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20th January 1939
Page 45
Page 46
Page 45, 20th January 1939 — OPINIONS and QUERIES
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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 corn mercial motors. Letters should be written on only one side of the paper. The righ! of abbreviation is reserved Ind no responsibility for views expressed is accepted


IDO not know who was responsible tor the article "Give the Motor Dealer Ens Due," which appeared on page 695 of your issue of The Commercial Motor dated January 6.

I would like to thank the author and congratulate you upon having the courage to publish it. It is about the first time I have ever seen such a common-sense article upon such a subjeCt appearing in the road transport Press, GEORGE W. LUCAS, • For Perrin's Motor Garages (So'ton), Ltd, Southampton.


WIE are a firm of grocers and provision merchants " with a fleet at vehicles ranging from 13-tons to 10-cwt. capacity. In common with all vehicle owners in the district, we have been served with notices to present our vehicles for verification of their unladen weight.

All our vans are used for morning bread deliveries to branches, and have loose boards made to slide on angle irons to form a shell for the reception of confectionery trays. In the afternoon the boards are dispensed with in the majority of cases to facilitate the loading and delivery of the heavier classes of groceries and provisions.

These vehicles were presented for weighing without boards and, much to our surprise, were refused, the official in charge stating that the boards were to be included. The wording of the notification explaining "unladen weight" includes the term " permanent shelves."

In view of the fact that the shelves used in the van are removable to accord with our deliveries, we Would be obliged to have your considered opinion as to whether these shelves come within the meaning of the wording "permanent shelves." J.D. Rochdale.

[The interpretation of the law rests with the local authorities. Therefore, their ruling as to whether loose boards shall be regarded as part of the vehicle or part of the load must eventually be accepted, unless, of course, the case is taken to court. In the letter you enclose from Rochdale Council, " permanent shelves " and " fittings for trays " are named as part of the unladen weight, as distinctfrom the pay-load.. The loose boards in point are definitely not " permanent shelves," whilst to describe them as " fittings for trays " is inept, because the term commonly applies to runners or brackets. In this case, one would naturally apply it to the angle irons. We suggest that the loose boards may more accurately be regarded as a part of the confectionery trays. Considering, now, the wording of the Act itself, we find that " loose equipment " is specifically excluded, together with fuel, tools, etc., from the unladen weight. It would be hard to find a better general definition to cover the loose boards than '! loose equipment."—ED.]


I S it not time that your paper' took the matter up with the commercial-motor manufacturers to start really

hitting back at the railways? The manufacturers are certainly losing business, as we removal contractors cannot buy new vans when we want to, and the railways are definitely interfering with our local business.

We endeavoured to get an extra " B" licence as our removal department has doubled its business in two years, which we consider is because we are giving better service than the railways. and we' think that a combined action by the retailers and by the motor trade can make the railways realize that in spite of their attitude towards road transport they are bound in the long run to fight a losing battle.

I know from my own knowledge in the furniture trade that if manufacturers cannot get contractors to carry their goods by road they will then follow the example of Messrs. Elliotts of Newbury, whom --I see have now bought a. fleet of new vans with "C "licences, and I am sure that the prestige of Messrs. .Elliotts -will be increased when their customers see these smart lorries at their doors. No doubt, they have done this for anotherreason._ That is, that their .breakages will be practically nil in sending by road. -L. BRADDICK,

Bideford. For Bmddicks.

[The manufacturers ot commercial yehiclesare, we agree, inclined to leave their interests in this respect in the hands of the road •transport.Press'and the associations representing operators You must realize, however, that some of them are in a difficult position, -as they receive important orders for railway-owned road .transport vehicles. In our view, hOWever, they miglit, through their society, have done some valuable work, but the committee directly concerned would' almost certainly not be able to obtain a • unanimous vote in favour' '01 activities in this direction. In the circumstances it seems that their best procedure is to give the st-ongest possible support to The Commercial Motor and others who are able-to carry on with a strong road transport policy.



THE leading article in your issue of December 23 makes reference to the rates offered by the Pig Marketing Board for the conveyance of pigs, as quoted in the current form Of contract, and asks how long will those in the road-transport industry be content to allow other industries to effect economies at their expense.

The rates of transport allowances which appear in Condition 22 of the 1939 Pig Contract Conditions are in the form of an addition to the price of each pig delivered by the producer in his own vehicle. As there is already, in the priceof each pig delivered under the Contract, an amount of 6d. per pig in respect of the service of putting the pigs free on rail or free on board, which 6d. is not deducted when a producer delivers his

pigs to the place of slaughter in his own vehicle, the rate for each mileage gradation should be increased by 6d. per pig if the scale is to be compared with reasonable road-haulage rates.

Further, the relative contract condition clearly states that the scale of rates is only in respect of pigs carried in the pig producer's own vehicle, and even if the rates were low (which is not admitted), it is difficult to understand how this could adversely affect the road-haulage industry. _

The employment by bacon curers of road-haulage contractors for the transport of pigs purchased under the contract to which reference has been made is subject to the control of the Bacon Marketing Board, working under directions from the Bacon Development Board. The rates charged by haulage contractors will certainly be examined by the Bacon Marketing Board, butthere has been no suggestion of instituting a roadhaulage scale.

The comment in your leading article no doubt arises from incomplete information as to the precise terms of the Pig Contract Condition. If so, I feel sure that you would wish to assess the scale of rates in proper per spective. • W. G. FRASER. London, W.C.2. • [We are fully aware of all the matters raised in this letfer. The fact remains that the rates quoted in the publication referred to are those which are offered to hauliers with the suggestion, implicit or direct, that they are the rates which the 'Pig Marketing Board considers to be adequate for the service. Your own letter confirms that that is the view of the P.M.B. and we maintain that the contrary is the case. Further reference to this subject was made in a leading article in our issue dated January 13.— ED.]



Iyour issue, dated December 30, you refer to the method of starting a Scammell petrol engine by hand. Kicking the handle down to start a Scammell has been the practice from time immemorial, but it does not apply to vehicles in general. Indeed, I know of several types, with and without impulse starters, which it would be suicidal to attempt to start in that manner.

When starting a stranger, it is far more preferable to pull the handle up and over compression, from 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock, in quarter turns, with the spark

retarded to top dead centre. If the body be flexed correctly, and the handle be gripped with thumb and fingers together on one side, then, should the engine • kick, no harm will n..-sult to the operator, no matter how violent the fire-back may be.

Obviously, each machine has it's own peculiarities, but the best method, where design permits, is to fit the starting handle against compression at 10.30, thus giving maximum pull when the aim is right-angled to the crank. In my experience there is no engine, even theold war-type subsidy vehicles, which, given correct ignition timing and a decent spark, will not start with

quarter turns.

Even •an anti-kick handle will give a nasty jar at tithe's, so it is moat important to retard the spark The hospitals have had as patients. scores of men who "always started their engines with 'a full spark."

In justice to the foregoing, I should say that in 15 years I have never sustained a scratch through hand .starting, although I have been kicked hundreds of times. Now that mechanical or electrical starters are really commonplace on heavies, these remarks may be of interest to some of your readers.


I NOTE in your publication of November 25, 1938,

page 520, that you refer in an article on producer-gas plant to an association of Transport Gas Producer Manufacturers, and if you will !et me know the name and the address of this recently formed body I shall esteem it a great favour.

H. J. TROUGHTON, General Manager, Transport Department, County. Borough of South Shields.

South Shields.

[The address of the Association of Transport Gas Producer Manufacturers is Aldwych House, Strand, London,


ONE never sees any " hits" at road transport in the railway magazines : then why yours and all the others for months past?

Fair play does not favour slanging matches, especially

one-sided ones. I am not biased in favour of the railways ; indeed, I have spent more money an road travel than I think I would have had I had a regular railway season. Nor am I a blustering old nosey parker —I am 25, a student of road transport.

As a hobby, I have a collection of 10,000 bus tickets and a history of all London bus operators and their routes, back to 1911 and to 1920 for all England south of Gloucester-King's Lynn.

This hobby has kept me on the road more than on the rail, yet, for all that, I can honestly say that the railways, with all their hardships of antiquated laws, have kept a more polite tongue than your journal (and other road transport papers, too) in their appeals to the public.

On Saturday I am going down to the Devil's Dyke to see the last of an old railway ; sentiment? yes ; my father was born at Brighton just_ 10 years before the line (a great engineering feat) was built.

Apart from sentiment, I know I shall receive every

courtesy from the porters and station masters. No bitterness about road transport; no " mind your own business."

Your individual members are equally courteous and generous in helping me with full ticket sets and historical notes, but I cannot say much for the " official " organs

" representing " them. K. H. KOOP. London, S.W.1.

[Many thanks for your valued comments on the editorial contents of this journal. If you had followed the history of road and rail transport right through from the beginning, as we have done, you would realize the reason tor our doubts as to the railways' good intentions. There is a hope now that the two sides will get together—in fact, discussions are taking place. You must remember that this journal does not write for the public in general, but is mainly a road-transport operators' journal. It was the railways that forced the very heavy increased taxation on commercial road transport. They loage' objections against a very large number of applications for the renewal of carriers' licences in the Traffic Courts, even when there is no justification for doing so, and they have caused' unnecessary expense and trouble to thousands of operators. We have nothing to say against the courtesy of the individual employees of the railways: it is the autocratic policy of the companies which we have been fighting. We are 'perfectly at liberty, and justified, in asking that the railways' appeals should not have a sequel which is unfair to road transport.—ED.]

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