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I N his annual report the city engineer of Christ church, New Zealand, mentions that six batteryelectric vehicles are still in service, the garaging and maintenance of each being in the hands of the municipal electricity department. It is interesting to note that one of these machines was purchased in 1895, one in 1920 and two in 1921.
nENSITY of modern traffic makes considerable
demand upon its various units. The horse, which once was able to devote almost all its energy to forward movement, is now frequently compelled to use much effort to arrest the movement of the load. It is somewhat surprising that horsed-vehicle owners have not by this time been moved to adopt some efficient braking system, especially in respect of the practically brakeless heavy lorry. Quite apart from the obvious benefit to the horses it would' be a relief to the motor-drivers—and their name is legion—who endeavour to handle their vehicles so as not to penalize the horse for his presence in heavy traffic. 1818
rARMERS arenotorious grumblers, but one we
encountered in Sussex last week had a quite original grouse. He had just bought a hay-cutter which would cut 2 ins, closer than his old one, and this extra 2 ins., multiplied by his grassland's 30 acres, had provided him with a crop of hay for which he had "no room, no use and no sale." Yet, when we suggested raising the knives he gloomily replied':' " That would be waste!"
DRIVING ability is obviously the first qualification of a driver, but it is certainly not the last. In almost any sphere of the profession an aptitude in at least one other direction is required,. Sometimes it is skill in route finding; frequently it is a tactful and agreeable manner of dealing with his employer's customers. In other circumstances it may be competence in loading or unloading—even tippini requires a degree of care—whilst handling the fhlid contents of tankers often demands quite highly specialized knowledge. THE chief metallurgist of High Duty Alloys, Ltd., 81, Buckingham AVenue, Trading Estate, Slough, recently wrote a number of articles for "Metallurgia," which has been reprinted as a booklet. This should be of considerable interest and value to engineers and others Concerned in the heat treatment of aluminium and non-ferrous alloys as applied to such parts as oilengine and other cylinder heads, pistons, injectionpump bodies, connecting rods and even front axles.
A N intriguing problem is sometimes put before r-lbody-builders, owing to the fact that unladen weight nowadays runs so close to the allowable limits. They have been asked whether.it is likely or possible that, although within the weight limits at first, the law will not later be broken by accumulations Of mud and water. One estimate is that such an increase wotild amount to, say, 30 lb., but we believe that, in the case of vehicles possessing a large surface, such as double-deckers, the difference between a dry and a wet vehicle may account for considerably more than this figure. Possibly some of our technical readers will be able to supply accurate data on this matter. RELATIVELY few small operators seem to realize bow muchinforMation as to the condition of the engine can be gained from an inspection of the sparking-plug points. Rich or weak mixture, over-lubrication, and a defective gasket are some faults that may be detected in the early stages by observing the condition of the plugs. Whenever they are removed for any reason they should be examined for a clue.
ACASE recently came to our notice in which a consignment of goods was to be sent to an address in an obscure street in a large town. The customer gave details of its location when placing his order, but these were not passed on to the driver. In consequence he wasted two hours in reaching his destination through having an inadequate map and being wrongly directed. The moral is that transport managers should see not only that directional instructions, where available, reach the man most concerned, but that drivers be provided with up-to-date largescale maps of the town they visit, these to be marked with the names and boundaries of districts, however they may be defined, as, for example, " 1stl.W.11," " Oldbury " or " Dalmuir."