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18th November 1938
Page 80
Page 81
Page 80, 18th November 1938 — OPINIONS
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?




[5497] In your issue of November 4 you publish details of a case held by the South-Eastern Licensing Authority. I was very much alarmed by his remarks when he stated that a driver had been employed for four consecutive days of 11 hours each, "and the sooner proper wages and conditions of employment were established in the road-transport industry the better," and the "man had no home life at all."

I agree that we must have proper wages and conditions, but surely it is a misinterpretation of the Act to state that a driver must not work for 11 hours for four consecutive days, assuming, of course, that he has had proper rests for food. I have not read that 11 hours is permissible only for one or two days per week.

Your ruling on these remarks will be much appreciated by me, and if he be wrong in his statements, surely the applicant's representative should have rectified the remark at once.

The Licensing Authority may have been referring to some other breach of conditions, but your report does

not say so. H. J. CANE, Director.

London, S.E.5. (For Horace J. Cane, Ltd.)

[The statements to which you refer are certainly surprising and if they applied only to the fact that the man worked 11 hours per day for four consecutive days, we consider them to be highly irregular. Many men would be very satisfied if they could keep regularly to these hours, which of course are those permitted by law. Perhaps Sir Henry did not intend to convey such an impression concerning the legal hours of working, or possibly the figure was misheard. In either case it would be advisable for him to clarify the matter and we are asking him to do this.—En.]


[5498] I should be very grateful to you if you could give me an answer concerning the comparative running costs of two different types of vehicle, under the conditions outlined below.

What would be the ,difference in cost when running a single vehicle laden to 10i tons, compared with two 5-tonners laden to the same 'total weight? The distance covered would -be about 79 miles in each direction, Plymouth to Penzance, returning the same day. I presume that the large type could average about 17 m.p.h., and very probably would, since it would leave at about 6 a.m. The 5-tonners would average 27 m.p.h., being under 2i tons unladen.

What I'would like to know is whether the extra crew and fuel for one more lorry would offset the time lost by the slower machine with its single crew.

Written in the form of an equation Do two lorries, plus less time, equal one lorry, plus more time?

If not, which combination is the cheaper to run?

If you wish to include depreciation as a. factor of the running costs, the smaller type is reckoned to be u44

" written off" after four or five years and the big vehicle about 10 to 12 years. It would, perhaps, be better to consider the life of the 5-tonners (from experience) to be four years.

The prime movers in both cases would be petrol, but would an oil engine in the big machine make any great difference in the figures?

I believe you quite frequently travel into the West Country, so that you probably know the type of roads and gradients encountered.

I should, perhaps, add that this is C-licence work.

I hope this will not be putting you to any great trouble, but I have been reading The Commercial Motor regularly since the beginning of November, 1933, and I thought you could best answer my queries.

Birmingham. D.S.M.

[There is no doubt whatever that the most economical vehicle for the work you have in mind is the oil-engined 144-tonner. The following axe estimated figures of average cost, assuming each vehicle does five journeys per week or is otherwise employed up to a total of 800 miles per week per vehicle. Two 5-tanners, £44; one 10+-ton petrol-engined vehicle, £31 12s.; one 101-ton oil-engined vehicle, £.27 10s. Incidentally, I regard your estimates of period for depreciation as very inaccurate. I suggest for the 5-tonners on this mileage a period of two and a half to three years and for the 104anners not more than five years.—S.T.R.]


[5499] I am informed that if a lorry be hired by a Government contractor for work in connection with an aerodrome, no Road Fund or Traffic Commissioner's licence is required. Please let me know if this be

correct. J.F.A. North Somercotes.

[In the circumstances you mention a Road Fund licence and a goods vehicle licence are necessary. The exemptions in the case of vehicles hired by Government departments concern the use of such vehicles in connection with manoeuvres, exercise and training, but not for general haulage for constructional work.—En.]


[5500] It has recently fallen to my lot to attend to haulage accounts, although feeling somewhat my inability to judge charges. Having read your recent articles on costs, I wonder if you would give me a• little asistance in the matter. The drivers tell me That your rates are somewhat below the average in these parts. My chief concern is that the lorries should cover themselves.

I will take for example a 2-ton Bedford, 14 months old. The driver is guaranteed £3 per week. Some weeks he may work only 30 to 35 hours, but should he work more than 48. hours he is paid overtime. The insurance of the Bedford is a trifle more than that allowed in your table of costs, being £25 2s. 6d. (full cover). •

One concern that I have in mind requires a rate per hour. In some cases the lorry will be used locally within a radius of 8 miles, then perhaps there will be a load to go 50 miles. Usually the vehicle carries timber and joinery. We have recently increased the rate to 3s. 9d. per hour.

In some cases, on excavation work, we have been allowed 3s. per hour. This lorry has hydraulic tipping gear.

Could you possibly suggest a reasonable rate per hour? Your help in the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Swansea, M.G.

[In view of the figures quoted in your letter, you will be surprised when I inform you that, in my opinion, the net cost of operating the vehicle you have in mind is from 4s. 5d. to 5s. 5d. per hour. I give you the figures in detail so that you will be able to verify them for yourself. You have, first of all, standing charges per week. as follow: Licence, 2s.; wages and employees' insurance, 61s. 6d.; rent and rates, 7s.; insurance, 10s.; interest, 4s. 6d. Total 95s. per week. On the basis of a 48-hour week that is, as near as makes no matter, 2s. per hour and, on a 32-hour week, 3s. per hour. In addition you must have some overhead or establishment costs to meet which cannot amount to less than 3d, per hour. That is to say that your fixed charges altogether amount to from 2s. 3d. to 3s. 3d. per hour, according to whether you are running 48 or 32 hours per week. In addition there are your running costs, which I calculate as follow (per mile): petrol, 1,30d.; oil, 0.07d.; tyres, 0.36d.; maintenance, 0.79d.; depreciation, 1.04d. Total 3.56d. per mile or a little more than 34d. If you run 8 m.p.h. that is 2s. 4d. for running costs so that your total of running costs and fixed charges, on that basis, is 4s. 7d. to Sc. 7d. Even supposing you were able to economize a little in your maintenance cost the most that you would expect would be to reduce your running costs to Sid. per mile, which is 2s. 2d. per hour, making your total cost 4s. 5d, or 5s. 5d. Any charges you make must, of course, be in excess of the above, if you are to make a profit.-S.T.R.] COMPRESSED OR PRODUCER GAS?

[55011 I am a member of a local Authority which, at the moment, is interested in a demonstration of a commercial vehicle driven by producer gas. •

This interest is due to the fact that vehicles driven by coal gas would have a beneficial effect upon the local coal trade, but I:personally, see that the change over to producer-gas-driven vehicles will be a long and ‘costly process; and would possibly mean the scrapping of our present vehicles, which are not old by any means.

I feel convinced that our vehicles could be made to serve for a long while yet, and at the same time help the local coal trade, by making the necessa. ry engine modifications and using compressed gas in cylinders.

Can you supply me with figures showing comparative costs of similar vehicles driven by petrol and driven by compressed gas ?

I am anxious to place my view before the local Authority and await your reply. COMGA. Tredegar.

[Before answering the question put in your letter I would like to be quite clear that you appreciate that producer gas is gas actually made on the vehicle, in plant especially designed for the purpose; that compressed gas is gas which is obtained from a supply station where coal gas is compressed to somewhere about 5.000 lb. Per sq. in. You will appreciate that provision for the latter is expensive and actually, at a moderate estimate, the cost of compressing the gas is about Is. per 1,000 cubic ft.

. With gas at 4d. per therm and making the above allowance for cost of compression, true equivalent cost of petrol to give the same cost as the gas is approximately 81d. per gallon. On to that you must, however, add the cost of the cylinders and other equipment on the vehicle, whicn will amount to probably not less than £120. That adds anything from one-third of a penny to three farthings per mile, depending upon the annual . mileage, and, in point of fact, there is not any real saving in cost of fuel to be expected from the use of coal gas. There is the further point, that unless the cylinder head be redesigned and the compression ratio altered, you may lose about 25 per cent. of the engine power output.-S.T.R.]

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