A 2,500-MILE DEMONSTRATION TOUR.
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An Exacting Test for a 30-cwt. Karrier Lorry on the Difficult Roads of the Highlands of Scotland.
I F the prospective purchaser of a com
mercial vehicle had any apprehension concerning the reliability and efficiency of the modern motor lorry and was desirous of securing first-hand evidenee to set his doubts at rest, which part of the country would be his first choice in which to carry out a thorough investigation of the vehicle's capabilities? Some Would plump for the west of England and . conjure up visions of the severe and tortuous gradients in North Devon and Cornwall, others would choose the hilly regions abounding in North Wales, but most of those with a knowledge of the areas ayont the Tweed would, we think, unhesitatingly vote for the Highlands of Scotland. Can any of our readers name any other area in which such a diversified set of conditions pertains—conditions which are unlikely to be met with in the course of the regular duties of a commercial vehicle, but, nevertheless, which provide a most drasticand convincing test of the capabilities of the modern motor vehicle? A:demonstration run of this nature has recently been conducted by Karrier Motors, Ltd., of Huddersfield, with one of the company's new C.-type 30-cwt. lorries, shod with solid tyres and in no way specially tuned for the occasion. The trial began at the end of May and was completed some six weeks later, after the vehicle had covered some 2,500 miles, most of which were over the steep hills of the Scottish Highlands. The primary objects of the tour were thoroughly to test the lorry under severe road conditions and at the same time to carry out a series of demonstration runs which had been arranged by the company with traders and others interested in the latest production of the Karrier works.
For the greater part of the distance the lorry carried a full load, but occasionally the demonstration load was replaced by a load applicable to the particular business in which a prospective customer was interested.
The route taken from the works, at
Huddersfield, to Scotland was via Bradford, Skipton, Kendal and Pentith.' The notorious gradient of Shop Fell was climbed with one change of gear only
and plenty of reserve power. The vehicle reached Carlisle the same evening, and upon computing the time and distance it was found that the average speed for this section of the journey had been in the vicinity of 20 m.p.h.
An untoward happening occurred at Kingston, which is just beyond Carlisle on the main Glasgow road, when the fan belt was lost. As no spare was available, the 20 odd miles to Lockerbie, which was the next place of importance on the prearranged itinerary, were completed with the radiator working at partial efficiency only. It is worthy of note that during this period no over-heating whatever occurred while the fan was thus put out of action, which is commendable testimony to the working efficiency of tho 25 h.p. Dorman engine incorporated in the C-type 30-cwt. Karrier chassis.
Following the road to Lanark through _Abingdon, several days were spent in North Lanarkshire on a demonstration tour of this important district. Passing through the small country towns of the counties of Lanark and Stirling, the tour was continued through Bridge of Allan and Anehterarder to Perth, and thence the road by the side of the River Tay to Dunkeid, Pitlochry, and se on, over the Grampian range, was followed to Inverness, where a few days were spent in a series of demonstration runs. The tour northwards continued through Dingwall and Alness to Bonarbridge, the latter town being reached by cutting across the mountains of Airless, the road in one part being 2,270 ft. above sealevel.
From Bonarbridge to Lairg and Loch Shin the really mountainous roads were encountered. In this part of the cormtry the roads are so narrow that it is well-nigh impossible to pass other traffic, and the surfaces are in an exceptionally bad state of repair. This was the farthest point north,
Returning to Inverness, and, passing east along the coastal -road,— Nairn, FOITeS, Elgin and 13anff were passed, after which an inland course was taken for a special call at Turriff. A erosacountry journey. was next, mMie to Fraserburgh, and a few days were spent in Aberdeen, after which the run was southwards via Dundee. At the present tinte the surface of the road between roffar and Dundee is full of extensive potholes, and the springing of the vehicle was subjected to a very severe test, from which it satisfactorily emerged.
To obviate the need for following tne River Tay inland, the ferry was taken across to Newport, and the county of Fife was traversed by way of Cupar, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline, from which the road by Alloa, skirting the °chili Hills, was taken to Stirling en route to 'Edinburgh, where a few days were spent in demonstration work. The tour was continuedin the Scott country to Kelso and ancient Roxburgh, and later to Hawick and Selkirk. Passing through Peebles the lorry approached the commercial districts around Glasgow by way of Lanark, and here a week was spent in demonstration and teat runs of an exacting and informative nature.
The vehicle returned by way of Moffat and Lockerbie and crossed the border close ;to Gretna Green, passed through Carlisle and arrived back at the Huddersfield works, after having completed a journey of close upon 2,500 miles, embracing all kinds of weather and road conditions.
Throughout the whole of the demonstration tour the' machine received very sparse attention, and, apart from the usual filling up with oil and petrol, no adjustment or repairs were found to be necessary, a fact which redounds to the credit of the machine. The petrol consumption for the whole tour was 12.b m.p.g., and the oil consumption 600 m.p.g., which would he regarded ria eminently satisfactory on ordinary commercial duties, but which are conside -ably magnified when the nature of the tour is taken into proper account.