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23rd March 1945, Page 26
23rd March 1945
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 26, 23rd March 1945 — PLANNING POST-WAR [CE WITH A " KICK "
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

AS readers of this journal will know there has been much controversy during the past few months relative to the inadequacy of the maintenance and service facilities which the motor trader has, in the past, given to commercial-vehicle operators. That these have not been of the highest order is unquestionably true, but that there are two sides to the question was made plain by Mr, A. E. 011a'Wan, M.I.M.T., in an article published in our issue dated January 12.

To the large operator, whose fleet is of such a size as. to justify the running of a well-equipped maintenance section the question is not vitally important, but to the thousands ,1 small operators it is a matter of almost urgent necessity that they should be able to turn their vehicles over to a concern so provided in respect of both equipment and persthanel as to (a) give a day and night. service; (b) carry out its work to the standard reached by the vehicle maker: (c) :to work to such a schedule as to guarantee a date in respect of the return of the vehicle, or vehicles, into service.

To be able to claim such a service would mean careful planning, the investment of considerable capital and the acquiring of personnel of a Specialist character. Ambitions as the project may sound, these are the lines on which the concern of Jeffreys Commercial Motors (Swansea), Ltd., Heath Read, Swansea, is working, -and as the result of an invitation from its controller, Mr. G, E. Jeffreys, we recently paid a ' visit to South -Wales to see just how such an establishment is being realized.

It may be as well to mention that the original busines4 was founded FO long ago as 1895 by Mr. William Jeffreys. who, despite his.82 years, still takes a lively interest in the activities of his Sons, of whom there are four in the business. Without going into .details of the fight which has been put up throughout the years, it can be said that the present satisfactory state ol the business is due entirely to hard work and considerable sacrifice.

The war effort of this concern is one Of which it canbe proud, as several thousands of vehicles, have passed through the works for reconditioning, of which 75 per cent. have been for the War Department and the balance for the M.O.W.T. At the present time'the number of employees totals 150, but the target in this respect is 250.

Now let us see how this concern proposes setting out on --its ambitious post-war programme. In the first place the premises occupy an area 01 23.2q0 sq. ft and towhe`re is the head room less than 16 ft. At the time of our visit farther covering-in wa4 in progress, for although the shop space is now extensive it is not nearly sufficient to meet the needs of the projected plans.

Mr. T. R, Jeffreys, the second in command, in addition to being the supervisor ell all the work carried out and final tester of every vehicle that passes through, is something of an architect and has been responsible for the plans governing the building and layout of the premises.

Even at the present time there are no fewer than 83 pieces of equipment installed, in connection with which the sound practice of individual motor drive is adopted for all the power tools. There are actually 50 motors in use; there is, therefore, not a foot of overhead ,ihafting and no wastage of power, in consequence. Lighting and power, by the way. are obtained from an oil-engined dynamo set laid down by three of the brothers, the current being taken direct from the dynamo. In addition to the equipment referred to there is a special shop set aside for all electrical work and the testing of oil-engine pumps. This department comes under the personal control of Mr. C. R. Jeffreys, and although the undertaking is part and parcel of the main business it runs under the title of Swansea Auto Electrical Engineers, Ltd.

The equipment in this shop is most extensive and comprises, amongst other apparatus, two Octopus test benches, a Hartbridge fuel-pump tester, an S.U.• and A.0 pumptesting machine, and the necessary equipment to carry out remagnetizing.

On top of the foregoing, the present programme provides for the expenditure of £4,000 on machine tools and other equipment of the best class in their respective spheres ofuse. For instance, these include a Churchill grinder, large radial drilling machine by Corona, universal miller, 200-ton hydraulic press and an electroplating plant which, alone, will cost just under £2,000.

The mere possession of the highest grade of machines and equipment is useless unless the right type of personnel be 'available, and this question of staff for the future brings us to another aspect of this company's longsighted policy.

For some considerably long time now is has been running day classes for apprentices, and. whilst those enfployees . at present with the company who are suitably qualified in their subject act in the capacity of lecturers the scheme has far wider applications. For instance, in January 'last, a visit was paid to the works by representatives of Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., and present at that time was a member of the M.O.S. The co-operation of vehicle makers is to be elicited in this way, and the.mass of information collated from the lectures will result in the compilation of invaluable material for passing on at the

daily talks. • Every boy first spends three months in the-stores, this way is able to acquire a knowledge at the names of various components which will prove invaluable to -him later In this way the concern hopes to build up a staff of highly skilled workers to -whom reconditioning work, of whatever nature, can be left without the need for the usual strict supervision.

. No reference. has yet been made to the fact that the company has a special coachhuilding section. In point of fact, many thousands of both goods and passenger vehicle bodies have been produced by the concern during the past 25 years, and it is part of the projected programme to extend this side of the business.

. To this end Mr. G. -W. P. Williams has been engaged in connection with design in which he has bad considerable experience. Whilst themajority of the necessary powerdriven wood-working machinery • is already insta]led, this particularsection is being repIanned and laid out for The utmost efficiency, At the time of our visit a .doubie-decker body was in course of being rebuilt, and it was something of a revelation to note the condition of the underframing as the aid panel ling was removed. -ft is probably no exaggeration to say that, for the most part, it was the metal panels which were responsible for keeping the body intact.

The company is to move with the times and will, therefore, be concerned with the design add assembly of vehicles in which light alloys figure prominently.

One point that was stressed was that where man-handling or heavy work can be avoided it would be done, hence the extensive use of electric power.

One of the important sections of this business is the stores. wlfich to-day carry goods to the minimum value of R5,006. As SpecialIoid stockists the value of pistons alone is about t500. • They also carry all spares for the Perkins P6 oil engine and for Albion machines. In connection with the latter the company is proud of the claim that not a single Albion vehicle in the area has been kept off the road as the result of the non-availability of a spare part, and this irrespective of the age of the machine.

Se far as oil engines in general are concerned, the company has the services of a man who specializes in these power units and who is fully qualified to carry through complete rebuilds if necessary.

We feel sure that if enthusiasm and hard work are two essehtials to the fulfilment of their purpose, the brothers Jeffreys will be amply rewarded, and that every type -of operator in the Swansea area, from the small "man to the big man, will, after the war, be able to take advantage of service and repair facilities such as have not been previously available to them.


Organisations: War Department

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