WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it rilleS."—John Beattie Crozier,
Government Tractors: a New Departure. •
Recently the Food Production Department has thoroughly overhauled the selieme*for the working of the Government tractors which was brought into operation about 18 months ago. Experience had shown that it was desirable to delegate to the Agricultural Executivo Committees somewhat enlarged responsibilities in this respect-. Certain of the Committees have lately represented to the Department the desirability of considering peoposals for operating Goveminent tractors as a private business undertaking by approved 'firms of focal engineers or other suitable parties subject to an agreed measure of control by. the Committees. Such an arrangement, it has been suggested, would be likely to produce better results, as well as effect economies in the cost of working the tractors. Having gone thoroughly into the question, the Department has arranged to give the proposed new sAeme a trial. Authority has been given for the scheme to be tested in counties There the' Committees have recommended its application. No County Committee can adopt the scheme without the consent of the Department, and the latter has made arrangements as to a maximum scale of charges, etc., which it is -believed will afford adequate protection to the farmer.
London Ambulance Columns.
The London District Ambulance Column of the British Red Cross Society, City of London Branch, was inspected on Sattirday. last, on the parade ground in Hyde Park opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, by Lieni:-General Sir Francis
Lloyd. Many ambulances and cars were paraded. This organization is responsible for the movement of every wounded man arriving in London from overseas, whilst in addition' it does an enormous quantity of inter-hospital transport work. It has been in existence since 30th August, 1914, on which date the first convoy of wounded arrived in London. The whole of the work is voluntary and the ambulances and cars have Wen provided by private motorjsts and other big organizations. The column is directly under the control of the General Officer Commanding the London District, and has to be ready to undertake at, any time of the day or night the transport of the wounded at very short notice; in fact, the longest notice the column officers ever get of the time that a train will arrive in London is about 4 hours.
As regards the bearers and drivers, they are all men of over military age or of low medical category.
The Industrial Reconstruction Council.
A Conference on Trade Boards will be held under the auspices of the Industrial Reconstruction Council on Tuesday, 24th September, at 6 p.m., in the Hall of the Institute of Journalists, 2 and 4, Tudor Street, E.C. 4. The subject will be introduced by Mr. J. J. Mallon, of the Anti-Sweating League, after which the discussion will be open. No tickets are necessary.
Sergeant George Taylor, of the A.S.C. (M.T.) has been awarded the Belgian Order of Leopold II, and the French Croix de Guerre, for gallantry. He was a taxicab driver in Leeds before enlistment.
Allocation of Petrol : a Suggestion.
A Scottish transport contractor complains of the manner in which motor spirit is being allocated. He states that many owners of petrol vehicles have received full supplies while others engaged on essential work have obtained very little. The Petrol Committee appear to have allocated the fuel on the basis of ' the horse-power of vehicles "combined with such information as they have been able to secure from applicants as to the class of work on which their vehicles are engaged." This arrangement has failed, says the writer, to achieve its object.
Our friend urges that the Petrol Committee should, for the next six months, allocate to the Area Transport Boards a quantity of petrol equal to that used in their divisions during the last six months, or a proportionate quantity based on the actual aeailable suppirs. The Area Transport Boards would keep in touch with owners of petrol vehicils, and be entirely mponsible for the distribution of the precious liquid. In doubtful cases they would call for returns and particulars of work performed, and ensure fair allocation and economy in the use of the fuel.
These suggestions certainly appear to be well worthy of careful consideration.
The first meeting of the session of the Institution of Automobile Engineers will be held on Wednesday, 2nd October, 1918, at the Royal Society of Arts, John Street, Adelplu, W.C., at 7.30 p.m., when Mr. A. A. Remington will deliver his presidential address.
Tractors in Devonshire.
In the Devon harvest tractors have ben used largely with binders. Taking as an example the Eastern division—one of the four into which the county is divided for food production purposes— there are some 25 tractors at work. Not all of these were employed in the harvest, but op to the end of last week 798 acres were cut by binders with tractors —a very satisfactory achievement. Several of the tractors have been engaged on work immediately following the actual cutting and saving, namely, " cultivating " or scuffling, which describes the breaking up and cleaning of the land in readiness for the 'next, crop. East, Devon division has a good record ; it won in July the silver championship cup for tractor ploughing in Devon offered by the chairmen of the four divisions for monthly competition. The increased production this year was made possible only with the aid of tractors. South Devon division had an exceptionally good record in harvesting, 2500 acres having been cut.
Trade Council for Furniture Removal Industry.
As the result, of negotiations with the Ministry of Reconstruction, there has been formed an Interim. Industrial Reconstruction Committee for the furniture warehousing and moving industry. This committee, which, it is anticipated, will eventually become a full joint industrial council for the industry (as advocated in the Whitley Report), is fully representative both of employers and of employed in the industry.' It comprises seven representatives from each side. The employers' .representatives, though drawn from but one employers' association, viz., the Furniture Warehousemen and Ilemovere Association, Ltd., aye fully representative of the trade throughout the country. Though most of the employers in this industry are grouped in one association, the workers employed—drivers, carters, labourers, etc.—are organized in different trade unions. Of these, seven are represented on the new committee. They are,as follow :—Workers' Union ; United Carters' and Motormen's Association of England; National Union of General. Workers; Amalgamated Association of Carters and Motormen ; National Union of Vehicle Workers; National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks.
The Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers will appoint the seventh representative.
Mr. Thomas Upton' of 22, Craven Street, Charing Cross, London', W.C. 2, has been appointed secretary to the committee.
Walsall Corporation has decided to enrol seven motor omnibuses and one transport lorry in the Motor Volunteer Corps of the county of Stafford.
Otley D.C. objects to the Leeds Corporation increasing the fares on the trackless trolley service in Wharfedale, and are communicating with the Board of Trade on the matter.
Sheffield Corporation Electricity Committee recommends the Corporation to contribute three guineas a year to the Electric Vehicle Committee of the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association.
Mr. John Wade. of Allerton, Bradford, major and adjutant of the Bradford group of the West Riding Army Service Corps, M.T. (Volunteers), has been made a Justice of the Peace for the City of Bradford.
As showing the present state Of the second-hand commercial-vehicle market, we may instance the price paid at an auction sale recently held at Aldridge's repository, St. 'Martin's Lane, W.C. £1500 ivas the figure obtained for a 1915 Leyland five-tonner.
A description was recently given in these pages of the successful endeavours that are being made in Morecambe and elsewhere to run petrol tramcars on gas. It may not be generally known that the Stirling and Bridge of Allan Tramway Co. have been constantly running a petrol car on their system fox...the past six years. The ,vehicle was introduced merely for experimental purposes, and the sanction of the Board of Trade was duly obtained for the innovation. The engine and coach were both somewhat antiquated, and not built to suit each other. The former, which had seen much hard work, is of the lorry type, but has been inuch improved in the course of repeated repairs. The intention was to test the somewhat novel turn-out for a .vear, and, if it proved satisfactory, to Lave a number of petrol cars specially designed and built. Before a definite decision could be arrived at the war supervened and upset the arrangements. The original vehicle is still constantly running, but cannot be described as remarkable either for speed or comfort. Breakdowns, however, are getting fewer instead of more frequent than they were during the first year or two.
Stirling has the distinction of being the only town in Scotland that has a petrol coach as well as a fleet of horsedrawn cars on its tramway system.
Chester CountyCouncil has been allocated a second motor vehicle registration mark—M.A.
Congratulations to Mr. R. McKean Cant., advertising manager to the B.F. Goodrich Co., Ltd., who has been offered and has accepted the post of Assistant Sub-director of Education in Salonica. The soldiers are being assisted to carry on and complete their studies in foreign climes.
There was a time when the public saying was that no one could build bodywork as well as a London coachbuileler, and although comparisons are supposed to be odious, the illustration reproduced herewith gives an example of what Australia can do. The bodywork in ques tion has been built by a local Sydney coachbuilder, and is of a particularly elaborate nature with splendid finish in every detail. Not only is it almost perfect in appearance, but the utility points have been studied from all directions. The lorry can be driven up to the slaughter house, drop all its sides, so that careases can he carried by the porters straight into the body and suspended in the orthodox fashion from hooks in the ceiling. Good ventilation is provided, and at the same time the driver s comfort is studied in every-way, so that the Straker-Squire lorry in question is a turnout that its owner may well be proud of. The sign-writing and paintwork, although our illustration does not bring this out very plainly, are of a particularly striking and artistic; character.
Electric Vehicle Crane Lorry.
A. Chicago manufacturer of electric vehicles has placed on the U.S. market, in response to a demand from terminals and manufacturing plants, a lorry equipped with a two-ton capacity crane, also operated by electric motors, and supplied with current from the same storage battery used to propel the electric vehicle. 'The demand for this mobile electric lorry crane was created principally throngh war conditions and the consequent handling by such plants of many heavy materials in large units. The vehicle, although it has not as high a lifting capacity as many locomotive and overhead cranes, has, hoWever, the advantage of being more flexible in its radius of action.
Recently one of these eiectrics was observed unloading a freight car at a wellknown terminal. It was handling large crates of Army kitchen equipment. weighing approximately 3700 lb. While this is a. somewhat larger load than the electric crane lorry was figured to carry while in motion—the manufacturers would prefer loads to be limited to 2000 lb. or 3000 lb. in such instances— the ordinary stationary crane having only a maximum capacity of 4000 lb.— the vehicle performed its duty easily. The boom of the electric crane tractor swings 180 degrees, so that after ma 826 terial is lifted it can ho deposited easily on the ground or on a trailer for transportation elsewhere. It can be readily realized that speed in handling materials is vital under present conditions. Locomotive or overhead cranes are not al. ways available at just the place where it is necessary to handle material at a given time, and even if available, they cannot always be transported quickly from one point to another as can an electric crane tractor of this type. This vehicle is also equipped with a spring drawbar coupler at the rear of the frame. It is possible therefore to load trailers by means of the electric crane and then haul these trailers electrically to another point and unload them. As a tractor It can haul a gross trailing load of 15 tons.
The Lynch Extricator.
We are given to understand that Lvnch's S 0 S wheel extricators are now . . .
being fitted by the British W.O. to transport vehicles and also by the U.S.A. Mechanical Transport Department to Peerless, Ricker, and Mack lorries, heavy aviation trucks. class B military ve
hides, etc. It is stated that large orders are being placed for this simple device which has been proved so effective in extricating hogged vehicles from the mud of Flanders.
Lorry Trains in U.S.A.
The largest lorry train movement. yet undertaken by Uncle Sam recently reached a successful ending at Camp Jesup, Georgia, when ninety 3-ton Packard lorries completed a 981-naile cross-country journey from Detroit. Not only was the trip remarkable on account of the distance and the length of the train, but much of the country traversed was unsuited to Such heavy traffic and the soldier-drivers had to strengthen and rebuild dozens of bridges along the route.
At .Guntersville, Ala., where the swollen Tennessee river had to be crossed, only ,a one-man ferry capable of carrying a single lorry was available. This diminutive transport required two hours for each round trip and. would have necessitated a week's night-andday effort to put the train on the far bank.' So Moving several miles down the river, a railroad ferry accommodating 18 lorries was commandeered, and after a suitable approach was built the long caravan put the stream behind it in little more than a day's time. Despite many such difficulties, the vehicles rolled into Camp Jesup 17 days after leaving the Packard factory, every machine in fightlug trim. The lorries were manned by 200 picked soldier-mechanics from a mechanical transport wait. Camp was made each night at a suitable place along the line of march.
Condition of Roads in Scotland
It is estimated that the Scottish highways which stand in urgent need of reconstruction extend to, say, 2000 miles. This is the irreducible minimum, and takes cognizance only of the more important thoroughfares. The cost per mile would amount to something like 1500, making a total of about £3,000000. The outlay is one that the local rates could not possibly bear. In many districts the current local expenditure must be reduced rather. than increased. It is vain to ask the Road Board for substantial...:1',11/1.R. Ms . its rnAource,5have been
sadly crippled. With the hest will in the world, it is unable to offer a practical solution of the vast road problem with which the country is faced. The Treasury must come to tho
Ploughing in Cornwall.
The employment of motor tractors in Cornwall has become more general, and they have been working more satisfactorily than when first sent into the county. In the early clays they were frequently used on unsuitable ground, and breakages were numerous. Some de. Jays resulted in effecting repairs and getting spare parts. Now repairs are more expeditiously dealt with, and more care is taken as to the nature of the land on which the tractors are permitted to operate. There are at present 39 tractors spread over the comity—at no lime has there been a _larger number under the control of the committee. Cornwall is essentially a county of small holdings, the fields are smaller in extent than in -perhaps any other county in England, and the county is -also of a hilly nature. Nevertheless, the tractors have been of great advantage. They have often made up for shortage of labour. Since September, 1917, the tractors had ploughed 5940 acres in the county, a highly satisfactory performance.
Volume 3, N. 1, of " Russia," published by R. Martens and Co., Ltd., 149, Leadenhall Street, E. C., contains 'a 'great deal of information on Russia of permanent value, such as articles on Siberia and its great railway,' copper deposits of the Caucasus, Russian machinery market, etc., which are of considerable interest from the standpoint of post-war trade 'and economic development. No leas interesting are the topical articles dealing with the latest developments in
Russia, which help one to understand something of the complexities of the Russian situation.
Scotland and Motor Fuel.
The output of Scottish oil shale for 1917 was 3,117,658 tons, against 3,009,232 in 1916. The region to the north of the border is the only part of the United Kingdom that actually yields petroleum products. They have been discovered long since in the dales of Durham and Derbyshire, the Weald of Sussex and other parts of England, but, curiously enough, they have never been worked in any of these places. It was in 1850 that a black bituminous shale was found near Bathgate, Scotland. In appearance it was halfway between coal and slate, and was peculiarly rich in mineral oil. Two years later it began to be worked for the production of illuminating gas, paraffin oil and solid paraffin, and, coming into much demand on the Continent and elsewhere, it was mined at the rate of 100,000 tons a year. Soon afterwards, flourishing shale industries were established at Uphall, Broxburn, Kirkliston, Westwood and a large number of other places in the counties of Linlithgow and Edinburgh. Most of these works are still in full operation, and make a substantial contribution to our country's oil supply. Scotland has great possibilities as a petroleum-yielding area. Not only in the Lowlands but also in the Highlands —in Argyll, Inverness-shire, Ross-shire and Sutherland—various kinds of minerals are known to be quite abundant an(' have actually been largely exploited.
The Chief Constable of Essex has been authorized to purchase another . motorcar.
Newtownards (Ireland) Guardians are to consider a proposal to purchase a motor ambulance.
Lye and Woolesoote (Worcester) have raised -2800 for a motor ambulance and motor fire brigade tender.
In recommending an increase of the tramway manager's salary to £600 now and eventually to a maximum of £700 a year, Walsall Corporation Tramways Coliniktee stipulates 'that £200 shall be charged to the motor omnibus account.
Commercial Motors in the Scottish Highlands.
With the unavoidable restriction on steamboat railings, motor vehicles are now used to carry the mails in various parts of the West Highlands, and motor vans are being introduced by grocers, bakers and butehets. With the aid of a vehicle of this description, one merchant has been covering the whole of the island of Mull, an enterprise which he coukl not contemplate so long as be was dependent on horse traction. A motorbus conveys mails and passengers between Salen, Mull and Iona. Nowhere within these realms can the automobile be of more practical utility to the community than in the country of the clans, for nowhere else is railway communication so meagre and defective.