Manchester Show Forecast.
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Vehicles from seven makers will constitute the petrol section, from six makers the steam-wagon contingent, and from only a single maker will there arrive a tractor. These manufacturers should reap a rich harvest of trade, They include representative constructors, and practically all the models have records of service in the hands of users to their credit.
The steam-wagon contingent is likeie to attract first attention : the exhibitors are the " old stagers" of the movement, and their stands are to be adorned with testimony of re
peat orders. For little more than /:5oo, anybody who wants to deal with loads of from five to nine tons can buy a self-contained wagon of Proved merit, and can be assured that it will work at an inclusive cost—depreciation and maintenance being covered therein--of from 8d. to is, per mile run, according. to weekly mileage and the frequency with which a trailer is hauled, Such wagons are regLdarly known to do work which cannot be undertaken by less than seven powerful horses, and their point-to-point employment enables them to rival any other method of transport, if cost and expedition are jointly regarded, over a wide range of distances. They are well able to pay with even half-mile leads • .as from coal wharf to gas works— if terminal delays are avoided; they do better, of course, where to or more miles at a timo are demanded of them ; and they do best of all in hilly districts. In a part of the country where so many paved stretches of highway exist, and this class of surface is charactertistic of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the S-ton axle-weight of the iron-tired motor wagon has proved an essential feature of construction, because the necessary adhe..ion is thereby ensured in the great majority of cases, both for self-propulsion and the haulage of a trailer. The wide use of steam wagons by contractors is a factor of great interest, but many manufacturers and traders who have traffic to give might %veil become owners themselves. There Jire, of course, two sides to the question, but our experience is that, wherever an individual can keep a machine .fn/lv occuPied, he should save not less than thirty per cent. on any contractor's rates which are likelv to be maintained. The contractor has to safeguard himself against Jost journeys and other contingencies, which are inseparable from lds classes of undertaking.
We have not yet seen any reason to depart from our oft-reiteraled opinion that the petrol-driven vehicle cannot yet, where loads appreciably in excess of three tons have to be taken, excel the steam wagon, except in particular cases. The question of total annual outgo is, however, only one half of the consideration : performance has equally to be taken into account. It comes about, therefore, that a eet'tain proportion of users has found it expedient to include both types in any fleet of commercial motors, the petrol driven models being set aside for long-distance runs, over which their extra speed materially helps earnings, i.e., die performance effected icr useful ton-miles of work. The dividing line is found when we come to the limit of load which can be taken upon a steam-lorry platform without exceeding the axle-weight of six tons, for, when Ono axle-weight is exceeded, no rubber-tired motor wagon may legally travel at more than eight miles an hour, and that limit is approximately reached with a 34-ton load. Then it is that the petrol-driven machine begins to score, because its lighter construttion, and the fact that :C carries only a few gallons of cooling water and motor spirit, in place of at least 12cwt. of water and solid fuel, enables it to retain the advantages of the 12-mile-an-hour limit. With four miles an hour in hand, the 41-ton petrol lorry, when it can make an extra trip, earns enough more than to cover the greater working cost per mile.
The One Tractor.
Tasker's " Little Giant ' will, by reason of its isolation, be much observed. Its makers have much to show in support of their contention that tractors can very often pay their way better than anything else. It has, none the less, to be admitted that Manchester and Bolton setts, for example, don't favour any ordinary tractor. On the other hand, where road and traffic conditions are right, a tractor can haul its load of six tons at, perhaps,r5 per cent. less total loss than can a steam wagon, but it cannot deal with more than six tons net (eight tons gross behind the drawbar).
Apropos the illustration below, we hope good cause will, before next year, arise for improvements at the siding inside he Belle Vue grounds. This private siding is only 150 yards from the show buildings, but it is, at present, in the absence of unloading facilities, more convenient to consign inachine to a goods yard.