The Equipment of a Motor Repair Shop or Running Shed.
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In many localities there will doubtless arise opportunity for the establishment of small repair shops for commercial vehicles, especially those of the van and lorry types. At the present day, the number of individual users of these cars is increasing largely, and in the majority of cases any small repairs are dealt with either by users themselves or by existing engineering works, which in some cases have not the special knowledge necessary for quick and cheap repairs. We believe that the repair question acts as a deterrent in some cases, as where the would-be owner has not the necessary staff tor dealing with repairs himself and hesitates before putting the matter in the hands of a general engineer. These considerations lead us to conclude that a few notes on the equipment of a shop such as we have mentioned ma be of interest to some of our readers.
The question of size of shop is, of course, dependent upon the sites the locality selected offers, upon the -business expected, and other similar considerations. There are many advantages in having a yard in front of the shop itself, because this allows of small repairs, etc., being carried out without the necessity of having to bring the vehicle inside the building, but in many districts, such as London, this would be almost impossible to procure. If, however, the price of land allowed of the provision of a yard, every care should be taken to ensure the ground having a good and solid surface. As is well known, the use of motor lorries tends to improve a properly made road, yet many yards are not constructed with proper bottoms, and are liable from this cause to damage. The sketch given shows the approximate dimensions of a small shop which would provide ample accommodation for the work necessary in many districts. Provision is made in it for dealing comfortably with three vehicles, although in case of necessity two additional ones might be packed inside, but this would not leave much room for work on any of them. One of the roads should have a pit, about 3ft. wide and 2ft. 6in, or more deep, so that the underneath part of a lorry would be easily accessible. The bottom of this pit should be well drained, arid the walls should be lined with glazed bricks ; the omission of each third brick in each alternate course of the side walls provides a convenient means of laying tools handy while working.
If some existing building could be utilised, the first cost would probably be materially reduced. The cost of the building would vary greatly according to local circumstances, but the building should include a substantial floor and a pit as shown. Fitters' benches along the back of the shop, but clear of doors, would be necessary, and a vice should be fixed opposite each of the three roads. An additional short bench with a vice should also be provided, as shown, along one side. On the other side the small initial amount of machinery absolutely necessary should be placed. This should include a small drilling machine, and if possible a small 6in. lathe. These would, of course, require power for driving, and probably the most convenient method would be to use electrical power where available. This with two machines, would necessitate a short length of shafting fixed against the wall. The motor for driving this would need to be about 3h.p., and, if 'a supply of electrical current were not available, a small petrol motor geared down suitably might be employed. To complete the equipment of the body of the shop, some arrangement of a light crane, to lift from isewt. to I ton, is desirable. The actual details of this would depend upon the type of roof, girders, and pillars, etc., chosen. The crane should be placed over the road with a pit. Doors should be placed in the front of the shop and opposite each of the roads, so as to allow of the entrance and exit of the vehicles. At a suitable distance from the doors, three chimneys should be placed in the roof opposite the positions which would approximately be occupied by the chimneys of steam lorries. The chimneys should be of wrought iron or steel, provided with telescopic extension pieces with conical bottoms which could be dropped and fitted over the chimneys of lorries when firing up. This arrangement would prevent great inconvenience when getting a lorry ready for running out after repairs. It is probably best for the vehicles to be backed into the shop, as this allows of the boilers being removed, if necessary, and dropped in front of the lorries without interfering with other repairs to the machinery. As repairs will often require to be carried out in the evening, or at night, good artificial light is essential, and, when available, electric light will probably be found the most suitable, as this allows of wires with portable lights attached. Care must, however, be taken to see that these moveable and convenient lights do not receive rough usage.
The small smithy shown should contain a smith's hearth and anvil, but, as it will not be frequently used, hand bellows will probably be sufficient, or, if electric current is used, a small blower may be fixed. In addition, this shop should contain a small brazing hearth, which will be found useful for the various pipe work on a lorry. Arrangements should be made here, too, for re-metalling brasses, etc. All material should be kept in a store in order that a record of the cost of all work done may be checked. Iron rod, piping, and long bars, may be hung in racks along the wall, whilst the stouter pieces can be stood on end. The number and variety of spare parts kept will of course depend upon the work done, but a good variety of all sizes of bolts and rivets should be kept. Arrangements should be made with makers for the supply of large spare parts at an instant's notice upon receipt of a telegram. In the stores a suitable and sufficient supply of jacks should be kept. The office arrangements will, naturally, depend largely on how the shop is to be worked, but a telephone is an absolute necessity, in order that customers may readily get into communication with the shop in case of breakdown on the road. In connection with this outside work, a small truck fitted with a small vice, and provided with a sufficient supply of fitters' tools and jacks, with packing blocks, should be kept, and care taken to see that it is always ready to go out at a minute's notice.
.(To be continued.)