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Contributions from Drivers and Mechanics.

1st October 1908, Page 19
1st October 1908
Page 19
Page 19, 1st October 1908 — Contributions from Drivers and Mechanics.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Ten Shillings Weekly for the Best Communication Received, and One Penny a Line of ten words for anything else published.

Drivers of commercial motors, and mechanics and foremen of garazes or shops, who are engaf.,ed in any branch of the industry, are invit,d to contribute short, personal experiences, opinions or suzgestions, on subjects which are likely to prove of interest to our readers. We shall be glad to hear of anything interesting. that has come under any driver's or mechanic's notice, either in the shops or on the road. Long and successful runs ; services with no "lost journeys" ; workshop tips and smart repairs; all are suitable subjerts. .Send a post.card, or a letter, or a sketch to us—no matter haze, short, or how written, or how worded. We will "knock it into shape" before publication. When writing it is as well to mention your employer's name as a guarantee of bona fides (not for publication), and to state whether you wish your own name, or initials only, to be published. Payment will be made immediately after publication. Address your letters to The Editor," Tam.: COMMERCIAL MOTOR," 7-75, Rosebery Avenue, London, _EC.

What Gives Most Trouble? The Garage Staff ?

[4411 J..\." (Manchester) has a complaint to make sour issue of the rd ult., I noticed a letter under the heading of ' What Gives Most Trouble,' from (Southampton). He there stated that he had driven several different makes of machines, but that, in almost every case, he has had occasion to call down curses upon the head of the desig-ner of certain parts of these machines. I trust that `K.0.1.: will take what I have to say in good part, but I would like to state straight away that, from what I have seen during my six years' experience with steam wagons, the machine and its maker often gets more abuse than is fair when anything goes wrong. More often than not, the cause irf most of the trouble can be definitely traced to some omission on the part of those who are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the machines. I, of course, do not wish to suggest that K.D.L.' is neglecting his work, because I have had no experience with the class of machine he mentions, but as he asks the question as to whether any steam-vehicle drivers have similar troubles to those he has experienced, I feel bound to put my views on record, and to submit them to you.

"I am most pleased to say that I have had very little to complain about on the wagons I have driven, and I think that the general experience of steam-wagon drivers should coincide with mine. There are a great number of people who are always looking for trouble, and it can certainly always be found if looked for long enough, but it. is only fair to blame the right people and the right things for its existence.

" In another letter, I hope to give vou a description of a small improvement we have embodied in the suspension of a steam wagon."

fWe agree with our correspondent that it is not fair regularly to lay at the door of the much maligned designer the whole blame for mishaps, which may occur from time to time to the mechanism of commercial vehicles. A year or two ago garage staffs were unfamiliar with the requirements of efficient maintenanee, but the condition of things nowadays has naturally much improved in this direction.—En.] What Gives Most Trouble ? The Traffic Inspector?

[442 R. DUFFIN (Dalston Junction) writes to us, in a humorous strain, as follows :—" I do not know whether you hatend replies to your query as to what gives most trouble on commercial motor vehicles, to consist entirely of descriptions of bothering mechanical details, but I am one of the many hundreds of motorbus drivers in London, and, fortunately, have very little trouble to find with the machine which generally drive. I may add that it is of a recent type. Perhaps to that I owe my freedom from trouble. But I have my worries, and the chief of them is due to the traffic inspectors on the route over which I run. Traffic inspectors, as a rule, ought to be pole-axed. Of course, this ma,be

somewhat strenuous view to take, but I am smarting under hr-no-means imaginary wrongs. I fear you cannot realise the pillar-to-post existence many of us drivers have to lead owing to the tactless and continuous attention: of that jack in office,' the traffic inspector. We are always too early ; we are always too late ; we always stop too far out in the road, and we never pull up on points; we do our best to avoid picking up passengers, and we try to make our daily takings as low as possible ; we purposely drop eil all over the road, and, if there is a chance of making zi little more noise than usual, we always do it when the traffic inspector is near. I presume these are facts which cannot be contradicted, for I hare so often had them dinned into my ears by the gentleman in question. He certainly gives me most trouble, and therefore I ask you to find space in your hospitable columns for this small complaint. I am afraid designers can do little to improve him ; he is the result of many years of evolution in the bus business. Only bus drivers suffer from him : cabdrivers do not know him, and to the steam-wagon and delivery-van people he is an unknown quantity. I can only hope that, with the new organisation which is likely to come into force under the amalgamation, he will either have his duties materially curtailed, or that he will be awarded an old-age pension (which he in no way deserves), and be asked to retire. When that day comes, I shall not have half a had job."

[A good deal of unnecessary " heckling" has been undoubtedly traceable to over-anxious traffic inspectors, who, after us period of comparatively uneventful existence, suddenly find the strenuous conditions inseparable from motorbus traffic thrust upon them. Theirs is a by-msmenns easy job, and their anxieties. in these early days have been considerable. The companies cannot dispense with their services, but, in some instances, they might be improved.—ED.) Split Boiler Tubes: A Questionable Expedient.

The sender of the following communication has been awarded the los. prize this week.

[4431 " J. H." (Southfields, Wandsworth) has sent to us a short account of the rather heroic measures which he adopted, temporarily to overcome the difficulties arising from a number of leaky tubes in the fire-tube boiler of a steam wagon of which he has charge. The method adopted can only be condoned on the score of great urgency, and we question whether the risk of further serious trouble was worth running,. Unless the plugs had been an excellent fit and had possessed a very slow taper, it3o lb. pressure would sk.xm have ejected them with considerable danger to anyone in the vicinity.—'' In the course of my employment with a company that owns a number of steam wagons, traction engines, and steam rollers, I am called upon to drive all types of machines. I was told off with a mate, one day recently, to take over a tractor which had no less than five tubes leaking badly. We set to work and tried what we could do in the way of expanding the ends, and we were successful with three of the offenders, but the remaining two resisted all our efforts. I discovered that these two had burst rather badly. We had no time to knock them out and so to put new ones in their places, as the machine was wanted on service with as little delay as possible. I eventually decided to plug the ends of the two tubes. I procured four pieces of tapered steel, as shown in the diagram, and drove them hard into the ends of the tubes. I next got up steam and found that the leakage had disappeared. So good a job did it make that I have had no further trouble and it is Over Iwo months since the plugs were inserted."


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