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19th January 1926
Page 28
Page 28, 19th January 1926 — OPINIONS FROM OTHERS.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Editor invites correspondence on all subjects connected with, the use of commercial motors; Letters should be on one side of the paper only and typewritten by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility for views

expressed is accepted.

A Proposed Society of Electric Vehicle Users, etc.


[2444] Sir,—Having informally discussed the present stage in the progress of electric propulsion by electric storage methods, I feel that now is the opportune moment for seriously considering the immediate formation of an association, institution, or society consisting of those who are interested in any way whatsoever in electrical vehicles (i.e., road vehicles, tractors, truclfs, locomotives, launches, barges, etc.), whether they be manufacturers, electricity supply engineers, owners or users thereof.

Such representation at periodical meetings where papers would be read and progress in other countries reviewed and discussed should prove beneficial to everyon e concerned ; the free interchange of opinions, observations and records of personal experience with the actual operation of the vehicles would tend towards further improvements in design and so forth, proving mutually advantageous for passengers and goods traffic.

I am already assured of some support from those who fully appreciate the advantages which will accrue from the inauguration of such a society, but I would like to have the views of your readers if they will kindly communicate with me direct, as I am arranging for an informal meeting at an early date to discuss formation' details.—Yours faithfully, J. C. ELVY, Chartered Electrical Engineer. 3-7, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.

Four-wheel Braking on Commercial Motors.


[2445] Sir,—I have read the editorial in the issue of The Commercial Motor for January 5th, and must join issue with the claim Of the advocates of four-wheel braking that what is advantageous on some types of road vehicle must necessarily be advantageous on all.

In the first place, it is a question whether certain types of front-wheel brake are not positively dangerous. I fancy that most people in the trade could give instances of this. I know of eases where, either because of the intolerable nuisance of constant adjustments, or because, owing, no doubt, to neglect of adjustment, the front brakes have come on first, they have had to be disconnected. Also, since the adoption by so many manufacturers of this type of brake, the average car speed has Undoubtedly increased, owing to drivers' reliance on presumed increased braking efficiency.

Secondly, it would be interesting to learn the opinion of a qualified engineer on the advisability of putting brakes on a bogey, for that is really what front-wheel brakes on a motorcar amount to. Would any railway engineer advocate putting brakes on the bogey of a railway engine? Even on a passenger car front-wheel brakes call for considerabe alterations in front axle and front springs. It may not be generally known that the sudden application of these brakes is apt to twist the front axle back underneath the chassis.

Now, if this be the ease with a light passenger vehicle, we can form some idea of the stresses and strains that would be set up in the cast of heavy commercial vehicles. It will mean redesigning the front axles, wheels, springs and spring attachment of almost -every commercial chassis on the market, and when all this has been done, there still remains the problem of what type of front-wheel brake to adopt. People talk of front-wheel brakes as if there was only one type, whereas their name is legion, and, of all those on the market, only very few are properly designed and most of them require constant adjustment.

The great majority of accidents is caused by excessive speed, but the adoption of front-wheel brakes will not have the effect of reducing speeds ; on the contrary, speeds are likely ,to increase if drivers think they can pull up quicker. The question may be asked : "How about hills?" The reply to this is that the driver who descends steep hills on Ms brakes ought to be hanged.

Some little experience of the commercial side of motoring leads me to the conclusion that what is needed is some form of control over speed rather than extra brakes. After all, prevention is better than cure, and if something could be devised whereby buses, chars-S.banes and vans could be prevented by mechanical means (such as a practicable governor system) from exceeding moderate speeds, there would be far fewer accidents, the vehicles would stand up much longer, and users would make more money.—Yours faithfully, London. H. SAUNDERSoM.


[2446] Sir,—The contribution of Mr. .T. M. Rubury. (who has become so prominent in connection with the introductiOn of front-wheel brakes and their use in this country) to the discussion on the refusal of Scotland Yard to sanction the use of four-wheel braking on cabs and upper-deck buses operating in London, is more than usually valuable, because One realizes that he, at least„ has gone deeply into the subject. Before "coming North" I spent many years in the Metropolis and made myself fully aware of the conditions under which hackney carriages are called upon to operate. Mr. Rubury deals with but one cause of overturn with a bus—the rear of the vehicle slewing, under rear-wheel brake application, against the kerb. I contend that the risk in this case is remote, because the steering wheels in such a. case are always locked over in the opposite or skid-correcting direction and momentum thus tends to keep the bus on its wheels. But when the rear of the bus under brake application slews outwards towards the centre of the road and the wheels are locked to the left (as when trying to avoid a pedestrian or another vehicle), the quicker the rate of deceleration the greater must be the liability to overturn. Momentum is a force that cannot be braked except by time.—Yours faithfully,

Bradford, Yorks. JOHN A. THoRPE.

Wanted, a Companion on a Producer-gas Trial.


[2447] Sir,—I think that a good many of. the readers of The Commercial Motor will be interested to know that the question of the use of "le gaz pauvre " as a substitute for petrol for commercial transport vehicles is on the eve of a satisfactory solution in France.

One of the largest makers of lorries has purchased the French rights to the patents of a process which has been proved successful, and vehicles fitted with gasproducers are now on the market.

I am offered the opportunity of driving a lorry across France on a 1,000-kilometre test, from the Rhine to Biarritz, using locally produced fuels only, such as wood, charcoal, peat, coke, lignite and anthracite, and the results of this run should be very interesting.

I should like to hear from any ex-M.T. officer who served in France during the war (preferably one with some knowledge of gas-producers) willing to accompany me on the trip, which, I hope, will take place at , the end of May next Expenses to be shared. Letters addressed to the undersigned, care of the Editor of The Commercial MoLor, 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, London, E.C.1, will, I am assured, be forwarded.—Yours faithfully, S.M.T.O. Ciboure B.P., France.

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