Brick Haulage Rates as Stipulated by the M.O.W.
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A Government Department, in Fixing Prices for Bricks, Makes Appropriate Allowances for Charges for Their Transport by Road, but Makes No Provision to Ensure that the Haulier Shall be Paid that Rate
THE 14mister of Works has made an Order fixing the prices of bricks. It is S.R.O. No 1,467 Of 1943, and is cited as the " Bricks (Range of Prices) No. 1 Order; 1943," and can be. obtained from -the Stationery Office, or through any bookseller, for 6d net. Its importance to the haulier lies in the fact that, besides setting out maximum
• prices for bricks, it also prescribes the charges which the seller may make to the customer for the transport of those bricks by road, rail, water or any combination of these means.
• The clauses of interest to hauliers are:—First, that there shall be such additions to the-selling price, for delivery at any place other than ex the works where the bricks are produced, as are set out in a schedule embodied in the Order, according to the method of delivery-, the distance from the works where the bricks are produced to the place .of delivery, and the size and type of the bricks.
The prices prescribed for the bricks shall include the cost of loading them into the road vehicle at the works where they are produced, and no extra charge shall be made by the seller in respect of such loading.
The purport of this, so far as: the, road haulier is concerned, is that the brickmaker is expected to provide the labour for loading, the cost of such labour not being included in the amounts allowed for haulage, so that, if the haulier provides labour for loading, he may make a charge for it, extra to the haulage rate.
• The charges for delivery, scheduled in the Order, shall be for delivery on the hard road at, or nearest to, the place at which delivery is required. Nothing in the Order is to be read as preventing the seller from making 'an additional charge for delivery beyond such hard road
Where the seller of building-bricks stacks such bricks on or in the conveyance used -for delivery, he may Make :a additional charge for that -service at a rate per 1,000 bricka so stacked. That charge must not, however, exceed the amount charged during the 12 months immediately preceding the third day of September, 1939.
The provisions of the Order do not apply to building. bricks sold in a quantity of less than 1,000 if such sale constitutes one transaction and does not form part of a transaction or series of transactions, relating to a total quantity of -bricks equal to, or greater than, 1,000.
The Order does not apply to bricks which are produced in Northern Ireland, the counties of Durham and Northumberland, and that part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, which is situated north of the road leading from Whitby southward to Pickering, thence westward to Thirsk and thenee southwestward to Ripon.
There are two ;rather significant features about: this Order, which came into force on November 1, 1943„ First, it is quiteclear from a study of the foregoing clauses that they have been drawn up in conjunetion with. or with the co-operation of, someone who knows a good deal about brick haulage and its peculiarities. The conditions laid down are just those for Which an experienced brick haulier would Stipulate. •
It would seem fair to deduce, therefore, that the transport managers of the leading' brick companies have had some share in the compilation of the haulage .rates. If
that he so, it is equally right to assume that the haulage rates are such as will allow the transport departments of the brick companies to earn a profit. I know enough about these transport departments and their managers to feel safe in making that assumption..
• The second important point is that, whereas the Minister of Works has seen fit to draw up a schedule of charges for haulage, he has nowhere in the Order stipulated that the haulier, the man-who does the work, shall be paid the rates scheduled. It may be, and quite ptobably is the case, that, being outside his province, he has no power to make such stipulation. At, any rate, he has made no such Order. All that he has done has been to prescribe that the seller of bricks fnay charge no more than the.rates Set out; they are maximum allowarices_for carriage.
There is, therefore, no legal provision to Apure that the enterprising brick manufacturer, 'and/or his transport manager, shall not engage. hauliers to do the work at half the stipulated rate—or,. possibly, less than half—the said brick manufacturer pocketing, the difference. If •he does that, he can make a profit of R1 per 1,000 on bricks which have to be carted 30 miles or so; and an extra £1. per 1,000 on bricks, the selling price of which is no more than 495 per 1,000, seems good picking. • At least, it is enough to make the brick manufacturer think it worth while to. try to get it.
Hauliers Subsidizing the Brick Industry?
If that happens it will really be true to state that hauliers . are subsidizing the brick industry. The best way to try to ensure that it does not happen is for every haulier to become familiar with the terms of the Order, If, knowing the allowance for haulage, be consents to carry latieks at rates less than those scheduled, he and no one else, i.s'to blame.
Unfortunately, it is impracticable to 'reproduce all the schedules with this article. There are 17 of them, Table I is only half a schedule, so that, to. reproduce the lot, would require a space 34 times that covered by Table I. I can do a good deal, however, without giving all the figures, What I propose to do is first to give an indication of the way the ratesfluctuate, according to the class of bricks; secondly, to show how they vary from district to district; thirdly, how the rates, for one Class dl brick, compare with those I. have drawn up and explained in the three previous articles. Table I performs the first of these functions. Moreover, it is useful in scheduling the 10 different varieties of common brick. It is, as 'I hav.e said, only half a schedule. The -other half gives rates for the sarne 10 varieties 'when the thickness or depth of the brick exceeds 2 ins. Up to, and including, 2i ins., piLl8 re in. tolerance, and thickness or depths exceeding 2. ins., plus lig in. tolerance. The rates for these larger bricks are, approximately, 10 per cent. higher than those quoted in Table I.
The way in which the rates fluctuate, from district to district, is shown in Table II. I have selected one variety of brick—" clay or shale stiff plastic pressed bricks '—as the baSis for comparison. That variety has been chosen because it appears in 15 of the 17 schedules; it is the only one so frequently included. Where it is omitted I have ticdnced,'Irom the rates for other varieties, what the rate Would haVe been had it been made in ,that atea. That is justifiable, .having in mind that my purpose, in presenting Table II, is to show how the rates compare, area by area.
When Road Transport is Not Used
Provision is made for the addition (in. the c se of all distancesY of any toll and/or ferry charges actually incurred, It is important to note the provision which is made in the Order for allowance for cost of. carriage when the bricks are conveyed by means other than road transport, ; by road;
transport in combination with other means, .
If the bricks be delivered lpy rail, canal, rive.; sod/Dr sea,. the charge must be the actual cost of transport charged by the transport undertakings. If the delivery be by-combined road and rail, canal, river and/or sea transport the charge must be the aggregate of (I) in respect of road transport, the charges set out in the schedules for this type of haulage, the distance being measured in a straight line. from the starting to the finishing point of eachstage, and (2), in' respect of other-means, the actual cost of transport
charged by the transport undertakings. •
The. wording of these last clauses seems to indicate why no provision has been made in the Order fax the payment. to hauliers, 'Of the stipulated chasgeS-for road transport. It is clear that the schedules of rates for road transport are -.drawn up in the expectation that the brickrriakers will, tea a .large extent, use their own C-litensed vehicles (Or the work. The object is 'to put a ceiling to such charges, so as to prevent brickmakers charging excessive prices for their bricks and, hiding that excess by citing it as cost of carriage.
The way of making extra profits, by engaging hauliers to do the work at cut rates, is, however, still open. That rakes it more important that hauliers should familiarize themselves with the rates which apply in their respective districts, so that they, and not the brickmaker, may derive any benefit which may accrue.
The extent of such benefit, or its absence, may be assessed by reference to Table III. The basis of this table is, first, Table II from page 64 of "The Commercial Motor ' dated February 25. That table gives calculated rates for the haulage of common bricks weighing 2 tons 5 cwt: per 1,000, a type of brick which is found in the Home Counties, wherein, as to part of it, at least, the rates set out in Table I. accompanying this article, apply.
The older table was, however, assessed on the basis of road miles, and I have, therefore, revised it for the present purpose of comparison with these authorized schedules, converting the basis to radial miles. The advantage of basing rates on radial miles, instead of road miles, is :simplicity. When rates are based on road miles, disputes arise becausd of differences of opinion as to the precise road mileage from point to point. Where radial distances are used such disputes cannot arise.
On the other hand, there is no general agreement as to the ratio of the two measurements. When assessing radialmileage charges, estimates vary from 120 per cent. to 133i per cent. of those for road mileages. The actual difference may, in the case of an absolutely straight road, be nil. On the other hand, if there be a river to cross, the road mileage may be double the radial mileage.
I have recently been dealing with this problem for some friends who are hauling tarmacadam, and, as the outcome of their experience, I have decided upon the figure of 130 per cent. .
That means. that the " Travelling Charge " component of the rates quoted in Table II of the issue of " The Commercial Motor " dated February 25 must become Is. That table is here reconstituted in Table III. The last column gives the rates stipulated in the Order as applying to stock bricks
(Common), produced in the .counties of Middlesex, Eeasex, Oxford, Buckingham, Hertford, Bedford, Northamptcn and Huntingdon, the bricks being of a thickness, or depth. not exceeding 2 ins. plus •TL6, in. tolerance. Comparison between the final and penultimate columns of Table III are of interest ag giving the difference between the cakulated rates and those specified by the Ministry of Works as being
the most brickmakers are allowed to charge. S.T.R.