessity to take a particular set of tackle, which it was impossible to secure as part of the load, or to sling underneath the platform. Ordinary trailers. with unladen weights varying between 25 cwt. and 35 cwt., unladen, had to be drawn behind the wagons, and the resulting experiences show how much better it would have been if this necessity could have been avoided. In two cases, due to slippery roads, the trailers came round sideways, doubled up the draw bars, and did other damage ; in another case, due, I admit., to lack of foresight on the part of the driver, the wagon ran out of water at a lonely part of the route, where water was unobtainable, and the fire had to be drawn, with much consequent delay. Had it been possible. in each of these cases,. to provide even the 10 sq. ft. of additional platform which I ‘'ee your description states the Auto-Trailer to furnish.
there would have been no occasion to take one of larger dimensions. I observe that you say, in the course of your descrip tive article, that an auto-trailer may be constructed to carry at least 50of...allons of water. May I be permitted to exnress this criticism : that, having regard' to the strength of modern materials in relation to their
weight, I consider it will Prove that neither 50 gallons of water nor 10 se. ft. of platform area need be regarded as the limits of commercial use in the near future of this excellent device.—Yours faithfully, R. I. WILLIAMS.