WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all dirretatres of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crosier,
Leylands Near London.
We believe we are right in stating that the directors of Leyland Motors, Ltd., have acquired tha extensive factory erected for aeroplane construction at Ham, Surrey, by the Sopwith Ai'iation Co. The large floor area of the buildings, their contiguity to London, and their general convenience should make the new acquisition one ob considerable importance to Leylands. More and more is it being realized that, just as torque is the stuff that makes the wheels go round (to quota a recent Leylandisrn), "service" is the stuff that keeps the vehicles on the road.
Profiteering or Not ?
Mr. Walter Wolsey, Junr., has forwarded a memorandum to the Committee on Trusts of the Profiteering Arts Department of the Board of Trade in reply to its inquiry into the question of road transport rates. The questions to which., ho replied and gave information were as follow (1) To what extent prices have been increased for read transport during the war, and the basis on which the increases are sustained. (2) The method which the Association adopts to fix the prices. (3) To what • extent has. the Association in any locality exercised monopoly control in their respective districts. Mr. Wolsey asserted that the C.M.U.A. took no part in arranging charges, each mearber being free to arrange his charges according to local circumstances. He went on -to detail prevailing costs and prices as charged by one prominent haulage con. corn, in which he shows that the average increase in cots is no less than double the average, increase in charges to the customer, cletaila being given under all heads.
In his speech of welcome to the officers and members ' of . the Imperial Motor Transport Council, Mr. Underdown, President of the A.B.M, and A.M., made a passing reference to the possibility of the Association of British Motor and Allied Manufacturers becoming " a part of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders." We believe we are right in saying that negotiations to this end have proceeded for some time. The conflicting interests in the Society—The British makers and the importers of foreign goods—have, for a long time, been drifting farther and farther apart, and not unnaterelly.. The formation, a few years ago, of the A.B.M.A.M. showed strongly that the British makers desired a freer hand in the development of their propaganda, and it was followed by the formation cf a group of importers. The idea now is that the S.M.M.• and T. should cease to be an executive body, except in certain international matters, the promotion of shears or Contests; and in other affairs in which there is no poesibility of a divergence of opinion. The matters falling within a certain sphere would be passed on to and discussed by the appropriate association being a comportent part of the Society, coming up beferejlie S.M.M. and T. again perhaps
B24 in the report stage. A great deal of confusion would thus be prevented, and there could be no possibility of divergent views from different groups, professedly representative of the trade, being given, for instance, to a Government department on some important matter. At the same time, the component association would preserve their independence of action.
The motor industry, truly, has not been accustomed to be spoken to in the way Sir Erie Geddes and Sir Hamar Greenwood have recently addressed it. If the ministerial appreciations, stated intentions, and desires concerning the future of the motor industry at home and abroad, and promises of support and encouragement are all genuinely meant to be acted upon, the future of the industry can be looked forward to with 'a little more confidence than is %jut new being shown by its more pessimistic elements.
Aeroplane Transport from Liverpool to London.
A review of the first week's work of the Liverpool Motor Haulage Clearing House points to an era of increased usefulness in the solving of dock congestion by the use of motor lorries. The manager, Mr. J. F. Shaiv, etatas• that during the week over 120 tons of cottein,
grain, canned goods, timber, tobacco, and general merchandise WON) sent by road to London, Manchester, Sheffield, 13ol•ton, and Wigan.
Negotiations for the transport by road, from Liverpool to London of 40 complete aeroplanes, if successful, will probably constitute a record for road transport in one consignment. For this contract 40 separate three to five-ton, lorries would
be required. Local lorries and other vehicles would be utilized.
The importance of comprehensive insurance to users of commercial-meter vehicles cannot be over-estimated. A small concern may easily be doomed by an unfortunate accident involving damage to life or property—perhaps both—if the precaution of insurance has not been taken. In this connection, interesting policies known as the "Premier" are being issued at Lloyd's. They include a special policy for commercial vehicles covering third-party indemnity; accidental damage, fire; burglary, and theft.
Premiums vary according to certain districts—the more thickly populated the district the higher the premium: Prerniums are arranged for delivery vans from 10 hp. to 40 h.p., with a special policy for Ford vans. Steam wagons and laaries are classified from one-ton to sixtons carrying capacity. There is also a policy for private-hire vehicles. Additional small premiums cover personal accidents to owner or driver, workmen's compensation, etc.
• It will-interest, some of OUT readers to know that the general manager is Major F. H. Bale, who was previously London manager of the Swift Motor Co., Ltd., until he became liason officer in a branch of the Mechanical Transport.
The Agents Dine.
The dinner of the Agents' Section, Ltd., held in London last Thursday, was remarkable for the large attendance, the Greed Hall, .81 the Connaught Rooms, one. of London's largest halls, being crammed to its very limits. A point of strong interest wae the public dieavowal of the American motor vehicle by Sir Percival Perry, K.B.E. He asserted that there is now no need to purchase imported motors, and that it was the duty of all agents to support home industries. Corning from the Malt who has been instrumental in importing more foreign cars than any half-dozen others put together, it was a very startling statement. Mr. Mobbs, the chairman, showed that he fully appreciated • the fact that agents axe only entitled to trade terms by reason of the service they can render to the public in order to provide cheap and reliable transport-. Mr. Frank Lauchester, the President of • the S.M.M. and T. made a clever and...statesmanlike speech—in fact, the speech of the evening. His development as a convincing public speaker has been remarkable, and because of his modesty more than usually pleasing to those who have the honour of his acquaintance and know the real worth that underlies his quiet and reserved manner, Withdrawal of the National Buses from London.
In the House of Commons last week Mr. Gilbert asked the Minister ef Tram, port whether his attention had been called to the proposed withdrawal of 150 steam omnibuses from the streets of. London by the National Co., who be..e disposed of these omnibuses to the provinces; whether he was aware that this means the closing of three garages, and the discharge of about 1,000 men employed by this Company; and if he would state what action he proposed to take in order to prevent this number of public vehicles being removed from London,
Sir R. Williams in -reply Raid: I have seen it stated in the Press that the National Steam Car Co. intend to withdraw their steam oriertibutieS from the atreets of London, and I underataud that this is due to the fact that the vehicles are being run at considerable loss. The National Steam Car Co. is a private undertaking, and the Ministry has no power under the Transport Act to insist that those privately-owned vehicles should continue to run upon the London streets.
The address of the London offices of the Commercial Motor Users Association as from December 1st will he 50, Pall Mall, S.W. 1.
In a recent case at the Mortlake Petty Sessions a driver was fined £3 for driving at excessive speed, and after the fine was imposed, the police asked for art endorsement of the licence at there were previous convictions against the driver. The defendant'e solicitor objected to this, saying that he considered he was entitled to take advantage of any slip the court might make, and that the question of an endorsement of the licence couldnet now arise. The bench agreed.
According to the statistics published by the Swedish Board of Trade, a considerable increase is taking place in the number and value of motor vehicles now being imported into Sweden. In August of the present year, the value of cars and lorries brought into the country amounted to 2,567,000 kronen, whereas the value in the corresponding month in 1918 was only 22,600 kronen. The increase in September, however, was still greater, the value having risen to 3,082,000 kronen as compared with 35,810 kronen in the equivalent month of 1918.
A considerable development in the import of motor vehicles is also taking place in Norway, where record figures were reached in September. The arrivals from America in that month amounted to a value of 4,386,000 kronor; those from Germany amounted to 241,000 kronor; from England 150,000 kronor ; from Italy 79,000 kronor, and from France 200,00Q kronor.
Lorries in Algiers.
Many lorries are at present being imported into Algiers, and since the war their use has become more and more
general in the province of Oran. In 1914 there was only a very small number of vehicles in use in this province; to-day there are 54, and many others are on order. All of -the vehicles are of French make. The price of a lorry varies according to make from 35.000 to 45,000 francs. The lorries are used for the transport cif merchandise to the stationis and docks.
Cost of Towing Lorries to • Slough.
According to Mr. kellaway, Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Minister of Munitions, damaged lorries landed at Richborougb are towed to Slough, a distance of 120 miles. It is estimated that the average inclusive cost of towing between these two points is b15 per vehicle.
During the period between August 1st and November let. the number of lorries dealt, with in this manner was 3,200.
There are no facilities at Richborough for repairing any considerable number of vehicles.
Ministry of Transport Department for Ireland.
An Irish branch of the Ministry of Transport has now been established under the control of Mr. H. Gr. Burgess, whose official title is Director General of Transport (Ireland).
Mr. Bargecs has had 40 years' service with the London and North-Western Railway, and for half of that period has been general :nanager for Ireland. For 20 years he was elected member of lbw Dublin Port and Docks Board, and during the war held the position of director of Irish Transportation. Mr. Burgess also served for many years as a Gornmissiciner. for Carlingfercl Lough, and as a member of the Dublin Local Marine Board.
The ueadquarters of the department is at 19, Westmerclamil Street, Dublin.
Orders for Electries.
Ransomes, Sims and jefferies. Ltd., have recently secured an order for five 3-too tipping wagons for refuse collection for the Corporation of Newport, Mon., and in addition to the four 2-ton wagons which the company are manufacturing for the Willeitaen U.D.C., they now have a repeat order for 11 additional vehicles. Fourteen of these machines are to be used for refuse collection and one is for the special use of the ele,ctricity. department.
Manchester Motor Transport.
The organization of freight exchanges is probably a matter for the central authority bat, in Manchester, there is a feeling that if anything is done in this direction it must be organized by someone familiar with the conditions of industry as well as the limits of trans-port.. Loads are as various as the weather"; the Borough Surveyor of Nelson is inViting firms sending goods to Liverpool for full loads for Ellesmere Port to Nelson and the telephone is constantly ringing from Yorkshire to Manchester and from the Lancashire towns to Liverpool with reference to the transport of cotton.
Just now there is much talk about the promised Army lorries which are coming into Manchester, but a Prominent haulage contractor reports that there are -practically enough commercial lorries 'already available if they could be properly organized and co-ordinated, The congestion of a few weeks ago has been greatly reduced by the return to commercial employment of the scores of chars1-bancs that have dune duty at the seaside during the summer.
Most of the lorries formerly in Government service are now owned by haulage people, who are endeavouring to develop system of regular freight chvgeL
Some fresh enterprises are in contemplation in Manchester, and a firm of haulage contractors is about to put a fleet of more than a score of motor vehicles on the road from the North to London ere Tong; they are being organized so completely: that a commercial vehicle timetable will be in actual service before Christmas.
It is staled that the works of the National Steam Car Co., Ltd , at Chelmsford are being closed in view of the withdrawal of the company's buses from the streets of London.
The effects of the recent coal strike are still being felt seriously by many menufacterers. We reproduce a photograph
of the condition of affairs existing at the Basingstoke works of J. I. Thornycrofb and Co., Ltd. Here over E100,000 worth of Thornyeroft vehicles are being held up for want of the well-known Thornycroft steel wheels, the production of which has become seriously delayed in consequence of the coal strike. It will be seen that all the vehicles in the illustration are jacked up on wooden blocks. Those people who are awaiting delivery of Thornyoroft vehicles will now be able to understand why delays in these deliveries are aecurring.
Tie?, chassis shown are entirely finished except for their wheels.
The advantages of collecting house refuse by electric vehicles were explained at a Ministry of Health inquiry held last week in Sheffield with regard to the Corporation's proposed employment of electric_s. The system is already in operathm, and it is intended to extend it gradually and dispense with horses altogether..
The subject matter of the inquirywas an application to borrow £14,200 for the purchase of electric vehicles. When the Corporation purchased their first electric vehicle, the department had 156 horses, but that. number has now been reduced to 82.
The present vehicles work day and night shifts, and each has replaced six horses. Last year:s cost of thc. removal of bin refuse was Be. 8d. per ton by horses, and 8s. per ton by electric. The night 'work done last year cost 5s. 8d. per ton by horses, and 3s. 110, by electric. The Corporation undertake the removal of 450 tons of refuse perWeek,
The Carnarvonshire Police Committee recently spent considerable time in discussing the question ef overcrowding on public-service vehicles. The Chief Cele stable mentioned an instance of a bus being loaded with 85 passengers whereas it was only licensed to carry 40, Whilst a member of the committee made the remarkable statement that on one ores.
sion "no fewer than 110 persons were clinging like bees to a car licensed to carry 441" While all this goes to show that in some districts the passenger traffic is in excess of the means of trimsport, yet it did not, justify the overcrowding of bases. It was suggested by a member of the committee that the most feasible preventive measure will be to have one comprehensive by-law for the whole country. The Outcome of the committee's decision was to ask the County Councils Association to take the matter up.
Roads That Do Not Wear Out.
East Riding County Surveyor, in reporting that most of the tar-surfacing week has been completed, says it is noticeable that where the roads have been so treated they show eo sign of wear, notwithstanding the extraordinary traffic on the roads during the railway strike.
Big Robey Order.
Robey and Ltd., inform us that
an order for 100 Co.,f their new type steam wagons has beeur placed with them by Polon. and Crisp, Ltd., of Manchester, for the Lancashire district. This must certainly be one of the largest orders for steam wagons ever placed with any one company by a single customer.
A joint meeting of the Highways and Tramways Committee of the Swansea Corporation decided that the new tram scheme .shauld be deferred 'in view of the very large expense. involved," and that steps be taken to e,stablish motorbus services in lieu of tearaways. The joint committee also decided that in the Corporation. Bill powers should be sought to operate a number of bus routes outside the borough:
By-law and Garages.
A new motor garage is to he erected for the Eccles Co-operative Society, which has two motorcars and nine commercial vehicles. The cost, of the building alone is estimated at about £6,000. The local corporation will not allow the walls to be of asbegtos, although they will allow a roof of that material. The present cost of horses being three times what it was before the war, the Society intend to purchase more motor vehicles.
November 18, 'gig. General Motors' Dinner.
The first annual dinner to the distributors of General 1rioters productions was given at the Savoy Hotel on Wednesday, November lab. There was an influential gathering numbering over 400, representing the distributing organization of the company's various lines in this country.
At the conclusion of the dinner a most interesting speech was made by Mr. P. B. Steenstrup, general manager of General Motors Export Co-, New York. He began his speech by complimenting those responsible for the Olympia Show, and he said that, had it been possible for him . to get close enough to the principal exhibits, he would undoubtedly have seen some wonderful things in the way of motors. He continued by giving a short history of General Motors and of their policy in the future. General Motors is the largest corporation in the world as regards capital, and it produces more value in vehicles per year than any other combine of manufacturers.
By building up satisfactory eoriditions for its workmen serious strikes have been entirely avoided. The corporation is erecting model houses by the thousand. Each has its bath, steam heating, electric light, cemented walks, and garden. The corporation also awards large sums in bonuses to encourage inventions and improvements in the design of their products. The bonuses are given to those showing exceptional ability or faithfulness in the company's interest. They expect to build during the current fiscal year approximately 400,000 lorries and cars, and are making arrangements to Produce 1300,000 in the following year. They believe that motor vehicles will help to build up every country where they are put into general use, and reasonable quantities of vehicles will be placed on the British market.
At the conclusion of the speech a concert was given by various well-known artistes.
A company styled the Scottish Automobile and General Insurance Co., Ltd., has been registered in Glasgow with a capital of £250,000 in £i shares, with objects as indicated by the title. The registered office of the company is 163, West George Street, Glasgow.
Absurd Traffic By-laws.
The folly of overdoing traffic by-laws is raised, officially, by the Home Office with regard to a new by-law recently adopted by the Hull Corporation. Local authorities may make by-laws, but the confirmation of the Home Office is required, hence the authorities can intervene when it thinks local authorities go too far.
With every good intention the Hull Corporation made a new by-law to prevent traffic accidents at level crossings., There have been some nasty mishaps in the city, due to mechanically-propelled vehicles running into closed level crossing gates, and the corporation by-law sought to make it a punishable offence for drivers to pull up under 10 yards from a gate, and for the imposition of a line not exceeding £5 for such an offence.
The Home Office now writes to Hull expressing sympathy with the corporation's view that a driver approaching such gates should drive carefully and slowly so that he may run no risk of the ear colliding with the gates, but doubting Whether the bylaw will in practice he effective for the purpose the corporation has in view.
The Home Office proceeds to Point out that if a vehicle is being driven slowly, there is no risk in approaching close to the gates; on the other hand, if it is being driven too fast and the brakes are not good, a limit of 10 yards might be too short.
Moreover, the Home Office asks how it is proposed to enforce the by-law. If, enye, the department, a constable is stationed at each craving, no by-law would he necessary, since he would be able to hold up the traffic at a reasonable distance from the gates. If a constable is not stationed at each crossing, the enfereement of the by-law would be difficult especially in the case of motorists corning from outside the district who would have no means of knowing of the by-law. • Jr conclusion the Home Office declares that " it is undesirable to create fresh criminal offences except on strong geemids."
Without going so far as to refuse to confirm the by-law, the Home Office proposes to defer the matter for two !weals in order that .the points raised mar be considered by the corporation.
The Watch Committee has now decided to recommend the corporation to rescind the by-law.
Government Lorries and the Relief of Congestion.
In the House of Commons last week Mr. Doyle asked the Minister of Transport whether it is his intention to use the many Army and Navy lorries still in possession of the Government for the transport of goods under the direct control of his Department in order to relieve the congested railways, or whether be prefers to let such lorries out by contract to big firms; and, in the latter event, if he will give the terms of such contract?
Sir Rhys Williams: The hon. member is no doubt aware of the emergency measure under which Government-owned motor lorries have been placed at the disposal of local committees of certain ports for the purpose of relieving congestion at those ports and on the railways. Under this arrangement haulage contractors may obtain the use of Government lorriee on hire, subject. to the approval of the local committees. The rates of hire vary in different localities, but will generally conform to the rates of hire prevailing in each district, Except under this arrangement, it is not the intention of the Ministry of Transport, to let out Government-owned lorries to haulage contractors. Surplus Government lorries can be eurchaeed from the Disposals Board. The lorries referred to are additional to the large number previously hired to the railway companies by the Ministry of Munitions, which are still at work.
Higher Char-a-bancs Licence Fees?
Having had a complaint frora the Di-Add Rural District Council about the damage dame to the roads by motor char4-banes traffic and asking for an increase in the licence duty on such vehicles in order to provide funds for road maintenance, the Highways Committee of the East Riding. County Coendl report, that it is fully alive to the damage to reads by the increasing use DE motor charA-hanes and heavy motor traffic generally, adding that in its
opinion the whole question of read maintenance mint. necessarily be considered and dealt with ty the Government. at an early date.
The use of rubber sponges for washing down motor vehicles is recommended by Brown Brothers, Ltd. They claim that the Duco rubber sponges, which are British made, are better than thoseforeign manufacture, as they are most, absorbent and are made of practically pure rubber, which does not take kindly to petrol or oil. They outlast natural sponges by a long way, and will dry off the moisture not only equally as well, but generally better. They are made in three sizes, small oval at as. 6d., medium oval 3s, 91, and large round 7s. 6d.
Traffic' Chassis Details.
In our description of the Traffic chaseis whieh appeared in our issue of last week, we regret that we described this ehassie as being fitted with a special-speedometer drive. We are informed by North Western Motors, Ltd., the concessionmires for this vehicle, that no speedometer drive is fitted, and also that the net price, excluding insurance, is £495.
The purchase of a motor lorry by Bristol Guardians has been decided upon.
Parliamentary powers are being sought by Middlesex County Council to own and run motorbuses.
Willesden Lf.D.Ce has received Sanctiofl to borrow £13,475 for the purchase of 11 electric vehicles £2,608 is to he spent by Leek U.D.O. on the purchase of two electric vehicles for refuse collection purposes.
The clerk of Carnforth U.D.C. is inquiring into the cost of converting the pulffic ambulance into a motor vehicle.
Inquiries are being made by Belper R.D.C. as to the cost of a 5-ton steam tractor with one or two trailers.
Sheffield Corporation Electricity Committee has decided to purchase two Yorkshire 5-ton subboatyred steam tipping wagons fitted.
Clayton and Shuttleworth„ Ltd., of Lincoln, have been successful in securing orders for their 5-ton end-tipping steam wagons from the Ayrshire C.C., and the Penrith R.D.C.
The question of a motor ambulance for the removal of hospital Patients is being considered by Sunderland R.D.C.
Bath Corporation has instructed the City Engineer to obtain_particulare as to the collection of refuse by means of electric vehicles.
Sheffield Corporation has agreed to the Cleansing Superintendent acting as a gepresentative of the Electric Ve.luele Committee on the Road Transport Association.
Sheffield Corporation Tramways and Motors Committee have decided to purchase five single-deck omnibus bodies fitted with clerestory roofs from C. Dodson, Ltd., at £525 each.
Sheffield Corporation Tramways and Motors Committee is getting the Steel Barrel Co., Ltd. to install twoadditional petrol storage "'faille% of 2,500 gallons capacity each at the garage for the sum of £720.
St. .Ainnes-on-the-Sea U.D.C. invite tenders for the supply of a 500-gallon turbine motor fire-engine with 60 ft. fireescape, and for two one-ton Ford chtetsis. Tenders must, be delivered to the Clerk to the Council by to-morrow (November 1901).