Answers to Queries.
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Our readers will be informed by the Editor on any points connected with the construction or use of commercial motors. Where a direct reply is desired, a stamped and addressed envelope should be enclosed : if a request for privacy is not specially made, any query and answer may be published.
Heavy Motorcar or Traction Engine?
[1,369] " Flarr.iER " enquires :—" Can you give me a few more particulars about the case to which the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently gave its financial assistance, and which resulted in the reversal of the decision of the Bridgend magistrates? "
ANswER.--We presume our correspondent refers to the case which was mentioned in our issues of the 28th January and tith instant. It concerned a Wallis and Steevens wagon (not a tractor, as we inadvertently stated). The Clerk to the Justices advised that this wagon required to have three persons in attendance, and that one of these should be ready to give assistance to anybody ‘yith a horse and carriage, under Section 5 of the Locomotives Act of 1898. The action was originally brought by a private gentleman against Messrs. Thomas and Evans, merchants and manufacturers, of Hannah Street, Porth, who asserted that he was inconvenienced when overtaking the wagon on the highway between Laleston and Red
[1,37o] " INVESTOR " writes :—" Can yon tell me whether, as a fact, the whole of the recent t:5o,000 debenture issue of the London Electrobus Company, United, was taken up ? Also, do you think this company will be financially successful? "
ANswER.--We are not in a position to give the exact amount that was subscribed, but we understand that it was less than .4:20,000, althoug,11 the total amount is registered at Somerset House. As regards your second query, we should say that the company is enormously handicapped by its excessive promotion expenses, and by the consequences of certain difficulties which were experienced at the outset of its career, coupled ‘viih the facts that it had to convert its six, original, bevel-driven, live-axle chassis to the chain drive, and that these six vehicles were very expensive to maintain. The company is receiving plenty of traffic support, and it has specially favourable contracts for battery maintenance; these contracts, in fact, are at about id. per mile less than the battery companies are prepared to contract with other omnibus companies. We should not be attracted either by the debenture stock or the ordinary shares in view of the circumstances above explained, and of the severe competition which characterises passenger transport in London.
About Motor Contracting.
[I,3711 " INTENDING CONTRACTORS write :—" We are greativ obliged by your kindness in posting to us it copy of the Motor Hiring Special ' of l THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR '—issue of the t5th October last. We are now regular ,subscribers through Messrs. W. H. Smith and Sons. The whole thing, so far as it goes, is very lucidly dealt with, and must, we are quite sure, have done much to stimulate and encourage other people to enter the business on a sound basis.
" There are one or two points about which we should appreciate your opinion. What is your opinion as to the fitting of solid-rubber tiros on steam wagons? We are troubled by small councils, over whose roads quite a lot of our work will be compelled to go. We should also like to know more about petrol vehicles; in Our opinion, there appears to be a good demand for this class of motor, especially in the two-ton and four-ton sizes, for millers and brewers, in long-distance work, where a steamer could not possibly cover the ground.
" What percentage do you consider should be put on to cover administration and office charges?
" Do you consider that ;4;15 per day would pay for a four-ton petrol wagon employed all the year round carting coal and sand (depot to depot), on an average mileage of 330 per week of five days—the distance point to point is about eight miles, and the quantities to be dealt with moo tons per week in each direction?
" What do you consider would be a fair charge for a two-tonner engaged in flour-millers' work on about the same average mileage? "
ANSWER.—As regards the fitting of rubber tires, the likely cost depends very much upon the axle-weight. For steam lorries, taking loads of about three tons, they are now being successfully used, whilst a very few owners have put them upon five-ton lorries. We are afraid that the fitting of rubber tires would not necessarily protect you against claims for road damage, although the principal merit of such tires lies in their reduction of noise and vibration, which, of course, means a reduction in the repair bill for the vehicle itself.
The difficulty about the heavier types of petrol vehicles, i.e., for loads above three tons, is that there is not sufficient evidence to justify our varying our old recommendation in favour of the steam lorry, except in special cases where a purchaser or hirer is willing to pay the necessary greater first and running costs.
‘Nre do not consider that the percentage statement of administration charges is the best way to deal with the subject, but rather the charging of .4.5 or .71,-,6 per month per vehicle.
Should not the " Lis per day " read ",-r5 per week?" Also, are we to gather that zoo tons per week are available?
You ought to pay sufficiently well, on flour-millers' work, with a two-tonner, at Is. per mile, if they will guarantee you not less than 25o miles a week as an average, but 300 preferably.
Public-service Licenses in the Country.
,11,3721 " LIVERY-STABLE DIRECTOR " writes :—" On behalf of my colleagues, I shall be grateful for your opinion and assistance in a matter of much importance. A driver of one of my public-service motors left our employment Four months ago, and started to run a private car he brought from London on the same rules as we other public-service proprietors. The driver applied but did not get the public-service license from X Urban District Council, though he has the ordinary hackneycarriage (Inland Revenue) license of r5s. The driver lives in —, and that place is under a rural district council. We have reported the man to the police at X, as he is taking
and bringing from that district. No notice is taken whatever, and we are of opinion that it is a great injustice this sort of thing should go on. The man had been in our employ six months, and he was in .touch with my ' regulars ' as well : he has monopolised them since the time he left my service."
ANsweu.---Rural District Councils have no power to issue licenses in respect of omnibuses, hackney carriages, etc., but an Urban Authority has, and, of course, the more important authorities such as corporations. We understand that the vehicle is onestion plys for hire within the area of the X Urban District Council, and this being so we are of opinion that the Council's license is required. This license is quite apart from the m5s. license which is issued for revenue purposes. If the driver doing this without a license, he is liable to a penalty of 405., and our correspondent can lay an. information . against him, without reference to the police, under the Town Police Clauses Acts of 1847 and 1889.