CHEAPENING TRANS BY USING TRAILERS.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
Raising the Ratio of Pay-load to Tare be Obtained. Trailers
Low a Bigger Return on Expenditure can w. The Types Available. THE prospect of increased taxation on all types of commercial vehicle, and particularly those employed in the carrying of goods, is an exceedingly grave one, as the heavy burdens proposed would be a severe blow at a growing' industry, which already surely has• sufficient troubles with which to contend. There are still hopes that some reductions in the taxes to be imposed may be obtained, but whatever be the final decision, it is essential that every avenue for effecting e:,-onomies in transport costs should be explored as, in the present state of trade, it would be an exceedingly difficult matter to raise haulage rates; consequently, if higher rates cannot be obtained, then the extra burdens will be thrown upon the owners of the transport media employed.
The most important factor in transport is cost per ton-mile, considering the useful load only, and one of the most promising ways in which this factor can be reduced is by the employment of trailers.
In the past the steam wagon and its trailer were familiar objects, but as running speeds gradually increased trailers were, in many cases, dispensed with, except for the slow transport of very heavy loads. In our opinion the chief reason for this was that at that time trailers had not reached a sufficiently advanced stage of construction. They were, in the main, little else but modified horsed wagons, heavily built, mainly of wood, and badly sprung, and quite unsuited to any other than low speeds.
The modern trailer is, taken as a whole, a wonderful advance on its predecessors. It is designed chiefly on the same basis as a motor vehicle, constructed, in many eases, all in steel, carefully sprung, and with wheels mounted on free-running bearings so as to reduce to the minimum the inertia When starting and the friction when in motion. Such trailers are now produced by many makers in types to meet every transport need, and with a low tare weight which permits the carrying of a large, useful load. Even with comparatively modern types, however, there have been certain difficulties. Take, for instance, the trailer with Ackerman nteering. Some of these showed a decided tendency towards what is known as " snaking " at anything above most moderate speeds, and, in some eases, this trouble became so great that, unless speed was reduced immediately, the trailer would almost take charge of the towing vehicle. It appeared to be due chiefly to the fact that many wagons develop a slight tail-wag when running at a fair speed. This was transmitted to the steering mechanism of the trailer, causing the trailer itself to steer from side to side and thus adding to B32 the tail-wagging effect. The trouble has, we believe, been overcome in the latest types of trailer employing Ackerman-steered front wheels. Also, the old form of turntable, or fifth wheel as it is sometimes and, in our opinion, incorrectly termed, often caused undue friction in steering, particularly when the trailer was loaded. Here, again, improvements have been effected greatly to reduce such friction.
What is the actual saving which can be effected by
employing trailers? This is largely a matter for experiment by users. With a heavy vehicle the addition of a trailer adds slightly over 2d. per mile to the operating costs, this figure including fuel, lubricants, tyres, maintenance and depreciation. This means an increase of approximately 20 per cent. on the total operating costs. Now, what is obtained as compensation for this increase? An addition to the pay-load capacity of some 75 per cent., which means a reduction of some 30 per cent, per ton-mile in transport costs. Now, supposing that for every £100 expended in operating a lorry a net profit of £10 is obtained. Then, by employing a trailer, this same amount of profit can be made on an expenditure of £70, or nearly 14i per cent., so that the actual return on the money expended is thus increased by nearly 41 per cent.
Atkone time trailer haulage Was apt to be considered as the prerogative of the steam wagon and tractor, but it is now being realized that the average petrol wagon usually possesses an ample reserve of power which can usefully be employed in hauling a further load. This is clearly proved by the number of successful tractiontrailer combinations which have been brought into service, although in this article we are not dealing specifically with this type of combination vehicle, which really deserves separate treatment, but, in the main, the arguments which we have put toward in favour of the trailer -apply just as forcibly to the tractortrailer, the trailer alone, however, possessing one big advantage, that it, it can be left at the depot when loads are not large enough to justify its employment, whereas a tractor-trailer is rather like the snail in that, where a light load only has to be dealt with, the factor of unladen weight to useful load is high. In addition, the employment of two or more trailers which can be dealt with individually by the motive unit is often justified where the spare trailers can be loaded or unloaded at the terminal points while the other is in transit. In this connection it must, of course, be
remembered that there are certain types of tractortrailer which can be employed in a similar manner, but these usually take rather longer to unhitch than the ordinary trailer.
Trailers are also proving of exceptional service in dealing with many awkward loads, such as girders, poles, scaffolding and other forms of timber. Special types have been built to deal with exceedingly heavy burdens, such as electric transformers, boilers and so forth, and others with cable drums, paper in rolls, etc. Such models are, however, mainly employed with tracnrs and, here, again, we are on the fringe of what • may eventually prove a vast development, for the light tractor provides a high power-weight ratio, which enables the ratio of pay load to unladen weight also to be very high, and for comparatively slow, heavy transport there is much to be said for it.
Amongst the steam types, one which is proving very successful is the Super-Sentinel, and only last week we dealt witha new Foden tractor, .
Despite the prospects of Considerable business being done with this type of vehicle in the future, there are few petrol tractors available for road use. Of these the best known are the Fordson and the McCormick-Deering. The weights hauled by such machines are immense, usually being limited only by the adhesion of the driving wheels, and with certain types of trailer, such as the Carrimore, special devices by which a part of the weight of the front of the trailer can be imposed upon the tractor are embodied. Over moderately level roads a motor-trailer outfit can deal with loads of 10 tons or so.
Before dealing further with the various makes and types of trailer available, it may be as well to give a brief summary of the law so far as the use of trailers is concerned.
By the Ministry of Transport Order of May, 1921, which modified the Heavy Motor Car Order of 1904, if the unladen weight of a tractor does not exceed '7/ tons and the combined unladen weight of tractor and trailer does not exceed 91 tons. then, providing one trailer only be drawn, the tractor is classified as a heavy motorcar. The maximum permissible weight on the rear axle of a heavy metorcar is 8 tons, and the maximum laden weight of any axle of a trailer is 6/ tons, whilst a wagon and trailer or tractor and trailer together must not exceed 22 tons.
The permissible speed of a heavy motorcar drawing a trailer is 5 m.p.h., but it is of interest to note that in the Second Interim Report of the Departmental Committee on the Taxation and Regulation of Road Vehicles it is recommended that this speed should be increased to 8 m.p.h. with a trailer equipped with resilient tyres, and to 12 m.p.h. for those with an unladen weight not exceeding 2 tons and a wagon weighing under 3f tons. It will, however, be observed that, if the unladen weight of a heavy motorcar be 7/ tons, then the maximum permitted unladen weight of the trailer will be 21 tons.
With regard to the lettering on trailers, on some conspicuous part on the outside of the trailer and in letters of not less than one inch in height must be painted: (1) the weight of the trailer unladen, and (2) the axle weight when loaded of each axle of the trailer, if the trailer's unladen weight exceeds 1 ton.
In ihe matter of braking, trailers exceeding 2 cwt. unladen must have a brake in good working order and capable of causing both wheels of the trailer on the same axle to be held from revolving. This brake must be capable of operation from the wagon, failing which, an extra attendant must be carried on the trailer to attend to the brake.
The employment of trailers is also a great advantage even with comparatively light vehicles where the goods to be transported are bulky but comparatively light.
One of the most successful spheres for trailer transport is in connection with the removal of furniture, where the large capacity afforded by a motor pantechnicon can be still further increased by a large-capacity trailer. Tractors with trains of trailers may also be used with advantage in docks, large works and other places where the roads are privately owned. At present, of course, on public roads the heavy motorcar can only draw on trailer, whilst the tractor can draw one loaded trailer or two trailers unladen.
So far as future traxatcon is concerned, the Budget calls for an increase of from 12 to £10 on a trailer, but by using a trailer there may be an actual saving in the overall tax. For instance, if a vehicle weighs just under 4 tons unladen, it will, if the Budget proposals become law, pay a tax of £48. For a vehicle weighing over 5 tons, the tax is £60, making a difference of £12, whereas the loaded capacity could be greatly increased by the employment of a trailer with the lighter vehicle, making a total of £58, at the same time effecting a saving of £2 in taxation.
Dealing with the trailers available, one of the best-known makers is R. A. Dyson and Co., Ltd., Grafton Street, Liverpool, and 82, Mansell Street, London, E. They claim to have built the first steel trailer in England, and their latest design includes a one-piece chassis frame in steel and a one-piece foreearriage. The range of products is far too large to deal with in detail. They build types of loadcarrying capacities ranging from 7 cwt. to 40 tons. Tipping trailers are made for double-side, end, and three-way tipping, and they specialize in a patent automatic end-tipping model. During the past year their cable-carrying trailers have been in great demand. Another popular model is the type fitted with tipping steel hoppers, whilst Pickford's combined trailer and six-wheeler attachment is shown amongst our illustrations. The 10-ton long-platform trailer is a type much used in Liverpool.
Another well-known trailer-manufacturing company is the Eagle Engineering Co., Ltd., Eagle Works, Warwick. One of their specialities is the Eagle patent trailer for use with the Fordson tractor, which can be fitted up with such special devices as cesspit emptiers, house-refuge collection bodies, and so forth, and provided with tipping gear. These Fordson trailers are of the two-wheeled type, so arranged that a portion of the load is thrown on to the tractor wheels to improve adhesion. A novel type of low-loading platform has recently been supplied to Shanghai for use with McCormickDeering tractors. These trailers can be employed in pairs, the front of the forward trailer being hitched on to the tractor and the front of the second trailer to the rear of the first, so that two wheels only arc required. Incidentally, the wheels have quadruple tyres. The Eagle two-wheeled extending trailer can be made to carry lengths of from 12 ft. to 35 ft. It is especially suitable for steel girders, bar iron, etc. Various types of tipping trailer are also constructed. Carrimore Six Wheelers, Ltd., High Road, Great North Road, London, N.12, make a 10-ton trailer particularly for use with tractors such as the Fordson, two-wheeled trailers with an auxiliary castor wheel for man-handling after uncoupling, and a 2-ton four-wheeled trailer for use with light petrol vehicles, the tare weight of this type being only 16 cwt. In addition to these there is a number of special models suitable for practically all classes of work, amongst these being several for carrying cable drums and equipped with ramps and winding gear. A speciality of the company is the device known as the Adhesor. This is fitted to the drawbar of the heavy trailerS for tractor use and permits any desired proportion of the load to be imposed upon the rear wheels of the tractor. A useful type for carrying timber is that with an extensible pole. This is a two-wheeled model with a screw jack at the forward end of the pole to facilitate hitching and unhitching. Two standard types of trailer are made by G. Scammell and Nephew, Ltd., Fashion Street, London, E.1. These are a 3-tonner weighing 25 cwt. and a 5-tonner weighing 28 cwt. This company has been manufacturing a large number of trailers for the London haulage trade for many years and has also constructed special trailers, such as boiler trolleys and others up to load capacities of 12 tons.
Included in the comprehensive range of eqnipment provided by Tuke and Bell, Ltd., Carlton Engineering Works, Lich field, Staffs, and 27, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, W.C.2, are trailers of various types. amongst which is a trailer wagon for the collection of domestic refuse. A number of these wagons is employed with a single tractor. Each trailer has shafts for a horse and is drawn by a horse from door to door. When loaded the tractor, is substituted for the horse, the 'change-over occupying only three minutes.
One of the most useful forms of trailer manufactured by the Sentinel Waggon Works, Ltd., Shrewsbury, is a three-way tipper with a tipping mechanism similar to that used on the Super-Sentinel wagon, but operated by hand by means of a hydraulic pump, this enabling a man to tip a full load in about three minntes. The Sentinel trailer is of all-steel construction and excellently sprung.
A novel type of trailer is the KB., made by Sheffield Steel Products, Ltd., Ternplehorough Works, Sheffield, and designed for tractor haulage. It is so arranged that by braking the trailer wheels and running the tractor back against the telescopic drawbar the trailer body is tiPped to a high angle and returned when the tractor again runs forward.
A comparatively recent addition to the Ackerman-steered type is the Letchworth, in which unusual care has been
taken in the design. It is claimed for this trailer that the faults of the ordinary tracking, trailer have been overcome. The steering gear is of unusual design and the actual steering arm is independent of the drawbar, except that it is linked to the latter at its front end, but can be detached for hand steering when required, so enabling the trailer to be backed with the greatest ease. The weight of the 5-ton trailer chassis is only 231 cwt. Tracking trailers are also built by Richard Garrett and Sons, Ltd., of Leiston. One of the most interesting trailer products on the market Is the Hi.C., made by Haulage Improvements and Constructions, Ltd., Granville House, Arundel Street, Londoni W.C2. It embodies a patented form of spring suspension, by coil compression springs, and it is claimed that it can run under colonial conditions in a very much better mannen than the trailer, with ordinary laminated springs. The range includes units of 10-15 cwt. up to 4-5-ton paying load capacities, whilst for municipal requirements there are lowdraught platforms of 3-ton, 5-ton and 8-ton capacity for use with such tractors as the Fordson and McCormick. Deering. The 8-ton model .is carried on a flexible fourwheeled bogie of unusual construction, whilst the others are of the two-wheeled type.
A well-built series of trailers hailing from Scotland is manufactured by Alex. Laurie and Sons, Falkirk. The two wheeled trailer for the Fordson is built in two sizes, to carry 3itons and 5 tons respectively, and equipped with hand-operated tipping gear. One special type is made for distributing chips and grit, whilst double-side tipping trailers are also constructed.
Some neatly built trailers are made by Martin and Co., of Red Hill, Denham, Bucks. These are supplied in capacities of from 10 cwt. to 6 tons, and are of all-steel construction_
A range of trailers from 3-ton capacity to 7-ton capacity is built by Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd., OrWell Works, Ipswich, and a 4-5-ton model by Fodens, Ltd., of Sandbach, Cheshire.
H. C. Bauly, Ltd., 131-133, Bow Road, London, E.3,, build types varying from 2-3-ton to 5-6-ton with steel chassis.
Well-built 10-ton trailers for work in Liverpool are being constructed by Atkinson-Walker Wagons, Ltd., Frenchwood Works, Preston, whilst a maker well known in Liverpool itself is J. Atkinson.
Irish users are catered for to a considerable extent by F. T. Murdoch and Co., Ltd.,, of Thompson Street, Belfast, who specialize in end-tipping and multi-point-tipping bodies.