PROBLEMS AND POSSIBILITIES.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
No. 4.—The Selection of a Vehicle of the Right Load Capacity.
661 SAT, RAYBURN," said Hambledon, "I want to introduce you to a man over here--a possible victim of your rapacity " "Not much use, old fellow," replied Rayburn. " I couldn't sell him anything, if he went down on his bended knees for it.'
"1 know. But you may want to some day. Anyhow, he's a potential user, and he badly needs educating." " All right," said Rayburn, rising rather reluetantl. " Show me the brute, and I will do my best."
"Re's over there," Hambledon explained as they crossed the room, "and old Smithers is trying to argue his head off, but without Much success."
There was certainly a vigorous debate in progress. ." But, my good man," Smithers was expounding, "can't you see that it must cost more to run a fiVetonner than a three-tonner I"
" Well," protested the stranger, " you skid a. moMent ago that-the bigger the vehicle, the cheaper it Was to run."
" Of course it is," replied Smithers, " " But now you said it wasn't !"
'How can it be? Oh! I give it up," said Smithers impatiently.
" Then we're just in time to go on where you left off," remarked Hambledon as he came up. "Let me introduce Mr. Rayburn—Mr. Woodhead. Rayburn will tell you all about it. He makes the things, so he is omniscient." . "The trouble," said Smithers, "is that I tell him ne ought to run three-tonners, but he says I must be advising him wrong because I use 25-cwt. vans myself."
" Give me a chance," protested Woodhead. "I admitted that you might be right about My case. But if I ought to use big vehicles, why not go the whole hog and have five-tonners " "In sonic cases," replied Rayburn, "that would be the right thing to do."
"There now !" exclaimed Woodhead. ." What did I say? "
." But not in all. It all depends on circumstances." "Well, anyhow," said Woodhead, "why doesn't Smi ers practise what he preaches? He goes on usinr comparatively light vans, when half the number of three-tonners would carry the same load." "Not in my case," Smithers explained. " Yriu see, I have to make a lot of small deliveries to all points of the compass. My customers must be served promptly. If I waited for a full load ter a threes tonner, I should have the car standing 'about for hours when it ought to be on the road."
"There's another point," suggested Hambledon. "One of his vans might have to go out of its way two or three miles to deliver, perhaps, only one parcel. The bigger the vehicle, the gneater the cost and waste of time involved when that happens.". "Besides," Smithers continued, "very often tone of my cars is really fiflly loaded, but such load as it has must be deliVered, Then there are quite small, but very urgent jobs to be done, for lvhieh I have to keep lighter vehicles still—a little pneurnatic-tyred van and a trade carrier."
"Does that really pay you? " inquired Woodhead. "Not directly," Smithers conceded "hut in a big retail business you may find it worth while to spend more than you need, so as to give better §ervice than other people; and so keep your customers." "Well, what do your vans cost to run? " asked Woodhead.
"On a peace-time footing, about fivepence a mile," replied Smithers. "Now, of course, it comes to more."
"And a three-tonner I" 1336 "Well, if you keep it really busy, about eightpence „ a mile." "That's about right under normal conditions," added Rayburn. "But, of course, if your Mileage is small, the cost will go up." "I should have thought it would be the other way round," remarked Woodhead.
Oh! I mean the cost per mile, of course," Rayburn explained. "You see, there are some charges to be met, whether you make proper use of the vehicles or not For iample. 'you must pay for your garage and your drivers and cleaners." "Yes," added Hambledon, "and you must allow for interest on the capital invested in the cars and for depreciation. • " But there will be no depreciation if you don't use them," Woodhead objected. "Yes, there will," replied Hambledon. "There will be no wear and tear, but be going down all the time." "Well, I think I understand now," said Woodhead, "why Smithers uses light vans. They seem to have plenty of advantages. But I don't see why he wants me to buy three-tonners."
"Because they would be cheaper for you to operate," said Smithers, "with regular loads between fixed points. You say you can nearly always make up two tons, and very often three, but very seldom more than that."
"Then the case for a three-tanner seems to be established," said Rayburn. "But why I " inquired Woodhead. "You all say the smaller vehicle is cheaper to run—fivepence against eightpcnce, I think it was." "That's so, Rayburn agreed. "But the point is the cost of carrying a given load. The three-tonner, carries more than twice as much,. and costs less than double to run."
"Then why not go further and use five-tonners I" "Because it seems you could very seldom fill a five tonner. A big vehicle is only more economical than small one When it is possible to find something liko full loads for it," 'Then hadn't I. better stick to two-tanners. They would usually be big enough." "I don't think so," replied Rayburn. I gather your load is fairly often about three tons. If you used two-tanners, you would fall into the habit of overloading, which is bad for the cars. Besides, there is another point." " Whieh " . "That the three-tonner is a very popular type. Consequently, the manufacturer can build it in large numbers, and can get it out nearly as cheap as the two-tonner, so if you can make any use at all of the extra capacity, it is generally worth while."
"The. whole point, ' Smithers put in, m is to use the biggest capacity vehicles that you can keep fully occupied without involving a lot of waste mileage carting stuff round or 50 miles or so, that really only has to go 20. Your case and mine are entirely different, and each case has to be, decided on its own merits."
" You see," added Rayburn, "you Can carry your load straight to its destination. Smithers has to deliver his in little bits by taking a roundabout route."
"So, I suppose," said Woodhead, "what you advise me to do is to buy three-tonners of a good British make as soon as I can get them and fuel for them?"
"That's it," replied Rayburn_ "Buy from us if possible. But anyhow, support home industry and buy good, sound British stuff. After the experience we have had in the war, any decent British manufacturer ought to knew everything worth knowing about the design and construction of a first-class three