Hauliers, Get Together!
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HE need for full representation of road . haulage interests and for the power to take • concerted action is more vital to-day than • ever before. Unless the members of this industry bury the hatchet so far as their internal grievances are concerned, they will inevitably_be overwhelmed by forces steadily rising against them and at present in a better strategicalposition.
• it is alincist hopeless for the_indiVidual haulier to attempt to .air his grievances with any prospect of success or of any great attention being paid to theni. This can he done only by bodies fully representative of his interests, organizations which can put forward strong cases in official quarters—cases fully backed by facts and figures. Alatters which are of such importance to the haulier as to mean the retention or loss of his livelihood are coining to a head. Few.appear to realize the vital nature of the railway move in connection with the restrictions to be placed upon the use of their bridges, for if Section 25 of the Road Traffic Act be permitted to be put into operation, no vehicle weighing more than three tons Will be able to be used for long-distance transport by road. Such places as Liverpool, moreover, will practically be isolated.
Instances of aggression and repression on the part ;of the railways are increas... ing in number and in force. It is probable that the section devoted to long-distance transport by road' will, at first, suffer the most, and we • strongly urge that all those concerned in it should join the Long Distance Road Haulage Asso elation, the organizers of which are doing ;their utmost to bring' together the numerous conflicting elements.
There are many ways in which such an association can be of service to its members, as well as to the roadtransport industry as a whole. It can formulate a common policy, voice the opinions of the industry, and watch over and protect the interests of all those persons engaged :in it: It can Undertake the necessary publicity and counter the•s_tremendous amount of insidious propaganda which is being disseminated. There are many other ways in which it can prove of the utmost value, such as in the provision of legal defence, the reorganization of clearing-house rates and methods where such is desirable, in the introduction of standard insurance policies and in the combating of police persecution with a power which it is impossible for the individual to wield.
There is, in many instances, no need for the excessively 1 o w transport rates which now prevail. They are entirely uneconomic. Road transport presents such advantages that the rates could well be higher without the fear of traffic being diverted, but such a move cannot be effectual unless there be a far greater measure of co-operation. The Short-Distance Hauliers' Alliance is another body which is struggling to help hauliers in this matter of rates. Unity of purpose will place the haulage industry 'on a much firmer basis and bring before the public and the Government its real status.
An Oil-engine Peculiarity.
THE fuel. economy of the compression-ignition engine, as compared with that of the more familiar petrol-consuming unit, is largely due to a fundamental feature of its operation, one which differs so radically from the corresponding characteristic of the petrol engine that the prospect of the latter being ever able to emulate its competitor appears to be remote. The effect is to ensure that the consumption of fuel of the oil engine is almost strictly in proportion to the load. There is not the comparative waste which seems to be unavoidable in the case of a petrol-engined chassis when running light. The economy of the oil engine is most marked when it is actually idling. This is a special advantage when the work on which the vehicle is engaged is such as to involve comparatively long periods of standing by for loading and unloading, or when, for any reason, the daily mileage is small. It is quite possible, therefore, that the oil-engined chassis will, in the near future, prove itself to be particularly adaptable for this class of work.
Reducing Accident Risks.
'NATE are greatly in favour of the principle of giving bonuses to drivers who avoid accidents to their vehicles. The monetary loss and, even more important, the time wastage, as distinct from the prevention of danger to life, constitute most important factors in the maintenance of many fleets. Such payments should not. be withheld in the event of accidents occurring for which the drivers cannot be held responsible, and bonuses should be scaled in such a manner that there always remains the incentive to safer driving; in other words, the bonus should not be altogether lost because of a single mishap. Where policies are taken out with insurance companies, it often happens that the amount paid to drivers is more than covered by the no-accident bonus issued by the insurance companies. A good driver should be rewarded for the care which he exercises in the interests of his employer and the public, and the institution of the system frequently leads to greatly improved conditions of operation, for there is the added Inducement to pay attention to maintenance.
Impartiality Essential in Traffic Commissioners.
IN view of the very considerable powers which are vested in the Traffic Commissioners, it is essential that they should be men not only of the utmost integrity, but impartial in their attitude towards the transport media with which they are being called upon to deal. The chairmen are, in the main, performing their often unpleasant duties with discretion and without bias, but it is important that those who assist them should be most carefully selected, so that no suspicion of possible favouritism to particular interests can rest upon them. The Commissioners are almost in the position of judges, and they should not be directly concerned in the running of passengertransport undertakings, whether municipal or otherwise. It is too much to expect from human nature that decisions can be given which are directly opposed to any interest with which a Commissioner may be associated. iIt would be most unwise on the part of the Ministry of Transport to make any appointment which would inevitably arouse a feeling of unrest and fear of unfair treatment amongst hundreds of operators. The decisions given are vital to applicants for running powers, and there must be no doubt that they are based upon a true balancing of the pros and cons of each case.