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Opinions from Others.

15th August 1912, Page 17
15th August 1912
Page 17
Page 17, 15th August 1912 — Opinions from Others.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Keywords : Steam Wagon

Are Increased Prices Justified?


[1592] Sir,—Your leading article on this subject undoubtedly makes the best possible case for the threatened—or, I should write, accomplished increase of manufacturers' prices for petrol vehicles. They cannot go on increasing costs of production, by reason of greater charges of one kind and another, wit hout seeing some of those increases passed on to the consumer. The same thing is occurring in other industries, and it is practically an economic law that the consumer must pay. On the other hand, is it not really a fact that the manufacturer is making a handsome profit already, and that this increase will merely

be so much more in his pocket I am inclined to think that it is just another case of taking extra profits while they can be obtained, and I doubt if that is the best course to be followed for the ultimate good of commercial motoring.

Whilst my own inquiries have satisfied me as to the accuracy of your statements about increases in the costs of materials, better organization and the general use of reproduction methods in manufacture should have provided compensating savings. The day has come, maybe, for higher prices on the part of those who can command them, but the newer makers will have to fight their way in by keeping below the

tariff. Yours faithfully, R. J. WILLIAMS.

IThere is no tariff in the sense which this correspondent suggests. Makers • prices for chassis of the same power and load capacity are not unitorm. He is probably right in thinking that newcomers will have to undergnote. No commercial vehicle is accepted at large mail it has a, record hebind it,. En,] Overloading.


[1593] Sir,—I have followed with interest the letters which have appeared from time to time in your columns dealing with the problem of the overloading of motorvans and wagons. I happened to be passing along Kingsway, London, the other

evening when I came across a — van jacked up alongside the pavement. The point that attracted my attention was the huge load which was on this van, and I could not refrain from entering into conversation with the driver as to the extent of the damage which the wagon had sustained. I found that the nave bolts had sheared, and the driver was faced with the problem of effecting a repair in the middle of the London traffic without any outside assistance. The driver pointed out that this wagon was habitually overloaded by the owners. He showed me a place in the centre of the main member which had almost cracked through, and to which a repair had been effected by placing strips of iron over and under the fractured part and bolting them together. With a load on, this main member, which should have been in the same level plane throughout its length, sank a good 2 in. or i in., and the driver informed me that the wagon was working lB and 18 hours a day, and the two men in charge of it, with occasional assistance from inside the owner's yard, did not have time between them to give a quarter of the necessary attention to the engine. The whole condition of the wagon was disgraceful. The bearings wanted taking up, the wheels were out of alignment, and she presented a thoroughly neglected appearance. As the wagon was, I should say, one of the most-widely-known and possibly the best wagon on the English market, and this particular wagon which I noticed was, so the driver told me, less than 18 months old, it seemed to me to be merely a case of the old adage of "Penny-wise." As it is easy to talk of overloading and the dangers thereof, and hard to find a concrete example, I thought this case would be of interest to you. Hence my letterse—Yours faithfully, W.; HII3BERM • The Steamer in Australia.


[1594] Sir,—I have been out in Australia for a long while now. I originally came out on the chance of getting work here as a steam-wagon driver,. but 1 find, as a matter of fact, that there are very few such machines in the country. Contractors, brewers, flour millers, confectioners, grocers, brick works, and butter factories are all going in strongly for three-ton and five-ton petrol wagons. I think that some of the British steam-wagon manufacturers ought to show sonic of their products at the Victorian show.

The roads are, now getting hard, and there is plenty of coal here, which is just as cheap as it is at home. There are many thousands of horses in regular work, but feed is very dear. There is one of the well-known English-made steam wagons in Melbourne, but she is rather an old-timer and a seven-tonner—too heavy and too big, as a matter of fact. Moreover, it did not get fair play from the Colonial driver. I personally think that steam wagons and tractors will do wonders wherever water is available, in Australia, once they get a start. The cost of a good petrol wagon out here something like IDYL :Yours faithfully,


MeLaren's Oil Pump.


[1595] Sir,--Under the heading of "Patents Completed," in your issue of the 25th July, you were good enough to notice. our method of packing oil-pump plungers, by running white metal round the plunger ; but you 0 trt tt ed to mention the most important claim, viz., compressing the white metal when in place, and before the plunger is withdrawn.

The white metal, when cooling, contracts round the plunger, making a perfect fit, but it also contracts away from the walls of the hole containing it, and this would allow the oil to leak round the outside of the packing if it were not compressed after cooling. To compress the white metal, we insert easy-fitting steel plugs in the ends of the transverse hole, and apply end pressure to these plugs by nipping up in an ordinary fitter's vice, causing the white metal to expand and completely to fill the hole, and so to make a perfectly oil-tight joint, even at pressures as high as 1000 lb. per sq. in. Afterwards these plugs are withdrawn, and the outer ends of the hole run up with metal, to make a finished job. Your illustration shows the steel plugs in place, ready for the pressure to be applied.—Yours faithfully,



Locations: Melbourne, London

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