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Groundnuts Transport Chaos Caused by Shortage of Spares

18th November 1949
Page 35
Page 35, 18th November 1949 — Groundnuts Transport Chaos Caused by Shortage of Spares
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SHORTAGE of spares Was causing Partial paralysis of transport' in the Government's Groundnut' tSCherne. ii 'East Afriea; said Mr. G. C. Hinchliffe, irtSnagingdirector of 'N.B.0 Garage's -.fBradford), Ltd., when he lectured recently to the Bradford centre of' the Institute of the Motor Industry about his overland trip to South Africa and back in a caravan converted from an Austin W.D. ambulance, Mr. Hinchliffe twice visited the base at Kongwa, Tanganyika (illustrated in ” The Commercial Motor" on September 2). He stated that conditions as to equipment for transport . and bushclearance plant were worse on his first visit in February, during his outward journey, than when he returned there in June. Many of the Forclson vehicles at the base were out of action because their broken front springs could not be replaced. Three thousand spare rear springs were in stock—but no front springs.

More than 300 units comprising tractors, bulldozers and other -bushclearance machinery were idle because of the shortage of spares. Sonic American-made tractors had never turned a wheel since delivery on the site, because they had been denuded of parts in order to repair other machines. .• When some new Bedford lorries had arrived from England their bodies had immediately been removed and replaced by loeally built • bodiea for "carrying ' employees of the Overseas Food Cor 'poration. Either the :Vehicles :should • have been sent from England with bodies already made to the required specifications, Mr. Hinchliffe said, or only the chassis should have been shipped. ,

'-When I went there," Mr. Hinchliffe added, "1 saw 12 brand-new Bedford bodies lying at the.side of the road."

Furthermore, he pointed out, trouble arose through faulty design in some of the locally built bodies, made by Indian bddylmilders. They were constructed round the shock-absorber system, and when the vehicle was jolted the shock absorber struck the body floor. The defect had to be corrected in the Overseas Food Corporation's own shops. When Mr. Hinchliffe again visited Kongwa last June, during his return journey from he Cape to England, there were signs of improvement in organization. An instance of the more careful watch kept on equipment and supplies was the parking of vehicles in compounds, with nightguards to prevent stealing.

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